New center for Wichita?

by Bob Johnson 0

Details about a proposed bowling development on the west side of Wichita, Kan., are coming to light as Jay Maxwell’s Maize 54, LLC development group goes through the planning process with Wichita’s City Council.

The development has been dubbed “Bowllagio,” and would include 32 lanes of bowling, various entertainment features, restaurant sites and a high-tech training center for bowlers.

Later, plans call for the 32-acre site to add more restaurants, retail stores and a four-level hotel.

Maize 54 is seeking STAR bonds to help finance the project, and such bonds require at least $50 million in development.

Wichita, of course, has long been a bowling stronghold. It’s the home of North Rock Lanes, a frequent PBA host center, as well as collegiate bowling powerhouse Wichita State University.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.