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Foothills Bowl will keep on rollin’

Local bowler says she was 3 years old when she first picked up a ball
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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An Auburn bowling institution will keep its doors open for at least two more years. The Foothills Bowling Center recently signed a two-year lease with its property owner, the Cupertino Group. The lease is valid until May 2013, according to James Skorija, general manager of the center. “We did negotiate a lease,” Skorija said. “The rent is reasonable for both the (Foothills Motel) and the Bowl.” Both businesses are on the same property in the Bowman area, near Bowman and Luther roads, just off Interstate 80. Skorija said the Cupertino Group has been interested in selling the property, and local residents have said in the past they want to buy it. So, while the future of the Bowl’s ownership isn’t for sure, it won’t be closing any time soon. “I do know we are OK with the Bowl,” Skorija said. “It won’t be going anywhere for a couple years.” Skorija said he is happy about the new lease. “I don’t want the Bowl going anywhere,” he said. “It’s been here since 1959. It’s old and everything, but it’s got character. The customers have been here forever, and some of the customers’ grandparents bowled here.” Skorija said the summer leagues would start as usual at the center. Skorija said although he plans to leave the Bowl during the summer to pursue other options in the company, Meadow Vista resident Dave Ely will be taking over as general manager. With the new lease, Skorija said he hopes to begin promotional partnerships with some of the local aid groups in the area. Marlene Templeton, who has been working at the center for 21 years, said learning about the new lease is a relief. “I think it’s awesome,” Templeton said. “We have all been kind of worried about what was going on. We are all like a little family. Everybody pretty much relaxed when they told us last week.” Templeton said she thinks Foothills Bowl is a great place for seniors, and also gives kids and teens a place to hang out with their friends. Templeton said she has seen junior bowlers grow up, get married and teach their own children to bowl at the center. Aaron Claydon, owner of Awesome Lock and Key in Auburn, said he’s glad the Bowl will be around for a while. “I do enjoy having it there,” Claydon said. “I have been bowling in it since I was 10 years old, so it’s nice it’s there. I have been going there for almost 30 years.” Beulah Lopez, who runs several bowling leagues, said she’s happy to know she can plan for her summer league. “It’ll make a lot of the bowlers happy, because a lot of the older people can’t drive to Rocklin,” Lopez said. Shelly Belotti, who works at Recology in Auburn, said she has been going to the Foothills Bowl for 33 years. “I think it’s great,” Belotti said about the lease. “At least I know it’s guaranteed for two more years. We don’t have a lot of places for family and friends to gather for entertainment, so I think it’s a great place for that.” Belotti said she’s been told she was about 3 years old when she picked up her first bowling ball. “I was pretty much raised there,” she said. “My mom worked there for 17 years, so it was like a second home to me.” Belotti said she could remember bowling her first 700 series at 15 years old and, later, her first 300 game. “When I was a junior bowler all the kids were out there playing,” she said. “We would go there after school and hang out. I just remember being there with all my friends.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com