New owners Lisa and Kip Russell hosted an open house and ribbon cutting at Pleasure Lanes Sept. 9. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Broken Bow business.
Lisa began working at the bowling alley when she was just 14-years-old. She worked there for 10 years, took a 5-year break for college and to work with her mom, and came back about a year and a half ago.
When long-time owner Jerry Pomplun decided to sell the business, Lisa says she and Kip toyed with the idea, but didn’t really give it serious thought until it had been on the market for several months.
“We just started talking a little bit about it, and it just evolved from there,” says Lisa.
Since taking over the bowling alley June 1, the Russell's have replaced the carpeting and resurfaced the lanes, as well as painted the interior of the building. They have added a fountain beverage center and expanded their menu as well.
Lisa says she has plans to be open some during the summer months, and perhaps host some summer youth activities. Currently the bowling alley hosts seven or eight different leagues, and is open to the public for bowling every Friday and Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon.
Russell's own the entire building and lease the bar space to Fred Schumacher, the same arrangement that Jerry had with Sylvesters. Jerry has been involved in the business since 1979, and purchased it in 1983 as part of the Pleasure Lanes & Sylvesters, Inc. corporation. Like Lisa, he began working at the bowling alley when he was 14.
“I love doing it or I wouldn’t have done it for 33 years,” says Jerry. “But there are other things I want to do. It just seemed like a good time.”
For now, the roles have reversed and Jerry works for Lisa at the bowling alley. He is unsure what he will do when this school year is over and his youngest son graduates; he has lots of ideas, including perhaps getting involved once again with the PBA. Jerry bowled on the PBA tour for about a year and a half when he was in his early 20s.
Lisa says while some young people might consider it a little scary to own their own business, she feels quite comfortable with the idea.
“I have known the Pompluns for a long time, and they wouldn’t steer me wrong,” she says. “And this business is a well-established part of the community.”