Show Me Lanes bowling ally in south county is closing at 40 years.

(Courtesy of Show Me Lanes)

Show Me Lanes Closes After 40 Years Of Family-Fun Bowling

The co-owners since 1978 are retiring and the land has been sold to U-Haul.

May 07, 2018 - 3:08 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The last ball to ever be rolled at the Show Me Lanes bowling ally was thrown around midnight, Saturday night says co-owner Ron Leveque. He and Nora Hoechstenbach, who opened the south county bowling ally in south county in 1978 are retiring and have sold the 3.8-acre site to U-Haul.

The co-owners say bowling their final frames and closing the doors around 1 a.m. was a "bitter-sweet moment," but are proud of their 40 years in business. 

Co-owners Ron Leveque and Nora Hoechstenbach bowl their final frames at Show Me Lanes.
(Courtesy of Show Me Lanes)
"South County has been very good to us," Leveque says. "I know we ran the place correctly because we've been here for 40 years and it looks just as good as the day that it opened."

Leveque and Hoechstenbach, both in their 60's, thanked the public who enjoyed their Dollar Day Tuesday's, weekly leagues and open-bowling sessions.

"We got to know them personally as good friends," Leveque says. "Bowlers would come in because they said we were a clean center and they liked coming to a clean family environment, no smoking and people just loved our center." 

The deal with U-Haul was closed in April, Leveque says, and they will be completely moved out of the building at 4575 Lemay Ferry Road in two months. It wasn't an easy decision for the co-owners, as residents voiced concerns at a city council meeting in February, believing the new multi-story U-Haul building will be an eye sore and hurt property value. 

The co-owners of Show Me say they've been looking to sell the business for about three or four years, but "the price of bowling these days" scared off potential buyers. 

"We tired, and tried, and tried with some significant people here in town that thought they were able to, or wanted to buy the center, until they looked at that and decided we can't," Leveque says.

He says their goal was to make sure the land didn't become vacant, as former neaby business like Sports Authority and K-Mart have. 

"That's what we were striving for," Leveque says. "Either it could continue on, or something was going to be here so that when you go by, people wouldn't go 'Oh man, look what happened there.'"

Leveque is a life-long south county resident and he says Hoechstenbach now lives in the area too. Both say they plan to keep their families there.