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Family pins hope on new bowling center

Mike Scaccia is a bowling alley guy, part of a family in the bowling business for generations who own Boulevard Bowl in Schenectady and Town and Country Lanes in Guilderland. Now, the Scaccia family can add Burnt Hills Lanes to their bowling bonanza, having taken over as owners in May and getting ready to officially open to the public sometime between Dec. 6 or 8.

"I come by here quite a bit, have family that lives up the road and I think it's a thriving community that needs a place for kids and families to go," said Scaccia.

For the past several months, Scaccia has been hard at work cleaning the floors, revamping the bathrooms, polishing the equipment, installing flourescent lighting and doing general maintenance. Those who have gotten a first look at the new bowling center can't believe their eyes, Scaccia said.

"A lot of the reaction from people who have been coming here a lot of years is they come in, stop and look around, and then they say just say, 'Wow,'" said Scaccia. "It was very dark and dim in here so brightening up the lights was huge people will notice; anyone who's been in here the last 15 or 20 years will notice immediately."

Burnt Hills Lanes is a beautiful place on a beautiful property, said Scaccia; it was just in need of some tender loving care.

"The previous owners ran the business for 20 years, but didn't really put much money back in. If you plan on being there for awhile, you need to put money in every year and make a capital investment in your establishment," said Scaccia. "It's unbelievable what a little work did. It didn't need a huge amount of change just needed to put a little love in."

There are 24 lanes, which need at least weekly, almost daily, maintence. Scaccia is waiting for 42-inch scoring monitors to come in, which will finish the place off. For now, he's technically open to anyone that can keep track of scoring themselves. Not many people can, though, and Scaccia has been teaching the high school gym classes the trick all month.

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