Small acquires Don Lowry Lanes location on Southside
After being in the bowling alley business for the last five years, David Small set his sights on reinvigorating the sport of bowling in Kokomo.
He acquired Don Lowry Lanes in March and has renamed the bowling center Heritage Lanes based on the rich heritage and history of Kokomo.
“Kokomo is a town that’s rich in heritage and history,” stated Small. “I had to rename the bowling center, and I chose Heritage to honor Kokomo and Howard County and also to honor the gentleman who founded the bowling center and made Kokomo bowling what it is today.”
Renovations are underway at the bowling center. Small is planning to repaint, redo the exterior of the building, and work on the roof with the goal of making the center a family destination and a place inviting to the numerous adult and child bowling leagues in town, a center where bowlers are proud to come to.
Another big goal for the center is to grow the youth bowling leagues. Currently about 120 children participate in the program that boasts a bowler to coach ratio of 3-1. Small would like to see the program grow to 200 kids. The league normally starts in September, but youth bowlers can join at any time.
On Oct. 18 and 19, Heritage Lanes will host the first Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) tournament to come to Kokomo. Professional bowlers that travel the country in competition and appear on television will come to town for a competition weekend that will benefit the community.
Preceding the professional competition will be an already sold out Pro-Am night where fans can come to the bowling center and spend time with the competitors while enjoying dinner and watch some bowling.
Bringing opportunities like the PBA tour and offering Pro-Am nights will give members of the bowling community the opportunity to interact with big-time players in the association, but there are greater benefits to the area.
“The main thing [about the PBA event] is that it gets people interested in coming to a new city. Our hotels are going to benefit, our restaurants are going to benefit, our chamber of commerce is going to benefit, so it may be something that we can turn into an annual event that basically helps everyone along the way,” he said. “Giving back to the community and helping the community that supports your business is the number one priority. A lot of people forget that.”
“[Kokomo and Heritage Lanes] is a perfect fit for me because it’s a small town, but it has a large town feel and flavor by what it has to offer,” he said. “I’m looking forward to bringing bowling and families back together in Kokomo. I’m looking forward to the possibilities of where we can take this. I try to take it to the next level and let people and families realize that this is a viable option, not only as a family-priced environment, but you can make friends. You can learn something you can do for the next 50 to 60 years. That’s what I plan to bring back to this town.”