AMF: Inca had little business
News that AMF Inca Lanes had closed its doors Monday morning was met with sadness from bowlers and others who hold fond memories of fun times they've had a the longtime bowling alley.
Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough business to keep the doors open, Merrell Wreden, vice president of marketing for AMF Bowling Centers Inc., said Tuesday.
“It simply came down to performance,” he said of the longtime Yuma bowling center. “It wasn't doing very well ... it wasn't meeting financial requirements.”
The closure not only means one less place in the community for people to enjoy a recreational activity in air-conditioned comfort.
It also brought another blow to Yuma County's battered job market with the loss of several jobs at the bowling center.
AMF Inca Lanes had 20 employees, Wreden said.
He said that normally AMF tries to transfer displaced employees, but the closest AMF bowling center is in Phoenix.
The Yuma-area's unemployment rate for May was 28.9 percent, making it the leading county in the nation for the percent of its labor force that is jobless, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
AMF had leased the property for the bowling center at 1250 W. 16th St., Wreden confirmed.
Gerry and Nancy Thomas built the bowling center 25 years ago, opening the doors on Sept. 1, 1987. They had operated the bowling center for several years, until AMF took over the operation almost 15 years ago.
Nancy Thomas said Tuesday that she hasn't talking to corporate staff and is waiting to hear what AMF's plans are before commenting on the closure.
Over the years, AMF Inca Lanes was often listed in the annual Yuma's Best as the favorite non-movie date by readers of the Yuma Sun. The bowling center also was a frequent supporter of a variety of community activities and charity programs.
While AMF Inca Lanes is now shuttered, Yumans still have a bowling option. The Cocopah Tribe's Wild River Family Entertainment Center, located near Cocopah Casino at 15136 S. Avenue B, has 24 lanes for children and adults.