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Where'd the golf dome go? Deflated landmark in Tonawanda comes down

Where'd the golf dome go? Deflated landmark in Tonawanda comes down

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The Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome was deflated in June as part of a reconstruction project. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Drivers on the I-290, you're not seeing things. One of your landmarks disappeared today.

The Town of Tonawanda's Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome was deflated Wednesday morning in order for a new dome to be installed.

The landmark visible to thousands of drivers each day is getting an upgrade, a central part of a major, $2 million reconstruction to the facility. The current roof was 17 years old.

Wednesday's deflation took about 20 minutes as the usually 82-foot high structure came down to earth. When the process was complete, it looked as if a tent had its poles taken out, with the 94,500-square-foot roof (it is 270 feet wide by 350 feet long) flattened out and blanketing the 2-acre space where golfers are usually whacking golf balls.

Town officials have said that inspections showed the inflatable fabric dome and its anchoring cables have worn to the point that they need replacing. The Town Board voted in January to borrow $2.5 million to pay for the project.

The new structure will be up in September, with an opening date "sometime in November," said Mark Campanella, senior superintendent of parks and recreation for the Town of Tonawanda.

The dome was an immediate success when it opened in fall 1999 in Brighton Park after the town spent $2.9 million to build it.

The facility features a two-tiered driving range, 18-hole miniature golf course, indoor chipping and putting green, The Grill at the Dome restaurant and SportZone golf simulator. The facility hosts birthday parties and lets soccer, softball and baseball teams rent the artificial turf for practices and games.

New inflatable roof part of $2 million overhaul at Tonawanda golf dome

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