One bowling alley on Treasure Coast remains closed during coronavirus pandemic

The future of Saint Lucie Lanes is unclear.

The longtime bowling alley has been closed since March 19 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, despite all other Treasure Coast bowling alleys having reopened with new safety guidelines in late May and early June.

Owner Christine Vitolo, a retired South Florida lawyer and real estate investor, didn’t answer TCPalm’s multiple emails and phone calls asking if the closure is permanent.

The last update on the bowling alley’s Facebook page said it tentatively planned to reopen April 30.

Mixed messages

The building and its surrounding property have been for sale for an undetermined amount of time, yet the bowling alley remained operational until Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered bowling alleys closed.

The website domain name for Saint Lucie Lanes has expired.

When calling the bowling alley, a recording states:

“When we are assured that our community has nothing to worry about, we will resume operations. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. … We look forward to seeing you at Saint Lucie Lanes again very soon.”

The bowling alley’s Facebook posts indicated the intention to reopen.

“We very much regret the need to do this and very much hope this will be of short duration,” according to a March 17 post about the forced closure.

Out of stock

The bowling alley planned to reopen by March 30, but that was postponed because of a spike in the spread of COVID-19, according to a March 27 post.

The last update came from an April 7 post.

“We are looking at April 30th and we will keep you informed,” according to the post. “We are so sorry, but we must play by the rules if we are all to beat this virus and survive.”

Treasure Coast bowling alleys

Three other bowling alleys within a half-hour’s drive of Saint Lucie Lanes have reopened — Jensen Beach Bowl, Superplay USA in St. Lucie West and Stuart Bowl Lanes & Lounge — as well as Vero Bowl and Strike Zone Entertainment Center in Sebastian.

With the long closure of Saint Lucie Lanes, the closest bowling alleys have picked up extra bowlers, said Jensen Beach Bowl owner Michelle Sprague.

However, her small bowling alley has only 20 lanes compared to Saint Lucie Lanes’ 48 lanes. Plus, the number of lanes currently being used has been reduced to allow for social distancing.

More:Most Treasure Coast bowling alleys reopen after coronavirus shutdown

And:Here are the Treasure’s Coast best bowling alleys

That means more bowlers are going to Superplay USA with 48 lanes and Stuart Bowl with 36 lanes. Both bowling alleys also have reduced the number of lanes in use.

Most of the senior leagues moved to Superplay USA because many of those bowlers live nearby, said Steve Rubin, who bowled in leagues at Saint Lucie Lanes for 10-15 years and coached children and adults there.

Rubin, who owned the pro shop with retail and maintenance services inside Saint Lucie Lanes, said the youth leagues moved to Jensen Beach and Stuart.

Saint Lucie Lanes has been around for a long time, he said. It was built in 1978, according to the St. Lucie County Property Appraiser’s Office. Vitolo bought it in 2001 and renamed it from the former Port St. Lucie Lanes. The bowling alley is technically in St. Lucie County. 

“People will find a place to bowl if they want to bowl,” Rubin said. “We’ll go wherever we have to do it.”

more bowling videos you may like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.