About $80,000 was poured into the renovation of the eight-lane Sunshine Lanes bowling alley last fall and bowlers have started coming back for league play, with a Wednesday night mixed league now underway.
Owner/manager Drew Paton is hoping to get men’s and women’s nights going, as well as a kids’ league on Sunday afternoons. For now, the Wednesday league is a starting point.
“They’ve got five teams with four players each and they play from 7 p.m. to about 9 p.m.,” said Paton on Monday. “We’re starting week seven of a 32-week season.
“It would be nice to have a sixth team, so every team would have someone to play with,” added Paton.
Teams aren’t competing against each other on any given night but the way the lanes are laid out, two teams sit together and share a ball-return. With five teams, one is always left to play on its own.
“They’re not playing against the other team,” said Paton. “They’re playing ‘with’ the other team. Comparing it to golf, it’s like a 32-week-long tournament. We’re looking for the best team average and best individual average over the year, along with a number of other awards.
“I’ve gotten a lot of help from Robin, who runs the leagues at Chillibowl down in Chilliwack,” added Paton. “I’ve been down there and she’s come up here to help me learn how to set up the leagues.
“I’m hoping to get a kids’ league started too,” said Paton. “I was waiting for the weather to get a little colder. Maybe we could have a 13 and under league and a 14 to 18 league. We’d have to see who shows up.
“After Halloween, I plan to visit the local schools and see what interest there is for using the lanes during the school day — and see what interest there is for a kids’ league on Sunday afternoons. We’d be looking at maybe a 12-week schedule, which would be long enough to get them into the swing of things.”
The renovation provided new gutters — and kid-friendly bumper bars that can be raised up to keep the balls from going out of play.
“They’re very popular during kids’ birthday parties,” said Paton. “It gives the kids a chance to get some scores up on the board. I even have some adults ask for the bumper bars to be raised up.”