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Uncertainty surrounding fate of Pin-O-Rama, adjacent businesses

Thomas Caputo
Staff writer
Posted 2/2/23

After decades of strikes, spares and gutter balls, the fate of the AMF Pin-O-Rama Lanes is now unknown.

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Uncertainty surrounding fate of Pin-O-Rama, adjacent businesses


UTICA — After decades of strikes, spares and gutter balls, the fate of the AMF Pin-O-Rama Lanes is now unknown as a listing has been posted to sell the property containing the bowling alley and three other adjacent businesses.

The Pyramid Brokerage Company posted a commercial listing showing a property with four businesses in total along the corner of Genesee Street and Burrstone Road. The listing includes the buildings housing Pin-O-Rama Lanes, McDonald’s, Bagel Grove, and Tony’s Pizzeria in the sale for $4.9 million.

The listing also includes the adjacent vacant lot along the corner of Sunset Avenue and Shepherd Place. Walgreens along the corner of Shepherd Place and Genesee Street is not included in the listing and is not up for sale.

The fate of the four businesses on the property up for sale would be up to whoever purchases the property, officials said. A new owner could want to do something with the buildings after their tenants’ leases expire, whether it be to continue their leases, invoke new tenants, or demolish the buildings and redevelop the property.

Some business owners who are currently leasing from the current property owner have expressed concern with what might happen in the future, should a new property owner decide to evict the tenants and redevelop the property.

“I’ve been here for 30 years, since 1992. It’s hard to think about,” said Ray Cyr, owner of Ray Cyr’s Maximum Potential Bowlers Shop located in the basement of Pin-O-Rama Lanes. “My kids bowl here, I grew up bowling here, my family bowl here, it’s hard to even really imagine it not being a bowling center anymore. It’s hard to think about.”

Rumors have begun circulating among the local bowling community at Pin-O-Rama Lanes, suggesting that the bowling alley will be closing on July 1 and will eventually be replaced with a car wash. Both rumors have not been confirmed, however, city officials did confirm that a potential developer has made inquiries at Utica City Hall regarding water usage. AMF Bowling, the corporate company that operates Pin-O-Rama Lanes, did not respond to requests for comment.

Should Pin-O-Rama Lanes close, the Mohawk Valley would be left with just a handful of bowling alleys in the region, among them Vista Lanes Bowling Center in Yorkville; PiNZ Bowl at Sangertown Square Mall in New Hartford; the CAC Clubhouse in Sherrill; RD’s Gorge View Lanes in Little Falls; the Canastota Hi-Way Bowl; King Pin Lanes in Rome; Lucky Shots in Camden; the Oriskany Falls Bowling Center and the Bowl-A-Rama in Boonville.

Pin-O-Rama Lanes is also considered the largest bowling alley between Syracuse and Albany with a total of 48 lanes in the facility.

Annie Wadsworth, owner of Bagel Grove, one of the four businesses who’s property is up for sale, feels confident that whoever ends up purchasing the property will end up extending their lease, however, Wadsworth expressed her hope that the property owners will be local. “If it’s some big out of town corporation, that’s the downside is that our rent is now just going [out of town],” Wadsworth said.


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