In September 2021, the president of $194 million-asset Oklahoma Bank and Trust and his wife, Michelle, brought new life to an abandoned building by reopening it as Split Decision, a bowling alley and axe-throwing facility in Clinton, Okla.
The area that the bowling alley is in is the main thoroughfare of Clinton. But it was run down and had been closed for four-and-a-half years—an eyesore in a friendly community, in a very visible spot. We weren’t sure it was going to be a bowling alley in the beginning. We thought it’d be nice to clean up the building.
[Split Decision] is especially for the kids—we have a nonalcoholic bowling alley, of which not many exist. And we’re trying to make it real family-friendly. I enjoy seeing people have a good time. That’s really what I like. People are very supportive, and they’re looking for something to do.
The biggest shock was probably all the rules that are common knowledge with league bowlers. We joined the U.S. Bowling Congress (USBC) for the league sanction [events], so there’s a whole lot more to it than what we thought.
It has broadened our relationship with the community, and the community has been very, very supportive of our venture. We have a diverse community, and we’ve been meeting a lot of people [in the venue], more than what you see in a banking environment. … There was a certain amount of panic because we hadn’t done anything like this before, and so we just kind of learned on the fly. … I just can’t explain how rewarding the community support has been in the process.