Despite Santa Fe’s many cultural attractions and easy access to outdoor adventure, some families have found themselves heading south to Albuquerque in search of kid-friendly entertainment. Joey and Hannah Padilla grew so weary of the trip down I-25 that they decided to open their own family fun emporium. Their brainchild, The Alley at DeVargas Center, officially opened Oct. 4, but its bowling lanes, pool tables and other games have been drawing crowds for the past month during the venue’s soft opening.
The Padillas, who are certified dog trainers and have run the pet care business Santa Fe Tails for more than a decade, say they drew their inspiration for The Alley from BOL Vail in the Colorado ski resort town, which they visited in July 2017. “It was clear that Santa Fe needed more than an ordinary bowling alley,” said Joey Padilla. “We needed something cool like BOL.”
But first they needed space. Santa Fe had been without a bowling alley since Silva Lanes closed in 2009 and later became the home of Meow Wolf, the immersive experience venue. Efforts by an investor group to build a bowling alley in the Railyard had ended in failure, but that venue was fraught with sound issues and was too limited for the Padillas’ vision.