It is said often that Redstone Arsenal is not your typical military installation.
With a large civilian and contractor workforce and less than 1,000 active duty, on post services often have to think outside the Army box to stay successful. Redstone Lanes Manager Bob Ujvari’s innovative approach has not gone unnoticed and he has been awarded Headquarters IMCOM (Installation Management Command) 2016 Excellence in Management for Bowling Award.
“I certainly was surprised but at the same time I don’t look at it as a one-person win – it is a team effort,” Ujvari said. “Our team has worked very hard to get where we are.”
Upon taking over the manager role two and a half years ago, Ujvari realized that while the bowling center has provided a steady business during the spring and fall due to the bowling leagues, “summertime is notoriously a slower period. We needed to tap into a larger off-post clientele, a necessity to remain profitable in the current climate.”
With high school bowling popular again, Ujvari introduced the Junior Gold Youth Program with the coaching support from Yolanda and James Moore.
“The scholarship opportunities the kids are able to obtain today is what attracted me to the program,” he said of the bowling program, which prepares youth for high school and college tournament play. The young participants are allowed on post with the proper identification checks and issued passes to come on post.
Ujvari said that new innovations are the key to the bowling center’s success, and with the addition of Brat and Brew nights, held every Thursday night in May and June, has boosted the customer draw on a slower weeknight for Brooklyns Sports Bar. The pro shop has been another solid addition for league bowlers, now starting its second year. Bands and Bowling has proven to be a Saturday night staple, offering live bands quarterly as patrons enjoy live music and bowling. The upscale private party room remains popular with Ujvari continuing to grow its business to a point that it will support a full-time party hostess in the near future. Family Day Sundays is in full swing, offering military and families discounted bowling packages, which include shoe rental, large pizza and drinks.
Ujvari credited the accomplishments of the bowling center to the hard work of its staff and also to Family and MWR Director Derrick Gould and Business Manager Ed Nunn, whom according to Ujvari have created an open environment of empowerment to try new ideas and approaches. And as they say, the proof is in the pudding, or in the case of the Redstone Lanes popular pizza buffet, the proof is in the pizza – and how quickly it sells out during the lunch rush.
Not willing to rest on current success, Ujvari still sees potential for more growth, and has set his sights on tapping into other parts of the installation workforce that may not be Army, but still are able to utilize all that Family and MWR facilities have to offer.