Local businesses help make Platte bowling tournament a big dealPLATTE — The Platte Lanes will be a busy place this weekend as bowlers from around the state flock to the small bowling alley on Platte’s Main Street. Today is the first day of the Platte Area Handicap Bowling Tournament, a long-running tournament that dates back to the late 1960s. The bowling alley has changed hands several times since the 1960s, so the tournament has taken on many names, and was even disbanded for a few years in the late 1990s.
PLATTE — The Platte Lanes will be a busy place this weekend as bowlers from around the state flock to the small bowling alley on Platte’s Main Street.
Today is the first day of the Platte Area Handicap Bowling Tournament, a long-running tournament that dates back to the late 1960s.
The bowling alley has changed hands several times since the 1960s, so the tournament has taken on many names, and was even disbanded for a few years in the late 1990s.
Lee Hanten bought the bowling alley in 2002, and in 2005, Gordy Hubers bought in with Hanten and became a co-owner.
“In 2006, we had been approached several times about getting the tournament started again,” Hubers said. “And we did.”
The tournament, which began in 1967 as the Jaycees’ bowling tournament and was renamed the Platte Lanes Tournament in the early 1970s, began again in 2006 as the Platte Area Merchants Tournament.
Hubers and Hanten went to business around Platte and Geddes, as well as distributors in Huron and Aberdeen, to ask for added money for the tournament.
This year, the amount of added money donated by local merchants and area distributors totals $4,775 — a far cry from the $400 of added money the tournament’s founders came up with in its first year.
“The reason we went to Platte Area (Tournament) is because we get patrons from Geddes that support us quite well and places out of Huron and Aberdeen,” Hubers said. “Without the Geddes businesses and the distributors, we wouldn’t have that much money.”
The tournament, which Hubers said he would “almost have to venture is the largest added-money tournament in the state,” runs through March 14. He said that weekends will be the busiest days throughout the course of the tournament, but that bowlers can compete any day of the week by appointment.
There are many different categories bowlers can compete in, such as high scratch series, high scratch game and high team game, among others. The added money runs from Saturday to Friday each week and there is $1,050 of added money to give out each week of the tournament.
There are also special prizes at the end of the tournament along with the regular payout for first through fourth places.
“Our bowling alley only has six lanes and our town is about 1,400 (people), so if you put everything into perspective, it’s quite a unique tournament,” Hubers said about the amount of money paid out to the competitors, who travel to Platte from around the state.
In the early 1980s, the tournament reached its peak with around 100 teams and 300 doubles entries each year. This year, Hubers said there’s around 40 teams and 100 doubles and singles bowlers registered, and he credits it all to the merchants who donate the added money.
“Platte’s slogan is ‘It’s possible in Platte,’ and it’s very possible in this tournament,” Hubers said. “It’s something that Platte should be very proud of. We send out fliers to every bowling alley in the state.”