Hole Bowl, Jackson’s lone public bowling alley, has been listed for sale for $1.5 million, with owner Jessica MacGregor saying it’s time for the property’s “next chapter.”
“It just kind of came to a point in my life and with Hole Bowl that it was time to close the first chapter,” MacGregor said in an interview, “and that was me spending years to open it, get it to a turnkey operation.”
Now it’s time to “get it someone else’s vision and expertise and ideas, to put their stamp on it and start chapter two.”
Realtor Michael Pruett, with Compass of Jackson Hole, told the News&Guide that they originally reached out near the end of summer to some people who they felt might be interested in the property, adding that Hole Bowl has officially been listed for sale for about two weeks. Pruett said some potential buyers he and Compass Realtor John Long have spoken to are interested in the versatility of Hole Bowl’s space.
The 16,000-square-foot property, with 10 lanes and its Pinsetter Restaurant, is “move-in ready” and “a new owner can come in and put their own stamp and their own flavor on the business,” Pruett said.
He added that Hole Bowl, at 980 W. Broadway Ave., is unique in more ways than being the only public bowling alley in Jackson since Jackson Bowl burned down in 2001. The Jackson Elks Club has a small alley in its basement at 270 W. Broadway, but that is reserved for Elks Club members and private functions.
“It’s the only business in town with three businesses within one,” Pruett said. “You’ve got a bowling alley, you’ve got a bar, and you’ve got a restaurant. And with commercial space in such high demand here in town, I mean, this is a huge space.”
Asked if it’s a priority to sell Hole Bowl to a buyer who wants to keep the space as a bowling alley, MacGregor responded, “Good question.”
Pruett said, “We’ve been approached by a lot of different, very creative people [about] bringing their own businesses in and adding it to bowling. We’ve had people say that, ‘For sure we want to keep the bowling, we want to keep the restaurant, but we want to sort of twist this a little bit and add our own business flavor to it.’”
Long added that though they’ve spoken with potential buyers with various backgrounds, “this is Jackson’s indoor playground and [keeping it a bowling alley] definitely is a priority of ours, as far as keeping it available to the community.”
Hole Bowl has seen a few bumps in the road since opening in 2016 after MacGregor spent years transforming the space into a bowling alley. The business had to close temporarily on Feb. 6, 2017, when the adjoining roof over Sears collapsed under the weight of snow and ice; the place reopened May 24, 2017. Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, Hole Bowl was forced to close again until June 15, and MacGreegor has felt the pain of the pandemic like other businesses.
But MacGregor said those were not factors in her decision to sell Hole Bowl.
“That’s everybody’s favorite topic to talk about, is the roof collapse and COVID, but — the roof collapse was surreal, as you can imagine — but no, the people that needed to know that Hole Bowl was for sale and consent to a sale happened before COVID hit,” she said. “So this was in the works and then obviously derailed when COVID took its effect here in Jackson, as it did globally.”
Regardless of what Hole Bowl’s fate and next chapter ultimately will look like, MacGregor knows what she has in store as she turns the next page.
“I have three children ... that, in and of itself, is a priority and a full-time job,” she said.