Putters & Gutters celebrates one year, opens skating rink
By LYNETTE SOWELL
One Central Texas business celebrated its first year in business along with the opening of its latest offering for families and more – a roller skating rink.
Putters & Gutters, located at 2341 S. Highway 281 in Lampasas, had a three-day celebration Friday through Sunday. The weekend featured specials from Broken Fork, the on-site restaurant that also has full bar service.
Owned and operated by Roy Cockrell, Putters & Gutters has a 12-lane bowling alley, a 19-hole miniature golf course, and an arcade.
Sasha Fry came to Putters & Gutters on Sunday afternoon from Kingsland, bringing her two daughters and five of their friends.
“This is a great addition to the area,” Fry said of the center. “My husband didn’t come because he thought there wouldn’t be more for him to do besides skate. But there’s pool here, too.”
It was Fry’s first visit, but her daughters have gone there before, she said. On Sunday, they made an afternoon of skating on the newly-opened 4,000 square feet of skating space.
During the summer, there will be skating every day, closing at midnight on the weekends.
In addition to the new skating rink, the 8,000-square foot building also has two party rooms, Cockrell said, bringing the number of party rooms on site to four. The center has party packages and is also available for corporate events, he added. This coming weekend, the center will close for several hours one afternoon for a company party.
Cockrell grew up in the local area and his memories of skating at Skate World were what initially spurred him to open the business last year.
“Back in the day, we had Skate World in Cove. That’s what I ultimately wanted to do, was have a skating rink,” he said. “I did a feasibility study and they told me, it’s family entertainment centers. That’s a better thing to do, FECs have something for the whole family.”
So the center opened last year, with the bowling alley and miniature golf, along with 43 indoor arcade games with a redemption center. Players can load money on a “fun card” and earn points that can be redeemed in the store.
Prizes can be as simple as candy to as big as a drone. Cockrell said one young man recently cashed in his points to get a drone.
Putters & Gutters fun cards can be loaded and be used same as cash on site, for bowling, skating, dining, and more. Currently they’re offering specials for loading fun cards.
“If you load a card with $20, we’ll give you an additional $3 in arcade money. For $50, we’ll give you $12, and if you load $100, you can have $35 in free play. It’s great for a family night, because you can have dinner and the kids can play games all night. Most of the games are 50 cents, with a few that are $2. The cards don’t expire and you can use it again the next time.”
In addition to the arcade games, outside there’s washer pitching and corn hole, and kids of all ages can purchase bags for sifting outside at the sluice to see what treasures they find.
“It’s a cool summer thing,” Cockrell said.
The 12-lane bowling alley has open bowling times and is starting a 12-week summer league this week.
Broken Fork is “more than a bowling restaurant,” Cockrell said. “We have four different kinds of steak, scallops, fried fish and fried shrimp. This is probably going to be the last weekend for crawfish.”
Over the weekend, Broken Fork also offered boudin balls and oysters on the half shell, and grilled oysters.
Even though the first anniversary celebration is over, Cockrell is still looking ahead to what’s next at Putters & Gutters. Indoor batting cages are under construction, with four batting lanes to be built. Also, Cockrell said he’s also working on constructing an outdoor music venue.
“We’re going to do some festivals, something you can literally bring everyone to.”
Putters & Gutters has brought 62 jobs to the area, with 25 of those being part-time high school jobs. A total of eight more jobs
Cockrell said he never imagined how big it would get, along with the investment it took to get the business going. He said the community response has been “huge.”
A former EMT/paramedic for the Copperas Cove Fire Department, Cockrell has his entrepreneurial foundation as the former owner of Capital Ambulance Company for 13 years, until he sold the business and made plans for Putters & Gutters.
“I can’t thank people enough. Some people in Cove and Killeen, don’t realize we’re here yet. We get a lot of traffic from Marble Falls, Burnet, Kingsland, Llano, Goldthwaite, San Saba, Hamilton,” he said. “The last three week of school, we had probably 10 different schools in here every day at different times. Last week, 43 kids came out from the Copperas Cove Boys & Girls Club. We give them a special deal where they come out and play, with $5 fun cards.”
He credits manager Bianca Arellano and the great staff for the successful year they’ve had.
Putters & Gutters has also helped give back to the community by hosting four fundraisers since its opening, such as for a children’s home, and a church fundraiser for kids’ summer camp for kids.
The center is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., Saturday from 10 am. until 2 a.m., and Sunday from noon until 10 p.m.