Workers from Powers Contruction & Holt Lumber Trust Co., from left, Thadd Curtis, Joel Fry, Bob Fitzpatrick and Raul Ortiz make repairs at Valley Bowl, which suffered damage due to several tresses giving way. (Wendy Alexander)
For the past month, Valley Bowl owners Patti and Terry Hoban have waited for the day when they could re-open its doors.
That day arrived Saturday when, for the first time in a month, the unmistakable sounds of pins getting knocked down could be heard after repairs to support beams in the center.
“It was like a bomb going off,” Patti said of the damage that occurred about 15 minutes before people were scheduled to bowl. “We actually thought someone drove into the building. We looked all around and there wasn’t anything. I noticed a T-bar laying by the edge of the building on the wall. We looked at the ceiling at the beams that just broke. We are very thankful there wasn’t a lot of people here. It’s been 30 days. We’ve been trying to work with an insurance company that hasn’t been working with us.
“We’re going to have Monte Carlo,” Patti said. “Monte Carlo is bowling with colored pins and they have a chance to win money. It’s a lot of fun. We hope to have the place packed. We’re going do a 50/50 raffle with part (of it) to help out (the) repair. It’s going to be a fun night.”
For the Hobans, the 30 days have seemed like a lifetime. Because the insurance had indicated their claim would be denied, the Hobans reached into their own pockets to get the bowling alley up and running.
“We took everything we had to get the steal posts up and get those beams down the lanes so it will be safe for bowlers to come in,” Patti said.
“We’re at about 80 percent,” Terry said. “At least the doors are open and the customers are safe. We’ve stopped the bleeding, so to speak. Although the doors were closed for four weeks, all the bills still came in.”
For now, steel beams occupy space in the foyer area to support one of the main beams. Lanes 6 and 13 are also shut down for a pair of support beams.
“We can work around the steel posts here,” Terry said. “The ones down the lane are $70,000 to replace. We can’t keep any posts there. We have to replace the trusses there. They are going to have to take off part of the roof. It’s a lot of work for a lot of money. Somewhere down the line, we have to come up with that. Right now, all our options are shot down, but we’ll keep pursuing.”
Even with all the repairs, Patti is thankful for the bowling community and said she can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. She started a GoFundMe fundraiser online that raised more than $2,200.
“We appreciate everybody who has donated,” Patti said. “People like Rocky Hunsaker, John Sanchez, Mark Inman, Misty Harvie and Danielle Doughtery are helping out of the kindness of their hearts to help us. Bowlers are good people. Terry and I are down here all the time. All the friends we developed in the area are the bowlers. They are our extended family. They think nothing to come out here and help us. It’s very emotional. It’s been a long month. The construction people understand the predicament we were in. They did everything they could to help us out the best they can.”
Powers Construction and Engineering have been working with the Hobans to build support for the beams to get the bowling center up and running.
The Hobans are also grateful for her staff. Even though they haven’t been working for the past month, they still came to the center to help ready it to re-open.
“They stuck with us waiting for us to reopen,” Patti said. “They have been with us a long time.”
The Hobans have owned Valley Bowl for the past 13 year although the 13th year hasn’t been good for them, Patti said.
“We came from Oregon and our dream was to run a bowling center,” Patti said.