Midway Golf & Games 29,000-square-foot expansion is a hole-in-one.
When Midway Golf & Games reopens in late July, it will feature nearly 20,000 square feet of additional activity and events space. That new space will complement the existing 18-hole miniature golf course, go-kart track, batting cages, archery tag, outdoor axe-throwing booths, and more.
With the new space, Midway will boast a banquet and events center, a nearly 200-seat restaurant, an outdoor patio space for smaller events, and 18 golf hitting bays spanning two levels.
“The Rost family partnered with Midway Golf back in 2017 and Rost, Inc., became the sole owner of Midway in 2020,” says Taylor Burks, president of Rost, Inc., and general manager of Midway Golf & Games. “They always had an idea that they could expand.”
As the pandemic propelled outdoor entertainment venues to greater popularity, the desire to expand Midway became even more urgent. The team pulled together a budget and began to pursue the idea of enhancing Midway’s capabilities and offerings.
“The reality is there are not a lot of family-friendly outdoor entertainment options in Columbia,” Taylor says. “What we have at Midway is a huge opportunity for this community. To incorporate an events center and a restaurant into Midway is somewhat unique in mid-Missouri.”
Contractors broke ground on the hitting range in October. The 18 hitting bays will be powered by Topgolf Entertainment Group’s Toptracer technology, positioning the new and improved facility to fill a hole in Columbia’s entertainment offerings.
“Columbia doesn’t have a Topgolf, but people enjoy golf and we thought about what we could do in Columbia that would be a step above,” Taylor says.
Midway has also partnered with gastropub 44 Stone Public House to bring 44 Tavern to the complex. 44 Tavern will be the on-site restaurant and will also provide catering through Midway’s events center.
In addition to the new space, an existing building on the property has been reconfigured to host birthday parties, and a revamped concession area will provide food and beverages for both parties and guests enjoying Midway’s outdoor games and other activities.
A Strong Partnership
When former Midway owner Mike Wilson first approached Tim Rost and Rost Landscaping about handling the landscaping for Midway, it’s unlikely that they knew just how well the relationship would work. As the sole owner, Taylor says that all facets of Rost, Inc., can now shine.
“This is a business that cares about people and about having great experiences for families and a nice location for sports,” he says. “When you play mini golf on the Par 3, you feel like you’re really on a nice golf course because of the landscape elements we are able to bring to our business.”
Although the entertainment industry and the landscaping industry don’t appear to naturally intersect, under Rost’s umbrella, the businesses complement each other perfectly.
“As a kid, I played some mini golf in Lake of the Ozarks and southwest Missouri, and mini golf was always fun but felt kind of cheesy,” Taylor says. “If you come to Midway, we have amazing landscaping that you see at commercial projects. You feel like you’re on a nice golf course or in a commercial setting that feels more natural or real, not like you’re in a game.”
Supporting Growth in Mid-Missouri
Midway is certainly committed to providing mid-Missourians with enhanced entertainment options, but the company is also committed to giving back to mid-Missouri. The company completed its due diligence ahead of the Midway construction project and is proud of the way the project will impact the surrounding community.
“We expect that this will create the equivalent of about 60 new full-time jobs,” Taylor says. “The median wage is going to be 20 dollars an hour. It’s going to be a pretty good economic impact in an area of Columbia that doesn’t normally see a lot of investment in jobs and development.”
Rost, Inc., is also a strong supporter of several community organizations, including Welcome Home. During Midway’s October groundbreaking, Taylor says the company hosted a long drive competition that raised $3,000 to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri.
While Taylor and his team look forward to Midway’s grand opening in late summer, he says that this project is just scratching the surface of possibilities.
“I don’t think this will be the biggest thing we can expect to see at Midway in the next five years,” Taylor says. “There is a lot of undeveloped property in the Midway area, and Governor Parson’s investment in I-70 infrastructure could have an impact on how Columbia and Boone County grow. Growth in northwest Columbia has been limited over the past couple decades, but that could change with projects like ours and interest from the city, county, and state. I think you’ll continue to see more growth in the Midway area than we’ve seen in the past.”
1985 | Rost Landscaping was founded by Tim Rost.
1989 | Salt Creek Tree Farms was founded, Rost Landscaping moved to its current location off US-40, and Tim and Toby Rost married.
1991 | Superior Garden Center was founded.
2017 | Rost, Inc entered a joint venture with Midway Golf & Games.
2020 | Rost, Inc became the sole parent company for Midway Golf & Games.
2022 | Top Tracer development broke ground in October 2022 with an estimated completion in summer 2023.
Midway Golf & Games
5500 W. Van Horn Tavern Rd.