The most important news regarding Sunset Lanes is that it is still Sunset Lanes.
The 75-year-old Colonie bowling alley was going to be converted into an Asian market when it was sold last year, but proprietor George Hoffman said the new owners changed their minds.
“They decided it was important for the community to keep it as a bowling center,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman is retiring on April 30 after investing most of his life to the Central Avenue bowling center, but most of his staff is staying on as the transition takes place.
“They’re going to try to keep most of my staff — the bartender, the wait staff, the cooks,” said Hoffman. “The biggest plus is that my mechanic, who has been with me for 60 years, is staying. Keeping any of my current staff is a plus, but that’s a big plus right there.”
Like other area bowling centers, Hoffman said, Sunset Lanes is at its busiest during the winter months, when people are looking for a fun recreational activity.
“It’s one of the few sports you can do as a whole family,” said Hoffman. “Football, basketball, lacrosse, hockey … those are team sports where the kids play and the parents watch from the stands. With bowling, you can interact as a family, have some pizza and soda together and enjoy an activity together.”
That family atmosphere will carry over to the new ownership, which bought Sunset Lanes on July 7, 2015 — almost 75 years to the date that Hoffman’s grandfather opened the bowling center at 1160 Central Ave.
“They’re already training on the machines, and the new manager is going to the BPAA (Bowling Proprietors Association of America) headquarters in Arlington, Texas, to attend their annual class in March,” said Hoffman.
As for Hoffman, he may be stepping down, but he won’t entirely step away from the family business.
“I’ll be on call for whatever they need me to do,” said Hoffman.
For more information about schedules and hours of operation, call 438-6404.