ADAMS, N.Y. (WWNY) -
The parking lot was packed and the lanes were full at South Jeff Lanes on Saturday night, but this wasn't your typical night for the Adams bowling facility.
For that reason, this was the last night ever the 45 year old facility would be open.
"We've seen this day coming for a long time also. It's just the way it is basically," said Dann Venton.
Venton has been a part of South Jeff Lanes for 42 of the 45 years its been open, running the lanes for the past 17 years.
Saturday night was a bittersweet night for him.
"It's a tough business, a lot of work for very little reward, except for the family and the people you meet," Venton said. "The bowling community is basically a whole entity in itself. Everybody's friends. That's the sad part. Like all these people I've known for years, probably a lot of them I won't see again."
A lot of the people saying goodbye on Saturday night have literally grown up in the bowling alley and have made it an integral part of their lives, like Ray Schultz.
"I started as a little kid, I was 3 or 4 years old. I'd fall asleep behind that counter here behind me," Schultz said.
Schultz would go on to work at the bowling alley, growing up to bring his own family to South Jeff Lanes.
"It's been a part of my life from then just a bowler since I was a little baby, back 1980 I was born," Schultz said.
Now there will be a big void not only for the adult bowlers in the area, but for the younger bowlers like Zoe Moroughan, who is a third generation bowler at South Jeff Lanes.
"My dad's bowled here for a long time and my grandpa before that," Moroughan said. "We've bowled here since I was in third grade and now I'm in eight grade going into ninth. It's just sad to see a place go where you've been bowling every weekend.
And as the final hours wound down, Schultz summed up the feelings of everyone in attendance.
"To see everybody here is really great, that part I guess is sweet to see people that care, that shared a family environment, but it's mostly bitter. It's kind of sad to see an establish like this go away," Schultz said.
The end of an era for a place many in the South Jeff community made a lifetime of memories.