Shores Bowl to close April 30

After 62 years of being the only game in town, the pins at Shores Bowl will soon fall for the last time in Ocean Shores.

Rob Shaver, who has operated the bowling alley with his wife and sons since 1998, said the community support throughout the years there — 125 W. Chance a La Mer NW., — is humbling, and that he’s grateful for it.

“I’m just overwhelmed and thankful to all the loyal customers — local and tourists — and all my loyal staff, who continue to hang in with me until the end,” he said.

Shaver, who sounded like he was just trying to deal with the news of his business ending after the alley closes at the end of business on Saturday, April 30, said it’s because he and the owner of the property couldn’t come to an amicable accord.

“We just couldn’t come to an agreement on a lease extension and he said he had other plans for the space,” Shaver said.

The future plans for the space remains a mystery. Shaver said he’s “not privy” to that information.

But, if Shaver had it his way, his 24-year run would continue in the summer haven that fills with tourists who show up in their “5th wheel” RVs and occupy the local bars, restaurants and beaches.

For the last near-quarter of a century, Shaver estimated thousands have enjoyed striking down the pins with accurate spins down his lanes.

The alley itself has been there since 1960.

“If you want to count not just the locals and regular league bowlers, thousands of tourists come to Ocean Shores every year,” he said. “For 62 years, they’ve been able to go and bowl if that’s what they choose to do, and that’s obviously not going to be an option.”

Shaver said he feels “horrible” about the place having to close.

“My kids grew up in that place,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of friendships develop over time. I’ve had people meet and get married in that bowling alley, and on the lanes. It’s a lot. My head’s not even wrapped around it 100 percent yet, but it’s a great loss.”

Shaver said his family feels a great sense of loss, too.

“My sons were there last night,” he said. “Last night was the last night of our fall bowling league out there. It’s the last time that league bowling will take place there. It was a pretty heavy moment.”

Shaver said a lot of people are worried and are showing concern for him, but at least he’s got a place to go, Rainier Lanes — 415 W. Heron St., in Aberdeen. He said he and his family will just put their focus on Aberdeen.

“What’s sad is there are some people who don’t have a place to go,” he said. “They don’t have the means to come to town, for whatever the reason may be. Those people are just gonna be left out. That’s what really bothers me the most.”

Despite facing a closure at the end of the month, Shaver said he’s operating like it were any other time.

“I’m still business as usual until my last day, in hopes that something can change,” Shaver said.

Shaver will also host a league bowler appreciation event, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., on Sunday, May 1, at Shores Bowl.

“(It’s) for our past and current league bowlers to come in and do some bowling, eat some pizza, have some soda, have some fun, and say ‘goodbye’ to each other.”

While Shaver said he couldn’t think of a favorite memory, as there are “too many,” he said the absence of the alley in Ocean Shores will leave people wanting.

“It’s going to leave a big void, a big hole in that community,” Shaver said. “That’s really all I got. We’re still here in Aberdeen. If people choose to bowl and want to find their way here, we’ll accommodate everybody that we can.”