Bowling alleys used to be common in Lexington, but the number of lanes will continue to diminish for the once popular sport.
The announcement was made on the Collins Bowling web page two days ago, the Eastland Lanes location would close this summer. Janice Birdwhistell was getting warmed up for her weekly bowling league at Collins when she heard the news. “It really is the end of an era in Lexington. It’s hard to imagine that there won’t be a bowling alley on that side of town anymore.”
Danny Collins is the fourth generation to run the family owned business. “My great-grandfather started up in the company with movie theatres in Springfield, Ohio and then in the 1960’s the saw the growth of bowling and decided to move to Lexington and that’s when my grandfather built these two centers.” Collins told WUKY the decision to close the Eastland location was unfortunate but necessary.“The cost of doing business between both centers is pretty much the same cost but you have half the revenue and we wouldn’t be able to maintain these to best way we can and put in the newest equipment and keep things going so that we have a good product to put out there and Eastland was in need of significant investment.” About a half million dollars to be exact.
In the 70’s, Eastland was one of the first party of the city with a shopping center, but for years, businesses have been moving out. “It has become a little bit more run down and that area too, you see a lot of car dealerships coming up around there. So it’s been more of an industrial area and the retail area of that part of town, there are retail stores but for whatever reason it just didn’t produce the type of income that this end of town did with our other location Southland.”
On June first, Eastland’s lanes will go dark for good and Southland will be the only place left to bowl in Lexington.