AMF Tri-State Lanes shuts its doors
EAST RIDGE, TN. (WRCB) -- The "Closed for Business" sign is posted on the door, as employees of AMF Tri-state Lanes bowling alley gather the last of their things.
Employees tell Channel 3 they were called to a meeting Monday afternoon and told they wouldn't have a job anymore.
Scott Vandiver with the Chattanooga Area Bowling Association has bowled there for 20 years and says AMF truly dropped the ball this time.
"It has been a bowling center since I've been in Chattanooga, so it is a disappointment," he says.
Channel 3 took a peek inside as crews were packing up equipment and stripping the lanes.
An AMF spokesperson says Tri-State's abrupt ending is because the alley has been losing money for several months.
For the last four years, Phil Wooten used to run the pro shop inside and says he wanted more of a warning.
"I'm disappointed in management and there is nothing you can do except go on," he says.
Dozens of employees are out of work and countless bowling leagues will have to find a new home.
Vandiver was in the process of putting together a multi-state tournament.
He says the bowling association stands to lose thousands in setup fees and will have to do a rush job to get another one setup.
"It is about 500 teams. Some as far away as Texas," Vandiver says. "We have to do something in the next week or so to get that squared away."
The good news is there are other options for bowling, but Travis Staten says he'll miss the friends he made at Tri-State.
"You come here and you know everyone. Going to a different alley is like going to a different city."
Tri-State will remain open until July 20, for any employee that needs to pick up equipment.