Eagle Lanes owner shares heartfelt goodbye to her bowling family

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
Michelle Harris, owner of Eagle Lanes in Osage Beach, stands behind the front counter of the bowling alley.

At the heart of most American cities, you’ll find a bowling alley booming with strikes every weekend. At the heart of Osage Beach, you’ll find Eagle Lanes. Year after year, the business has opened its doors to lake patrons and tourists alike who come together and bowl. Now, after 17 years, Michelle and Marc Harris are handing the keys over to new owners. Bolwmor Lanes II will take over the Eagle Lanes location on April 1.

Michelle and Marc bowled at the same alley together back when it was known as Regatta Lanes. The pair was looking for a new line of work and wanted to pursue a venture that coincided with their passions. This led to their decision to lease and operate the alley as Eagle Lanes in 2004.

For the Harris family, the bowling alley was a place of friendly gathering. Michelle says that, over the years, she has gotten to know every regular who walked through their doors and could tell you a fact about each. She says the hardest part of moving on will be having to find a new place to meet up and see all of the friends she and her family have made along the way. 

“I spend 32 weeks a year with these people. They become your family,” Michelle said. “I’ve built relationships here that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.”

The family’s exit out of the bowling business came down to a number of reasons. Their son is soon to graduate from high school and the family wanted to decide on a new venture once his young education was complete. Michelle’s family owns Alhonna Resort & Marina in Lake Ozark, and she will be returning there for work once the transfer is complete in April. Marc also has been on disability for over four years, making it harder for the pair to run the business how they’d like. 

Michelle admits that the decision to transfer over the business came sooner than anticipated, with other factors outside of the family’s control at play. However, she says they truly believe the new owners of Bolwmor Lanes have a great blueprint of ideas for the lanes moving forward. She says they are comfortable knowing their alley will be in good hands. 

“I think where they’re heading is going to be a positive for this community,” Michelle said.

Eagle Lanes has been a central point of entertainment for families at the lake for years, providing a hobby for those who want to bring children and families together for a night. Michelle says they have always emphasized the importance of a family social space and have strived to make it the focus of their operation. 

She wants families to know that, though the Eagle Lanes name will change, the plan by owners of the building is to always have a bowling alley in the heart of the lake. 

Michelle plans to continue throwing strikes down the lanes of Bowlmor Lanes II and catching up with her bowling family. She says the 17 years of love and friendship the lake area has shown her and Marc since announcing their departure has been amazing. For her family, the next step is to sit back and see where the bowling alley will go next.