“Endless Summer” gives hope


Photo courtesy of Endless Summer

Despite the generational gap of people that roll into Endless Summer, it’s been a continuous theme of the active games, such as air hockey, basketball, and pool kicks, getting used the most, not the electronic games, Shannon Building owner John Hall claims.

Allie Utley, Editor

The newest hot spot in Iola, Endless Summer has gathered people from far and wide throughout its young course of being a part of the Downtown Iola family. Although this unique retro game room and surfer hangout offers a variety of fun filled activities for families of all ages, its real treasure is hidden beneath the surface with its managing staff. Tennessee author, entrepreneur, and owner of The Shannon Building, John Hall already had a successful track record of successful small business. But it wasn’t until he married Valorie Burnette of Wichita, who had recently been hired as an anesthesiologist at the Allen County Regional Hospital, that he realized Iola would be his future home.

“I liked [Iola’s] vibe, and everyone was so friendly. People treated us as if we’d always been here,” Shannon building owner, John Hall commented. “Iola was the latest adventure for us. The Shannon Building was different than the rest of the buildings that were on the square. It wasn’t ‘pretty’ in terms of fancy woodwork and such, due to it being a utilitarian building… For some reason that gave it appeal, the idea that we could make it something unique.” Surprisingly, it wasn’t until many weeks later that his then 16-year-old son, Bo thought up the extravagant 70’s surfer trademark.

After lots of paperwork, praying, and dollar bills later, the Hall family were the official owners and operators of the Shannon Building. Their main mission: to gather the community in a happy, family-friendly environment, be a driving force in the economic development of Allen County, and set an example for other future entrepreneurs in the area.

“People come here, especially the adults, with lots of baggage. Then they start laughing with their kids and everything falls off. It’s an escape place. And that’s more than I could have ever hoped for,” Hall concluded.