BELLEVUE – In its 43-year history, Willow Creek Lanes had exactly one owner.
That is, until earlier this month when Mike and Sandy Prokash decided to hang up their rental shoes and house ball and sell the business to Andy Beamish, who moved here from Rochester, New York to buy Willow Creek.
It’s been less than two weeks since the sale became official, but Beamish said he likes what he’s seen the few times he’s gotten out from underneath the paperwork. A bowler since he was a child in Michigan, Beamish said he finally ordered himself a new ball so he can roll with his customers, if the chance arises.
“I want to be out there with the customers so bad. I’ve met a few leagues and the bowlers are awesome, congratulating me and wishing me luck. It’s nice to have people who support you,” he said. “It appears we have a great staff. I don’t plan on changing anything until we need to.
The Prokashes built “Bellevue’s Family Entertainment Center” and opened the 24-lane bowling center at 2020 Verlin Road in 1974, their son-in-law, Joe Skurka said. He said the couple felt it was time to retire after building the business and the Willow Creek Classic bowling tournament into fixtures in the area’s bowling scene.
Skurka said Mike and Sandy built the business into one that would hire someone in need of a second chance or to help out a regular customer in need.
“People grew up in Mike’s bowling alley,” Skurka said. “You can’t throw a rock in this town without hitting someone Mike has positively affected.”