Steve Sempeck and his wife Lori purchased the original Elkhorn Lanes in Elkhorn, NE in 1988 and since that time have enjoyed providing food and fun to everyone in the area. In 2006, they entered into an agreement with three other partners to build the new Thunder Alley just south of their original location. In December of 2007, the partnership crumbled and Steve found himself jobless for the first time in 25 years. After about six weeks of wondering what to do with his life and much encouragement from longtime friends and customers, they decided to re-open at their old location and with the help of the entire community, Sempeck’s Elkhorn Lanes reopened in March of 2008. After two of their best years of business, a fire broke out in January of 2010 and demolished the building that the Sempecks considered a second home. After much consideration, they decided not to rebuild and instead opened in the then vacant Thunder Alley up the street in February of 2010, six weeks after the fire. By re-opening there, they can now offer go karts, laser tag and more and are excited to still have the overwhelming support of faithful friends and clientele who have followed them since the beginning.
Tell us a little about your family. – My wife Lori and I will be married 25 years in November. We have five children: Matt is 21 and just completed his Junior hockey career to come home to go to college and work with us here; Mallory is 19 and a sophomore at the University of Nebraska; Mitch is 15 and goes to Millard West and Maggie and MacKenzie are 11 and in fifth grade. Our family is close and we love being together in the family business.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – Most know this by now, but I studied Meteorology in college and am a huge weather nut–especially severe weather.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – Believe it or not- I was lucky to have met Tom Osborne a few times and he said two things to me that really stood out: “Character is what you say or do when no one is looking” and “It’s not the victory or the trophy, it’s the journey through it which is important”.
What is the one goal you would most like to accomplish? – Make sure all of my kids get through college and end up being good contributing adults in life.
If you could have a super power, what would it be? – To read minds- so I know exactly what the customer is thinking so I can make them happy 100% all the time…and to read my wife’s mind so I can keep her happy all the time, too!
What are your plans for retirement? – I really can’t envision completely retiring until I’m so feeble that I can’t move anymore. But if so- I would love to travel overseas.
What is your favorite movie? – Probably a tie between Caddyshack, Animal House and any of the National Lampoon Vacation movies.
What is your favorite TV show? – Seinfeld- a show about nothing. I have my picture of “The Kramer” in my office. Also a big fan of The Office and 30 Rock.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Maybe an ex president like Reagan- who handled adversity in many ways and had strong faith in God.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – Email is best – email@example.com