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UPDATE: Vernon staff against buying bowling alley; council wants longer look

A delegation will request that council considers buying and operating Lincoln Lanes
A delegation will appear before Vernon council to request that the city purchase and continue to operate Lincoln Lanes bowling alley Monday, July 17, 2023. (File photo)

UPDATE: MONDAY, JULY 17, 1:45 p.m.:

Vernon city administration may not be in favour of purchasing Lincoln Lanes bowling centre on 25th Avenue, but council isn’t going to throw the idea into the gutter.

Bowler Heather Leask presented a 2,700 signature petition at Monday’s regular meeting, calling for the city to purchase the longtime facility which has been on the market for nearly a year at an asking price of $1.9 million.

Leask said Lincoln’s owners had received a two-line response from city administration saying it is not in favour of purchasing the lanes, and said no reason was given.

“The response felt dismissive,” said Leask. “Considering we gathered 2,700 signatures on a petition. We are one of the busiest bowling centres in B.C.”

Leask told council that the City of Port Coquitlam recently bought a bowling centre in the community for the purpose of picking up the land the bowling centre sits on for other uses. Leask said PoCo is dismantling the lanes and moving it to another piece of city-owned property, and surmised Vernon could do the same.

Lincoln Lanes sits in the midst of 25th Avenue and the land is considered prime for potential housing.

“The idea has some merit to it,” said Coun. Brian Guy of the city purchasing and potentially moving the lanes to another piece of city-owned property. “We should ask staff to look into that.”

Coun. Kari Gares, a former youth and league bowler, said the sport is truly one of those accessible to everyone.

“The lanes are a great place to be socially connected,” she said.

Council has asked staff to prepare a report on potentially purchasing and moving the centre to another city property for its next regular meeting Monday, Aug. 14.


A group of bowling advocates will make a pitch to Vernon council Monday for the city to buy — and therefore save — the Lincoln Lanes bowling alley.

Heather Leask is expected to ask council to purchase and continue to operate the bowling alley on 25th Avenue, which has been put up for sale as the owners look to retire.

The bowling alley was listed for sale last year as “prime development property.” It is currently zoned as multi-family housing, which in a letter to council, the delegation notes has made it “virtually impossible to sell to a new owner” as new owners would need to add additional services such as a restaurant or bar to make the business financially viable.

“Those commercial additions would not be permitted by the City of Vernon under the current zoning,” reads the letter.

A petition to save the storied bowling alley has attracted more than 2,600 signatures since it was started on June 28.

Lincoln Lanes has been around for more than 50 years. It has been family owned and operated throughout that time. The owners are looking to find a buyer who would continue to operate it as a bowling alley.

However, many in the bowling community fear it could be torn down to make way for a more profitable development, and the chances of another bowling alley popping up in town to replace it are slim.

“If the bowling lanes are lost in Vernon, they will never return. We have seen this in other communities around us, Enderby, Sicamous, Armstrong, Lumby, and Summerland, as well as throughout B.C. and across Canada,” reads a letter to council.

The property is just over an acre of land, is currently listed for sale for $1,895,000.

READ MORE: Hundreds petition to save Vernon bowling alley

READ MORE: Owners pin for sale sign on Vernon bowling centre

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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