Arnprior Bowling Alley gets new name, spare life
ARNPRIOR, ONT. -- After 35 years in the community, the owner of the Arnprior Bowling Centre in Arnprior, Ont. has sold the bowling alley and is retiring.
Brenda Budarick took ownership of the bowling centre in 1987, and just sold the downtown attraction to fellow business owners Matthew and Alicia Ott, operators of Bee Savvy.
"I do feel that there's a lot of potential," Budarick tells CTV News Ottawa of the bowling alley.
The former owner says selling has been on her mind for a number of years due to COVID and a lack of energy.
"The town is growing."
Hoping to help grow the downtown core are the Ott's, who took ownership in mid-January.
"We saw real potential to really bring a little bit of life back to downtown Arnprior," Matthew Ott tells CTV News. "Get some energy, get some activity down here, sort of help revitalize the downtown."
Although no new sign has gone up yet, the bowling alley has been renamed to Steelheads & Strikes. Ott says they will aim to keep the retro feel of the alley, but upgrade the space to fit modern day. Fitting into the new name, the owners are planning to bring in axe throwing as an accompanying attraction.
"To us it's the passion," explains Ott. "The downtown is sort of the heart of any community, whether you visit it daily or only a couple of times a year. There's always something to do down here, something interesting, something fun, and we just really enjoy being part of that."
In years past, Budarick provided the Arnprior Bowling Centre as a space for local Special Olympics athletes to come and train. To honour her contribution to the community, Steelheads & Strikes is planning to host a fundraiser Sunday, March 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
All those interested in bowling that day are welcome to book in advance or walk in, with 100 per cent of proceeds going towards the Arnprior Special Olympics.
"It brings me great joy to see them participating and having fun, and being able to socialize with their friends," says Budarick. "The money that we raise will help with uniforms and tournament travel once we're able to start with that as well."
"There's a lot of folks who want the opportunity to say thank you (to Budarick) for the years of service and birthday parties and tournaments and leagues," says Ott.
Now ready for retirement, Budarick says she plans to spend more time scuba diving, but also intends to spend time at the bowling alley as well.
"The funny part is, is that I would like to bowl more, and I'd also like to be able to coach more."