ST. CLOUD -- A new ownership group is taking over the Southway Bowl in St. Cloud.

Managing Partner Jason Hanson says his ownership group has over 20 years of experience in the bowling center business and they're excited to bring Southway Bowl back to life.

The 24-lane bowling center and bar are at 1222 33rd Street South.

The business has gone through some challenges in recent months but Hanson says they are open seven days a week starting immediately.

Photo by Sarah Mueller - WJON
Photo by Sarah Mueller - WJON

Hanson, who remains a competitive bowler himself, had to look for a new business venture after his bowling pro shop was torn down to make way for Allianz Field...

That was University and Snelling in St. Paul. Now, it's currently underneath the soccer stadium that was built there. So, the 32-lane bowling center that was in the strip mall, the Midway Shopping Center, and my pro-shop that I worked at for 11 years and then owned for seven years after that were all torn down to build the illustrious, beautiful soccer stadium.

For the first year, management will be focusing on a higher level of service, more consistent hours, cleanliness, and adding menu items.

The group will continue to focus on having strong bowling leagues and will apply for a chance to host the state tournament in the next year or two.

I think for years, most proprietors have said I can set my budget on league bowling. That's what's going to keep us operational. Open bowling is what is going to allow me to make capital improvements, upgrades, or changes. So, yeah your league base, tournament base what is your competitive bowler, is still the bread and butter.

In the future, they'd like to add sand volleyball leagues, an outdoor patio, and other summer amenities to their three-and-a-half acre parcel.

Hanson is a St. Cloud State University alum whose wife is a Sauk Rapids native and St. Cloud Tech grad. He says his ownership group of four members had been looking for the right location to invest in for some time and are excited about the opportunity.

As we emerge from the pandemic, Hanson says bowling is seeing a reemergence across the country.

Jason Hanson - Photo by Lee Voss - WJON
Jason Hanson - Photo by Lee Voss - WJON

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