By Rebekah Icenesse
For 63 years, Concord Bowl and Recreation Complex has supplied the St. Louis community with bowling alley fun for all ages. Expanding on the 32 bowling lanes in the early nineties, the Concord Bowl is now a nine-acre facility equipped with the Concord Lanes, Desert Falls Mini Golf, nine batting cages, three sand volleyball courts, and an outdoor lounge deck. Whether you are planning a birthday party, a fundraiser, a corporate event, or team-building activities, the Concord complex is a local facility ready to support the causes.
Growing Back in the Community
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Concord Bowl took some heavy hits. In 2020 and 2021, corporate events with companies such as Home Depot, Bandanas, and Lowes became scarce, and the smaller organizations and birthday parties became minimal. It wasn’t until late 2021 that interest in events and parties slowly returned. “The week of Halloween and the first week of November, all of sudden [interest] was hammered,” Dan Beaman, Owner of Concord Bowl, explains. “The next thing you know, December is [fully] booked.”
Beaman is also part owner of the St. Charles Lanes, which did not see the same business return as the Concord Bowl did with company events. “I think a lot of the corporations are still waiting and holding out [on events],” Beaman adds. Located near Lindenwood University, St. Charles Lanes provides bowling lanes, arcade games, and karaoke for its customers and guests.
Now that business is starting to pick up again in light of the receding pandemic, events and parties at the Concord Bowl have commenced, especially during the holidays. The holiday season is always their busiest season for corporate events. According to Beaman, “The heavy time is definitely December and January.”
Accommodations for Events
The Concord Bowl accommodates anything you might need for your event. Judi Henke, Kids in Action Camp Director at the Concord Bowl, states, “We have bowling, putt-putt, volleyball, meeting rooms, and a field [for events.] Whatever you need, [we] have it.”
The Concord Bowl provides catered food for the events, such as appetizers and pizza. There are also seasoned bartenders eager to make special drinks for the events. Desert Falls Mini Golf, selected as the 2011 Best Miniature Golf in the Riverfront Times, is right outside the Concord Lanes. Venture through the 18-hole golf course filled with caves, a waterfall, and rolling hills of green.
Nearby are the batting cages, and the outdoor deck overlooks the sand volleyball courts. Guests can lounge in the sun while watching the volleyball games and listening to the batting cages in the background.
“[There is] plenty of space, and there are so many opportunities besides bowling. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Henke explains. Outside of the facility, right across the street, lies Rollercade Roller Skate Center, and near the grounds are local and chain restaurants. A two-minute drive down Baptist Church Rd takes you directly to the Marcus Ronnie’s Cinema. There are ample opportunities for activities inside and outside the Concord Bowl.
Charities and Fundraisers
Along with bowling and golfing events and tournaments, Concord Bowl also provides space for fundraisers and banquets. They work with the surrounding St. Louis community to have charity events, including the 4 Paws 4 Rescue, a local animal foster rescue. Coordinated by Henke, the 4 Paws 4 Rescue fundraiser usually happens every January. This big fundraiser for animal rescue involves a petting carnival, adoption for the dogs, selling tickets, raffles, and silent auctions. With a turnout of 250 people, the fundraiser raises thousands of dollars for animal rescue. “[We] make everything between ten to fifteen thousand dollars in three hours,” Henke expresses.
Support a Local Business
Considered a local neighborhood staple, the Concord Bowl and Recreation Complex caters to all events, personal or corporate. With events as small as five people to events as big as 5oo people, the recreation complex is a great place for gatherings. You can rent out the entire facility for a couple of hours or pick and choose what you want to rent. Local restaurants are within walking distance, and the movie theatre is right down the street.
In a perfect location for all-access activities, the flexibility of the Concord Bowl is critical to its success. Dan Beaman is hopeful about the continued growth and recuperation from the pandemic. “Anything people need to have a fun corporate event and get their team out to have a good time, [Concord Bowl] can provide that.”
Rebekah Icenesse is a contributing writer from St. Louis.