Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Alley aiming to strike it rich

Alley aiming to strike it rich

Alley aiming to strike it rich

MOST years, officials from the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh celebrate their King’s birthday on December 5 with a few games of ten-pin bowling in a half-deserted shopping mall.

Owner of Parkway Square Super Bowl, Ben Sereilen, said the embassy had been marking the royal milestone at her bowling alley over the last 12 years.

Such regular customers are the lifeblood of the business, which is tucked away on the second floor of the capital’s ageing Parkway Square shopping centre on Mao Tse Toung Boulevard.

Visit early on a weekday, and you will likely have the whole place to yourself.

But it’s a different story in the evenings and weekends, when Ben Sereilen said regular groups from embassies, firms and English language schools booked out many of the alley’s dozen bowling lanes.

“On Saturday and Sunday it’s full, morning until evening,” she said.

Super Bowl was the first bowling alley in the Kingdom when it opened in 1996, she said .

Ben Sereilen said she invested a lot of money establishing the trail-blazing business – it cost US$20,000 a month just to hire an American engineer to install the equipment.

The alley was initially popular with foreigners who already knew how to bowl, but it took about seven or eight years for it to catch on with Cambodian players unfamiliar with the game.

“It was difficult because Cambodians never knew how to play, so we expanded the staff to explain and to show them,” she said.

The company now employs 15 people to operate the equipment, take care of customers, clean the premises and provide catering facilities.  

Ben Sereilen said the business had made a good profit at first, but revenue had fallen off more recently due to the economic crisis. “Before, the economy of our country was so good. The customers dared to spend money, but right now some customers are saving money,” she said.

To attract more players, the alley has dropped prices from $8 an hour per lane to $6 an hour.

“If the economy is better we will raise the prices again,” she said.

Ben Sereilen was also planning to attract more customers by redecorating the premises and updating the equipment, including replacing broken machinery on two lanes. She said December was typically a busy month for the business.

“This month we have so many customers because it is nearly Christmas Day, and some customers want to throw a party, so they want to play here,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’