MANDAN, ND – Jim Mellon grew up in and around bowling alleys. Over the years he worked every aspect of the business from maintenance on the machines to drilling holes in balls to managing staff and everything else in between.
Mellon could see any bowling alley from the perspective of both the bowler and a manager. He knew what didn’t work, what would bring people in, and what would keep bowlers coming in.
Most of all, Mellon knew an opportunity when he saw it. What he first saw in Mandan’s Midway Lanes 57 years ago was a property with lots of potential.
“The parking lot was not paved. The lighting was poor. The building was uninviting. I could see very quickly why the alley was for sale,” says Mellon. “I immediately had ideas on how to change the place and the thought of owning my own business really appealed to me.”
Since purchasing Midway Lanes in 1966, Mellon has continued to expand and make improvements to stay competitive in a changing market. He has often used SBA programs to fund the improvements. The most recent expansion was funded by the SBA 504 Loan program, provided through Lewis & Clark Development Group.
Mellon is a big fan of SBA programs. “It’s been my experience that SBA wants small businesses to succeed. I’ve had good experiences with the SBA and have borrowed from them over the years.”
Today, the business employs 64 full- and part-time employees. Besides its bowling lanes, Midway Lanes has a pro shop, restaurant, bar, pizzeria, arcade/game room, and billiards room. The property also has meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 200 people for family get-togethers, company parties, and community events.
Read more about this business story on the Lewis & Clark Development Group website at https://lcdgroup.org/sba-504-loan-helps-midway-lanes-bowl-a-strike/
Photo courtesy of Lewis & Clark Development Group