Bowling to return to Wyoming County

Belvedere Entertainment Center in Nicholson has good news for local bowlers.

After rebranding Belvedere Lanes into an entertainment center following years of floods that put bowling equipment in disrepair, owner Allen Loch plans to bring the lanes back.

Last month was the one-year anniversary of the most recent flood to rock the business.

“We had a lot of people asking if there’s any way we could possibly come back,” Loch said.

The bowling alley has suffered flooding four times because of its proximity to Martins Creek, first in 2006, then again in 2011.

Replacing the electronic equipment proved to be a costly venture each time.

The building took on water twice last year, leading to Loch’s tough decision to clear out the lanes permanently.

In early 2019, Belvedere began offering pool, indoor corn hole, darts, a golf simulator game, air hockey, indoor mini golf, foosball, shuffleboard and card games with the idea that this equipment could be easily moved to a dry space in the event of a flood.

“The entertainment side has been doing well, so instead of putting in 10 lanes, we’re going to put in six. We’re going to kind of meet the middle,” Loch explained. “We’ll be able to run small leagues every night, and then on the weekends have our open play as we used to do.”

The threat of flooding has obviously not disappeared, but this time around, Loch feels confident that future damage to the bowling equipment could be prevented.

“We’re going to spray foam about half of the building on the outside where the water would always come in,” he explained. “We’re also going to use some concrete barriers.”

The new bowling lanes are expected to be up and running by Oct. 28.

Kecia Wilkins, now 31, said she started bowling at Belvedere when she was six, when her parents were part of local bowling leagues.

She said Wednesday, she would be helping to organize a league in Nicholson, and “I’m so excited the lanes are coming back big time.”

After Belvedere shifted to an entertainment center, Wilkins, who lives in Dalton, said she joined a couple of leagues at the Valley Lanes in Carbondale which she expects to stay a part of.

“But I like the small, coziness that Belvedere has. It is much more family oriented and closer to home.”

Belvedere Lanes first opened on Walnut Street in Nicholson under Loch’s grandfather in 1960. In 1990, Loch became the third generation to take over the business. His 21-year-old son Matthew Loch may take the lead one day as well.

“I’m more excited for my son than I am myself,” his father added. “He enjoyed the sport forever and he was brought up with it as I was. Now that we’re pretty confident we can keep the water out, it’s just a win-win for everybody.”

Source: The Citizens’ Voice

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