Pima County Wants To Buy Miracle Mile Bowling Alley, Convert To STD Service Center

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wants taxpayers to fund the purchase of the Golden Pins Bowling Alley on Miracle Mile. Huckelberry is proposing a purchase price of $2.85 million for the building.

In 2008, Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson touted the promised changes to Miracle Mile, a well-established sex trade corridor, in an article in the now-defunct Tucson Citizen; Miracle Mile strip gets respectable with face-lift.

The Miracle Mile strip, a 1.5-mile stretch between Interstate 10 and Oracle Road, has been a breeding ground for illegal activities and all the characters who come with it.

“A lot of people would drive slowly around,” Bill DeVinney said, “looking for something.”

From about the mid-1980s until the early 2000s, anyone seeking the seedy, illegal or violent activity could find it on Miracle Mile.

Now they find the largest and newest Tucson police station, the Westside Service Center at 1310 W. Miracle Mile, several new businesses and revamping of existing ones. Even the 40-year-old Golden Pin Lanes, 1010 W. Miracle Mile, is undergoing a $1 million makeover.

The $1 million makeover of the bowling alley is nearly complete, one more upgrade of the area. Renovations include new lanes, flat screen scoring monitors, painting, fixtures and carpet.

“Since the police station came down the street, Miracle Mile is changing like it used to be,” said Golden Pin co-owner Pete Tountas, who moved to the area in the mid-1960s, before the bulk of the area’s decay. He and Don Allan bought the bowling alley in 1974.

Once the renovations are complete, they plan to offer weekday bowling for 99 cents to drum up summer business, Tountas said.

“It would have been bad for the city and the neighborhood,” Tountas said, if Miracle Mile had not started to bounce back to its former glory. “I’m glad they are trying to revise it. We’re doing our part. We invested a lot of money and we’re here to stay.”

Carson, who owns Tackleman’s Fishing Supply at 1293 W. Miracle Mile, said the area’s improvements started about four years ago. His business, which is in a building that was originally a 1927 ranch house, just got a new roof and new lime green paint job.

“It started with a little of this, a little of that,” he said. “A major improvement was when they bulldozed the porn shop.”

Carson was referring to the city condemning and tearing down Tropicana Adult Video Theater in 2004.

The Oracle Project, which works to improve Oracle from Drachman Street to Miracle Mile, was born around that time.

“It’s a team effort,” Bronson said of the Oracle Area Revitalization Plan at the time, according to the Citizen. “We’re all working as a team.”

The team failed and the tackle shop is closed. Along with it went La Fuente, one of Tucson’s favorite tourist dining attractions. Now, the police station, the repurposed Ghost Ranch Lodge, and Golden Pins are some of the only buildings on the strip that have not fallen into disrepair.

The sale on this property will be facilitated by the same group, Terramar Properties, who facilitated the deal involving the failed Canoa Hills Golf Course. Terramar Properties who will get a 2.5 percent commission at closing.

Subject Property and Comparable Sales Property
Sale #PropertySale
Price per
Year BuiltIntended
Subject1010 W. Miracle MileN/A$4449,5931950Appraisal$2,200,000**
11630 S. Alvernon WayOct-15$3248,6441960Storage$1,578,000Cactus
23550 N. Oracle RdJul-16$3049,6681980Investor$1,500,000Strip Ctr
38740 E. Broadway BLJan-17$4253,0091971Storage$2,205,000Grocery
48840 N. 43rd Ave
Jun-16$3825,7681978Charter School$975,000Bowling
5816 E. Main St
Mar-17$3823,4371961Auto Parts$900,000Bowling
Subject1010 W. Miracle MileN/A$5749,5931950Huckelberry

“Plans are to co-locate compatible and synergistic programs that are currently residing in leased facilities,” according to Huckelberry’s memo. “Pima County will remodel and utilize this facility as a community resource and health center.”

This agreement will allow the seller, Mr. Don Allan to remain in the facility and to operate as a bowling alley for a period of up to 1 year after the closing date of the sale. Golden Pins will be allowed to remain in this facility free of charge. In a Board of Supervisors Agenda item report dated May 15, 2018, Huckelberry states the continued occupancy by Mr. Allan will benefit taxpayers as they will not have to pay for security. He also states the relocation of programs to the acquired property will result in a cost savings with the provision of integrated, easily accessible services to the public.

“This is another example of the wasteful and unnecessary spending which continues unabated as our roads are falling apart. There are never monies available for roads but there always seems to be plenty for deals such as the Canoa Hills Golf course and now a bowling alley to remodel and repurpose”, stated Supervisor Miller. I would also like to know why Pima County isn’t moving these services to the building taxpayers remodeled for Caterpillar at 97 E. Congress? This facility will be vacated by Caterpillar in January of 2019 when they move in to the facility being built by Rio Nuevo,” said Miller. “Why not use a facility we already own for these services?”

Vacant buildings and short term use motels dot the Miracle Mile sex-trade corridor

While the appraisal from Valbridge Property Advisors was presented at $2,200,000, it is unclear why Huckelberry has recommended the purchase price of $2,850,000 to the Board of Supervisors. Huckelberry’s recommended purchase is nearly 30% higher than the appraised value submitted by Valbridge Appraisers.

In addition, Huckelberry estimates closing costs of $91,600 bringing the total cost for the sale to $2,941,600.

Adding to the confusion was a second appraisal from Valbridge Property Advisors on the same date for $2,000,000. “I will be asking Huckelberry about these conflicting appraisal amounts at the board meeting on May 15, 2018,” stated Supervisor Ally Miller. “This second appraisal signed by the same appraiser raises serious questions regarding the validity of the appraisal.”

[Read Huckelberry’s Memo Here]

Related articles:

Canoa Hills Golf Course Donation Controversy Heats Up For Christy

Huckelberry Proposes Buying Canoa Hills Golf Course Facilities, Push Sales Tax

Christy Convinces Pima County Supervisors To Show Favor To District 4

Steve Christy Wants Pima County Job – Any Job

Pima County Residents Denied Real Road Repairs Again

Pima County’s Christy Delivers “Just Fix The Roads Plan”

Canoa Ranch “Silence” Comes With Big Bond Price Tag


  1. It is another way the county taking away entertainment that has been around through the years and still going strong. The bowling alley is a place where kids and families can go instead of staying home playing videogames.

  2. I think its the dumbest thing the county wants to do. I think Mr huckleberry should pay for a place with yearly income since he make more money then the mayor. If he wants to something like that instead of buy property from other businesses why dont you build a new building from the ground up. Its anything to make us tax payers pay for.

  3. Lots of incestuous relationships in Pima County government. Must keep STD treatment centers very close and accessible.

  4. it is unclear why Huckelberry has recommended the purchase price of $2,850,000
    very clearly extra for kickbacks !

  5. News flash-Miracle Mile is still considered one of the “tracks” for prostitution. Putting an STD Center smack in the middle of it will only contribute to the victimization of those who are enslaved. How convenient for the pimps to send their victims in for treatment, then turn them right back out on the track. Despicable.

  6. STD treatment center… hmmm the ‘Health Department’ – sounds like a great choice for an empty school building – multiple clinic offices – just take over payments.

  7. Dear Golden Pin Lane Customers, The Miracle Mile Historic District and Tucson Community:
    Recently negotiations between Pima County and Golden Pin Lanes ownership for the purchase of the Golden Pin’s property was prematurely disclosed to the press. Golden Pin Lanes ownership and management are writing to clarify the status of Golden Pin Lanes to all interested groups.
    First, no sale of the bowl to the County is final at this time. This sale, if completed, is part of the County’s long term planning for its future. Furthermore, Golden Pin Lanes ownership will continue to lease the property from the County and operate Golden Pin Lanes as it always has.
    As evidence of Golden Pin Lanes ownership’s and management’s commitment to the future of the bowl, we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to continue to provide the best bowling and entertainment experience in Tucson. In the last year alone, we have taken the following steps to make Golden Pin Lanes better:
    Completely renovated the bar, snack bar and kitchen,
    Replaced the computers and software for the scoring system,
    Purchased a new lane machine,
    Hosted the celebration of the creation of the Miracle Mile Historic District,
    Signed a contract to host a WPBA tour event in June 2019, and
    Built out and will open a new arcade and redemption center this week.
    Golden Pin Lanes ownership and management are committed to continuing to operate Golden Pin Lanes as it has for the past 45 years. We apologize for any confusion caused and we look forward to continuing to provide the best experience in Tucson and to being a vital part of the Miracle Mile Historic District.
    Golden Pin Lanes

    Caryn Bustos
    General Manager

    • Best of luck but this still sounds like a diversion from the end result. Aside from that, nothing surprises me anymore regarding Pima County. Paying more than appraised value is right down their alley (no pun intended). Didn’t Chuck do the same thing on some property (Greek Church owned I think) on River Rd by Alvernon?

  8. Why is Hinkelberry beholden to these cronies??????? What do they have on him? Looks REAL FISHY!!

  9. It’s interesting that we have no money for the roads but Chucky wants to buy a bowling alley. Where’s the money coming from to buy it Chuckie? and I wonder what your cut is on it if the county buys it and then resells it to one of his cronies for make this STD Service Senter.

    BTW To call it an STD Service Center makes it sound like you’re serverving STD’s to the customers. Wayyyy TO PC but I guess calling it the VD clinic is out

  10. I question the need to destroy a recovering business for a STD treatment center. There are too few businesses recovering from the Great Recession here in Pima County. We do not need them removed from the tax rolls. An STD treatment center would reduce the ability of this area to recover economically since it would replace a business that people are going to and which could generate new businesses to cater to the people who would be at the bowling center. Obviously, a bowling center caters to the middle-class, not the 1% OR THE ultra poor, both of which seem to be Huckleberry’s constituency.

    The Pima County Libertarian Party opposes this on several grounds.

    Christopher Cole
    Pima County Libertarian Pafrtyt

    • But Chuck’s buddies are taken care of. It makes sense to pay 30% over the “appraised” value of a building In a dilapidated area next to a large police service center.

  11. we now have 3 drug treatment centers in blocks of our house – not one question, notice or request from any government representation about the location of these centers. Now we have druggies at every Circle K – muggings at the Walgreens (Speedway Craycroft) druggies invading the area around these centers, lots of home break in’s.. the neighborhood is now a dump.. priceless.

  12. Why doesn’t a hospital build the STD service center? That money could be used on roads. Pima County needs two more Ally Miller’s to clean that mess up!

  13. An ever expanding government in a locale where there are no jobs, none wanted, discouraged at every opportunity and the only population growth is illegals. Liberal/Progressive/Socialist/Communist utopia.

  14. Wow, just more of the same from the worthless BOS and their King. But nooooo, lets buy more land and building and take them off the tax rolls. SSDD in the sewer that is Pima County. Wonder will make money off this deal????

  15. Chucky likes playing with taxpayer money. It always finds a way back to his personal account. How else do you explain his screwed up public policy?

    This just in. Bronsoon goes broke walking the streets of miracle mile. Normally I wiah she would go back to her day job. Problem is. She is the problem.

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