As we navigate our way through Oregon’s reopening phases and transition into our new normal, we thought this would be a good time to spotlight some of our many local businesses and business people who make Oregon’s Adventure Coast such a special place.
This month, we are featuring North Bend Lanes owner, Mark Mattecheck. North Bend Lanes has been a beloved staple on Oregon’s Adventure Coast since 1957 when Mark’s father and grandfather left the movie theatre business and opened the bowling alley. “We really want to be a place where people can go into town and have some fun,” said Mattecheck in this 2017 article published in The World. “We’ve always been a family operation and we’ll always keep families in mind.”
Anyone who has ever been to North Bend Lanes knows this destination is more than a bowling ally. While there are plenty of bowling opportunities for the public to enjoy, North Bend Lanes offers unique programs to keep youth, adults, and seniors active and engaged with the sport. With the addition of the Back Alley Pub and Grill 30 years ago, the business has truly transformed into a community gathering place where visitors are welcomed by the locals.
North Bend Lanes is now open for business with new safety measures that include social distancing between lanes and enhanced sanitizing to keep everyone safe and healthy. Here’s some of the conversation we recently had with Mark.
OAC: What brought you to Oregon’s Adventure Coast and how long have you lived here?
Mark: I have lived in the area for all of my life. I did leave to attend the University of Portland and spent 10 years in LA doing sales and operations in the Airfreight market, but I came back to North Bend in 1993 to help run our family business (North Bend Lanes).
OAC: Can you tell us more about North Bend Lanes?
Mark: The business started in 1957 by my dad and my grandfather. Since then, both have passed away and my mom is the now main stockholder in the corporation. Today, we have 20 employees and approximately 700 league bowlers. We offer a lot of programs for people in all stages of life including a senior bowling league (with 200 senior bowlers), a kids bowl free program, and a Youth Bowling Program that serves about 600 kids with volunteer coaches and a scholarship program. We also offer school bowling kits, after-school parties, birthday parties, fundraisers, and regular entertainment on our outside deck area. We also have the very active Redneck Wine Club with about 300 members!
OAC: Why do you think North Bend Lanes means so much to this community?
Mark: We are the only bowling center that is left in Coos county. Bowling provides exercise, social connection, and brings people together to develop friendships and relationships.
OAC: What would you tell a first-time visitor who wanted to get some local tips on the best places in the area to visit?
Mark: The best part about Oregon’s Adventure Coast is it is not overcrowded. There is a lot of space and not very many people which makes the area very special. There is lots of room to social distance and enough fun for the whole family.
I always tell people to check out the Oregon Dunes, they are amazing and truly one-of-a-kind. Make sure you stop and check out the lakes- they are unmatched in beauty! Sunset Bay State Park is another great destination for visitors, whether it’s your first or your 100th visit, it’s hard to beat! There’s an enclosed beach, hiking trails, fishing, crabbing, clamming- there is something out there for everyone. If you’re looking for something to do at night or indoors during the day, of course North Bend Lanes is a great option! Look for our Cosmic Bowling and other special events. We also have a nice brewery at 7 Devils Brewing and a couple of casinos that people enjoy going to.
OAC: What’s your favorite outdoor activity and where?
Mark: My wife and I love to take our 3 dogs out to the beach. Our favorite time to go is early in the morning before the wind picks up and very few people on the beach. We also like to park our motor home next to the beach and have a romantic dinner. We still have to do dishes but we save money on the wine.
OAC: How are you passing the time during the pandemic?
Mark: We have been remodeling the bowling center, painting, working on the event center outside with new plants, bricks, and new areas for social distancing.
My wife and I have been teaching our 7-year-old daughter and enjoying the 3 dogs and 2 cats at home. We put a tent up inside our house since camping was cancelled.
OAC: Do you think that Coos Bay, North Bend & Charleston will change as a result of the crisis? If so, how?
Mark: I think we will change as some businesses will not make it through but the people here have been amazing. We have a great sense of community and that makes this place very special.
To learn more about North Bend Lanes and the Back Alley Pub and Grill, please visit northbendlanes.com or call 541-756-0571.