LEWISTON — Sparetime Recreation has been quietly for sale for two years.

Owner Andy Couture said Friday that he hadn’t made a big show of advertising it and isn’t firm on a price, but with news this week that another of his bowling alleys sold in Waterville — after also being on the market for two years — he said he’s renovating the Lewiston facility and hopes to sell it in 18 months.

“I definitely want to keep bowling in Lewiston; I’m not interested in it being anything but,” Couture said.

He’s owned Sparetime Recreation in the Fairgrounds Business Park for 10 years and leases the space. He’s looking for a buyer to take over the lease and buy the equipment, but first Couture will reduce the number of lanes from 34 to between 16 and 24.

A smaller bowling alley will make it more attractive and profitable for a buyer, Couture said. “It’s been a money drain because the center itself is too big for the (population) base.”

Couture has a third bowling alley in Augusta that’s also for sale. Between the three locations, Lewiston has had the most expensive rent, property taxes, insurance and water and sewer bills, he said. All of those costs will be cut by shrinking its size.

“I want to make the changes and make sure they work before a new owner comes in,” he said. “I don’t want to see a new owner wind up on the short end. I want it to be successful.”

The customer base has held up very well, he said. Between 10 and 15 people work there. He’s hoping they can transition with a new owner.

“I’m really looking for a younger group of people or a person to take over and put some fresh energy into bowling,” he said.

Couture, who lives in Jefferson, said he wants less responsibility and more free time. He didn’t intend to become a bowling kingpin. 

He was part-owner of his Augusta bowling alley when it was built 20 years ago and eventually bought out his partners.

“When the bank took over Waterville, they contacted me and persuaded me to buy it,” Couture said. “Five years later, the fellow that owned Lewiston persuaded me to buy that. So I kind of backed into all of them. I didn’t have a game plan to be the bowling guru of the state of Maine.”

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“I didn’t have a game plan to be the bowling guru of the state of Maine.”

— Andy Couture, owner of Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston


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