The 70-year-old Vermilion Bowling has new directors with a plan to revitalize the business.
On April 1, PAS Bowling resumed the operations of Pence Lake Erie Lanes, 4523 Liberty Ave.
The 18 lanes, pins and returns of balls remain in place, but the general managers Shawn perry and Steve Albenze are revamping just about everything else inside.
Lake Erie Lanes is recovering from necessary closures during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The alley has not been open regularly for months, Albenze said.
“Just seeing people coming back has been really cool,” he said. “People have a good answer so far.”
“I just wanted to save the place,” Perry said. “I love having him in town.
“It’s been great, it’s been a lot of fun, it’s been a lot of work.”
Learn to know
Perry grew up in Vermilion and remembered bowling from his youth.
Albenze grew up in Cleveland Heights and moved to Ohio for his high school and college education.
Today he is a lawyer at Albenze Legal Group based in Elyria.
As a guitarist, Albenze met Perry at an earlier Perry’s location Rock City Guitars.
They became friends and group mates, and when the opportunity presented itself, they became bowling alley operators.
“When we got there, the place was in danger of becoming a boat warehouse,” Perry said. “We avoided it from becoming a warehouse.
“It was on the chopping block.”
Like other businesses, they face delays and supply chain shortages caused by COVID-19.
Traditionally, North Ohio bowling slows down in the summer when people are spending time outdoors.
The new CEOs have admitted that there is a learning curve in the complexities of the building and the business.
“But we are learning,” said Albenze. “We have good staff who know all the machines, so we learned basic maintenance and upkeep.
“It was really cool getting to know the field.”
The hallways have a new scoring system.
There are new arcade games and an air hockey table from Lorain Music.
Baldwin Bowling Supply de Lorain has stored balls, bags, shoes and accessories in the pro shop.
Perry, also known locally as the frontman of The Hazzard County Rebellion, has moved his music studio into the building.
He gives music lessons there, the dining room has been doubled as a performance space for students and more teaching rooms are unde
“We’re trying to make it a favorite place for family activities in the area,” said Perry.
He and Albenze agreed they wanted Lake Erie Lanes to be a contender among Vermilion’s dining options.
The restaurant offers signature cocktails and the Lucy’s Food menu, named after Perry’s late mother who became a neighborhood celebrity for her cookies and gravy.
There are Monster-Melt Subs, Snacks on Snacks, and Monster Burgers, many with titles that play to the names of Perry’s family members, rock n ‘roll bands, popular culture, or a combination of those. -this.
Lake Erie Lanes has tried leagues with shorter terms so older players can take advantage of the Ohio weather when the weather is nice, Perry said.
Even the logo is new, designed by artist and author David Spencer, creator of the characters of “Mischief Factory”.
The bowling alley serves as a welcome lane for local schools in Firelands.
There are ramps and racks to accommodate bowlers with special physical needs and youth bumpers to avoid gutter balls.
Perry also thanked the local business sponsors who support the bowling alley.
This month, Lake Erie Lanes will host the USBC Grand Lorain Senior Tournament, featuring three divisions for bowlers 50 and over and sanctioned by the USBC Association of Grand Lorain.
The tournament is expected to attract 75 to 90 people, which is approaching participation levels before the novel coronavirus pandemic, said Dan Metelsky, past president and current head of promotions for the Greater Lorain Bowling Association.
“We were really excited to hear that Shawn and his team had taken over, kind of breathing new life into the center,” especially with the effects of COVID-19 on everyone, Metelsky said. “It’s good to have a facility open again.
“Anytime you lose track beds in the bowling area, it’s not good for the sport. “
The Lorain Bowling Association remains strong with approximately 1,800 to 1,900 male, female and youth members, said Metelsky.
“We just figured that to give Lake Erie Lanes a good start to the bowling season… that we would kick off our tournament schedule with the senior tournament,” he said.