Yankee Lanes bowling alley in Brunswick remains on the market for $2.3 million after an initial offer for the 60-year-old landmark was retracted, according to owner Nelson Moody.

The Times Record first reported that Yankee Lanes was up for sale in February. Moody said negotiations with the prospective buyer, who intended to keep the building a bowling alley, lasted about three months.

“When I finally agreed to accept his offer, then he declined and said he probably shouldn’t have offered that much,” Moody said in an interview. “That’s the short and the long of it all.”

A bowler launches a ball down the lane at Yankee Lanes Bowling Alley in Brunswick Saturday evening. Nina Mahaleris / The Times Record.

Moody declined to specify how much the offer was for and who the potential buyer was, however, he wants the 27,000-square-foot facility to remain a bowling alley. Moody bought the business in 2013.

“I am going to guarantee my customers that when we start our fall leagues, I will not sell it to anybody unless they’re going to continue it as a bowling alley until the end of the leagues next year,” Moody said, hoping to reassure bowlers that the league would not be cut off midseason.

“If I was 40 years old, there’s no way I would sell this business,” Moody said. “The only reason I am selling it is because I want to retire.”

According a real estate listing, Yankee Lanes was first built in 1961 and was renovated in 1987. Located off of Bath Road, the entire parcel is 4.35 acres. It has 32 lanes and Moody said he has 15 employees.

The Bowl for Kids’ Sake event at Yankee Lanes has benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick since 1996.

According to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick Executive Director, Lindsay MacDonald, if Yankee Lanes were to be repurposed it would present a handful of challenges.

“The relationship with Yankee Lanes is very, very important to us in terms of having a bowling house in our area where we can do this fundraiser,” MacDonald said. “We would probably have to look outside of our service area for a location.”

Erica Rovelli stands at the front desk of Yankee Lanes with her boyfriend’s children as they get ready to bowl Saturday night. Nina Mahaleris / The Times Record.

“I am 45 and I’ve been coming here since I was a child,” said Wiscasset resident Jennifer McKane during a visit to Yankee Lanes, where she bowls with her husband, daughters and friends. “It’s a fun place to come.”

Brunswick residents Jeremy Boyd-Luke and Andrew Luke were at Yankee Lanes on Saturday for a night of family bowling.

“We’ve been here for several birthday parties, the kids enjoy it, and I think it’s the place to go in Brunswick other than a restaurant,” said Boyd-Luke.

“This is a great option for a young family to come out and do something different,” Luke said. “There aren’t very many options out there, and it would be a shame to see this not continue on.”

Oakland resident Will Bessey grew up in Brunswick going to Yankee Lanes with his family.

“I was in Portland looking to bowl today and it was completely packed,” Bessey said. “I was happy to hear that Yankee Lanes was open because my friends and I wanted to come out here to bowl tonight.”

In 2020, Yankee Lane shut down for six months after the COVID-19 began to spread in the U.S. Moody said  the facility was able to reopen in July of 2020 and no cases of COVID-19 have been traced back to the bowling alley.

Moody added that the pandemic did not play into his decision to sell, and that the facility is now back to full capacity without restrictions.

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