Bowling alleys in Wichita and across the county “are facing their darkest winter yet,” says KMUW, the NPR affiliate in the Kansas city.
Cathy DeSocio is among those leading the charge in Kansas. DeSocio owns five bowling centers in Wichita, Hutchinson and Salina, and has been involved in the business her entire life. “We’ve gone through recessions over this 60-year span that we’ve been in the industry,” she said, “but I don’t think that it has ever been like this.”
While she reports business is down “considerably,” bowlers of all ages are still on the lanes rolling balls. One of her bowling centers, Northrock Lanes, is surviving because of its strong league base and tournaments; league bowlers – the “regulars” – were the first to return to the alleys last year when they reopened.
All in all, DeSocio says the public needs to come out and support small businesses like hers. “If they want all of us to be here when this is over, they’re going to need to come out and support us now.”