Do you want to start a bowling alley and want to know the cost? If YES, here is a cost breakdown for building a bowling alley and the profit margin / ROI. The real deal in starting a bowling center is securing a facility that is large enough to contain a full-sized bowling alley including spectator’s stand, changing room, and enough parking space.

It might take you months to get an ideal facility, so it is better that you inform your real estate agent in advance to help you with the search. Opening a bowling center can be capital intensive, but if you know how to manage the business, you are sure going to make huge returns on your investment especially if you are an active bowler and socialite in your community.

Starting your own private bowling center is not an easy task. It requires a complete project team and solid capital base. It also requires long term planning to successfully build a bowling center from the scratch to finish. If you don’t have enough time to spare, you can source for bowling centers that are put-up for sale. One of the drawbacks of buying over a bowling center is that you can’t change the location.

Cost Breakdown for Starting a Bowling Alley in 2023

In setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting a place, then you would need a good amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of, and that your facility is conducive enough for workers to be creative and productive.

This means that the startup can either be low or high depending on your goals, vision and aspirations for your business. The tools and equipment that will be used are nearly the same cost everywhere, and any difference in prices would be minimal and can be overlooked. These are the key areas where you are expected to spend your startup capital on;

  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in the united states of America – 0.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
  • Marketing promotion expenses (8,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $10,000.
  • The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,800.
  • The cost of accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
  • The cost for leasing facility for the bowling alley – $200,000.
  • The cost for facility remodeling (please note that a 2-lane residential project can run anywhere from $120,000.00 to $195,000.00 or more with installation) – $350,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000
  • Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory – $15,000
  • The cost for acquiring bowling wares – $40,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (various furniture types, lighting, scoring / scoring monitors, audio/ music system, video screens or graphics, graphics and décor, and theming et al) – $80,000.
  • The cost of launching a website – $600
  • Miscellaneous – $5,000

From the rough estimate as listed above, you would need a minimum of six hundred and fifty thousand USD ($650,000) to establish a standard bowling alley in any city in the United States of America.


Please note that this is a rough estimate and we usually advise our readers who are interested in starting a bowling alley to have a clear picture of what they want to achieve, go to the market or directly contact sellers of the items they would need to get real time prices of these items.

Interestingly, most bowling centers in the United States of America are constructed using a combination of new and used equipment so as to cut down cost. Besides, bowling equipment will last 30 or more years if properly maintained. The truth is that if you are a good bargainer, you can get a better deal that will help you beat down the estimated price as listed above.