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JOHNSTON, IOWA — After a decade of planning, the long-anticipated centerpiece of a gateway to Johnston in need of revitalization is becoming a reality. On Tuesday, local leaders and developers broke ground on the future home of Bombers – an indoor golf and entertainment resort on Merle Hay Road, just north of 35/80.

“As this project develops and other projects around it develop, it will be a real draw into Johnston,” said Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld, “It will offer hotels, retail, restaurants and all kinds of recreational activities for families.”

The site has been vacant since a former motel and the North End Diner closed down and were demolished. Johnston city leaders wanted something big to move into the area to serve as an anchor for a new district. They believe they’ve found that in Bombers.

“We’re excited about Bombers,” said developer Allen Stoye, “We’re being told its the first of its kind in the United States. It combines the Top Golf-style hitting bays along with a Dave & Busters-style arcade and a Spare Time or Main Event-style bowling alley as well as axe-throwing.”

All of that will be done while keep natural settings in mind, says Stoye. Johnston is adding a new park in the area and Stoye hopes the new district will capitalize on the growing bike tourism industry in the state.

We’re trying to create it to commune with nature. We certainly weren’t looking at creating a concrete jungle. We have the bike trails coming through here. We’re partnering with the City of Johnston on a kayak launch. We’re very close to the Trestle to Trestle trail so we’re hoping to get those bikers who are coming through and want to stop and have a beverage or something to eat.”

The Bombers website promises to be open by Summer 2024.