Brittney Lofthouse – Staff Writer

After being on the market for about 2 1/2 years, Franklin Lanes and Skateway announced that the business was being sold and that Wednesday, Dec. 27, would be the last day of operation. The final paperwork made the sale final on Friday, Dec. 29.

The Franklin Lanes and Skateway property was purchased by Smoky Mountain Partnership – whose partners include Jacky Jones, Dennis Greene, and Bob Crawford – not by Jacky Jones Ford as reported by other sources.

“I am somewhat amazed by the comments and rumors surrounding the sale,” said Crawford. “The property has been on the market for quite sometime and we were by no means the first to consider purchasing it. Up until the sale of Smoky Mountain Chevrolet in June we had property available to relocate to…the sale forced a search for other options.”

Smoky Mountain Partnership also owns Smoky Mountain Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram located on the Highlands Road. Smoky Mountain Partnership purchased the dodge dealership in the Summer of 2016, taking over Jim Brown Chrysler Plymouth, a dealership that had operated in Macon County for decades.

According to Crawford, the current plans for the new property is not to build a new dealership, but rather relocate the existing one.

“At this time we are evaluating our options as to how best to use the property,” said Crawford. “Our primary goal is to relocate and expand the Smoky Mountain Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership to that location at some point in time with room for a much larger vehicle selection and an increased staff. As with most dealerships being located in a close proximity to the competition is a benefit to the businesses and consumers. As of today no final plans exist.”

With no final plans in place, Crawford said the existing buildings aren’t going to be demolished any time soon, and those interested in items within the facility, can contact him.

“If anyone has the desire to reopen the bowling business at another location I would be more than happy to talk to them about the equipment at the current location,” said Crawford. “To the rumors and misreporting, up until your [The Macon County News] request no one has asked for the facts, so to them might I suggest and old proverb…it is better to not speak and let others assume you know nothing than to open your mouth and prove them right.”