Bowling Lanes Go Up Under the Reno Arch - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Bowling Lanes Go Up Under the Reno Arch

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The women's U.S. Open Bowling Championships are going on this week in Reno, but with a twist. Brunswick Bowling workers are building four full-sized bowling lanes on Virginia Street -- right under the famous Reno arch. That has people talking.

"I had to come down and see what was going on. I had to see bowling under the arches," said local businessman Spencer Hobson, who stopped by to check out the construction.

Even women bowlers in town for the tournament are impressed. Melissa Hertenberger of the New Jersey Tri-Staters loved the idea of bowling on Reno's main street. 

"I think that's awesome," she said. "Bring it out onto the street and get more people interested. It's awesome to see."

The women's bowling tournaments coincide with the International Bowling Expo, being held at the Silver Legacy. The Expo brings owners of bowling facilities to Reno this week and has a military theme.

On Monday attendees heard from former Air Force fighter pilot Scott O'Grady, who famously survived being shot down in his F-16 over Bosnia. 

"I was on my last combat mission in Bosnia when I was shot down and I spent six days surviving behind enemy lines," said O'Grady.  

O'Grady says bowling is important to military members.

"There are a lot of bowling alleys in major military installations, and when we're stationed overseas or stateside, it's nice to have a piece of home right there with us on the military base," he said.

Bowlers have no trouble finding common ground with O'Grady. Bob Thomas, Operations Manager at the National Bowling Stadium says bowling and the military have been partners for a long time, and inviting O'Grady to speak was a good fit.

"His theme was that the military being there for him as one group, the camaraderie -- and that flows into what bowling is all about," said Thomas. "Bowling centers all over the United States, all over the world, banding together as one big group and supporting each other is what's going to make our sport grow too."

With two major tournaments bringing thousands of people to Reno, maybe Nevadans can catch the camaraderie too. Spencer Hobson thinks we can.  

"I think it's really good for Reno, I think we're going to get some national coverage with it," he said.

You can catch the action yourself on Wednesday when the bowling finals of the U.S. Women's Open roll down Virginia street at the arch. There's a festival at 5pm, and the finals start at 7pm.

Written by Jennifer Burton            

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