ABQ landmark bowling alley shutting doors after 58 years

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Friends Jack Carpenter and Michael Raglin have been bowling together at Leisure Bowl since the 1980s.

“About 30 to 40 years, since we were in high school and in Special Olympics and had a good time there,” Carpenter said.

It’s been an Albuquerque landmark since the 1950s, Leisure Bowl will close its doors in May.

“Losing a home is terrible,” Raglin said.

Current owner Gary Skidmore, who renamed the place Skidz when he bought it in 2012, told KRQE News 13 it wasn’t an easy decision, but he decided to sell the place to Kia, which will turn it into a car lot.

For some, the Leisure Bowl tradition goes back generations. Chris Payne found a photo of his grandfather, R.J. Payne, in the Leisure Bowl archives Monday night. He said he was sad to hear the news.

“It’s not right, but what do you do? This is my favorite house to come bowling,” Payne said.

Former owner Janet Tanner, who owned Leisure Bowl with her husband from the 1970s to 2012, says seeing the place turned into a car lot will be a big adjustment.

“It’s been probably half of my life. So even though I’m not here anymore, I still come by to see my employees and family and friends,” she said. “We’ll all miss that.”

George Gomez has been at Leisure Bowl every Monday night for the past 15 years. This Monday night was one of his last.

“A lot of people bowl here, families that bowl here all their life,” Gomez said. “It’s sad to see it disappearing.”

Skidmore also owns Holiday Bowl, across the street. He says he’s planning on sending as many employees over there as possible and has plans to expand the facility.

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