What impact does the closing of one bowling alley in a rural area have? More than you might think. We are deeply saddened by the closing of Brunswick XL in El Centro. It represents the loss of jobs for sure, but it is much more than that. There are league members who have invested time and money in pursuit of their sport who will have to give that up or travel to other communities to participate in bowling.
There are the vendors who service the alley that will lose. It takes beer, soda and food to keep bowlers happy. Those vendors are now down one client. There are the casual customers, the family outings that will be lost. Unlike many sports, anyone can bowl and the lanes made it easy for anyone from toddlers to seniors to play the game. There are even hidden entities like insurance companies and other local business that support such an operation that have lost another client. For us as a non-profit, the loss of the bowling alley means a loss in our budget of about $10,000 this year; money we depend on to feed those who depend on us. Why? Because the bowling alley has become a part of our community culture and as such, we have been holding an annual bowling tournament there since 2011. It was a fun event during the hot summer and it was a good, popular and always well-attended fundraiser. We know there are other non-profits who hold like events that will lose out because of its closing.
We know the decisions of corporations far away have to do with money, not people. There may be nothing we can do to change that, but bowling is an important indoor activity here in the Imperial Valley, especially during the harsh summer heat. If new owners are able to assume the bowling alley, we hope you will support them. Because the effects of the closing of one business is not a solitary event; it effects the wider community in very real ways.
Board of Directors Imperial Valley Food Bank