Bowling opens for business

Sarah Ladik/NNSL photo Tracy Cross Gauthier says she's excited to open Lizard's Lounge and Lanes to the public and while eager to welcome back devoted bowlers, also hopes to welcome those who just want a place to hang out.

Sarah Ladik/NNSL photo
Tracy Cross Gauthier says she’s excited to open Lizard’s Lounge and Lanes to the public and while eager to welcome back devoted bowlers, also hopes to welcome those who just want a place to hang out.

This is not your grandfather’s bowling alley.

The lanes at Godwin Mall are under new management and looking to cater to both long-time devotees and a new crowd.

“My focus, my goal, is to have it as more of a multi-use facility,” said Tracy Cross Gauthier, who will be running Lizard’s. “I envision mum and the kids bowling while dad watches the Superbowl or something.”

To that end, the former Hay River Bowling Lanes, newly christened Lizard’s Lounge and Lanes, will sport an expanded bar, two televisions, a foosball table and darts. Cross Gauthier said she wants to tempt people who aren’t necessarily bowlers into the facility.

“We’ve worked out a partnership with the Woodland Wok and Grill,” she said. “They’ll deliver a small bar menu, so people can have something to eat while they’re here. People have really liked that so far.”

Lizard’s is set to open today, but will also host a grand opening event at the end of the month. Before then, however, Cross Gauthier said she is planning a bowlers’ appreciation night Friday for everyone who has ever participated in the league. The hope is to spread the word about the activities available at the bowling alley.

“We’ve got lots of ideas to keep it up and running,” she said, listing off a changed schedule for league bowling, youth programs and seniors’ events.

She also wants to start a corporate league on Saturday nights to try to draw in a different crowd.

“We’ll see how it goes, if it’s good we’ll get a trophy and really do it up right,” she said.

The previous operators, Cross Gauthier said, had been in the position a long time and when the mall put out a request for new blood, were underwhelmed by the response.

“At that point, we started talking about doing it in house,” she said. “I work for the people who own the mall and I agreed to do it for two years. After that, we’ll see.”

Lizard’s will be open from Wednesday to Saturday every week and Cross Gauthier said she’s not at all opposed to opening for special events outside those days.

“We want to open the place up to people who maybe aren’t here to bowl, but want to have a good time,” she said. “There’s something for everyone.”

— Sarah Ladik