RENO, NV - Professional bowling broke new ground in Reno Wednesday night. The finals of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open were held under the iconic Reno Arch on Virginia Street.
“There’s nothing more Americana than that arch and there’s nothing more Americana than bowling,” Bowling Proprietors Association of America Executive Director Steve Johnson said. “Reno is one of the best cities in the world for bowling, they welcome us here and they never roll up the red carpet.”
Five of the world’s best female bowlers competed under the lights in front of a good-sized crowd on Virginia Street. Crews started building the four bowling lanes early Sunday morning.
“This is a major undertaking, it’s been in the works for a year,” Johnson said. “What a great time in a great, fun city.”
Barbara LaChance from Oregon extended her vacation for a chance to see the bowlers in action.
“They’re fabulous, these women are beyond belief,” LaChance said. “We were going to go home today but we changed our minds and decided to stay another night because this is the epitome of bowling, the U.S. Women’s Open.”
The tournament and the outdoor finals brought out bowling fans of all ages.
“This is cool, I bowled professionally 30 years ago and they didn’t have outdoor events like this,” Carmen Ratti with Dexter Shoe Company said. “So this brings a lot of excitement and a lot of people that aren’t bowlers and they kind of get to see what our industry is all about. These are the best women bowlers in the world and they’re very good.”
The event will be televised on ESPN.
“We just love coming to Reno,” Johnson said. “Bowling is the number one participant sport in the world and I encourage you to go bowl, get out to the nearest bowling alley because you always leave with a smile on your face.”