PLEASANT VALLEY – Valley Worlds of Fun has been part of Marion County’s history for decades. Now, the property is for sale and it has residents worried about what it means for the future of the entertainment center.
Since 1972, Bruce Martin’s family has been the name behind Valley Worlds of Fun. It started as Valley Lanes, a 32-lane bowling alley. Then came the entertainment center, which Bruce’s father, Bob, started with a purpose. “He just had always felt some kind of a mission in life to provide the kids in the neighborhood a place to play. He thought we were pretty lacking in recreational stuff in the area and he just always wanted to give back in that way,” said Bruce Martin, Co-Owner of Valley Worlds of Fun. But several years ago, Bob suffered a stroke. It was around the time of the recession, when families cut expenses for recreational activities. Bruce said the aging population did not help, either. “One of the challenges we’ve had over the years is since the population doesn’t change on a regular basis, we needed to change so that it didn’t become boring or old had to people. We needed to make it new and exciting all the time and that’s certainly a challenge,” said Bruce Martin.
Now, it is for sale for $1.9 million, plus $200,000 for the attractions. The Martin family is looking for someone who will buy the property as is and improve it as a family entertainment center. Within the last several years, new attractions like archery tag, knocker balls and a new laser tag system have been installed. “We’ve just reached a point where I’d love to find somebody that this is their primary focus want to carry on the tradition for the neighborhood,” Bruce Martin said.
Bruce said all events scheduled at Valley Worlds of Fun will continue as planned and his family will continue with ownership until a sale is finalized.