ONEONTA _ Holiday Lanes Family Recreation Center on Southside closed this week, resulting in a suspension of summer league and other bowling activities.

However, the center may reopen in mid-July after an ownership transfer is compete, Ashish Patel of Oneonta Bowling Corp. said Thursday. After reopening, work will begin to install new lanes and make other improvements, prospective owner Patel said.

On Thursday, Patrick Muller, Holiday Lanes manager under the previous owners, said Michael and Donna Szerwinski no longer are owners, effective Wednesday, of the center at 5198 State Highway 23. Holiday Lanes had been in bankruptcy proceedings, Muller said, and he didn't find out until Tuesday about the most-recent development, otherwise he would have given patrons notice about the closure.

Patel said he has been working through a broker to acquire Holiday Lanes. Patel said he had hoped the transition would be completed without closing the Oneonta center, but a bank action beyond his control closed the business.

The Szerwinskis purchased the local bowling center in September 1994, according to records in Otsego County's Real Property Tax Office.

A telephone number for the Szerwinskis wasn't found Thursday, and details about bankruptcy proceedings weren't immediately available.

Gus Lampo Sr. was owner of Holiday Lanes from 1981 to 1994.

In an interview in January, Muller said Holiday Lanes had more than 650 bowlers in 16 leagues. The center also has been a popular venue for birthday, holiday and company parties.

The Oneonta Bowling Corp. has plans to upgrade the center, Patel said, and work can be done on some of the 32 lanes while other lanes remain in use. The goal is to have new lanes and pins and minor upgrades done by the fall bowling season, he said.

Oneonta is a "great town," and potential exists for Holiday Lanes to be a financially successful venture, Patel said.

Patel said he has talked with Muller about continuing as manager. The center payroll listed about 15 active and inactive employees, mostly part-timers, Patel said, and he projected having a staff of about 10 people. The Oneonta Bowling Corp. will retain the Holiday Lanes Family Recreation Center name, he said.

Patel withheld identity of the corporation's two partners and the purchase price for the business because the transaction is pending.

Patel, who lives in the Monticello area, said he and partners have bowling centers operating in Ulster, Sullivan and Tompkins counties. The Bowl-O-Drome in Ithaca was purchased about five years ago and refurbished, he said.

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