EL CENTRO – Brunswick Zone XL in El Centro will soon reopen its doors after the Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously 5-0 to approve a $1 million Community Benefit loan to El Centro Investments, LLC, during Tuesday’s regular board meeting.
El Centro Investments (ECI), LLC, is a group of local businessmen led by Martin Coyne who acquired the property last year. On November 21, ECI submitted an application to the county seeking additional funding to be used as working capital to reopen the bowling alley.
“We are excited to embark in this endeavor and look forward to opening the bowling alley soon,” said Coyne.
Brunswick Zone XL originally opened its doors in June 2008, featuring 36 bowling lanes, an arcade area and sports bar, providing fun for all ages.
However, for unknown reasons, the bowling alley abruptly closed in May 2016, leaving residents in limbo with questions as to why the company decided to close without warning.
In the agreement with the county, $1 million will be funded upon recording of a first deed of trust secured by the real property where the bowling alley is located which has a current value of $5 million.
ECI will be expected to repay the loan over a 10-year period in equal monthly principal payments of approximately $2,777.78, plus interest.
According to the contract, El Centro Investments, LLC, may qualify for a 20 percent forgiveness of the original principal amount if the borrower (ECI) makes 20 consecutive full loan payments without default, and the borrower (ECI) has created and sustained for a minimum of 20 months at least 40 full-time employee positions over a five-year period.
“Imperial County has very little recreational activities for families,” said Michael Kelley, chairman of the board. “At one time it was exciting to see families and kids go there, however, since its closing I have known people to drive all the way to Yuma on a weekend basis to entertain their families and friends. I am so happy to see this come back to this board for consideration.”
Coyne said the bowling alley is expected to reopen within 30-45 days, contingent upon obtaining the beverage license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Licensing, a permit that currently awaits their board’s approval.
“We’re not exposing the county to any risk, we are creating 45 jobs,” said John Renison, District 1 supervisor. “It was mentioned there is no recreation in the Valley, therefore anything to enhance (recreation) we need to do.”