Wetaskiwin’s longstanding bowling alley re-opened itself to the community this year over the summer with new owners and a new name.
The husband and wife team of Erick and Philomena Machut recently purchased the bowling alley from previous owner Deb Kovacs in July and have re-named it Strikers Bowling Centre.
Machut says his wife has worked with Kovacs at the bowling alley for the past two and a half years and approximately one years ago they started discussing the idea of buying the business.
“It became a reality for July 1,” said Machut.
“My wife and I became really passionate about the bowling alley, the bowlers and the community,” he added.
When Philomena first started working at the bowling alley neither she nor her husband were that connected to bowling. However, now she and both their children bowl — Machut is currently giving his body a break from the sport.
Machut says without his wife’s knowledge and experience purchasing the bowling alley would not have become a reality for the couple. “Phil, she’s the really headstrong one, and knows the ins and outs from Deb.”
“We’d like to thank Deb for this opportunity. Without her and her guidance of this place we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing. She been nothing but amazing,” he added.
Machut says he and his wife are also grateful to Rocky Edin for his guidance, and to Shawn Saskatchewan for creating the mural that now decorates the inside entrance wall of the bowling alley.
Since taking over the bowling alley the Machut’s have begun to make some changes. The couple is expanding the back bar area into a games room, which Machut is hoping to have open by Christmas. However, he says the timeline is not guaranteed at the moment.
The couple has also introduced their own line up of leagues and specialty days, and are looking forward to hosting parties, corporate functions and other similar events in the newly renovated business.
“We want to create a fun place for the community. We don’t want people to think it’s just a bowling alley,” said Machut.
“That’s when it really pays off, when we see people are enjoying themselves. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons we did this,” he added.
Machut says the bowling alley is also a good indoor place for people to come in the winter to keep a level of physical activity in their lives without having to go to the gym.
Machut added, one of the bowling alley’s largest promotions on the strike board allows anyone who bowls a perfect five-pin game to be flown anywhere in world via Strikers Bowling Centre.