Keglers lose another one: Fairway Bowling in Natick shutting down

The MetroWest Daily News reports.

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      Natick, actually

      The Sellews are/were local institutions, as is the bowling alley (I think it gets its name from the driving range/golf course they used to have out back - where that unusual office park/assisted-living facility is now). It's one of the last holdovers from the 1950s and 1960s, when Rte. 9 was full of giant neon signs and drive-ins and a drive-thru, when Shoppers World was a place to stroll around in (as opposed to the quasi-prison parking lot it is now) and Ken's was the place to go for steaks and there wasn't a Beetleback or Natick Mall.

      Harrumph, damn kids, get outta my lanes (although, for the record, I only ever bowled at Fairway once, and not back in the day, since back in the day, I was one of those Nooyawka).

      I think the problem in many

      I think the problem in many cases is price. I dont know what they charge, but most places charge you per person, per game, and for a family, that adds up, especially when you put rentals on top of it. You're talking movie ticket prices for less time.

      In other countries, it's common practice to charge by hour instead of by game. I think thats a much better system. It's more fair for one. It doesnt cost the alley anything more to run 3 games in 1 hour than 1 game. The "cost" is that a lane is being used and no one else can use it. It encourages single bowlers to drop by as well, because obviously one person takes less time to bowl.

      Could be price

      There's a bowling alley/bar/food/arcade center in Milford that is almost always buzzing. Business-wise, these guys are doing the right thing. You can pay for an alley by the hour ($25), have a beer, nachos, etc. The lights go off, they'll show sox/celts/bruins games on giant screens at the end of the alleys. We'll see parents just sitting around a table drinking while the kids are bowling - everybody is happy. ;-) There are always group functions going on, polka nights, etc. Sometimes the wait for a lane is hours. No serious bowler would dare go near the place. ;-)

      I'm sure the owners in Natick are wonderful people and their customers will miss the place. Unfortunately, there just aren't that many bowling purists out there and the business needs to adjust.

      Could be....costs to run the place must be high too

      I can only imagine what the upkeep for all the wooden lanes, machinery, insurance, etc must cost these days as well.

      When I was a kid I paid 70 cents per game and we had to add up our own score sheets on an acetate sheet put onto a projector (we felt like our teachers with overhead projectors in our elementary school classrooms....doing math problems as well!).

      Re the hourly charge, my childhood bowling alley charged a flat fee to bowl up until noon on Sundays...so about three hours worth of bowling till our arms fell off for total of about $10 bucks. We split the cost among everyone who showed up.