With a love for bowling and supporting all things local, Wessington Springs resident Scott Vaske couldn’t imagine the town he calls home without a bowling alley.
“I’d been bowling here for I don’t know how many years and when the place came up for sale and it looked like no one was going to buy it, a group of us got together who wanted to keep it going,” Vaske said.
In 2013, Vaske and a group of fellow investors including Jeff and Kim Burg, Dale and Melissa Schimke and Jim and Bernice Burg took ownership of Starlight Bowling.
According to Vaske, the bowling alley is a Main Street mainstay that provides another opportunity for entertainment so people don’t have to leave town.
“It’s a good winter activity and can host different types of get togethers, from birthday gatherings to reunions and bachelorette parties,” Vaske explained.
The bowling alley can accommodate groups of up to 50 people.
Since 2013, Vaske has served in the general manager role and went into the venture “with a good idea about how everything ran and how to keep machines going.”
This year, Starlight Bowling has four women’s league teams and five men’s league teams. Starlight Bowling also sponsors three dart league teams out of the bowling alley and it serves up pizzas, sandwiches, chips, candy bars and a wide variety of beverages.
“We continue to make little improvements and updating as we can. We’ve come a long way since we first took over,” Vaske points out. “We’re dedicated to keeping the machines up and running and giving folks a good experience.”
Other improvements also include installing lights for moonlight bowling, adding two dart boards and a Touch Tunes jukebox. The owners hope to one day bring in auto scorers.
The bowling alley opens at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving for bowling, darts and refreshments. Vaske said that for anyone looking for gift ideas, bowling punch cards and open gift certificates for any dollar amount are a great way to support local while giving a unique gift.
“In my business or on a personal level, I do 95% of my business in town,” he stated. “If I can get it in town here, I do. If you expect other people to support you, it’s important to support them.”