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Wessington Springs group rallies to save town’s bowling alley

WESSINGTON SPRINGS — Several families have come together to keep the bowling alley in Wessington Springs open.

Scott Vaske, Dale and Melissa Schimke, Jim and Bernice Burg, and Jeff and Kim Burg formed Starlight Bowling LLC to purchase Thunder Alley Bowling at 311 Main St. East in Wessington Springs from Karin and Larry Greff.

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Melissa Schimke approached the Wessington Springs Area Development Corp. about options over the summer when she learned the business may not reopen in the fall. The development corporation assisted in organizing interest meetings during the summer and provided loan information.

Kim Burg, investor and coordinator for the Wessington Springs Area Development Corp., said she and her husband got involved “because we felt there needed to be a place for youth and families to go for recreation.”

“All ages will be welcome,” she said. “From a development standpoint, we did not want to see a business close on Main Street.”

Plans are to purchase new and reconditioned bowling equipment. There will be interior and exterior updates. League and open bowling will be held. Special events will also be held such as birthday parties, moonlight bowling and karaoke nights. The investment group has also contacted the school and church youth group about utilization of the facility.

Seventh-grader Sierra Burg and fourth-grader Cheyenne Burg created some paint designs on the walls and on old vinyl records. Starlight Bowling opened the weekend of Nov. 23.

Scott Vaske, Chamber of Commerce president, will be the manager.

“We have heard nothing but support from the community,” Vaske said. “We will get the lanes in running condition with some consistent hours.”

Starlight Bowling LLC utilized the Wessington Springs Area Revolving Loan Fund through the development corporation, which partners with fund administrator Northeast South Dakota Economic Corp.

Those interested in league or in booking a party may call Starlight Bowling at (605) 539-1431. The business opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

-Source: Wessington Springs Area Development Corp.