Terrace’s only bowling alley will stay open for one more season before the pins are packed up and the business closes its doors next year.
Terrace Bowling Lanes has been sold to the City of Terrace to allow the city to expand its operations in the future as the city’s population is expected to double in the next 10 years.
“The strategic purchase of the land makes City Hall property a large rectangle, then we have the opportunity to grow. Whether it’s [expanding the] fire hall or emergency service needs,” says city planner David Block, adding that the use of the land still needs to be decided.
“We have no office space left, and parking is a demand on that side already at times.”
Terrace’s bowling lane first opened in 1956, and has been owned and operated by the Mumford family for the past 46 years. It is the city’s only bowling lane, with the next one located in Smithers.
In a Facebook post, the owners announced the family is retiring and “moving on to new adventures,” inviting Terrace bowlers to help them celebrate their last season.
The family says if a third-party is interested, they would be happy to sell the bowling equipment to keep an alley in Terrace after their last season wraps up. Several bowling clubs currently play at the location, including a youth, seniors, ladies, mixed and all-star league.
Special Olympics BC’s Terrace Thunder Bowling team came in second in division four of the five-pin bowling championships in last year’s Winter Games.
Coach Gerald Caouette says the journey to Smithers is too far for their team to travel for practice, and while they still need to discuss the news, it’s possible they will have to start encouraging their 15 bowling athletes to consider other sports.
“Unfortunately the number of bowling lanes in the province has been [decreasing] for several years, so it’s not a surprise that it’s affecting us now,” Caouette says. “I know there are a number of athletes that are going to miss bowling, but we have five or six other sports happening in [Special Olympics BC], so we’ll encourage them to go there.”
But because of the building’s age, it may be necessary to demolish it to make room for a possible new structure or more parking in the future.
“No decisions yet on whether it goes to demolition next year or the year after, we’ll have those discussions in the fall,” Block says.
The sale is still in process, so the city says they aren’t able to disclose a price at this time.
The City of Terrace says though they will lease the properties back to the family for $1 a month for the next nine months so it can operate the 2019-2020 bowling season from September 1st to May 31st.