What They're Saying: Alan Loth

“My kids grew up bowling here. We’ve had groups that have been here for over 25 years. We know our customers by name. We’re devastated. You put your heart and soul into a business for 34 years and a soccer team just takes it away from you. It doesn’t seem right to me.”

-- Alan Loth, co-owner of the Midway Pro Bowl, which is closing after Minnesota United finally gained control of the Midway Shopping Center in St. Paul and has asked tenants on the west side of the mall to vacate and make way for its 20,000-seat stadium, Allianz Field. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
4 comments about "What They're Saying: Alan Loth".
  1. R2 Dad, August 22, 2017 at 1:31 a.m.

    Business 101: the value of the business is tied up in the brand, not the building. Move down the street, get a better lease--it's not a death sentence. If you've been there for 34 years your customers will follow.

  2. Scott Johnson, August 22, 2017 at 2:37 a.m.

    The value of a bowling alley is very much in the facility, and the installed capital equipment--you need 1000 square feet/lane, and the lanes and pinsetting equipment is expensive to install. It's entirely possible, that if it's a small business, that he cannot afford to move, even if he can find another suitable building at a similar rent. And there's a good chance even if he does locate a new place, he might not be able to get financing. If this is not something that has been known for a long time--he may not have the capital saved up. As is typically the case when a business is forced to move/close when asked to leave by the landlord, the landlord will NOT pay for any moving expenses. Not saying that the Loons shouldn't have a right to build a new pitch, even if it means demolishing an existing building and displacing its tenants--but no-cause evictions are often fatal to small businesses.

  3. Wooden Ships replied, August 22, 2017 at 9:31 p.m.

    Agree with you Scott, Business 101 is at best a cursory peak. Don't know how control was established without St. Paul municipal support. There has been a jaded history of eminent domain befalling the smaller, but successful businesses. Hopefully, options-alternatives were exhaustively explored.

  4. Nick Daverese, August 22, 2017 at 4:41 a.m.

    When I first moved to Brooklyn there were bowling alleys every where. Now maybe we have three of them. Plus one of them is hidden in the basement of Regina Pacis Catholic Church and very few people even know it is there. It also has a mini disco bar and another area that looks like a luncheonette. Looks like a place mob guys hung out in and maybe it was. I don't think bowling alleys make money anymore. In that respect it's like a book store with the introduction of the e book. Like the neighborhood barber shop. I actually go to a neighborhood barbershop because their is a beautiful Russian girl who cuts my hair.

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