New bowling alley opens at Camp Humphreys
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — After enduring more than a year without its old bowling alley, the big U.S. Army helicopter base at Camp Humphreys opened a brand new one Friday with 16 lanes and “state of the art” equipment.
“It’s here … it’s back … it’s got all the bells and whistles,” said Mike Mooney, Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing chief for the Army’s Area III.
The $3.2 million alley, called the Strike Zone, replaces the 12-lane bowling alley that closed early last year and was converted into the Camp Humphreys Elementary School, which covers grades K-6.
“When you’re talking about morale, welfare, recreation,” Mooney said, “bowling has always been … very attractive, particularly to the younger … enlisted personnel.” But “we’ve been without a bowling center for more than a year,” meaning troops at times had to bowl at Osan Air Base, about 30 minutes’ drive north of Camp Humphreys; or at Yongsan, a U.S. Army installation in Seoul.
The new center has maple and pine lanes, automatic pin setters, Qubica Automatic Scorers with 42-inch plasma screen color TV monitors over each lane and sound and light systems that create disco-like effects including spinning lights, bouncing laser lights and smoke issuing from the ceiling.
The center has its own “mini-snack bar,” said Mooney, serving hot dogs, nachos and beer, but a wider menu is offered at the Nitewatch Club, a restaurant-lounge connected to the new bowling alley by a doorway and corridor. “The majority of the food service is by the Nitewatch,” he said.
Also available is a private party room and a full-service pro shop selling bowling balls, bags, shoes and other bowling accessories. Other amenities include a “smokers only” lounge.
The new center is about 100 yards inside the base’s “walk through” gate and close to the Nitewatch Club, Augusta West miniature golf course and the golf driving range.
Although Friday was the official opening, base officials opened the lanes to some bowling last month.
The Poong Chang Construction Company built the center under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. The center’s phone number is DSN 753-5722.
Planning is underway for tournaments and an intramural bowling league. In addition, recruiting has begun for summer bowling leagues that would meet Wednesdays and Fridays. Private bowling lessons will be offered, as will “learn to bowl” clinics and league play for the novice and casual bowler, officials said.