Business of the Year – Mallwitz Island Lanes

The Mallwitz family got their start in the bowling business in 1971, when Art’s parents, Bill and Theo purchased Schiller Park Lanes on Genesee Street in Buffalo. When Island Lanes became available in 1980, the family jumped at the opportunity to expand to Grand Island.

At the time, the bowling center only had 12 lanes, while the other side of the building served as a dance hall. In 1984, Art and Mary decided to expand and added 12 more lanes. Over the years, the family has added automatic scoring, bumper bowling on every lane and most recently replaced the bowling machines with brand new, state of the art equipment. In addition to all of the functional improvements, they have also dramatically improved the physical appearance of the facility.

The staff at Island Lanes consists of many family members, including Art and Mary’s two children, Kelly and Michael and their spouses Chris and Michelle, their grandson Sean, and Art’s sister and brother in law, Lynnette and Whitey. They truly are a family run business.

Mallwitz’s Island Lanes has been working closely with area youth, and families for all of their 36 years. Their junior bowling program has seen many bowlers winning scholarships in local and state tournaments. Along with youth league bowlers, many children have enjoyed celebrating their birthdays at the center. Not only is this the place to go for kids, but many adults have shared incredible times over the years with friends in leagues, or just bowling for fun with their families. The business wouldn’t be where it is today, without the loyal customer base that continues to grow every year. Their customers are treated like family and they have established many lifelong friendships.

The Mallwitz family is always willing to help the community, from benefits for families and youth groups, helping the schools and churches, working with the Relay for Life, the Miracle League of Grand Island, as well as many other fundraising efforts.