BRIEFLY: STORM DAMAGE, OPENINGS & REOPENINGS, AND A VISION

BRIEF REPORTS on bowling centers from Louisiana to New York, and from Minnesota  to Oregon… plus a vision for a new center in Hawaii…

*** Hurricane Laura, which struck western Louisiana earlier this month, did massive damage to communities in its path, and it did not spare Petro Bowl in Lake Charles. Most of one side of the 48-lane center was blown off, as was part of the roof. Petro Bowl’s proprietor opened the doors for two hours on Sept. 5 so bowlers could retrieve equipment from their lockers.

*** SILive, a website covering Staten Island, N.Y., featured an extensive interview with former USBC President Frank Wilkinson, who spoke about the reopening of his Rab’s Country Lanes providing his family and team with “some normalcy.” That said, current restrictions imposed by the state are anything but normal. “On the business side, operating at 50% with no indoor dining (for now) is very challenging,” Wilkinson said. “We have many league bowlers who did not return, just yet, for understandable reasons.” Read the full interview here: https://www.silive.com/recsports/2020/09/league-bowling-returns-to-rabs-country-lanes-proprietor-frank-wilkinson-discusses-details-in-qa.html.

*** A grand opening date of Oct. 1 has been set for The Gutter L.E.S. in the Lower East Side of New York. It’s a sister center of the company’s original location in Long Island City, and will feature 12 all-wood lanes salvaged from an unidentified shuttered center. Plans to turn the basement space into a bowling-based entertainment complex had been in the works for nearly six years, but the owners of Splitsville pulled out of the project in 2018. Read more here: https://www.boweryboogie.com/2020/09/the-first-bowling-alley-on-the-lower-east-side-opens-tomorrow-at-essex-crossing/.

*** The Cactus in Perham, Minn., has a new owner: Lucas Johnson, the owner of the local Papacitos Burritos restaurant who began working at the bowling center about a decade ago. Johnson had been in talks with former owner Blake Minge about buying the center for a few months. While Johnson said he was retaining nearly half of the existing staff, he has made one major change: the hiring of a new executive chef, Anthony Grady. Report: https://www.dl-online.com/business/small-business/6648619-The-Cactus-has-a-new-owner-who-comes-with-bowling-alley-experience.

*** While other parts of Oregon deal with the most devastating fires in the state’s history, Eastern Oregon has been largely unaffected. For that reason, the Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Hermiston is moving forward with the opening of its expansion, a 24-lane bowling center called Quaking Aspens Lanes. The facility includes 16 lanes on one side and an eight-lane VIP area on the other, along with adjacent party rooms. While open bowling is being stressed for the time being, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation said leagues and tournaments could be added in the future. Read more here: https://www.hermistonherald.com/news/business/wildhorse-prepares-to-open-expansion/article_61095b30-976e-5ef7-862e-7a4c7a33be3b.html.

*** “I stay up at night visualizing how the interior will look and I can see people having good clean fun in Maui’s happy place for all ages.” Those were the words of Norman Franco, the project manager for Maui Lanes, which former Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares hopes to bring to a former Safeway grocery store on Hawaii’s “Valley Isle.” Tavares has worked on the concept, off and on, since 2002. Now, she says, “I’m all in,” and is actively seeking an investor for what she envisions as a bowling-based family entertainment center. Report: https://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2020/09/former-mayor-looks-to-get-bowling-alley-plans-rolling/.

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