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Fairlanes Bowling Centre in New Minas closing in March

Chris Poberezny has been bowling at Fairlanes in New Minas since he was two years old.
Chris Poberezny has been bowling at Fairlanes in New Minas since he was two years old.

NEW MINAS - Chris Poberezny tears up in the middle of the crowded bowling alley he’s come to know as his second home.

The league bowler has been honing his skills at the Fairlanes Bowling Centre on Commericial Street in New Minas for more than 50 years, starting at just two years old.

“I grew up in this place,” the 58-year-old said in an interview at Fairlanes Jan. 19.

“This is like a second home to me.”

It pains Poberezny to imagine the day New Minas loses the bowling centre that’s been a source of entertainment for all ages since 1963.

“This is an icon, a landmark. It’s going to be a big loss to the community and the bowling sector,” he said.

“Candlepin is in a tough spot.”

Poberezny has held many records at Fairlanes and even travelled to the United States as a competitive bowler. Now he has to try to figure out a way to travel for bowling on a more regular basis if he hopes to continue with the sport.

“Bowling’s been great to me… I really don’t want to have to hang them up after that many years,” he said, noting that he’s not the only New Minas bowler in this situation.

Fairlanes will close March 18 following the sale of the building.

Leah MacCumber, manager of the Fairlanes Bowling Centre, confirmed that a buyer from Toronto purchased the building.

“It will not be a bowling centre anymore,” the 28-year bowler confirmed, adding that the future use of the building is unknown at this time.

The closure will result in eight employees losing jobs, MacCumber said.

“It’s not good news in any way, shape or form,” she stressed, noting that she’s been working at Fairlanes for 14 years.

“It is a cool job. It’s the people. You get to meet a lot of people. That’s probably the highlight of it.”

Fairlanes has regular seniors, mixed and coffee leagues that meet there on a weekly basis for some friendly competition and social time.

“It’s really going to hurt the seniors,” said MacCumber.

The league play, however, wasn’t enough to keep Fairlanes in business.

“Bowling’s been a dying sport for quite a few years now… it’s just not the sport it used to be,” said MacCumber, who believes advances in video games that offer virtual bowling played a huge role in the drop in revenue at bowling centres.

“That’s pretty much what killed it because we have no young people coming in to keep the sport alive.”

The Fairlanes closure will be yet another blow for bowlers in the Annapolis Valley. There’s still five-pin bowling in Greenwood and candlepin in Windsor, but Middleton lost its LMK Bowling Lanes in recent years.

Windsor Bowling Centre owners Wayne and Brenda Mason are prepared to adjust their hours of operation to meet an influx in demand if need be.

“We’d welcome them with open arms,” said Brenda. “We’re very accommodating and very flexible.”

Windsor’s bowling alley, a source of employment for six people in the regular season, offers drop-in times and league play.

The Waverley couple agrees that operating a bowling centre can be a tough business, but they’ve managed to stick with it for 18 years so far.

“Bowling is a cyclical business. It’s up and down just like any sport. We’ve always been optimistic about it,” said Brenda.

“It doesn’t cost money to get into bowling, you just walk through the door and you can rent shoes and the other equipment is provided,” Wayne added.

For more information about the Windsor Bowling Centre, call 902-798-2102 or e-mail windsorbowling@eastlink.ca.

 

The league bowler has been honing his skills at the Fairlanes Bowling Centre on Commericial Street in New Minas for more than 50 years, starting at just two years old.

“I grew up in this place,” the 58-year-old said in an interview at Fairlanes Jan. 19.

“This is like a second home to me.”

It pains Poberezny to imagine the day New Minas loses the bowling centre that’s been a source of entertainment for all ages since 1963.

“This is an icon, a landmark. It’s going to be a big loss to the community and the bowling sector,” he said.

“Candlepin is in a tough spot.”

Poberezny has held many records at Fairlanes and even travelled to the United States as a competitive bowler. Now he has to try to figure out a way to travel for bowling on a more regular basis if he hopes to continue with the sport.

“Bowling’s been great to me… I really don’t want to have to hang them up after that many years,” he said, noting that he’s not the only New Minas bowler in this situation.

Fairlanes will close March 18 following the sale of the building.

Leah MacCumber, manager of the Fairlanes Bowling Centre, confirmed that a buyer from Toronto purchased the building.

“It will not be a bowling centre anymore,” the 28-year bowler confirmed, adding that the future use of the building is unknown at this time.

The closure will result in eight employees losing jobs, MacCumber said.

“It’s not good news in any way, shape or form,” she stressed, noting that she’s been working at Fairlanes for 14 years.

“It is a cool job. It’s the people. You get to meet a lot of people. That’s probably the highlight of it.”

Fairlanes has regular seniors, mixed and coffee leagues that meet there on a weekly basis for some friendly competition and social time.

“It’s really going to hurt the seniors,” said MacCumber.

The league play, however, wasn’t enough to keep Fairlanes in business.

“Bowling’s been a dying sport for quite a few years now… it’s just not the sport it used to be,” said MacCumber, who believes advances in video games that offer virtual bowling played a huge role in the drop in revenue at bowling centres.

“That’s pretty much what killed it because we have no young people coming in to keep the sport alive.”

The Fairlanes closure will be yet another blow for bowlers in the Annapolis Valley. There’s still five-pin bowling in Greenwood and candlepin in Windsor, but Middleton lost its LMK Bowling Lanes in recent years.

Windsor Bowling Centre owners Wayne and Brenda Mason are prepared to adjust their hours of operation to meet an influx in demand if need be.

“We’d welcome them with open arms,” said Brenda. “We’re very accommodating and very flexible.”

Windsor’s bowling alley, a source of employment for six people in the regular season, offers drop-in times and league play.

The Waverley couple agrees that operating a bowling centre can be a tough business, but they’ve managed to stick with it for 18 years so far.

“Bowling is a cyclical business. It’s up and down just like any sport. We’ve always been optimistic about it,” said Brenda.

“It doesn’t cost money to get into bowling, you just walk through the door and you can rent shoes and the other equipment is provided,” Wayne added.

For more information about the Windsor Bowling Centre, call 902-798-2102 or e-mail windsorbowling@eastlink.ca.

 

Leah MacCumber, manager of the Fairlanes Bowling Centre, just recently learned the alley she’s been managing for 14 years will soon close.

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