According to Bowling.com, it costs approximately $100,000 per lane to build a completely new bowling center. If updating an existing building, the cost per lane is approximately $60,000. It is also possible to build bowling alleys within private homes. Fusion Bowling sells custom home bowling alleys starting at $70,000 for a simple single-lane model and reaching $350,000 for a deluxe four-lane private bowling alley.
Determining the optimal lane count and total cost for a commercial bowling center depends on the local population. The site recommends building one bowling lane for every 2,500 to 3,000 people in a five-mile radius. A small city with 60,000 people should have at least 20 lanes. According to Bowling.com's metrics, building a brand-new 20-lane facility would cost about $2 million, and retrofitting an existing building for a 20-lane facility would cost about $1 million. Once the facility is built, gross profits are estimated at about 90 percent, an extraordinarily high number.
Residential bowling alleys have become increasingly popular, with a 200 percent increase from 2006 to 2010, says Tim Claxton of United Bowling. He cites a price of $88,000 for a two-lane alley, including pins, computer scoring and bowling shoes. Deluxe two-lane models from Fusion Bowling start at $170,000 and include colored LED lane lighting, infrared ball detection and rear cameras to allow bowlers to examine their form.