Throwback Thursday 11/3/16: “$1.5 Million Bowling Units Planned”

E. Moline Selected For Site

Announcements today that two separate groups plan to construct bowling alleys within a block of each other in East Moline make that city of 16,732 one of the hottest prospective bowling areas in the Quad-Cities.

Regal Lanes Inc., with Jack E. Conboy of East Moline making that firm’s statement, and Sava’s, Inc. headed by Sam Gnatovich, proprietor of Highland Park Bowl in Moline, revealed plans for rival bowling establishments on 42nd Ave. (Colona Rd.) on opposite sides of the Rock Island County Fair Grounds.

Regal Lanes will break ground within a few days for a 32-lane, Brunswick house that will cost in the neighborhood of $1 million. It will be located west of 13th St. and south of 42nd Ave.

Gnatovich and his associates, George Polios and Walt Zegarac of East Moline, will put up a 24-lane house, very similar to Highland Park Bowl, just east of the fair grounds race track and south of 42nd Ave. Plans have not yet been approved and construction is not expected to begin until August. Total cost will be approximately $500,000.

This marks the biggest single construction of bowling facilities at one time in the history of local bowling. With the new total of 56 alleys, East Moline will rank alongside Moline and Rock Island as far as facilities go. Davenport, with two more houses on the drawing boards, ranks tops.

No immediate word has been received as to the status of East Moline’s only establishment currently operating, the 6-alley Rocket Lanes in downtown East Moline.

Conboy, who is in charge of the Regal Lanes operation, said completion of the bowling center will be Sept. 1. The corporation is composed of a group of local businessmen.

“We also have plans for other facilities which we hope to develop once the bowling center is in full operation,” Conboy announced.

The bowling center, designed by Norman Keller of Moline, will be entirely automatic from mechanical standpoint. Telescore screens for bowlers and spectators will be featured.

There will be parking facilities for 400 cars, a snack bar and an electronic baby-sitting service. A nursery room for children will be equipped with a closed circuit television unit permitting parents to observe the youngsters on monitor screens located at various points in the bowling center.

All Steel Building, Milan is general contractor for the project.

Sava’s bowl, which is expected to be completed by next April, in time for the 1962-63 league season, will be automatically equipped by American Machine & Foundry (AMF). It will include a cocktail lounge, snack bar, locker rooms and combination nursery and meeting room.

“We won’t have a basement in this building,” Gnatovich said. “Nor will we have a pro shop. We can to expand the pro shop facilities at Highland Park to take care of both establishments.”

Gnatovich commented on the fall start of construction.

“We feel we;ll get better technical support from AMF and a better job if we hold off until what is normally a slack season in construction.”

Sava’s will be built ona 5-acre tract of land owned by Zegarac, and will provide ample parking facilities.”

-Moline Daily Dispatch
April 27, 1961

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