The Thunderbolt Lanes closed Feb. 7 with a final celebration of free bowling and food.
“When I found out what was happening to the bowling center I asked myself what we could do to show thanks to our dedicated customers,” said Sophia Hazel, 56th Force Support Squadron assistant manager. “An appreciation day was the only idea that came to mind, so I pushed it to my bosses and got approval. This event was to send the bowling center out with a bang.”
More than 100 people showed up throughout the day to enjoy the last open day for the center. The employees expressed how much they’ll miss helping out their customers.
“I’m going to miss seeing my bowlers at lunchtime and interacting with customers,” Hazel said. “I’ll especially miss the bowling leaguers who play on Thursdays.”
Thunderbolt Lanes, a morale, welfare and recreation activity that runs on nonappropriated funds, was not making enough money to sustain its operations, said Lt. Col. Todd Ladd, 56th Force Support Squadron commander.
By saving money on the bowling alley, FSS plans to reinvest in other MWR activities such as Club Five Six, Falcon Dunes Golf Course, outdoor recreation, the child development center, youth center and the base library.
“It’s good to see everyone appreciate the bowling alley on its last day before closing,” said Airman Jack Taylor, 56th Mission Support Group knowledge operations manager.
The Thunderbolt Lanes have provided a place for Airmen and families to relax and bowl for 41 years.