Business

Westdale Bowling Center closes after three decades in operation

Special Olympics State Bowling was held at Westdale Bowling Center in Cedar Rapids last month. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Special Olympics State Bowling was held at Westdale Bowling Center in Cedar Rapids last month. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — After more than 30 years, Westdale Bowling Center has shut its doors.

A phone voice message advises that the bowling alley at 2020 Scotty Dr. SW, near Westdale Town Center, had closed effective Saturday, Nov. 30.

The bowling alley’s door also now bears a paper sign, reading, “Thanks for the memories ... It’s been a great ride but after 32 years we are closed. We apologize for any inconvenience & appreciate your support.”

Precisely why Westdale Bowling Center — which offered 44 lanes, a laser maze and laser tag — ceased its operations is unclear.

Reached by phone Tuesday morning, owner Kim Trickey declined to comment on factors behind the closure.

The bowling alley continued holding events in the days before, including a Turkey Trot bowling event Nov. 27, the center’s Facebook page shows.

On Nov. 23, the bowling alley saw 370 participants as one of four locations to hold the state Special Olympics bowling tournament, an event the alley hosted each year since 2001.

The bowling alley first opened in 1984, according to its website, and in 1987, was taken over by B.J. Trickey, who served as owner and general manager alongside Kim, his wife, until his death in March 2018.

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Though Westdale Bowling Center originally focused on league bowling — in 1991, it even hosted the Women’s National Bowling Tournament’s singles and doubles events — B.J. Trickey told The Gazette in 2015 that the alley started shifting toward open, or public bowling in the late 1990s.

Trickey said that his center struggled after 2008, citing the economy, the Cedar Rapids flood and no-smoking legislation, but expressed optimism about a slight increase in business in 2015.

“Bowling is great because nobody sits on the bench,” he said. “All age levels and capabilities can get out there and enjoy it.”

The Trickeys still are listed as owners of the 3.3-acre Westdale Bowling Center property, according to city property records.

The property is listed for sale with Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty, with an asking price of $1.195 million and an advisory that a new buyer could “convert this building to meet (their) needs or take over the existing operating bowling center.”

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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