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Dallas firm plans entertainment center in ABQ


The Dallas-based company, Main Event, is seeking city approval to open one of its entertainment centers in Albuquerque. (COURTESY MAIN EVENT)


It looks like Albuquerque is getting another entertainment emporium.

A Dallas-based company that touts its “eat-bowl-play” experience is ready to expand into the Duke City and is currently seeking city approval to build a new facility in the North Interstate 25 corridor.

Main Event Entertainment has zeroed in on a site along Pan American Freeway at Vassar. Construction is expected to start this fall, with a projected opening in the summer of 2016, spokeswoman Jeannine Brew told the Journal on Thursday.

Main Event’s facilities range between 48,000 and 75,000 square feet and feature at least 20 bowling lanes, a laser tag arena and a “gravity ropes course suspended over a games gallery that features more than 100 interactive and virtual games,” Brew said via email.

The venues also serve food and feature a full bar.

“Albuquerque has been on Main Event’s radar for quite some time and is an important part of our growth plans. Now that we’ve found the right site, we’re ready to showcase our distinct Eat.Bowl.Play. experience and look forward to becoming a part of the community,” Main Event President and CEO Charlie Keegan said in an email.

Main Event couldn’t confirm the exact size of its planned Albuquerque facility but a building permit application filed recently with the city describes it as 48,760 square feet and lists the value at about $5.5 million.

Main Event has 20 sites open in states including Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma. Six of the centers opened within the last year, and the fast-growing company expects to add another eight by next summer.

The Duke City has lost a handful of bowling facilities in recent years. The latest was Skidz Family Entertainment Center on Lomas NE — previously called Leisure Bowl — which ended a 58-year run this spring. That came shortly after the closure of Sandia Bowl in the Northeast Heights.

Gene Hinkle — proprietor of his own Albuquerque entertainment emporium, Hinkle Family Fun Center — told the Journal earlier this year he intended to add a bowling alley to his 10-acre complex at Tramway and Indian School.

In a separate development, social media was abuzz this week with word that a new waterpark is in the works for Albuquerque. The project — currently going by the name Rocky Mountain Fun Factory — is still in the early stages of development. An investor in the project told the Journal  on Thursday that the local team behind the park hasn’t yet filed plans with the city or even cemented a specific site for the park.

The investor did say that the group has lined up enough investment to build a waterpark — and has already purchased some affiliated equipment — but the scope could grow to include other features like roller coasters. He said the group is still seeking public input to determine what the community would like in such a venue, and the goal is to open by 2017.