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Pali Lanes rolls for spare


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POSTED: Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bowlers came last night to play for the last time at Pali Lanes, but they got a dash of hope from prospective buyers who want to keep the Kailua bowling alley open.

Art Machado, Oahu Bowling League general manager, and attorney Chuck Webb told members of the Windward Friday Night League that their hui of investors has a good chance of operating the alley for at least two more years.

Webb said they have negotiated a lease extension with Kaneohe Ranch, which manages the land for the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

He said the hui is still negotiating with the alley owners to purchase the equipment.

“;We made an offer much more than the other offer they have. If we can't get the alleys and pinsetters and other equipment, there's no way we can do it. It's obsolete machinery; it would cost thousands to replace,”; Webb said.

Webb's sister Jeanne Hailer, one of three partners who have operated Pali Lanes since 1991, said she is agreeable to sell. The other partners, Gretchen Neal of Kailua and Larry Luxon of Arkansas, have not agreed. Their lease expires on Dec. 31.

The owners were already negotiating to sell some of the equipment to a military bowling alley, Webb said.

“;We wanted to take over starting tomorrow (today),”; Webb said. “;There's 16 employees, and we want to keep them in work.”; He said a change in ownership would not be likely to happen until after the lease expiration date.

The mixed-league bowlers brought potluck food for a farewell party, but it turned into a celebration.

“;Now tonight there's a little bit of joy,”; said Johnnette Morton. She and husband Blaine come from Nanakuli for the Friday night league. She has been a bowler since she was a child in Junior Bowl.

“;This is a great alley. It's the best-equipped facility we play on,”; said Dennis Shewell, who is retired from the Navy. He and wife Pam play in the league and also at the Kaneohe Marine base alley.

The Marine base lanes are the only option for the Windward league, said its president, Jerry Nakaoka. “;Since the Windward Bowl (in Kaneohe) went down, a lot of people moved here. We're feeling hopeful about this news.”;

There are two other public bowling alleys on Oahu: Aiea Bowl and Leeward Bowl in Pearl City. Civilians are allowed to bowl at military base facilities if they provide driver and vehicle registration and insurance information.

“;Trouble is, if there's a security alert, bases would be closed down and no more bowling,”; said Tyson Abalos.