Steve Mackie

With Sandoval County entering the Green tier for the first time since the red-yellow-green-turquoise framework was put into place in the state, arguably nobody’s happier about this in Rio Rancho than Tenpins & More proprietor Steve Mackie.
Finally, he was able to open his Deborah Road bowling center Friday at 5 p.m.
His establishment was closed for 11 of the previous 13 months — he was open at 25 percent capacity for about two months earlier this year — and he hasn’t been bowling. He and his wife, Dana Miller-Mackie, and her brother, Mike Miller, run the show, but Mackie said he’s only bowled there once.
“I was bummed out — I could’ve bowled every day,” he said.
Mackie, who’s run the center for more than 20 years, estimated his lost revenue around $1.2 million, although his losses weren’t that bad, offset somewhat by two grants from the city and another from Sandoval County, plus one from the Osage tribe. Miller and Miller-Mackie’s mother, Dee Miller, was partially Native American.
Mackie also got a Paycheck Protection Program loan in February, “so I’m surviving.”
Now, it’s finally “go time.”
Mackie said he’s not sure what the response will be from area bowlers. In fact, he said he’d seen a 5 percent rise in business in early 2020, “off to my best year.”
He had 634 league bowlers during the center’s brief “re-opening,” when bowlers were masked and had their temperatures taken as they entered the center.
“I was pretty happy with 634,” he said, and then angry again when he had to close entirely.
He stayed active, contacting the governor’s office, with no response from her and “no optimism” from her staff who responded to him.
“We were the last (state) to open the last time … and (now), one of the last counties, because we have no outdoor lanes,” he quipped.
Of course, nobody does.
Mackie said he believes at least one metro area center, which has 36 lanes, will never open again.
And although bowling was forbidden, the “Life in the Fast Lanes” eatery at the center has been open at 25 percent capacity, “paying its own way,” Mackie said. He noted it’s frequented by bowlers the six days each week it’s open.
Also “open” in a few months will be the New Mexico Open, set for Aug. 19-22 at Tenpins & More, already with “224 paper entries,” Mackie said, optimistic the state’s largest tournament will have its biggest field for its 17th running.
“I never canceled it; I was unable to run it,” he said.
Mackie said he’ll soon send out a “huge mailing” with information about coming promotions, and send letters to league bowlers over the past three years, hoping to rekindle their interest in the sport.
By the way, Tenpins & More has a new phone number: 891-4445.

Gary Herron | Observer staff writer