Aurora’s Strike Zone under new ownership

Jim and Micki Turner, shown next to lanes 9 and 10, are the new owners of the Strike Zone in Aurora.

Strike Zone, Aurora’s popular bowling alley, is under new ownership. Jim and Micki Turner purchased the business from former owners Mark and Deb Dillman and took ownership of it on Friday, July 22.
Micki Turner said she and Jim decided to purchase the bowling alley when they learned the Dillmans were selling.
“The previous owners … were wanting to retire,” she said, “and the opportunity presented itself, (so) why not?”
Another reason for buying Strike Zone, she said, was that they enjoyed spending time there.
“(Jim) has been bowling league here for a few years and had gotten to know … the previous owners and the folks in the community and the other folks in the league,” Micki said, “and I would just come out and watch. I'm not much of a bowler; that's pretty embarrassing, but I would come out, eat (and) visit with everyone, get to know everyone, and I just love the atmosphere.”
For his part, Jim said he enjoys how their ownership of the bowling alley makes them “part of the community.”
“I like doing stuff for kids,” he said, “and (this) kind of has a little bit of everything (for everyone) from kids to adults. (It gives) them something to do that's not normally in a lot of communities they're in, and we want to keep it going.”
While Strike Zone is now theirs to shape as they please, Micki said they have tweaked the place a little but chose to not make a major change to the bowling alley at this time.
“The staff that was here before,” she said, “we've retained them, and you know everything is just business as usual. We've had a few updates, (some) new games in the area and updating some arcade games, and (we’re) seeing about getting some new leagues started in the near future.”
Currently, both Jim and Micki work full-time jobs in addition to what they do at Strike Zone. Jim works in trucking, while Micki works for United Health Group. While Jim plans to retire soon, and Micki sometime after him, for now, they must balance their regular jobs with their ownership of Strike Zone. However, Micki said, they have a lot of help from their employees and members of the community.
“We're still juggling full-time jobs in our current places of employment,” she said, “and just juggling time for everything and navigating all of the ins and outs. We've had a lot of help in the community as far as friends that have businesses, so they've been a great resource.”
Micki also said that while a friendly sort of competition has always existed between Mt. Vernon and Aurora, people from both cities are supporting them as the new owners.
“The support’s been great,” she said. “It's been so positive, and … everyone in Aurora has been very welcoming, and the people from Mt. Vernon have been very supportive. We're from Mt. Vernon, and you know, there's always (been) this unspoken rivalry between the two (cities). So, it's just been really nice to see them gel together over this transition.”


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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