Another Oahu Bowling Alley Closes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Another Oahu Bowling Alley Closes

Tokucho Ige Tokucho Ige
Harold Ogata Harold Ogata
Brandi Kawamoto Brandi Kawamoto
Barbara Sakamoto Barbara Sakamoto
James Regohos James Regohos

By Mari-Ela David

KAHALA (KHNL) --  It's the end of an era.  After five decades in business, yet another bowling alley on Oahu has closed its doors. Many fear it's yet another sign the sport is dying.

Back in the 1960s, Oahu had more than two dozen public bowling alleys.  After Thursday night, only three remain.  Many say it's a sad trend for a sport that attracts the young and the young at heart.

For many, this is a home away from home.

"I meet a lot of friends here and I'm sad to say that I'll be missing all of them from now on," said Tokucho Ige, a Waialae Bowl employee.

Toku Ige has worked at Waialae Bowl the past 44 years.

The alley's closure also marks his retirement. Employees say the owner can't afford to renew the lease, and much needed renovations would be too expensive. But bowlers say the ones paying the ultimate price -- the younger generation.

"I feel sorry for the young bowlers," said Harold Ogata, an avid bowler.  "They have no place to go."

"It's really sad because I've been bowling here for a really long time and all the memories are going to go away," said Brandi Kawamoto, a junior league bowler.

Many also worry about long-time regulars.

"The senior citizens they don't drive that far so when the bowling alley closes within the city limits, that's about it," said Barbara Sakamoto, a league coach.

Waialae Bowl's end is the second alley to close in less than a year, leaving the remaining few like Leeward Bowl flooded.

"Open play is really, really busy sometimes," said James Regohos, of Leeward Bowl.  "There's a three-four hour wait."

And soon, there will be even fewer places to wait for open lanes.  While many had hoped their sport will be spared, for now, it appears they're striking out.

Leeward Bowl, Aiea Bowl, and Pali Lanes are the only public alleys left on Oahu, but Pali will also close next year.  City leaders hoped to open a municipal alley, but they couldn't find city-owned land big enough for one.

Job Link 8 Featured Jobs
Powered by Frankly