Mark Enterkin, who with his wife Beverly bought the Depot Family Fun Center in November, has been busy making renovations to the business in order to make it more family friendly. One of the renovations include patriotic murals, like the one depicted here.
Mark Enterkin, who with his wife Beverly bought the Depot Family Fun Center in November, has been busy making renovations to the business in order to make it more family friendly. One of the renovations include patriotic murals, like the one depicted here.
A love for bowling led a Quitman couple to buy and renovate the Depot Family Fun Center here.

Mark and Barbara Enterkin bought the local bowling alley in early November. They say they had had their eye on buying a bowling alley for some time.

“My wife and I are both avid bowlers and we even met in a bowling alley,” Mark Enterkin said. “We have been looking into getting into the business for maybe five years and now when this one came available we jumped on it.”

Enterkin said they enjoy national bowling competitions and said Beverly had finished in the top fifteen in a national competition about three years ago.

The Enterkins went right to work. They changed out the carpets, specifically in the skating rink area, put a fresh coat of paint on the floor and the walls and put up murals with bowling and patriotic themes. They even replaced the lighting in the parking lot.

Most notably, they put in a new scoring system for the bowling lanes at a cost of $100,000.

Enterkin said they are still working out the kinks on the scoring system but displayed the systems more interesting features. The new system automatically scores games for the bowlers and allows bowlers to customize their experience. The system allows bowlers to change their screen to a variety of creative experiences.

One of the screens sure to be popular with families and the younger crowd is the superhero themed screen. While a bowler enjoys a game they can watch a variety of costumed characters acting out scenes on the screen after every ball is rolled.

“It gives bowlers a different experience, a little extra entertainment,” Enterkin said.

Enterkin said the next major project nearing completion is the alley’s new pro shop. Enterkin said when he purchased the bowling alley one of the things he was surprised about was that it didn’t have a pro shop.

Enterkin also has more plans for the skating rink portion of the business. He said the floor in the skating area needs to be restripped and recovered and he wants to repaint the floor to give the area a better flow as well as some other upgrades.

“I have an idea of what I want the rink to look like, I am not sure if it will all work but we are working toward that goal,” Enterkin said.

“Some of the area high school kids we have come in every day and say they can’t wait to see what has changed,” Enterkin said.

Future additions include an upcoming pro-shop and a youth bowling league.

“We want to have a youth league this summer to introduce people to the sport,” Enterkin said. “Hopefully it will be instructional for people of all abilities.”

In addition to the youth league, the state champion Nehsoba Central bowling teams practice at the Enterkin’s facility.

Enterkin also wants to make some more improvements outside the facility. The business actually controls three sides of a courtyard with a stage near the middle of the courtyard. He said he has done some work to upgrade the stage and his goal is to have band perform during the summer as an additional attraction. He said the goal would be to give area musicians the chance to perform and that he was working on a list of possible acts.

Enterkin said they started their renovation list by combing negative reviews of the facility on Facebook.

He said it has been a lot of late nights of hard work, but they have been able to work on off days and late at night and have only had to close for three days around Easter Sunday.

“It can be quite a challenge and we have had to work very hard but we have a good team behind us that have helped out tremendously. We also received a warm welcome from the chamber of commerce and they really helped us with whatever we have needed,” Enterkin said.

In addition to the Bowling Alley, the Enterkins have run a number of sports equipment stores including one in Quitman and one in Meridian. Enterkin said that students from area schools are noted hard workers.

The Depot Family Fun Center is open from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.