Big Plans Coming for JAX 60
JAX 60 has been a Jackson staple for decades. You may have once known it as Airport Lanes, maybe even back when it had just 36 lanes. Since then, it has had an additional 24 lanes added on, hosted multiple PBA tours, and has had a total refresh and update. If you haven’t stepped into JAX 60 lately, it may not be the same bowling alley you once remembered as a kid.
Airport Lanes was built in 1959, long before it was owned by David Small’s Fun Time Centers. Since then, it has been added onto twice, the last being in 1972, with a total of 60 lanes, hence, the JAX 60 name. The name shifted to JAX 60 on July 1, 2018, and is currently overseen by Josh Solomon, General Manager.
Josh grew up in a bowling town, in Youngstown, Ohio. He took his first job at 14 in a bowling center as a pin chaser. From there, he moved on to the pro shop, then managed a bowling center. Josh even grew up in a bowling family, and Youngstown was known as an industrial bowling town with local companies all having a team, much like Jackson. “Bowling’s always been my thing. It’s in my blood,” Josh stated when discussing his background.
Since then, Josh has won state championships for bowling and even coached. When he moved to Jackson, the first thing he noticed was that Jackson reminded him of the bowling town he grew up in and that our local bowling alley had tournament potential. Over the years, there have been many conversations with owner David Small, surrounding what kind of updates could happen and what the bowling alley could be. Renovations started with new keypads, scoring system, ball returns, and more.
The original renovation, before its most recent, started the day Josh and David Small took over. New paint, new floors, and historical photos that lined the alleys made a huge impact on the bowling alley. Conversations about the most recent renovation, which has completely upgraded the entire facility, began in 2020. This upgrade happened because Josh and David wanted to give bowlers more space. When bowling alleys were designed in the 50s-70s, they were meant strictly for teams. Since then, bowling has transitioned to a family event. JAX 60 now provides Jackson locals with a place where a group of any size can have fun and enjoy themselves.
Mavrix bar and lounge has an expanded menu with the homemade, freshly fired pizza customers have always loved. It has a more inviting floor plan, with more TVs for entertainment and a custom-built bar, making it the perfect place to relax and have a drink between games. If you’re at JAX 60 for more than just bowling, their newly expanded arcade, Top Gun Arcade, now has 56 games, which are all waiting for you behind lanes five and six.
The new design of JAX 60 offers a balance between groups looking for a fun way to spend a day and avid tournament bowlers. JAX 60’s new and improved atmosphere proves a quality product that Jackson didn’t have before for friends and families to enjoy while providing a venue for professional bowlers. Josh explained that the renovations “give Jackson a place to come that is safe, clean, and invites you to spend some time.”
JAX 60 has hosted four PBA 50 tour stops. In 2022, the PBA National Tour started at JAX 60 and is coming back in 2023 from March 6-9. Hosting tournaments, such as these, is something that both Josh and David have always wanted to do, as two people who grew up watching the PBA tour on Saturday afternoons. They want to give as much as they can back to the bowlers they’ve watched for years on TV. Josh shared that the PBA 50 tour is much different than it has been in the past. In fact, the first ever PBA 50 World Series of Bowling is going to be hosted at JAX 60, “Putting Jackson in the history books,” as Josh said.
Being from Youngstown, Ohio, I was defined by the bowling community. When we moved to Jackson, a place that was already a bowling community similar to where I grew up, I told my wife, ‘I’m home.’
If you’ve been looking for a spot your friends, coworkers, or the entire family can enjoy, consider reserving a lane at JAX 60. What seems like a fun activity will quickly become an experience worth so much more.