The Yankee Lanes bowling alley on Bath Road in Brunswick is for sale but remains open. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

BRUNSWICK — A landmark in Brunswick for 60 years, Yankee Lanes bowling alley near Cook’s Corner is on the market for $2.3 million.

Owner Nelson Moody on Wednesday said he has a potential buyer who would continue operating it as a bowling alley.

“Oh we’re going to be around; we’re not going anywhere,” Moody said.

Moody said he is not selling because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has spurred some businesses to close their doors for good.

Moody, who said he started working at age 10, will be 69 years old in April.

“I’m ready to retire,” he said.

Moody said the bowling alley is still open and will continue operating as the sale proceeds. He has adjusted hours to try to capture more customers, closing earlier at 9 p.m. on Friday and Sunday and 11:30 p.m. on Saturday instead of staying open until midnight on the weekends.  The state only allows 50 people inside the bowling alley at once, which has been challenging at times, he said.

“The business is there,” Moody said. “We can’t capitalize on it because of the restriction.”

Moody purchased the bowling alley in 2013 from Bowl New England, which bought the business in 1973, renovated and expanded the number of lanes from 24 to 32 in 1987.

He has 15 or 16 employees now, but as many as 26 when the bowling alley is running full steam, Moody said.

Yankee Lanes also supports community and charity organizations, hosting fundraisers like the Bowl for Kids’ Sake event to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick.

The property is listed through William Raveis Real Estate as a special use property sale including a 27,030-square-foot building on 4.35 acres. The listing notes there is a population of 34,716 people within five miles of Yankee Lanes.

Cook’s Corner is a growing area said Dustin Slocum, the real estate broker with William Raveis Real Estate who is handling the Yankee Lanes property. He pointed to the 108 new apartments and 36 homes to be built by Graiver Homes at Brunswick Landing, a former Navy base in the Cook’s Corner area.

“Brunswick is definitely growing residentially,” Slocum said. “As the population grows, people need activities.”

Slocum said potential buyers have expressed interest in using the Yankee Lanes property for something other than bowling. However, a buyer who wants to keep it a bowling alley would be Moody’s first choice.

“I think the best use is to leave it as a bowling alley from a community standpoint,” Slocum said.

Sally Costello, Brunswick’s economic development director, said the town can never have too many recreation activities. It is important in the commercial sector to have a balance of commercial and recreation.

“I think that mix is what keeps people coming back and I know people come here from all over just to go bowling,” she said.

Costello said even during the pandemic she is seeing people investing in commercial properties in Brunswick, which are turning over quickly. It attests to the strength of the market, she said.

“I think we’re seeing that happen all over at Brunswick Landing and downtown and I hope that trend continues,” she said. “I’d like to see it at Cook’s Corner as well.”

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