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Historic Palo Alto Bowl gets a reprieve to 2014

Original post made on Apr 13, 2010

The lease for the historic Palo Alto Bowl in south Palo Alto -- Palo Alto's only bowling alley and one of the few remaining in the region -- is being extended to 2014, according to a representative of the San Jose-based Barry Swenson Builder.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 3:16 PM

Comments (24)

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Posted by show me the money
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2010 at 4:01 pm

All you people who want to save the bowling alley permanently, you now have 4 years to come up with the money. Quit whining and start fund raising.


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Posted by K-Mart
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Yes, let's see what Daniel Mart does, since he was the leading voice to save the bowl


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Posted by Mary R
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Hooray! I love the Palo Alto Bowl and am so happy to see it stay (for a while at least).
: )


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Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 13, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Nice. Always enjoy a family night at the Palo Alto Bowl.


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Posted by metoo
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 13, 2010 at 7:27 pm

That's great news, yea! I don't bowl very often but will try to get over there more. I really enjoy it there. Newer lanes have the tv's running constantly and I don't care for that. This alley is spacious and comfortable and great for all ages.


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Posted by Lived here all my life
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm

YAY! So glad that more kids/families will have a bowling alley to go to! I truly hope it can stay for a long time. As a kid I bowled in a Saturday morning league with my brother at the old Indian Bowl on Emerson; that was fun. Got some exercise biking 2 miles to downtown (and back!), had some fun and then got home by lunchtime. :0)


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Posted by Happy
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Good news! I hope a long term solution is found for its survival!


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Posted by Daniel Mart
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:55 am

Daniel Mart is a registered user.

Already working on that, slowly and steadily ... we're not done yet. And the first step should not be fundraising; that would be giving in to the rich special interests, ie Barry Swenson. The majority of us are not rich; many of PA Bowl's patrons live on SSI, including myself. Fundraising is of course an option, but should never be a first step here.

Web Link

We live in a status quo which favors the rich and pits money up against common sense and what's right; we can change things, but in order to do this, we must find a way to get along and stand together.

Web Link


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Posted by K-Mart
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2010 at 6:27 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by show me the money
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

I can only think of 2 ways to save the bowling alley long term: (1) buy it or (2) steal it. If there are any other proposals on the table, I would like to hear them.


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Posted by K-Mart
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2010 at 9:58 am

Daniel Mart says:
"And the first step should not be fundraising; that would be giving in to the rich special interests, ie Barry Swenson. "

So how do you plan to keep the PA Bowl open? Don't you think buying it from the current owner and maintaining it as a bowling alley is a good idea?
Or are you expecting the current owner to just hand it over to you? Or should the city buy it using taxpayer money and keep it open for your pleasure?

I am sure that Mr Swenson came by his money using honest means. He is probably rich because he worked for his money. Why do you consider him a "special interest"? Why do you hate rich people? Do you begrudge the original owner for selling his personal property?

Sounds to me like some people have issues with having to make an effort to accomplish their goals and expect the taxpayers to fund their desires, with no responsibility on their part.
Would love to hear why raising the money and buying the property from it's new owner is not a feasible idea--after all it looks like Mr Swenson bought the property from the original owner. Isn't that how our market system works? or should their be exceptions, where taxpayers bear the financial burden, for a select few?


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Posted by Carol Gilbert
a resident of University South
on Apr 14, 2010 at 10:46 am

I am very glad that the bowling alley and Thai Garden have been spared at least for several years. It is one of the few healthy choices teens have for recreation and fun.

In the time remaining, perhaps some combination of civic involvement and private fund-raising could work to keep it in the public domain. Realizing that this is not a great time for the city to commit any funding, maybe we will be in a better place in a couple of years if other financial reforms are set in place.


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Posted by michael james
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 14, 2010 at 11:06 am

great that others have saved bowling where the city council would have (had) allowed to to be replaced by more crap like ricky's

in the future bowling could be part of neighborhood serving mixed use
no more condos flooding our schools!!


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Posted by Daniel Mart
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Daniel Mart is a registered user.

I never said that fundraising is not feasible; in fact, I did say that it was an option. Just ... we should not rush into things and immediately throw money every which way without creating awesome public awareness and protest and relating to the developers and council on a personal level ... it's what's known as "heart learning." I envision protests in Lytton Plaza, door-to-door stuff, special ed students flooding the council chambers, etc.

As Carol said, there must be "civic engagement." We can not afford to do "business as usual." It's why we're in the mess we are seeing today, and it's unacceptable.


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Posted by K-Mart
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Daniel Mart says:
"creating awesome public awareness and protest and relating to the developers and council on a personal level ... it's what's known as "heart learning." I envision protests in Lytton Plaza, door-to-door stuff, special ed students flooding the council chambers, etc."

Protests against what? Considering our financial status at this time, can the council seriously consider purchasing and running the Palo Alto bowl? Why should the bowl have a preferred status over other community things that will face the budget ax? Should the city even consider getting involved in this?
Another more important question is how many Palo Alto residents actually use the bowl? That is a very important fact to consider. And if people from other cities use the bowl,should those cities contribute money to purchase and run the place. remember these are tax dollars we are talking about.

"We can not afford to do "business as usual." It's why we're in the mess we are seeing today, and it's unacceptable. "
What "business as usual" are we talking about? Sounds like everything was done above board. The old owner wanted to sell (his property, he can do what he likes with it). He found a developer and sold the place (do you have a problem with that?). The developer came up with plans for the sight. These plans were open to public input and the relevant commissions and a committees studied the plan and gave it okay. Is that not how democracy works? Yes, the developer is "rich"--but he earned his money and used it in a proper manner. I am not sure what part of this is a "mess" and "unacceptable".

Should our tax dollars be used to subsidize people who have no desire to assume any personal responsibility for a location and denigrate those that use their hard earned money to purchase said location. And should our tax dollars be used to subsidize people that do not even live in Palo Alto?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2010 at 1:47 pm

This is indeed good news. I hope the kids are using it this wet week of Spring Break. From the thread that asks for more hang out places, they should start with what they already have. This is good for them and good for Palo Alto.


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Posted by frank
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Amen to kmart. Some liberals just hate anything involving hard work and success. They discount personal sacrifice to achiev e goals. They would rather sit back and suck from the government. Maybe they should move to a communist state and try it.


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Posted by Bruce
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm

OK Frank. And some conservatives are greedy, war-mongering racists. Liberals and conservatives need to find common ground. This is the United States of America, after all. It's unfair to generalize as you have above, and that kind of rhetoric is indicative of the unfortunate rift that has severed this otherwise proud country. These "liberals" you are so quick to stereotype are also your neighbors. Don't forget that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 14, 2010 at 6:10 pm

"Considering our financial status at this time, can the council seriously consider purchasing and running the Palo Alto bowl?"

Yes, it can, if the right person or group fronts it. Last week the council voted (by 5-4, to be fair) to put a quarter mil down payment on a former mayor's pet project.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by S-Mart
a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Wahoooo, Da Bowl lives!!!!


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Posted by opus
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 14, 2010 at 10:56 pm

WOW show me the money and kmart, what exactly do y'all have against having a family place to go and have fun? Lord knows palo alto needs another 26 three story townhouses to compliment those already built at Hyatt Rickeys and Elks Lodge and maybe the hotel, if ever built, will replace the city council approved demo of Hyatt Rickeys.Guess the money from Hyatts wasn't needed that much. Please let us know the public benefit of 26 new townhouses or a new motel, other than money. Please let us know there is more to living in Palo Alto other than seeing who can make the most money selling off commercial properties that do provide a public benefit. Enjoy life, stop worrying about who has the most money.


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Posted by K-Mart
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2010 at 6:08 am

"WOW show me the money and kmart, what exactly do y'all have against having a family place to go and have fun?"

opus--i have nothing against a family place. However it will have to be funded by private money. All I am saying is that the city cannot afford, nor should they, get involved with running a private business.
This is a golden opportunity for the people who really want the bowl to stay to raise the needed capital to buy the location from the current owner and maintain it as a bowl.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by K-Mart
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

"Please let us know there is more to living in Palo Alto other than seeing who can make the most money selling off commercial properties that do provide a public benefit."

Opus--you should take this point up with the previous owner of the bowl. He owned it for many many years and finally decided to get out of the business and sell his private property. Clearly you are unhappy with that. I guess you would have wanted him to forget about retirement and keep the bowl open.
I am not sure, either, that the city should get involved with trying to regulate the sale of private property


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mom of teens
a resident of Midtown
on May 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Let's keep programs in town so our kids and families have constructive fun and play time. It is amazing to me that with all the suicides in town that the city council wouldn't put more importance on clean old fun....


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