Pat and Valerie Johns – longtime owners and operators of HiLine Lanes in Burien – announced on Monday, April 19, 2021 that they will sell the historic bowling alley to Highline Public Schools, whose district office is located next door.
HiLine Lanes is located at 15733 Ambaum Blvd. SW (map below) and has been rolling balls and striking pins for decades on 24 lanes, with a pro shop, lounge, 11th Frame restaurant, event room and more.
Highline Public Schools says that funds to purchase the property are coming from the sale of surplus properties owned by the district, as suggested by the community-led Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC). By law, the proceeds from these sales must go into the district capital fund. The funds cannot be placed in Highline’s general fund to pay for operating expenses or educational purposes.
The district says it will be able to “consolidate several operations functions in a more efficient space” at the bowling alley property, including:
- Science kits and curriculum review and replacement space at the Maywood site may be moved to the bowling alley property.
- Items stored at multiple school sites and rented space may be moved to the bowling alley site once it is converted to storage space.
- This will free up space at the old Beverly Park site (11427 3rd Avenue South) for a robotics and STEM center at that location.
Highline’s Chief of Operations Scott Logan said that the district office does not have adequate parking for large public meetings and professional development sessions. The additional parking space will accommodate all users for district meetings and professional development.
“The bowling alley owners graciously allowed our visitors to use part of their parking lot, but a new owner might not have continued that practice,” said Logan. “Owning the adjacent property is a great opportunity to consolidate and create a larger property that will be of greater value to the district financially as well as functionally.”
“As many of you know, we are at retirement age,” bowling alley owners the Johns said in a statement. “This is the best thing we can do for our family at this stage in our life.”
The Johns’ bought the bowling alley in 1994, and have operated it ever since. They say they’ll still be hosting summer league program and planned tournaments, and plan to stay open until Labor Day 2021.
“Please come and join us this summer as it will be your last chance to bowl a league at Hiline Lanes,” they said. “This year, all summer league bowlers will be able to bowl three free games every day for the rest of the time we are open. If you can’t work a league in this May, please just stop by to say good-bye whenever you can.”
Here’s a letter the owners posted on Monday, April 19, 2021:
Dear Friends and Customers: From Pat & Valerie Johns
With a heavy heart and all that’s been happening this last year, we have decided to sell our Hiline Lanes property to the Highline School District. As many of you know, we are at retirement age. This is the best thing we can do for our family at this stage in our life.
We are so appreciative of all the support our customers and friends have shown us over the past 28 years. We hope we can count on your support for the next few months. We will still be hosting our summer league program and planned tournaments. We plan to stay open until Labor Day. Please come and join us this summer as it will be your last chance to bowl a league at Hiline Lanes. This year, all summer league bowlers will be able to bowl three free games every day for the rest of the time we are open. If you can’t work a league in this May, please just stop by to say good-bye whenever you can.
Just because we are selling the bowling center does not mean we are deserting the bowling community. Pat Johns will still be available for pro shop services and lessons. We just don’t know where yet. In the meantime, you can reach him at the bowling center 206-244-2272, on FaceBook, or by email: [email protected] If you have his personal phone number, you may still reach him that way. His personal number will probably become his new pro shop phone number in the future. We will keep you posted. We also hope to see you in other centers in some of the leagues we may join during the 2021/22 Fall bowling season. Pat will also still be active in tournament bowling around the area.
We want to especially thank all of our loyal employees who have stuck with us through thick and thin. They have been invaluable to us over the years. We have all become somewhat of a family at Hiline Lanes and we hope to stay that way until the end. Please treat them kindly this summer as they soon will be unemployed. We hope that they will all stick with us through August so we can still offer everyone good customer service.
Sincerely, Pat and Valerie Johns