South Sound News

Patrons getting ready to say goodbye to 60-year-old beloved bowling alley in Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. — A 60-year-old bowling alley in the South Sound will soon disappear to make room for what likely will be a brand-new apartment complex.

Pacific Lanes Bowling Center is set to shut down permanently at midnight on May 5th.

The owner, Billy Hamilton, and his family told KIRO 7 in recent years, they can no longer justify the cost to upgrade equipment and machinery, someof which has been around since the business initially opened in 1959.

“It’s just economics. We are a retro establishment,” said Hamilton. “When the time comes to upgrade your machinery, your pinsetters, it’s a seven-figure [cost] to get where it needs to be.”

The bowling alley is popular with many bowling leagues in the area.

Its oldest member, 96-year-old Alice Beckham, said she’s sad to see Pacific Lanes become part of her memory.

“I enjoyed it very much. It’s part of my life,” said Beckham. “This whole town has changed.”

The city of Tacoma confirmed it's reviewing a new development that could put a multifamily apartment complex on this 3.5 acre property.

About 30 employees will lose their jobs with the adjacent restaurant and lounges gone as well.

“I hope people will remember us fondly,” said Hamilton who took over operations from his father 26 years ago. “How hard we worked and the good times we had here. This place has been here 60 years and I can’t imagine something else is going to be here instead of us.”

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