October would have been Oakland Plaza Lanes’ 30th anniversary, but it will never see that date.
Effective Aug. 1, Oakland Plaza Lanes, a 24-lane bowling alley at 2116 Vandiver Drive, will close.
Jim Goldammer, owner of Oakland Plaza Lanes and West Gate Lanes in Jefferson City, sold Oakland Plaza Lanes to Prime Management, a development company that has also cleared surrounding land.
Prime Management approached Goldammer, and although he wasn’t looking to sell, he took the offer.
Steve Spaur, manager at Oakland Plaza Lanes, has worked at the alley for 14 years. Spaur’s dad, wife, two daughters and son have also worked at Oakland Plaza Lanes and have a total of 55 years of experience among them. Spaur said he will miss the tight-knit group of friends it has established.
“I look at it as, things happen for a reason,” Spaur said.
Spaur is working with AMF Town & Country Lanes at 1508 N. Providence Road to accommodate as many people as possible; 11 leagues need to relocate. The senior league will make the easiest transition because it bowls during the day.
Larry Wasson, one of 64 bowlers in the senior league, isn’t sure what is in store for the all the leagues, but he is confident something will be worked out.
“We’ve already been told that unless something unforeseen happens, that the senior league, which we’re apart of, we bowl Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, will just switch right over there and bowl like we do now,” Wasson said.
“In order to get all the leagues in at Town and Country, they will have to do an early evening league and a late league around 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.”
Wasson has bowled at Oakland Plaza Lanes since 1984 and plays in the senior league every Monday at 1 p.m. He said he hopes the league will be able to keep that time slot at AMF Town & Country Lanes.
Duane Drummond, manager at AMF Town & Country, predicts the lanes might have to revert to the system used in the 1970s, known as second-shift league to handle AMF Town & Country’s leagues and add Oakland Plaza Lanes’ leagues.
One shift starts at 6:30 p.m. and the other at 9.
“Any time a center closes, it always hurts bowling, no matter what,” Drummond said.
Mid-Missouri has lost 34 lanes within the past month; Callaway Lanes, a 10-lane alley in Fulton, closed May 18.