There are big changes in store for the former Belt Sports Complex.
New owners Michael and Jeny White purchased a business earlier this month that includes the Belt Bowl, Legends Bar and Grill, Sharky’s Billiards, Sparky’s Grill, Volley’s volleyball complex and Tuck’s Bar. Their first change was changing the name to Belt Entertainment with the Belt Bowl and Volley’s falling under that umbrella.
The Whites worked for Olympia Lanes for 13 years. While they managed departments there, both had more humble beginnings at Belt Bowl as a porter and snack bar attendant. But their careers in the bowling industry flourished at Olympia, with Michael White becoming the general manager. Then the business closed.
“That was pretty sad for us,” Jeny White said.
The Whites were, in turn, given the opportunity to work at Belt Bowl.
“We followed most of our league bowlers,” she said. “We were pretty attached to the league bowling community.”
That’s when talks of the complex’s future started.
“We think the community needs it,” Jeny White said. “We think bowling needs it. We need to upgrade and advance and get in the modern society, keep people in town … not going to Kansas City. So we decided, why don’t we do it?”
While the Whites do have silent partners, they are the majority owners of Belt Entertainment. Their plan is to introduce family fun.
That would include modern games with a card reader system where customers can swipe and play. The restaurant also will get an overhaul, including a new name and an eat-and-play combo.
Going with the family-friendly atmosphere, the Whites said birthday parties would include more than just bowling.
Renovation plans should begin in early November. The old pool hall area between the bowling alley and the restaurant will become a new laser tag area. Some of the pool tables will relocate to another area.
Some entrances will be closed temporarily during the transition. The attorney’s office on the lower level will remain a tenant.
Volley’s is closing for the season, but Jeny White said the volleyball courts are part of the overall plan.
“We have discussed some enhancements,” she said. “Obviously that’s an area that works and functions really well and already fits into our family-friendly model.”
She said league bowlers have been supportive and excited.
“Normally when you have a change of ownership with the bowling community they would be very concerned if their leagues would be in jeopardy,” she said.
Because the Whites already have been managing Belt Bowl for the last couple of years, the bowlers aren’t as concerned. There will be updates to their space, too.
Belt Bowl will get new scoring, which will help with ball calls, and a new parking lot.
“We’re hoping for pretty quick changes,” Jeny White said. “We’re looking at changing a lot of things in the best way possible. Make best use out of the area, become more service oriented, a little less station oriented. With today’s technology, there’s no reason why we can’t do some of these things.”
Moving the front counter, for example, can make processes more streamlined. Jeny White said they are looking to make the facility safer by adding more security cameras and checking how the flow of the building works.
Scott and Tim Tucker previously owned the property for years.