Gutter ball!

By Geoff Lee

August 30, 2016 12:00 AM

The closure of Border Bowl in May 2015 has focused organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters in Lloydminster that relied on bowling for fundraising and leisure to find alternative means to pursue their goals or bowl out of town. Plans to build a new alley in the city have been shortcircuited by the economic downturn.

A Lloydminster entrepreneur’s bid to build a new bowling alley has landed in the gutter because of a distinct lack of funds.
Shelly Vallier, a former manager at Border Bowl before it closed in May 2015, reported little progress has been made on the project in the past few months, with money especially tight in the economic slowdown.
“I haven’t been able to find anybody willing to put up any money,” said Vallier who added she can’t borrow as much as she needs to go it alone.
Vallier estimates it will cost about $2.5 million to build a new 12-lane alley from scratch, with a suitable location also still up in the air.
“That was another issue,” she said, referring to suitable property.
Vallier said her first priority is to find financing.
The Lloydminster resident is not giving up her dream, however; and hopes somebody will step forward to finance it when the economy begins to turn around.
“Right now, it’s really hard for people to put out any money with the economy the way it is,” said Vallier.
“Around Lloydminster, the majority of people are connected with oil so I can understand why nobody wants to put out any money right at the moment.”
Vallier reported she has approached the city a few times—including her original idea for the city to build it and she would help run it.
“I had no problem with that at all, but they weren’t interested,” she said.
Vallier said she’s disappointed the city isn’t interested in putting forth the money to give citizens something she says they need and want while allowing a casino to be built.
“Every time I’m out and about, people are asking about it,” she said.
“It’s definitely a need in Lloydminster—there’s no doubt about that.”
Bowling was a major fundraiser for Big Brothers, Big Sisters in Lloydminster and a popular form of recreation for special needs clients of Bea Fisher Enterprises Inc.
“I hear that all the time, they really want that bowling again,” said Vallier.
“Maybe once oil goes back up and people are working again, then I might not have a problem getting money.”
Vallier said she’s open to anything, from being an owner-operator to an operator or a manager.
In the meantime, Vallier said, “I send e-mails every now and then and see what I get, that’s all I can do right now.
“Most people know what I want to do, so if they know of somebody, they will get ahold of me.”
She said she welcomes people to contact her by email about funding ideas at

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