Ranch Bowl in Kansas City, Kansas, is on the verge of closing.
It’s been an institution in KCK for more than 60 years, and it’s one of only two bowling alleys left in Wyandotte County.
Fritz Vertz took over the bowling alley three months ago when the previous owner walked away.
“It just fell in my lap. If I bought his business, I bought his debt and I didn't want his debt,” Vertz said. The owner before him allegedly owed $400,000 in unpaid mortgage payments and property taxes.
Vertz didn’t want to see the business close.
“There's a lot of good people that bowl here," he said. "There's a lot of families that bowl here, we've helped a lot of good organizations throughout the years.”
Bowlers like 80-year-old Charles L. Brumbaugh, who said: “It means a lot to me because that's my life, really. I bowl in four different leagues. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays. I tried five and Wednesday didn't work; Wednesday was too much.”
Brumbaugh is one of 300 bowlers who are part of Ranch Bowl’s leagues.
That’s why Vertz is raising money to pay for legal fees to keep the alley open for current and future bowlers.
“If this placed closed, there would be less people bowling because they have nowhere to go,” said Brumbaugh.
Ranch Bowl provides alleys for three local high school bowling programs in the area. If it closed, Vertz said they would have no where else to practice.
This week, Turner High School’s bowling team is headed to state.
Ranch Bowl is holding a bowling fundraiser on March 13.
They’ve also set up a gofundme page for donations.
Shannon Halligan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.