Bowling alley gets new owners, new name

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Don Dupree, the new owner of Strikers, poses Monday inside the former Boland Lanes in Andalusia.

Don Dupree, the new owner of Strikers, poses Monday inside the former Boland Lanes in Andalusia.

With new owners and a new name, the Andalusia bowling alley Strikers will soon have a new look while offering new perks.

Don Dupree and brother Greg are owners of Ft. Walton Beach Bowl, and for the last 10 years or so, the two have waited patiently for Boland Lanes to be put on the market.

A few short months ago, their patience paid off.

“We had a lot of bowlers from here visit us in Ft. Walton Beach for tournaments,” Don Dupree said Monday. “When we heard (Boland Lanes) was for sale, we jumped on it.”

As soon as the sale closed, the two also jumped on plans to renovate and rejuvenate the local bowling scene.

First, the men changed the operating hours to seven-days-a-week of fun – Monday through Thursday from noon until 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from noon until midnight and on Sunday from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m.

“The thing is, we recognize that most people don’t get off work until 5,” Dupree said. “We want this facility to be all about family entertainment. If we closed at 6, that wouldn’t work, so we decided to change the hours.”

As for the “look of the place,” that, too, will soon change, he said.

“That Barney purple – it will soon be gone,” Dupree said. “That’s the first thing that will go. We’re going to remodel inside and out. There’ll be carpet on the walls to deaden the sound; new tile. In the future, we’re going to add a sports bar for the adults and a patio out back for summer use.”

Inside, one will already find a fully stocked pro shop.

However, the biggest change the Duprees hope to make is the resurgence of the bowling leagues – adult and youth, alike.

“We want those leagues in here, playing,” Dupree said. “By changing the hours, it gives more play time to everyone.

“The great thing about bowling, for the youth, is that bowling isn’t a sport where you sit on the bench,” he said. “For families, it’s all about the entertainment; the fun.”

And Dupree knows what he’s talking about when it comes to bowling, he said.

A Professional Bowling Association member since 1995, Dupree has won five various PBA titles and began working along side his father when he was 12, he said.