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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Demolition of the fire-damaged remains of a Des Moines bowling alley is nearly complete, and the business’ owners say they’re ready to rebuild.

A massive fire engulfed the former Plaza Lanes Family Sports Complex in Des Moines in December 2017. Fire officials determined the blaze was accidental.

Randy Thompson’s father built Plaza Lanes in 1957. Thompson told the Des Moines Register that the soon-to-be cleared site will be home to a new family entertainment center, fit with a restored neon sign that’s signature to their former bowling alley. The new center would include such entertainment as an escape room, laser tag, a larger arcade, bowling lanes and a new sports restaurant and bar. It’ll also be placed in a different spot on the property to accommodate more parking, Thompson said.

He wants the new facility to be a place where “people can go and do all kinds of entertainment for hours.”

Thompson estimated the fire damage at $7.5 million. The price tag for the new entertainment center could reach $9 million, he said.

Dan DeCarlo, owner of DeCarlo Demolition, said crews first had to remove asbestos before the rest of the building could be torn down. He anticipates several weeks of work left at the site.

Thompson said they plan to open their new center by September 2019.

“It has to be a family entertainment center and it has to last at least another 60 years,” he said. “We have a loyal customer base. Four or five generations of children have come through these doors.”


Information from: The Des Moines Register,