Yukon bowlers, get ready to roll.
Whitehorse’s only bowling alley, Mad Trapper Alleys, will open weekends this winter provided its machinery holds together, management said this week.
“I looked at it after the summer and I was talking to people and things like that. Well, the machine is really old. It’s dying, but it’s not dead yet,” said manager Stephen Kwok. “So I’m thinking, that’s OK, I’ll carry on for this winter and see what happens.”
The 10-lane five-pin alley located in Riverdale closed “until further notice” in May just short of 40 years of operation. Kwok has struggled to keep its pin and ball machine, which predates the Carter administration, alive since he became manager in 2002. Finding 40-year-old parts for the mechanism is harder than breaking 400.
But opening the alley only on weekends – Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoons, beginning Sept. 18 – will hopefully mitigate mechanical problems, said Kwok.
“Instead of a full-time operation, I’m thinking only part-time operation,” said Kwok, who also runs the neighbouring pub and video rental store in the Riverdale plaza.
“I don’t have enough time if I run it in full operation like before. It’s just the weekend, which is the busiest time anyway. Then, at least, I can manage it.”
The majority of the time Mad Trapper will offer open lanes to whoever comes in to bowl some frames. There won’t be any men’s league, senior league, mixed league or youth league. The one scheduled weekly event will be the Special Olympics Yukon league on Saturdays, starting in October.
“The athletes are thrilled. The athletes are coming back to register for our programs and we’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from the athletes that the bowling alley will be open for our program,” said Special Olympics Yukon executive director Serge Michaud.
Yukon Special Olympians had great success in bowling at the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, winning the territory’s first-ever team medal with silver. Yukon athletes also came away with three individual medals at last year’s Games.
Typically 40 to 45 athletes participate in the Saturday bowl, said Michaud.
“It’s traditionally been our largest program and we’re really excited that the bowling alley is going to be reopened for this year,” he added.
Mad Trapper is also available to rent for parties and corporate events, said Kwok, but he hasn’t committed to hosting the Big Brother Big Sisters of Yukon annual fundraising event, Bowl for Kids Sake.
“I’ll have to see how the machine is running,” he said.
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