Usually, bowling alleys echo with lofted balls and crashing pins. But at bol, classy purple hues illuminate icy-looking limestones walls in the sleek, white dining room which transforms into a high-energy dance floor on Friday and Saturday nights. A 60-foot-long bar snakes its way along several big-screen televisions, airing big games and huge air captured in ski and snowboard flicks while Djs spin tunes.
You’d hardly know a 10-lane bowling alley exists in the back, because there’s so much entertainment “up front”. As it turns out bōl is much more than just a bowling alley or upscale bar and restaurant; it’s the hottest DJ-ed nightclub, and that has drawn the likes of DJ Craze, Cut Chemist and Z-Trip – Who are used to spinning in metropoles like Miami and Los Angeles. Cut Chemist originally put together a crew with a member of Ozomatli; Z-Trip pioneered the mashup movement and won America’s Best DJ Award; and DJ Craze is all about “dopeness”.
And dope bōl is. It begins, literally, with a red carpet experience, lined with fire pillars at the entrance, which sets the stage for a big-city experience in the small town of Vail.
Doormen check your coat, and women dress up while men usually show up in mountain casual dress of shirts and jeans.
“We are an upbeat, sophisticated, New York-style venue that offers VIP service on Friday and Saturday nights,” says Tony Herrera, director of operations.
On big nights, like Vail’s opening day, New Year’s Eve and Vail’s closing day, bōl raises the stakes, going all out with VIP service, which includes bottle service, private tables and the best laser show in the High Country: darting days of reds, blues and yellows shimmer above dancers, three feet below the ceiling. The mesmerizing, multi-colored show only adds to the hip vibe. On New Year’s Eve, go-go dancers on two stages have upped the Energy.
Thisseason, bōl featured DJs Stennor, Dakota, JayOne and Opie. They spin house music – familiar tunes that make you want to shake your bootie on the dance floor. DJ Dakota’s all about electro house music, while DJ JayOne is Vail’s renowned DJ, who is known to throw down the hottest hip-hop, soul, funk. rock, house and old school. DJ Opie delivers his own light show and often maintains a reggae-like vibe.
With bōl’s sound system, complete with sin 18-inch subwoofers, the beats are visceral, and on special nights, bōl brings in additional sound systems through Kaleidoscope Productions.
“We like to keep high energy in the room,” Herrera says “Everyone gets pretty excited.”
The energy extends well into the back bowling alley, where people drink selected craft brews, cocktails and fine wine, while chilling on the long lounges or dancing in the overflow space. Locals mix with people from all over the nation, melding into one gyrating force.
DJs begin spinning around 10 p.m and sustain the beats until 1 a.m , when all else is quiet in the mountain town, but you’ve just experienced unique, invigorating nightlife.