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  • University of Colorado student Flo Riverol, from Argentina, grabs a...


    University of Colorado student Flo Riverol, from Argentina, grabs a bowling ball at the Connection in the University Center Memorial last Friday.




Returning to school can be stressful for many students, so as the spring semester opens this week, the University of Colorado is offering students a place to relax and have fun. And the best part: It’s free.

The Connection, located in the University Memorial Center, is offering free bowling on its recently renovated lanes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Let’s roll

While not all activities at the Connection are free, students often receive discounts on regular prices. Regular bowling prices are $3.50 per game — only $2.75 for students — and all shoe rentals are $2.50 per person. Pool tables, video games and snacks are also offered. For more information, visit

During these times, bowlers will receive a free game, shoe rental and soda — and a closer look at the new and improved lanes. Along with free bowling, the Connection’s new flat-screen televisions will show the cult favorite “The Big Lebowski” — and costumes are welcome.

Hayden Berge, a CU freshman and cashier at the Connection, said he expects the lanes to be busy this semester because of the new renovation.

“Everyone comments on how good it looks,” Berge said. “It not only looks good, but it improves your game, too. I mean the floors are so much better and it makes all the difference.”

Berge said he expects the cold weather to continue bringing students into the Connection. The convenient location and the atmosphere provide a warm and cozy atmosphere where students can hang out, even if they don’t want to spend any money.

CU senior Saroj Shilpakar said he frequents the Connection bowling lanes with his friends and will definitely attend at least one of the free bowling sessions this week.

Shilpakar and two of his friends said they spent a total of $32 for an hour of pool, two bowling games and shoe rentals at the Connection.

“It’s not a bad price for a couple hours of entertainment,” Shilpakar said, “but I’m looking forward to the free bowling, especially with the new lanes.”

New floors, bowling balls, ball returns and lights are all part of the $100,000 makeover the Connection completed last November. Though the new lanes have been completed for more than two months, manager Dana Kusjanovic said finals deterred many students from taking advantage of the Connection’s facelift.

“It was so close to finals when the renovations were complete, that’s why we’re doing the second grand reopening and free bowling, so we can let students see how great this facility is now.” Kusjanovic said. “It’s like a potato chip. You can’t eat just one. Once the students get a chance to use the new lanes, I know they’ll be back.”

But not all students waited until the first week of classes to check out the remodel.

Michelle Jackson, student services coordinator for the International English Center, brought a group of international students to the Connection last Friday, and said she was impressed with the changes.

“We do this every semester,” Jackson said. “Now that they’ve renovated it, it looks fantastic. They did a great job.”

The recently renovated lanes are not the only change that students can expect at the Connection this semester. Kusjanovic said dance parties, DJs and video game nights and poker tournaments will liven up the Connection this spring, and will be free to students.