HENDERSON — After enjoying a stellar opening month as a successor for Carolina Lanes, Before the 1st Frame Henderson conducted an official ribbon cutting ceremony Friday afternoon.
Owner Chris Hans has experienced the typical challenges that come with opening a new business so far but said he is proud of everything that Before the 1st Frame Henderson has accomplished so far and is confident that the bowling alley has a bright future ahead.
“We’ve worked very hard and to see how much the community has supported us has been very humbling,” Hans said. “The feedback has been positive even though there are things we certainly want to do better on from a service standpoint. We’ll go through some growing pains but we hope to continue the success of this first month.”
Hans said that the first month was far busier than he initially anticipated due to COVID-19 still being a major issue in North Carolina. He wanted to be cautious with Before the 1st Frame Henderson’s formal introduction to Vance County so the company would not immediately lose money.
As of Friday, the bowling alley has three different leagues that use the building and has already held numerous community events such as the Opening Extravaganza, which featured live music from local artist Mark Bunn and saw PBA Tour regulars in Kyle Troup and Jesper Svensson talk to locals about the sport.
Mayor Eddie Ellington has been impressed with what Hans has been able to do with the former Carolina Lanes and was among those who took part in the ribbon-cutting and offered a brief speech commending Hans for his hard work.
Ellington said that Before the 1st Frame Henderson offers another recreational activity for local children and adults looking for something to do in Vance County. He envisions Before the 1st Frame Henderson becoming a staple for the community just like Carolina Lanes in its prime.
“This is another fantastic day for Henderson,” Ellington said. “I have many fond memories of the bowling alley back in the day and would come with my mother and grandmother. To see new life in this building with this family does our hearts good.”
Hans said that having people like Ellington in attendance Friday highlights the effort he and his staff have committed to building a strong relationship with the community, which is something he intends to maintain as Before the 1st Frame Henderson grows.
“I was very humbled by the fact that so many people took time out of their business day to come over and see the place,” Hans said. “For some of them it was their first time here. To have the major and so many other individuals representing other businesses here in Vance County was very nice to see.”
Now that the pandemic is coming to an end and Hans has settled in, he is shifting his focus to sustainability so that Before the 1st Frame Henderson remains a fixture while COVID-19 restrictions continue to lift.
Hans’s mother, Linda Hans, who also attended the ribbon-cutting, knows that her son will take great care of Before the 1st Frame Henderson, adding that his extensive background in bowling will make him an ideal role model for anyone in Vance County who wishes to pursue an interest in the sport.
“I’m very proud of Chris,” Linda Hans said. “He was almost born into bowling because I was in a league with my husband, left the lanes, went home and a couple of hours later, I was in the hospital preparing to give birth [to Chris]. He’s always been involved with bowling and his father and I are extremely proud of him.”
Chris Hans is excited about what the rest of 2021 will bring to Before the 1st Frame Henderson and is eager to showcase everything the bowling alley will have to offer to residents going forward.
“Our goal is to get better,” Hans said. “We hope the summer stays busy and we’re going to be working towards filling up our summer leagues, one of which is an adult youth league. We also have some programs that we’re going to work on in the fall, including a youth program.”