Capades Chalet closed within four months of each other in 2001.
The Segerstroms, who own the shopping center, had intended to
replace all three with a Kohl's department store. But the City
Council shot that down in April after residents cried foul about the
loss of recreation and the prospect of another boxy, chain department
store being plopped onto Harbor Boulevard.
In their effort to get Kohl's approved, Segerstrom spokesman Paul
Freeman said in February the market for bowling in Costa Mesa did not
support the ailing Kona Lanes, which the Segerstroms were keeping
alive with rent concessions.
But not everyone agrees with that verdict.
Several entertainment operators say they would take over Kona
Lanes in a heartbeat if a long-term lease or the right price to buy
the land was available.
"It's a goldmine," said Joe Roussin of AMF Bowling. "I don't care
what anybody says on the Segerstrom side. I have several people that
are interested in that facility, at the right price ... [The
Segerstroms] don't even want to look at it. They're just saying it's
dead and they just want to tear it down."
Segerstrom officials declined to comment for this story.
The balls started rolling down the lanes at Kona in 1958. But a
drop in league play and Kona's outdated scoring system both
contributed to an unalterable loss in revenue.
Owner Jack Mann said he had discussed renovation options with the
Segerstroms. He estimated that he would have to invest about $3
million for a return of only $175,000 per year. He said the only
option they came up with was for a larger entertainment plan that
would involve the defunct Edwards movie theater and cost about $10
Earlier this year, Freeman also alluded to rehabilitation attempts
that failed due to economics.
"We looked at something like three to four detailed, conceptual
plans for expanded theater use, expanded recreation use," Freeman
said in February. "One scenario had a rink with the alley. There
simply wasn't the financial support to commit to it. Nobody wanted to
make the long-term commitment to spread over some time the cost of a