Property owners to reopen Inca Lanes bowling alley
Faced with an empty building and no tenant, the owners of the property where Inca Lanes is located have decided to reopen and operate the longtime bowling center themselves.
“The Thomas family is excited to announce Inca Lanes will reopen once an extensive renovation to both the interior and exterior has been completed,” announced Nancy Thomas, who with her husband, Jerry, first opened the bowling alley nearly three decades ago and continue to own the property.
“It just makes sense to open the bowling center up again,” she said. “It's just the right thing to do. Inca lanes was once a great family place where the Yuma community could get together. We have many longtime loyal bowlers and many dedicated employees that we are looking forward to seeing again soon.”
AMF, which had leased the property 1250 W. 16th St. for several years, vacated the bowling center in early July, citing financial problems.
“It simply came down to performance,” Merrell Wreden, vice president of marketing for AMF Bowling Centers Inc., said at the time of the closure. “It wasn't doing very well ... it wasn't meeting financial requirements.”
According to a city spokeswoman, the bowling center's business license had expired the end of June. On July 2, a sign on the door announced that the bowling center was closed, effective immediately.
“They just locked the doors one day,” Thomas said, “without prior notice to employees, bowlers or owners of the property.”
Once it became obvious AMF wasn't going to reopen the shuttered bowling alley, the Thomas family decided to once again take over operation.
Jerry and Nancy Thomas built the bowling center 25 years ago, opening the doors on Sept. 1, 1987. They operated Inca Lanes for several years until AMF took over almost 15 years ago.
“The residents of Yuma have so many memories of bowling at Inca Lanes, spending family time,” Thomas said. “It is with much excitement that we look forward to opening day.”
But that will take some time, she said, explaining that AMF stripped much of the interior equipment and fixtures when it locked the doors. Renovations and updates include a new scoring system, computer software, arcade games, furniture and kitchen equipment, along with fresh paint, new landscaping and asphalt parking lot to create a new look and welcome environment for family fun.
No opening date has been determined. However, the Thomas family hopes to start hiring by mid-September for a fall opening.
“We welcome those previously employed as well as new faces,” Thomas said.
AMF Inca Lanes had 20 employees, according to Wreden.
Joyce Lobeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6853. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YSJoyceLobeck or on Twitter at @YSJoyceLobeck.