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CONTENTS

VOL 25.7

8 SHORTS • New bowling center in Sonoma, CA • US Bowling Corp grows again • Defibrillator saves the day • Phil Flushing: a unique take on fundraising

44 CENTER STAGE The Royal Treatment At Queen Park Social in Charlotte, it’s all about fun.

50 TOURNAMENTS Ron Plander creates a competitive edge through a new league champions tournament.

Bowling’s Lightbulb Moment

By Mark Miller

IBI illuminates the latest lighting trends. By Robert Sax

60 REMEMBER WHEN 1960

28 COVER STORY

Everybody Bowls By Patty Heath 38

Corey Dykstra prepares to step into the CEO position. By Jim Goodwin

54 Showcase 55 Classifieds

38 PROFILE

62 Datebook

The Innovators George and Cary Tosello are always ready for something new.

garber@bowlingindustry.com

OFFICE MANAGER Patty Heath heath@bowlingindustry.com

EDITORIAL DIRECTORS Jackie Fisher fisher@bowlingindustry.com

ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Designworks www.dzynwrx.com (818) 735-9424

FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)

12655 Ventura Boulevard Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 789-2695(BOWL) Fax (818) 789-2812 info@bowlingindustry.com

www.BowlingIndustry.com

HOTLINE: 818-789-2695 SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One copy of International Bowling Industry is sent free to every bowling center, independently owned pro shop and collegiate bowling center in the U.S., and every military bowling center and pro shop worldwide. Publisher reserves the right to provide free subscriptions to those individuals who meet publication qualifications. Additional subscriptions may be purchased for delivery in the U.S. for $50 per year. Subscriptions for Canada and Mexico are $65 per year, all other foreign subscriptions are $80 per year. All foreign subscriptions should be paid in U.S. funds using International Money Orders. POSTMASTER: Please send new as well as old address to International Bowling Industry, 12655 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604 USA. If possible, please furnish address mailing label. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright 2017, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.

MEMBER AND/OR SUPPORTER OF:

By Robert Sax

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ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER David Garber

Jim Goodwin Patty Heath Evan Henerson Mark Miller Robert Sax

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20 FEATURE

IBI

frager@bowlingindustry.com Skype: scottfrager

CONTRIBUTORS

From Concept to Reality

4

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Scott Frager

By Evan Henerson

By Patty Heath

A New Direction for Brunswick

THE WORLD'S ONLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE BUSINESS OF BOWLING


SHORTS

EXPANSIONS, OPENINGS & NEW BEGINNINGS

BOWLING PLANS AFOOT IN SONOMA, CA

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When people think Sonoma, CA, they think wine. Adam Kovacs, Sonoma Fit fitness club owner, thinks bowling. Kovacs, a father of five, ages 11 to 17, and his wife, Jenny, agree that, “You can’t bowl with a phone in your hand.” His goal is to offer affordable fun for kids in town, after school and on the weekends—something to do other than being on their phones. Kovacs has submitted initial plans to the city for a 5,000-square-foot space designed for a bowling center, bar and restaurant called Noma Bowl. The idea is for four or five lanes, healthy food and a fun bar, with kids during the day and a more adult vibe in the evening. Working with a design firm, STRATA, Kovacs envisions an end of the year opening with all things running smoothly. He and Jenny are the sole investors in the project.

AN ONGOING SAGA A light at the end of the planning tunnel seems to be shining brightly for Live Oak Lanes in Buellton, CA. However, it has not been an easy accomplishment. Carol Lesher-Peterson started out over two years ago to realize her dream center. The original plan called for a bowling center, plus batting cages, an arcade, a grill, a full bar and an outdoor patio with a fire pit. It was initially approved but then rescinded after opposition and a subsequent lawsuit Carol Lesher-Peterson (R) celebrates with daughter from a neighbor put the project on hold. Not discouraged, Lesher-Peterson found a new property nearby Kelly Lesher (L). and proposed a modified version of the project: a contemporary ranch-style, two-story structure, including 18 bowling lanes, four separated for private parties, along with a restaurant and bar and an outdoor patio. Included with the bowling will be a game area and a second-floor arcade with an outdoor balcony. Three outdoor bocce ball courts round out the project. “I’ve been told we’ll have a shovel in the ground before the end of the year,” Lesher-Peterson said.

NEW BEGINNINGS WITH A STRONG HOLD ON THE PAST It’s circa 1976, the Academy Award winning movie is The Deer Hunter. The scene is Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep bowling on lanes 7 and 8. Bowladrome, in Struthers, OH, was captured on film forever. Cut to 2017: Bowladrome is now State Street Billiards and Bowling. Dallas Bigley, a Struthers native and the new owner, has renovated the center but held on to some of the past. The Bowladrome name will still be seen on the tables, and half of the eight lanes have been removed and replaced with billiard tables from South Bridge Billiards, which was located down the street. Bigley has combined the best of two establishments and plans on building an outdoor patio. It is all bright, shiny and ready for more history. However, it is the past that still lingers.

Jenny and Adam Kovacs

A FLAGSHIP DEVELOPMENT WITH A CRADLE TO GRAVE DESIGN Abu Dhabi is a design-mecca for ultramodern, self-contained communities. IBI visited the area in February 2008. Now, nine years later, Mubadala Real Estate unveiled a futuristic masterplan for Arzanah, a community designed to become the new urban destination in Zayed Sports City. The plan will include an indoor shopping center, which will house a bowling center, ice rink and other family focused entertainment elements. Wrapped around the Azyed Sports City stadium, this project will have apartments, villas, hotels, malls and healthcare offerings which will service three-year-olds to 80-year-olds. It will have a bio-dome with a rainforest theme. Saed Arar, associate director of Mubadala Real Estate, said, “You will park your car here on Thursday afternoon and take it back only by Saturday afternoon as everything one needs for a fun weekend will be available at Arzanah. That’s what we are trying to achieve.”

ALSO HAPPENING Frontier Bowl, a 12-lane center in Cushing OK, has been purchased by Derek DeGroff and Shelly Dryden. The buyers, who previously managed the center, are first-time proprietors. Ken Mischel, an associate of Sandy Hansell and Associates, Inc., served as the broker in the transaction. Founded in 1998, Dallas-based Main Event Entertainment, with 34 centers across the U.S., has opened its latest venue in Kansas City, MO. The 50,000-square-foot venue has 22 lanes, laser tag, shuffleboard, and 100+ interactive and virtual video games. Main Event has also opened a center in Castleton, IN, in the venue previously used by Latitude 360. This is part of a nationwide expansion that includes plans for six new centers in 2017 and five more in 2018. A long-held social club in Donora, PA, is now open to the public. The American Croatian Citizens Club has been serving its community for more than six decades. A duck pin establishment with a retro bar and a 1950s feel will be open on Saturdays. Event Zona in Tupelo, MS, is expected to open this month. The 36,000-square-foot complex will offer boutique bowling, laser tag, arcade, inflatables, virtual reality games and a pizza buffet with signature dishes. July 2017


SHORTS

KEGEL’S FOCUS ON BOWLING Kegel has updated its mission statement: “Kegel: Enhancing and Improving the Bowling Experience.” To emphasize this commitment, a new slogan has been introduced: “Kegel: Built for Bowling.” This new logo/slogan will be used on all marketing material, shirts, product packaging and websites. Erin Wall, Kegel’s marketing coordinator shared, “We are a bowling company, we love what we do, and our purpose is to make the sport more enjoyable for everyone. Our company was built for bowling, our products are built for bowling, and our customers are built for bowling too.”

US BOWLING CORP IS GROWING AGAIN Just a few months after purchasing Murrey International, US Bowling of Chino, CA, has announced that it has become a major shareholder in Power Gamma, SRL in Poviglio, Italy. Power Gamma is an electronics and manufacturing company that is bringing 24-volt technology to the bowling industry. For the last six years, it has been developing a state-of-the-art, 24volt string machine and 24-volt conversion kit for AMF 82-70 and 82-90 XL machines. It debuted both the string machine and the conversion kits at last year’s Bowl Expo in Las Vegas. With the cost of electricity on the rise, the 24-volt string machine would be very cost effective for center owners. Smaller centers are often without a full-time technician and with only 24 volts supplied to the machine, servicing will be much

PEOPLEWATCHING LAI Games announced the addition of industry veteran John Lotz to its sales team and the transition of David Loggins to a more expansive role as sales operations manager. John Lotz brings over 40 years of industry experience to his new role as sales executive. He has worked for Betson Enterprises, Triotech Amusement, and most recently John Lotz Apple Industries. Lotz’ focus will be on expanding LAI Games’ market focus in the U.S. David Loggins will transition from his role as service manager to become the new sales operations specialist. He will take on special projects outside the scope of traditional sales that will support customers’ pre-sales. Previously, Loggins spent 14 years as part of CEC David Loggins Entertainment’s technical services team. Embed’s sales team has two new members, Marisa Garris, sales executive, and Amber Palafox, sales administrator. Garris’ focus will be on finding new opportunities with existing accounts. She spent three years as an account manager for Amber Palafox Marisa Garris merchandise supplier Redemption Plus. Amber Palafox, with ten years of sales experience, including Oil States Industries and Ludlum Measurements, will ensure that the sales teams have what they need to provide great service to Embed’s customers.

Travis Allen

Power Gamma staff in Italy with David Frewing (center).

safer, according to David Frewing, president, US Bowling. Both 24-volt systems, the conversion kit and the string machine, will continue to be manufactured in Italy and will give US Bowling and Power Gamma two primary points of distribution for the world market. 10

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To support customers using Embed’s TOOLKIT® suite of products, Travis Allen and Robinette Williams have been added to the Insight training team, specializing in live, interactive training, webinars, on-demand videos and tutorials to fully realize the benefits of the Embed system.

Commercial AV design-build firm, Be Media, located in Chatsworth, CA, has announced its new director of business development and marketing. Bridgette Stone, a former consultant at Redemption Plus, will join the company in the newly-formed executive position. Before joining Be Media, Stone had been part of the bowling and family entertainment center industry, spearheading project management of gaming redemption systems and other technologies.

Robinette Williams

Bridgette Stone


SHORTS

F2FEC 2018 Announced February 20-22, 2018, is the date set for the fourth annual F2FEC which will be held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. F2FEC is a three-day conference dedicated to fostering relationships, stimulating collaboration and opportunities for owners, operators, manufacturers and suppliers in the family entertainment sector. Those who attend all walk away with a wealth of information by sharing financial results, challenges, what works, strategies for success, and outlooks for the future. F2FEC is founded and produced by the Three Amigos: Rick Iceberg, president, C.J. Barrymore’s; Ben Jones, GM and FEC specialist at Live Oak Bank; and George Smith, president, Family Entertainment Group. For more information: Rick Iceberg, rick@F2conference.com or (810) 444-2222; Ben Jones, ben@jonesdetroit.com or (248) 371-0700; George Smith, geosmith4756@gmail.com or (630) 240-8261.

PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LAUNCHES ONLINE SERVICE SUITE Pinnacle Entertainment Group, a consulting service for the family entertainment center industry, will launch its new, on-line, revenue-driving service suite, Pinnacle Insider, July 31, 2017. It is a consolidation of best operating practices, collected and analyzed data from many locations, from which effective marketing programs have been created. It is then leveraged back out to subscribers. Password-protected, the Pinnacle Insider resources will include a monthly report, access to key performance indicators, game performance and pricing data. Initial services will include: a monthly report featuring actionable ideas around game and attraction management, merchandising, purchasing, and controls; access to the Pinnacle Marketing Calendar with great ideas to create excitement; game reviews developed by operators for operators; consolidated data from members which will help compare locations and help with strategic purchasing decisions; and quarterly webinars. Howard McAuliffe, Pinnacle vice president, commented, “Our clients have been asking for a more formal system to tap our database and expertise and to understand how they stack up against other centers. While maintaining strict confidentiality, the Insider will act as a clearinghouse to help raise the operating standards.” The Insider will be supported by members’ subscriptions only, no advertising or sponsorships will be accepted, further assuring that ideas, analysis, data, and recommendations will not be influenced.

IBMHF Membership Drive The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame has kicked off its 2017 season membership drive. This year’s program is enhanced from 2016, more member benefits and value, including an annual collector’s bowling pin. Five levels of membership are offered, making donating simple and more affordable to a broader range of people and organizations. For information on IBMHF and its Sustaining Membership Program, visit www.bowlingmuseum.com.

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SHORTS

ß BITS & PIECES ß ß ß Richmond International Raceway to Host PWBA Tour The season finale of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour will take place at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, VA, during the track’s fall NASCAR race week festivities. QubicaAMF will install bowling lanes for the event as part of its new sponsorship of the PWBA. The tour championship is set for Sep 3-6, with the finals being televised live on CBS Sports Network on Sep. 6. ---------------------------------------------------------------

A center’s defibrillator saved the day Paramedic Rick West was bowling at Meridian Lanes, Meridian, ID, in February. A few lanes away a young man fell unconscious, hardly breathing and losing color. Someone called 911 while West started chest compressions. The previous summer, Meridian Lanes had installed an automated external defibrillator (AED). GM Mike Connelly said that AED helped save the man’s life. “The biggest reason for getting it was because of the number of elderly people who bowl here,” Connelly said. “A 22-year old kid was not the one that I assumed we would be using it on. I was extremely glad we had it.” ---------------------------------------------------------------

LASERTRON offers the Laser Tag Conference LASERTRON hosts the longest running laser tag conference where attendees learn, ask questions, play, eat, drink, and socialize with existing and prospective laser tag operators. The goal is to provide detailed information on leading-edge ideas that are developed and tested and can be experienced in a fully operational entertainment center. These conferences are for both the newbie and the established operator. The next LASERTRON conference will be held September 26-27. ---------------------------------------------------------------

Bowlerstore.com Expands Lori and Doug Davidson started Bowlerstore.com on an e-commerce model. They wanted to live in their hometown and still build up their business. Internet sales seemed the right fit for them. From its rural home base, Bowlerstore.com has built itself into a national brand. The company has just broken ground on a 11,200-square-foot facility in Versailles, OH, that will have a warehouse, showroom, a print room for in-house apparel printing, and two bowling lanes for training and private lessons. The cost for the project will be about $700,000 and should be completed by September. ---------------------------------------------------------------

Creative Works’ LaserTAG360 Attendance Record LaserTAG360 ‘s February and May laser tag education courses have set new records for attendance, May exceeding the high February numbers. Adding more import to Creative Works’ efforts to bring laser tag to facilities around the world, the IAAPA certification program has pre-approved the LaserTAG360 course. Anyone who attends one of the events will receive 16 credit hours that can be applied toward any IAAPA certification. The final course for 2017 will be held August 1-2.

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SHORTS

GOODWILL CENTRAL

BOWL FOR KIDS’ SAKE The efforts of Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters are unending. Turner’s Dual Lanes in Hagerstown, MD, held a 50s Rock ‘n’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser. In Omaha, NE, it was Maplewood Lanes who helped more than 900 members of the Council Bluffs-Omaha area support the organization. Oklahoma City’s Dust Bowl and Heritage Lanes helped raise $50,000 for their area chapter. Even pirates help Bowl for Kids’ Sake. Bowlers, north of the U.S./Canadian border, helped Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Cariboo fundraise with a Pirates of the Caribbean event held at Cariboo Bowling Lanes in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada.

EFFORTS FOR OTHERS The ninth annual Save the Chimps Bowl-A-Thon was held at Saint Lucie Lanes in Port St. Lucie, FL. Notable residents of the area are the Chimponauts who were used in the Mercury Space program. Funds raised continue to help fund the Save The Chimps Sanctuary in Fort Pierce where the brave explorers live and are cared for. Buena Lanes in Ventura, CA, has donated more than $89,500 to the American Cancer Society in Ventura County for the past nine years. This year, the 10th anniversary of Bowl to Strike Out Cancer raised enough funds to exceed $100,000 in donations.

What is your center doing? Email Patty Heath at heath@bowlingindustry.com.

A UNIQUE TAKE ON FUNDRAISING Phil Flushing and his Toilet Bowl Party were the brainstorm of WAMY Community Action, Inc. in Boone, NC. A welcoming party was held at High Country Bowling Lanes, where Phil’s hard work would begin— to flush out poverty in the area. “A toilet is like poverty,” Phil said. “Everyone knows it exists, but nobody wants to talk about it!” Raising awareness of local poverty took Phil to various businesses for a month. Each destination was a surprise. Upon arrival, if the business donated $75, Phil would move on to the next surprise location. $100 Phil Flushing ready for his closeup at would keep him from returning. High Country It all began with bowling and a photo-op for all to be seen with Bowling Lanes. Phil Flushing.

TWIN STAR LANES KENT, OH (40 LANES)

We congratulate Bill Diamond on his purchase of this fine center and thank Bill White for trusting us to handle the sale. We wish them both all the best in the future.

Bowling’s Only Full-Service Brokers, Appraisers & Financial Advisors

(800) 222-9131 Check out our current listings at www.SandyHansell.com

28200 Southfield Rd., Southfield, MI 48076 16

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BOWLING BOOK CORNER Here is another entertaining book to add to your summer reading list. J.R. Schmidt, aka Dr. Jake, a long-time contributor to Bowlers Journal, has compiled many of his feature articles and offbeat stories into a very enjoyable book—The Bowling Chronicles. Some of the greatest bowling personalities are found within the pages: Don Carter, Dick Weber, Andy Varipapa and Billy Hardwick, to name a few. There are also notable events and offbeat stories, including the bowling ball that went around the world, the 300 game that took a week to bowl, and the bowler who won an ABC championship with a total score of 41. If you are a bowler, follow bowling or just like an entertaining read, do consider The Bowling Chronicles.


FEATURE

IBI illuminates the latest lighting trends. By Robert Sax

H

ow many bowling proprietors does it take to change a lightbulb? Perhaps none if they replace their oldfashioned lightbulbs with the latest lighting technology; at the very least they’ll change them much less frequently. In addition, they will save money on energy costs while delivering a more exciting environment for customers who will stay longer and spend more. Lighting technology has improved greatly since the advent of the electric bulb in the late 19th century. The now-retired

Alley Cats, Arlington, TX.

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100 watt incandescent bulb was an energy hog, produced too much heat and didn’t last long enough. That’s why fluorescent tubes, which use less energy, have long been standard in commercial venues such as bowling centers. But the buzzing and flickering tube is headed for retirement too, now that there are light-emitting diode (LED) replacements for fluorescents that use 50% less energy, have no dangerous mercury in them and aren’t as fragile as glass tubes. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the LED is a highly energy-efficient lighting technology with the potential to fundamentally change lighting in the United States. By 2027, widespread residential use of LEDs could save about 348 terawatt-hours of electricity. That is the equivalent of the annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today's electricity prices. The potential savings in commercial applications, where lights are typically on for longer periods, Jon Perper of ZLED Lighting. are even greater. So what’s the first step for a typical proprietor who wants to benefit from today’s better lighting? The quickest savings are usually found on the outside of your center, says Jon Perper, owner of the Big Event FEC and ZLED Lighting, an LED lighting distributor. He says LED substitutes for parking lot HID lighting and exterior signage will give you lots of bang for the buck by cutting electricity use and reducing expensive maintenance calls. “Anytime a bucket truck is involved, it’s a costly experience,” says Perper. “When you can get rid of that maintenance out there, you’re way ahead of the game.” On the inside of the center Perper recommends changing all recessed lighting fixtures from PAR lamps to LEDs. These changes alone will save a lot of energy, plus the cooler-running lights mean reduced costs for air conditioning.


FEATURE

Going Beyond the Glow Cutting costs is good, and bringing in more business is even better. It’s in that area that LEDs can really shine, especially given the current trend to casual, social bowling. “When you move from what I call the league environment to the open play environment, I think there’s an atmosphere you have to generate in the building, and you do that with lighting,” says Perper. “LEDs make it even easier to do.” In the mid-1990s, cosmic bowling revolutionized bowling center show lighting. The combination of rock and pop music with black light and bright, fluorescent colors created a fun and exciting play environment for customers that they could not duplicate at home. “The foundation was set when bowling centers added cosmic bowling,” says Steve Szabina, sales manager for ZOT ColorSplash. “But [many centers] haven’t updated the lighting in 25 years.” In that time, cosmic bowling has lost some of its luster and revealed its shortcomings. For one thing, Steve Szabina of ZOT ColorSplash. you have to feature cosmic bowling throughout the house; it’s an all-or-nothing proposition. The technology is limited too; you can’t easily change colors, patterns or other visual features. It’s so…90s. Fortunately there is a new technology available for proprietors who need to evolve to meet the demands of digital age consumers. Enter the LED replacement “tube” that fits into an existing fluorescent fixture. A combination of different colored LEDs in the same tube allows the fixture to generate a variety of colors and lighting effects that can be remotely controlled by a computer. This makes it possible to customtune the center environment by having different effects and colors on each lane. Jay Trietley, general manager of Alley Cats in Arlington, Texas, installed a ColorSplash system on eight lanes in October 2016. “We like to have the latest and greatest, and we knew that LED lighting was going to create a lot of buzz,” he says. “When we have corporate parties come in, we find out what their colors are and we put those in. When the Cowboys play, it’s silver and blue. It’s definitely a wow factor at our location.” “It gives each bowling center its own identity,” says Mick Ventola of UK-based Ventola Projects, a lighting contractor who works with Brunswick and QubicaAMF dealers and others around the world. “If there’s a 30-lane house with 16 lanes of league bowling on it, we can actually give those lanes lighting that will be adequate for league bowling. Then for the remaining 14 lanes, we can have something completely different.” Ventola’s LED systems come with a variety of lighting presets stored on a computer. That means that lighting effects that once required an array of special lights, a lighting designer, and a lot of operating knowledge are available with a few clicks. “The moment it’s all plugged in, they’ve got a whole lighting system in place,” says Ventola. Vendors claim that LED lighting can reduce energy costs by as much as 75%, and estimated conversion costs range from $2,000 - $3,000 per lane. But you Mick Ventola of Ventola Projects. 22

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FEATURE don’t need to change all of your lanes at the same time. There are no conflicts with existing fluorescent lights or cosmic bowling lights, so you can phase them in to suit your own schedule and budget. “A lot of centers have done their VIP areas first,” says Szabina, because they can get a quicker return on their investment from a premiumpriced service.

Unreal Business from Unreal Bowling Proprietors who like to be on the cutting edge of technology will be drawn to Unreal Bowling, a system developed by Crunchy Logistics, an interactive technology company in Orlando, FL. Unreal Bowling is an interactive audio-visual experience that combines computer graphics, motion tracking and digital projection to turn the ball and the lane itself into a hybrid of bowling and video game. Gregg Pasdiora, the sales representative for Crunchy Logistics, says eight BECs in the country are now trying Unreal Bowling. In the company’s online video, bowlers roll balls down lanes transformed into piano keyboards, balloon bouquets and star fields by projected animations. The ball interacts with the animation as it rolls along, tracing a comet’s trail across a star field or moving the keys on the piano. The animations can change with every ball, and can be mixed with images supplied by the center’s Gregg Pasdiora of Unreal Bowling. customers, such as corporate logos or personal photos. Set-up requires no physical modifications to the lane surface. The projectors, high speed cameras, and infrared lights required are installed on the ceiling above the lanes. Crunchy supplies a basic set of animations that run off a dedicated computer server in the center that’s connected to the company’s headquarters. Crunchy customers can obtain new animations by subscription or commission custom ones. TJ Paone of Sterling, IL, has always been an early adopter of new technology at his Blackhawk Lanes. He is the first to install Unreal Bowling at a center, and his primary motivation was to stimulate more business on weekends. “Our cosmic, glow bowling had become stagnant. Everyone was used to [it]. We were looking for something more engaging,” says Paone. “We came across Unreal Bowling and put it in, and it has been amazing for our center and for customer engagement.” Paone installed the Unreal system on four of his twenty lanes in August 2015 and began offering it to the public that October. A system requires a hefty investment at an estimated $7,500 – 10,000 per lane, but the results were well beyond expectations. “Right away we had a three-month waiting list for Unreal Bowling,” says Paone. “It also rejuvenated my cosmic bowling. Our typical Friday and TJ Paone of Blackhawk Lanes.

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Saturday nights [had been] half-full. Now we were back to all the lanes booked with a waiting list, almost like when we originally installed cosmic bowling.” His customers are willing to pay a premium price per game for Unreal Bowling over cosmic bowling, says Paone, and they tend to stay on the lane longer. “I see an extra couple of games per group because they want to see what effects come up next,” he says. Food and beverage sales jumped up considerably as well. Lower energy costs. Fabulous effects. More engaged customers. Increased business. The potential benefits of new lighting technology are substantial. Did a light just go on for you? ❖

For more information, please contact: Mick Ventola Ventola Projects +44 (0) 7770 227537 +44 (0) 116 2340760 Ventola.co.uk info@ventola.co.uk Jon Perper ZLED Lighting Phone: (800) 679-9243 Fax: (888) 336-2165 Zled-lighting.com sales@zled-lighting.com Steve Szabina ZOT ColorSplash 10975 East 55th Avenue Unit D Denver, CO 80239 (800) 525-8166 www.zotcolorsplash.com Gregg Pasdiora Unreal Bowling 379 West Michigan Street Suite 206 Orlando, FL 32806 Phone: (407) 734-1615 Fax: (321) 285-8304 www.crunchy.com

Robert Sax is a writer and PR consultant in Los Angeles. He grew up in Toronto, Canada, the home of five-pin bowling.


COVER STORY

A NEW DIRECTION WITH COREY DYKSTRA

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COVER STORY

IBI ’s exclusive interview with the incoming CEO of Brunswick Bowling.

W

By Jim Goodwin

hen Corey Dykstra leaves his role as Brunswick’s CFO and vice president of consumer and aftermarket products to take the top job of CEO of Brunswick Bowling, he will be ready to hit the ground running. At 40, he is one of the youngest to earn such a position. Corey has a passion for the industry as strong as his predecessors and has big plans for Brunswick. He and his team are anxious to show Brunswick customers and others in the industry around the world that the Brunswick is a dynamic company that will play a pivotal role in transforming the global industry.

® What is your best memory of the past two years? My best memory of the past two years has been the opportunity to grow the relationships both from the business standpoint and the personal standpoint. It has been a great group to work with. We talk about business strategy a lot, but we also have nice family discussions and outside the-walls-ofBrunswick discussions. Maybe the best part has been the feeling that I have friends on the other end of the phone and at the table in the board meetings that I can call on for advice at any time. ® Brent

Perrier said in our initial interview two years ago that it would be business as usual, yet Brunswick would be quicker to react and more nimble under private ownership. Has that proven to be true? How? Those don’t really go hand in hand do they – business as usual, yet more nimble. It has definitely been more nimble within the four walls here at Brunswick Bowling, and I’m hoping that as we pass our second anniversary [of private ownership] our customers will start to see that. I hope our customers start to see us as a small business, because we are like they are. We are no longer part of a $4-5 billion dollar corporation. I want our customers to see us as an entrepreneurial small business. Our ownership group is happy with the returns for the first two years, and I think they are excited enough, in fact I know they are excited enough, to invest more because they have told me that. They would like to see us take some risks to help grow not only Brunswick but the industry as well. ® Has your strategic plan changed in the past year compared to year one under the new ownership?

The reality is that it is starting to change now. We are starting to see a little more change in terms of growth – how do we grow in the entertainment space? How do we grow the industry? How

do we find more investors? We are now moving more in the growth mode than we did in the business-as-usual mode. For two years, I think we did a very good job of operating the business as usual, and now it is time to put that on steroids a little bit. ® How

is the process different today in terms of new products and marketing than it was under corporate ownership? I would say we are more willing to invest in new products today than we were towards the end of our corporate ownership. Most of us got just as excited about new product development then as we do now. Unfortunately, we were in a time where it was a challenging market for the boat business, and when you are a part of that large corporation, financial implications came from the boat side that made it a little more challenging for us. Now we are a stand-alone, small business, and if we want to invest in new products like we always have, we just do it, and the board is generally supportive. In fact, it is pretty much a given, and we really don’t get into that kind of detail with the board. They like to hear about the features and benefits because they are interested in the bowling business and industry. There is definitely more appetite for quick investment than in the past.

® When

did you first know that Brent was stepping down and that you would be promoted to his position? I’ve had the pleasure of working with Brent for the past 12 years, and over those years, he has said at various times, ‘I’m going to retire in one year,’ or ‘I’m going to retire in five years,’ and he has been saying that for the past 10 years. It was probably six or eight months ago that I had a good feel that Brent was ready. He is an avid golfer, and he loves to travel around the world, so I felt he was nearing the point where he wanted to do that IBI

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COVER STORY more. Brent is as loyal to the industry and to Brunswick as anyone has ever been. He would not be doing this if he were not confident in how the company is running, and I think that confidence has increased in the past couple of years. ® What

did you learn from Brent, and what is ahead for you and your management team and the Brunswick brand in the next couple of years? Brent has been a good mentor. His management style is very collaborative. He has always sought input from across the company, and we have enjoyed that. Brent has been with Brunswick for many years, and he has been ingrained into the corporate culture. I think we will now shift to an entrepreneurial culture where employees feel empowered to make more decisions. I think they have a passion for Brunswick already, and we would like to see that passion come through even more in an entrepreneurial atmosphere; small business oriented versus the corporate culture we have had for so many years. You can’t just snap your fingers and make it happen. My leadership style will be similar to Brent in the sense of collaboration. I hope to get around the various parts of the company. I enjoy doing that, and I think it will pay us dividends. I think our people will be really excited about a more aggressive growth strategy rather than the corporate strategy they have seen where we just steadily improve earnings every year without taking much risk. I think all of our team, around the world, will be excited when we roll out the ‘Let’s grow together’ message. ® How will your experience of the past seven years as CFO of aftermarket and consumer products help you in the CEO position?

Well, I certainly learned in those years, as well as the five previous years, that relationships are extremely important. I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the world and form relationships with a ton of incredible people. Brent has been instrumental in helping me form those relationships – my teammates at Brunswick, our loyal distributor partners, industry leaders, and I also have some great friendships with our competitors. I have been fortunate to work with Brent in getting to know all of these people, and he has helped me know and appreciate the history of Brunswick and the industry. ® In your travels you have learned a lot about bowling in different world markets. Which areas do you see having the most potential for growth in the coming years?

I have spent a lot of time in Japan and Europe. I look forward to spending more time traveling the world; maybe a little more in Asia because I think there are quite a few markets there that could be a great fit for bowling. The Asia territory is certainly ripe for growth. ® I know that Brunswick keeps up with all of the new centers opening. Do you see a trend of one type doing better than another? For example, the new moviebowls versus hybrids, FECs or boutiques, etc. 30

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Brent Perrier passes the torch to Corey Dykstra.

More than keep up with it, we are leading the industry in new center development. Essentially, all of the new builds are hybrid, FEC or boutique; and frankly there is room for any combination of those models. We are starting to see it in Europe and other areas. In terms of performance, the key is choosing and right-sizing the business model based on the market. We have highly successful operators in each of the new business models. ® What is your take on the new moviebowl concept?

Actually, we have been one of the leaders in that area. I continually mention the word growth, and it is really what we would like to do more of. Movies have been outstanding for us – we have decided to start attending movie conventions; we started building those relationships almost ten years ago. It is exciting, it’s a new venue, and they are generally very good operators. We would like to see other adjacent type industries consider adding bowling as well. You could probably list a hundred that already have four walls built that could add bowling to draw a new customer base. ® Where

else might we see bowling partnering with other businesses? Restaurant companies are looking at bowling. We have also done a couple of hotels, a couple of cruise ships, and we have a few others that we can target. continued on page 34...


COVER STORY ...continued from page 30 ® What inspires you and brings passion to your job? It is hard to narrow it down. I would say the team here at Brunswick inspires me. The amount of passion that they bring to the company is probably the most inspirational thing for me. It is hard not to get excited about them. ® Do you see any cultures around the world that have business practices that might also work in the U.S.A.?

I certainly think that culture is the foundation of a company. I talked about it earlier: Brunswick Bowling has gone from a large corporate culture to a small business culture. We have had that corporate feel, but we are transitioning to the entrepreneurial feel. I hope we see it happen more quickly. This is a fun business. Actually Brent said this to me a long time ago, ‘Have fun, and don’t worry about making mistakes. It is bowling, not brain surgery.’ I would like to see that fun attitude show itself maybe a little more than it does today. More specifically, let’s take Round One for example – they do bowling in Japan a little differently than we do, but now, even they are expanding to the U.S.A. We have a great partnership with Round One in Japan, and now here as they build their U.S.A. business. They are a prime example of doing it the right way but maybe not the same way many are used to. ® Aside from Brent and your Brunswick team, what motivates and pushes you to succeed?

Outside of bowling, my wife Michele and all five of our kids are an inspiration every day. Each one has a passion for life. They all have unbelievable work ethics, and the kids all have Michele’s caring personality. They all have unique personalities and talent, but they all share the same hard work and passion. It is fun to see that in them. I spend a lot of time coaching with my kids, mostly basketball. The other sports I am generally an observer. We have a lot of family pick-up games where that passion comes through sometimes to a fault. We have some pretty intense competition. The Dykstra family.

® The kids’ names and ages? Cody is 22, Zeke just turned 14; Cadence is 12, Elisha is 10, and Mylee is 9. She is our little dancer and gymnast and probably lives life fuller than anybody I know in the entire world. Michele and I were high school sweethearts. We have been together since a little before high school. We both got degrees from Western Michigan University. Hers is in education, so she has spent time teaching as well as time at home with the kids. Currently, she is back to teaching almost full time. I majored in accounting, so that fits in with what I have been doing at Brunswick, and before that, I did public accounting for almost five years. We graduated from college in 2000. ® Generally speaking, most CEOs are visionaries, not accounting types. What is your philosophy?

I think you need both. Actually, those who know my background say I’m not at all [like] an accountant. I have always migrated toward numbers, so I certainly have focus there, but we have a really strong accounting team, so I will let them focus on numbers while I focus on the culture and how to grow the business. Numbers don’t lie, and it helps to understand that investors look at them first, but they also like to roll up their sleeves and get into the operations of the business, marketing strategy, product management and all the rest. ® What types of books do you read, and is there one you are working on now?

Yes. Unfortunately, I’ve been pretty busy lately, so I have not been able to pick it up, but on my desk is a copy of The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins. It is about how to get up to speed quicker and smarter in a new position like mine. I wish I had the cliff notes version. ® Are you a bowler? Yes, but I’m not a great bowler. Some say to me, ‘You look athletic, so you probably could be a good bowler.’ I think that is their polite way to tell me I am not a good bowler. Which is OK! I need to spend more time working on it. My family and I go to the local centers all the time. It is one of our favorite activities together. A couple of the kids got into the Kids Bowl Free program, which is great. We have a blast every time, which is usually three times a week in the summer. Usually they bring friends, so we have roped a lot of kids into bowling that did not have an interest before.

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COVER STORY ® Brunswick has been involved in the Olympic effort for decades. Is the Olympic bowling effort still a priority for Brunswick?

Yes. We have spent a lot of time and resources on it, and we will continue to do that. Others in the company have been more involved than I. We have worked with Kegel, Storm, Ebonite, as well as the folks at USBC, BPAA and World Bowling with Kevin Dornberger. That will continue, and we will keep trying to make some progress. Everyone was very disappointed that it did not ¢

A FANTASTIC CAREER

Brent Perrier bows out after 37 years In 1980, when Brent Perrier started his career in the bowling business, the industry was a much different place. Brunswick was being run by a guy named Brooks Abernathy. Jack Reichert would come along a couple of years later. Perrier actually started with the Perry Austin brand, which was acquired by Brunswick. “Brunswick carried my seniority over, which was great for me,” said Perrier. When he officially leaves Brunswick and turns the CEO's keys over to Corey Dykstra around August 1, it will be an emotional departure. He looks forward to spending much more time on the golf course. At the same time, he will miss the team of professionals that have shared ups and downs in the everchanging bowling world. “It has been a real roller coaster ride,” said Perrier, “but I will always cherish the time spent with my Brunswick family and the relationships with friends all across the globe. It has been my honor, and I can’t imagine a career spent anywhere else.” Perrier, 63, became Brunswick president 12 years ago, and he has attended the annual BPAA Convention and Bowl Expo for 36 years. Nashville will be remembered as special for many reasons, including seeing old friends for perhaps the last time. Peter Hamilton was president of Brunswick Bowling before Perrier, and he served as a mentor just as Perrier has to Corey Dykstra. Perrier says being named president of Brunswick was the highlight of his career. “Corey is an incredible young man,” said Perrier. “We have worked closely together, especially since he became CFO seven years ago, and I have never seen a better CFO. I consider him not only a close colleague but a good friend. I think he will do a fantastic job for the company. Bowling has changed so much and we have made many adjustments that resulted in our success, but I think the best is yet to come because of young leaders like Corey.” He may be retiring, but it is likely we will see more of Brent Perrier, as he remains an advisor to the board of directors for the foreseeable future. Or we may run into him on one of his favorite golf courses. 36

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happen in Japan, but that does not mean anyone will drop the effort for the future. ® Aside from earning the CEO position, what has been your biggest accomplishment at Brunswick?

It is probably at a macro level. We have gone through so many changes and the pain of re-structuring this business over and over as markets changed. We have entered and exited product categories, and we are constantly fine tuning to the point where we are in a great spot today. I would characterize that, and being a key part of it, as probably the most significant accomplishment from when I started at Brunswick 12 years ago. We are a much healthier company, and I feel really good about that. ® How does Brunswick rank in the Gladstone/ BluArc/Capitala portfolio? It certainly seems to be one of the most recognizable brands.

And don’t forget the management team now has some investment in the company as well. As far as the investment groups, they have told us that they invest for the long term in industry leading companies that have sustainable competitive advantages. They are with us because we have a strong brand and a strong management team, and they feel like we have a unique opportunity to transform the industry as an entertainment leader. As far as where we fall compared to others, I think it is safe to say we fall a little on the larger side for them and, as you said, certainly an iconic brand. ® Have the board meetings gone well so far? How

often are they held? Yes. They are held quarterly, but we talk on the phone monthly. They are between our management team and board members, and they have been very collaborative, very operational. They like to discuss strategy, but they also get into practical discussions about how the strategy is implemented. As I said before, it is a great group. I enjoy the discussions about bowling and about families and life. At least one meeting a year, I try to take them to one of our new bowling centers. We have done that three times already, and it has been a great experience for all of us, so we will keep it going. ❖

Jim Goodwin is the founder and president of the Bowling News Network and a former president and life member of the International Bowling Media Association.


PROFILE

George and Cary Tosello.

THE INNOVATORS George and Cary Tosello are always ready for something new. By Robert Sax

A

s bowling proprietors, BPAA executives and industry leaders, George Tosello and his son Carey are known for their love of innovation. From pioneering open bowling to online marketing to flying their own plane to industry events, the secret to their success has been their willingness to try new ideas. George, now retired, was an early adapter from his childhood on a farm in San Jose, California. He had a driver’s license at fourteen and enlisted in the Marines at eighteen, serving his country for five years. On his return to civilian life, he married and started his business career selling seed and fertilizer to farmers in the agricultural belt of Santa Cruz County. He later moved on to raise his own organic apples and avocados.

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George’s father was an avid bowler, and from the age of nine George would accompany him to the bowling alley. It was the era before automatic scoring, and George learned to keep score for several lanes at the same time. He became an excellent bowler himself, and Carey says he was one of the best bowlers in the Bay Area back in the 1940s and 1950s. “When they'd do pot games, he'd always win money,” says Carey. He bowled regularly at Cabrillo Lanes in Watsonville in leagues and tournaments. averaging above 200. But because he was responsible for a growing family he turned down offers to go pro. “I was asked to bowl on the tour, but I never wanted to,” says George. “I had four kids.” In the early 1960s, George realized he needed to increase his


PROFILE

George’s official bowling photo.

income. “The apple business is a lot of work, not much money,” says Carey, “so [Dad] decided to try his hand at something else.” That something else turned out to

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be acquiring Cabrillo Lanes and Surf Bowl in nearby Santa Cruz from Brunswick, which had been on a buying spree and wanted to shed some of its poorer-performing locations. “Brunswick, at that time, had acquired over 300 centers,” says George. “In the greater Bay Area they had eleven centers and I got number 10 and 11. It was a low price to get into the business.” Cabrillo Lanes, a 24-lane center, had been through three owners in six years. To turn it around, George remodeled it and began offering open bowling, a radical move at the time. “Most of the centers that were going good had leagues across the house. Everyone thought you had to have the lanes [booked] all the time.” says George. “I said you’re missing the point. [Casual bowlers] want to go bowling in the week, and they can never get a lane, so they decide to do something else. If you would take two to four lanes and leave them open, you would have a waiting list.” The center also had a modest food and beverage operation that George made more successful. Well ahead of today’s farm to table trend, he began featuring locally-sourced ingredients in the restaurant. “We put in quality,” says Carey. “We'd get very local, fresh produce. We would go out to a local chicken ranch and wait for the chickens to come


PROFILE in and be butchered. We made our own batter and had fried chicken we sold by the bucket to-go... we actually called it ‘fingerlickin’-good.’” Carey remembers that when a famous fried George with three of his four boys: (left to right) Chris, chicken chain arrived in Garth, George and Carey. town, its lawyers tried to prevent the Tosellos from using that slogan. But the big chain lost that time, because the Tosellos proved they had already established the slogan in the local marketplace. After starting work in the center’s kitchen at age 11, Carey went on to do “every job in the bowling center there was to work.” Meanwhile, George decided there was more upside potential in the bowling business than in apples and sold the farm to focus on his centers. In 1968 George took Carey to the BPAA convention in Las Vegas to look for new ideas. Carey vividly remembers watching an engineer from Brunswick demonstrate its new automatic scoring system for George. “My dad's very mechanically oriented and his first question is ‘What if it doesn't work? What if it comes down and doesn't detect the right number of pins?’” recalls Carey. “The engineer said ‘Oh, we have a correction panel.’” When George tested the system, he found he could put down eight on the first ball and five on the second ball, giving an erroneous score of thirteen. “The engineer goes ‘You can't do that,’” says Carey. “My father's response was ‘I just did.’” It was two more years before Brunswick offered the system for installation. But once the bugs were fixed, George wasn’t afraid to be among the first proprietors to buy one. It not only boosted league play but “the bar business went way up, because people weren't sitting around haggling over the score,” says Carey. “It was a huge deal for us.” Eventually Carey went off to college to become an aeronautical engineer. But, after his first semester, he realized it wasn’t for him and switched his major to business. After graduation, he returned to help his father with the bowling centers. Carey became the managing partner and vice president of the company and ran Surf Bowl, while George took care of Cabrillo Lanes. George also became heavily involved with the BPAA, serving for twenty years on the legislative committee and in other roles. When George began travelling extensively for pleasure, Carey took over more of the daily operations, running the two centers until moving to Oregon in 1993 to raise his own family. In Oregon, he helped open a center before going to work for the BPAA himself as the director of membership and events. Perhaps his signature achievement was operating Bowl Expo for four years. He also served as president of the Northern California chapter of BPAA and regional vicepresident of BPAA Pacific Coast. Carey followed his BPAA activities as a consultant to the industry, founding E-bowl.biz to help proprietors with the fast-growing practice of 42

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online and social media marketing. “I started doing email marketing for bowling centers and that's expanded into Facebook management and text messaging and website management and a bunch of other stuff,” says Carey. The business has grown every year since its start in 2003, and Carey works with bowling centers in almost 40 states now. George eventually sold Cabrillo Lanes to AMF but continued to run Surf Bowl. He ultimately sold that center to a good friend who also ran the beachside amusement park in Santa Cruz. Now known as Boardwalk Bowl, the center is still in operation. In addition to learning a lot about bowling operations, the father-and-son team learned a lot about working successfully with family. Carey says it’s essential to maintain a sense of humor. “You have to be able to separate the business life from the family life,” he says. “So when [you] have family barbecues, get togethers, birthdays and celebrations and holidays, you have to be

George’s Bonanza plane.

able to leave disagreements or issues at work.” It’s also important for the older generation to allow the younger generation to try out their own ideas, even if they are different. “Fortunately, my father was very progressive that way. He let me go out exploring early on,” says Carey. “If it doesn't work, move on, if it does work… great.” George and Carey Tosello learned that things change and you have to keep an open mind. Given their winning track record, it’s a philosophy worth exploring. ❖

Robert Sax is a writer and PR consultant in Los Angeles. He grew up in Toronto, Canada, the home of five-pin bowling.


CENTER STAGE

THE ROYAL TREATMENT At Queen Park Social in Charlotte, it’s all about fun.

By Evan Henderson

A

Wall Street financier turned social club owner/operator can learn a few valuable lessons about how to enter the bowling industry during his facility’s soft opening. Lesson number one would be, “Be well stocked,” because, lesson number two – in the age of up to the minute social media, when a new gathering spot looks like a winner – “People will come,” meaning there is no longer such thing as a soft opening. “We got hit so hard during our early days, that we ran out of product,” recalls Joe Lariscy, owner and partner of Queen Park Social which unofficially opened its doors in early April in Charlotte, NC. “But these are all good problems to have in the early days.” Eric Lindfors, Brunswick’s new business director, says that entering the world of bowling for the first time can be

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challenging enough, particularly when the owner/operator is going for boutique lanes. For someone who already has previous experience running a restaurant and bar, adding lanes is relatively easy, according to Lindfors. But Queen Park Social’s Lariscy and his business partner and fellow University of Georgia alum Reid Olsen were new to both worlds. “They had to go out and find local people with that skill set who knew how to handle a kitchen and bar,” Lindfors said. “The learning will be a trial by fire, I guess you’d say, but I think they’re going to do very well. If you saw the before and after pictures of that building, you would have no clue it was the same place. They have done a nice job making it something viable.” Nestled into an 18,000 square-foot former warehouse space in Charlotte’s South End, Queen Park Social joins a trendy commercial strip that includes a pair of breweries and a craft


FEATURE

distillery. Conceived of as a casual multi-option meet-up spot more than a traditional family entertainment center, Queen Park Social’s eight boutique lanes are expected to be a draw but by no means the facility’s only enticement. “They went with string pinsetters in this venue, which are easier to maintain. I think they’re trying to give the experience of bowling but maybe not looking at league or certified bowling, just as an experience of having fun,” said Lindfors. “Joe understands the social value of the game. There’s definitely not a venue like this in this part of Charlotte.” That social component is key. Not only is the word social part of the club’s name, it’s part of the QPS mantra. Whether you’re coming by to visit the bar, have a bite, toss some strikes or try your luck at a game of skill like shuffleboard, Skeeball, Ping-Pong, darts or cornhole, the Queen Park Social staff want customers unplugged from electronics and interacting with established friends and with those they have not yet made. From the Charlotte Historical Museum, Lariscy acquired a large 1970s-era red, white and yellow sign that announced what had been the Queen Park movie theater for many years. That restored theater sign now sits inside the tower-like marquee, welcoming people back to a new landmark. Queen Park Social guests are also invited to a venue – and to an age - when you couldn’t instantly connect with somebody with the bleep and bloop of a text message. As the large, vaguely retro mural on the building’s back wall adjacent to the lanes instructs, QPS visitors must “Be social.” “They used to have a drive-in theater, and that was cool and hip at the time,” Lariscy

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FEATURE

said. “We’re trying to make the social house concept kind of hip and a new cool thing to do. At the same time, we’re trying to give a sense that we’re poking fun. When you come in here, you have to put your phone down and socialize with people like we did back before everyone was stuck on their cell phones.” In putting together his first entertainment venture, Lariscy, a native of Athens, GA, was looking to return to the South. With its close proximity to the mountains and the beach, the fast growing Charlotte community “checked many boxes” for Lariscy and Olsen. During the first month of operation prior to an official grand opening, Queen Park Social has welcomed a range of visitors from families with young children, to millennials who have come in greater numbers during the evenings. “We are located in the fastest developing residential market in the country,” Larsicy said. “You’ve got apartment complex after apartment complex coming in with lots of young professionals. That’s a lot of our target demographic.” As a potential model from his New York days, Lasiscy referenced the terminally trendy Brooklyn Bowl which also sits in close proximity to a brewery and helps makes up a mini entertainment district. Queen Park Social could ultimately add a stage and live music, one reason why the venue was outfitted with eight lanes when it could have accommodated up to 14. Lindfors believes that the Queen Park Social model is in line with a renaissance of smaller, neighborhood bowling centers popping up with greater frequency. “In the 1800s and 1900s, as bowling grew, it was two lanes here, four lanes there, and every little town and borough of a big city had 48

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these little centers all over the place,” Lindfors said. “Then when bowling kind of took off in the 50s, 60s and 70s, you would get these gigantic 32-, 48and 60-lane venues. It seems like it’s kind of going back the other way.” “It’s getting back to grass roots, bringing a smaller,

more specific niche market,” he added, “and not trying to be everything to everybody.” ❖ Photos courtesy of Sallie Funderburk of Charlotte Five.

Evan Henerson is a features and lifestyle journalist who lives in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in TV Guide, American Theatre, Orange Coast and the Los Angeles Daily News where he was a staff writer and critic for nine years.


TOURNAMENTS

FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY: THE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS Ron Plander creates a competitive edge through a new league champions tournament.

By Mark Miller s a highly involved, forwardthinking, bowling center owner, Ron Plander has always tried to develop unique ways to please his customers, especially his most actively engaged ones. Long ago he thought about creating a special event to honor the teams that won their leagues at four of his five centers, and, in 2016, he finally made his Tournament of Champions concept a reality. The second annual event, held June 10 at Harley’s Valley Bowl in Simi Valley, proved quite a success. It was open to the winners of full-season leagues at Harley’s Valley Bowl, Harley’s Simi Bowl and Harley’s Camarillo Bowl, plus Corbin Bowl. “With league bowling slowly dying, I try to come up with ideas to make it more interesting and more competitive,” he said. “Besides each league champion winning money and a trophy, I wanted something that would be a bigger benefit, and I came up with the Tournament of Champions.” This year’s winner was the Miller Western Funtime League from Harley’s Valley Bowl which beat the Jet Set Seniors, 3,972-3,877. Tony Jaraski, Floyd Jaraski, Jennifer Jaraski, Jim Gibbons, and Jimmy Jaraski split the $1,000 first prize and have their league fees

A

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Ron Plander

paid for the 2017-18 season. “We were honored to be able to bowl in the Tournament of Champions against 40 of the top teams in the area,” said Jennifer. “The whole tournament was an amazing experience for us, from the way the tournament was run, the fun Strike-it-Rich side pots and the new friends we made on the other teams. We never imagined we would win


TOURNAMENTS

the tournament, but are so honored to have won it in our home bowling center, and cannot wait to be back again next year.” The Jet Set Seniors from Harley’s Simi Bowl were led by Larry Roveti and included Margaret Knuth, Eldon Knuth, Paul Alderette and John Fritch. Lori Machin, Cara German, Brenda Lambert, Andres Whitbord and Wendi Pattilo from the Mixed Nutz/Astrodoll Ladies League came in third with a total of 3,782. The tournament also crowned winners in men’s and women’s singles. Tyler Baker from Corbin Bowl captured the men’s title, followed by Jimmy Jaraski and Joey Jennings. Robin Loehr from Harley’s Simi Bowl captured the top women’s prize, followed by Joann Messina and Colette Asel. As in so many other competitive arenas, the bracket and side pots proved overwhelmingly popular. Plander estimated about 180 of the 200 bowlers participated, with some of the proceeds donated to Harley’s junior programs. Plander launched the event in 2016 with 40 teams and while he had another full squad this year, he added a fundraising element that brought in $23,000, along with $2,500 from his centers so every team could receive something. He also secured three bowling balls from Hammer which were given away to people rolling strikes at designated times. “Literally, I’ve been thinking about this for 20 years, and finally, [I] just did it,” Plander said. “I had been kicking it around for a long time.” Plander first ventured into bowling center ownership in 1991 when he bought the 24-lane Harley’s Simi Bowl from his father. He added the 20lane Harley’s Camarillo Bowl in 1995, 26-lane Corbin Bowl in Tarzana (with a partner) in 2002, 24-lane Empire Bowl (with a partner) in Redlands in 2007 and Harley’s Valley Bowl in 2015. Champions from Empire Bowl were not included in the event because it is 90 miles away, while the other four are within 30 miles of each other. “More and more people were excited about it this year because more people knew about it,” Plander said. “We’re going to try to play it up even 52

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more. Definitely in our league meetings next year, we’re going to make sure that the winning team shows up at that league meeting. I really want to push the fundraising even more to make the prize fund even greater.” Plander plans to increase the advance publicity efforts to encourage local media outlets to cover the event in person. A member of the Bowling Centers of Southern California board of directors, he hopes other centers pick up on his idea so it can grow beyond his area. “It was overwhelming how many people came up to us afterwards thanking us and raving how much fun it was. My vision is, if a center has a tournament of champions, the champion could go to a big center like Fountain Bowl and have a Southern California championship,” he said. With two years of the Tournament of Champions completed, Plander said he has even more ways to improve it. “Hopefully next year we’ll try to pick up

a few more sponsors,” he said. “We’d like to get even bigger and better. We’re even thinking about getting some food trucks and other things that next year [will] build up the spectators.” ❖

Mark Miller is a freelance writer, editor, and public relations specialist from Flower Mound, TX. He's the author of Bowling: America's Greatest Indoor Pastime available at Amazon.com or directly from him at markmywordstexas@gmail.com.


SHOWCASE SCORING CONSOLES

Brunswick Bowling Products is confident that its Sync scoring consoles will knock your customers out! They’re available in two styles: touch-screen tablets or keypad models. Sync hardware is designed to save you money, drawing on the latest technological innovations to add to the equipment’s life. Sync works with installed Vector scoring consoles as well. The models feature commercial grade construction to withstand high-traffic use and are mounted on single pedestal, dual pedestal or tabletop brackets. The tablet has Corning Gorilla glass for longer service life and extended-life, 50,000-hour LED backlighting. For more information, go to www.brunswickbowling.com.

RENTAL SHOES

QubicaAMF offers its SmartValue rental shoes with maximum durability and performance for the best price. Designed to deliver superior performance and comfort, thanks to ankle cushions and a padded foot bed. SmartValue shoes grant affordable price with durability, great comfort, excellent slide and a cool style. They are available in Unisex Adult Sizes 515, Youth Sizes 1-4 ½, and Children Sizes 6-13. European Sizes are available in EU 22-50. Learn more at www.qubicaamf.com.

REAL ESCAPE GAMES

With the recent installation of three thrilling escape rooms in Canada, Studio41b continues to establish itself as a premier provider of real escape games. The rooms were installed at Bingeman’s FunWorX, an exciting, indoor playland in Kitchener, Ontario. Guests at FunWorX

ARCADE MERCHANDISING LAYOUT

Redemption Plus’ Storyboard, a sectioned merchandising layout, allows redemption programs to easily tell a story with product. “Without a visual and intentional story in your redemption room or counter, guests struggle to make a connection with your product and easily make decisions.” Over the next few months, Redemption Plus will be digging into a handful of its 13 storyboards on its new blog, insightsempower.com. Learn how their Storyboards use the five elements of a story—characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution—to create a flawless shopping experience for even the most picky players. For more information, go to redemptionplus.com.

CONSUMER RESOURCE WEBSITE

BPAA revamped its GoBowling.com website prior to the Go Bowling 400 NASCAR race in May. Featured areas of content now included are: the Learn section which continually adds new stories and videos focusing on tips for bowlers; the News section, including updates on promotions; the Connect section providing feeds from and links to Go Bowling’s social channels, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram; the Promos section showcasing current offers from participating bowling centers and industry partners; on the Find A Center tab, consumers can enter their zip code to find nearby bowling centers.

INTERACTIVE GAME EVENTS

can choose to explore a daunting, abandoned mine in Shafted; escape from a downed plane before it sinks to the bottom of the ocean in Emergency Exit; or evade the wrath of a power-hungry wizard in Sorcerer’s Study. For more information on these and other great escape room offerings, visit Studio41b on the web at www.studio41b.com. 54

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Add that extra umph to a strike or spare. Steltronic has a solution for your bowling center to create that extra special effect while bowlers are on the lanes. Steltronic’s game events hardware can be connected to its Focus Scoring system and configure four (4) different reactions that you can control separately for strikes, spares, missed spares or gutter balls, and fouls. With this interactive hardware, Steltronic provides separate relays per lane that can be used to control extra lights, sounds, rumble seats or… leave it to your imagination. Steltronic still offers free technical support and free software upgrades for life, a claim they have honored since 1980! For more information, (800) 942-5939; info@steltronicscoring.com.


CLASSIFIEDS

SELL YOUR CENTER

(818) 789-2695

IBI

July 2017

55


CLASSIFIEDS

MINIATURE GOLF COURSES Indoor/Outdoor. Portable/Pre-Fab. Black Light/Traditional/Pro Putter.

202 Bridge Street Jessup, PA 18434 570-489-8623 www.minigolfinc.com

LOCKER KEYS FAST! All Keys done by code # Locks and Master Keys E-mail: huff@inreach.com TOLL FREE

1-800-700-4539

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BOWLINGFAN 56

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July 2017


CLASSIFIEDS

AMF • BRUNSWICK EQUIPMENT COMPLETE PACKAGES WORLDʼS LARGEST NEW – USED SPARE PARTS INVENTORY ALL AMF BUMPER PARTS, XS Q-BUMP, DURABOWL AND GEN II IN STOCK

SEL L

BUY

Danny & Daryl Tucker Tucker Bowling Equipment Co. 609 N.E. 3rd St. Tulia, Texas 79088 Call (806) 995-4018 Fax (806) 995-4767

Bowling Parts, Inc. P.O. Box 801 Tulia, Texas 79088 Call (806) 995-3635 Email - daryl@tuckerbowling.com

www.tuckerbowling.com

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CLASSIFIEDS MECHANIC WANTED

EQUIPMENT FOR SALE

CANOGA PARK, CA: Full-time B mechanic or experienced PinChaser wanted, prefer Brunswick trained, for 32-lane house. Good compensation & benefits. Send resume to wendym@gelbgroup.net.

FOR SALE: USED FRAMEWORX SEATING. Ball returns & hoods, modwalls, swivel tables and more. Mickey Cogan (310) 378-2265 or gablehouseusedbowlingequipment.com.

IMMEDIATE OPENING for a full- or part-time mechanic. 12 lanes AMF 82-70 pinsetters & Qubica scoring in San Francisco, CA. Salary and benefits commensurate with experience. Send resume to bobv@skatebowl.com or call (510) 685-8079.

NEW & USED Pro Shop Equipment. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com. REPAIR & EXCHANGE. Call for details (248) 375-2751.

HEAD MECHANIC for 82-30 pinsetters in South Florida. Will help to relocate. Contact Blind Box #051617 at (818) 789-2695 or email heath@bowlingindustry.com.

EQUIPMENT WANTED LANE MACHINES WANTED. We will purchase your KEGEL-built machine, any age or condition. Call (608) 764-1464.

SELL YOUR CENTER (818) 789-2695

EDUCATION & TRAINING PRO SHOP TRAINING. Classes always forming. Jayhawk Bowling Supply (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com.

PROPRIETORS WITH AMF 82-70 S.S. & M.P. MACHINES

AMF and some BRUNSWICK PC board repair/exchange. 6-month warranty, fast turnaround. Call or write: WB8YJF Service 5586 Babbitt Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054 Toll Free: 888-902-BOWL (2695) Ph./Fax: (614) 855-3022 (Jon) E-mail: wb8yjf@sbcglobal.net Visit us on the WEB! http://home.earthlink.net/~wb8yjf/

Save $$ on Chassis & P.C. Board Exchange & Repair! A reasonable alternative for Chassis and P.C. Board Exchanges MIKE BARRETT Call for Price List

Tel: (714) 871-7843 • Fax: (714) 522-0576

Felix Erickson Company Inc. Strike Zone © Family of Industry Leading Lane Products Strike Zone KB Lane Cleaner 5 gal case $ 95.00 Strike Zone Next Generation L.C. 5 gal/case $ 105.00 Strike Zone SuperStar L.C. 5 gal/case $ 120.00 Envi-Cide II Disinfectant/Shoe Aerosol $ 89.95/case Solve-It Orange All Purpose Cleaner $ 69.95/case ®

®

®

®

®

Exclusive Phenolic Kickback Plates Front 15” x 33” Rear 19” x 23 ¾” $ 89.00 each (includes screws and instructions) FESI Solve-It Ball Wheel Liner @ $90.00 /roll 070-011-905 Waffle Distributor Belt w/ lacing $58.00 each Toll Free (800) 445-1090 | P (609) 267-2833 | F (609) 267-466 www.festrikezone.com | Resurfacing-Repairs-Supplies 58

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APPRAISALS APPRAISALS: LARRY DOBBS MAI, ASA. (214) 674-8187. Bowlingvaluations@yahoo.com.

SERVICES AVAILABLE Drill Bit Sharpening and Measuring Ball Repair. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com.

CENTERS FOR SALE NEBRASKA: 6-lane center & bar in Plainview, NE. Turnkey business. Contact Brandon Myers, Commercial Realty Group, (402) 843-0347. OHIO: Northeast. Pretty, mid-sized center w/late-model equipment, multiple profitcenters. Call Sandy Hansell (800) 222-9131. FLORIDA: Central. Attractive, mid-sized center with revenues trending up. Owner retiring. Call David Driscoll (352) 735-8065.

WWW.TEXTBOWLING.COM


CLASSIFIEDS

3

EASY WAYS

to place your Classified Ad in International Bowling Industry Magazine

Call (818) 789-2695

Fax (818) 789-2812

E-mail

your ad to:

info@bowlingindustry.com

IBI

July 2017

59


REMEMBER WHEN

Mrs. Robert M. Cushing

Carol Heiss Jenkins

1960

Mrs. Samuel Auchincloss

EVERYBODY BOWLS

I

BI ’s Everybody Bowls series continues with Mrs. Edwin C. Callan. Her ad was found in the April 1961 issue of Holiday magazine, and she joins the ranks of our other ladies shown here. AMF’s 1960s Magic Triangle ad campaign focused on women, women usually married to wellestablished men. So now we have Mrs. Edwin C. Callan. Again, to find out about our Mrs., we had to first find the Mr. – Edwin was a finance broker. He grew up in the San Francisco area. During World War II, as a Navy Air Corps pilot in the Pacific Theater, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross and three other air medals. Edwin married Georgina Hopkins, our Mrs., of the Mark Hopkins Hotel family, in 1945. In the 1950s, our couple began sailing, and that is where Georgina distinguished herself as a yachtswoman. AMF wanted it known that everybody bowls, including our elegant sailor, who enjoys her night - Patty Heath

60

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Mrs. Anthony Drexel Duke


DATEBOOK

JULY

AUGUST

10-21 A-2 Pinsetter Training QC FEC Moline, IL Frank Miroballi (540) 325-7684 www.BrunswickA2training.com

1-2 LaserTAG360 Indianapolis, IN Russ Van Natta (317) 834-4770 www.lasertag360.com

11-13 BPAA Bowling University School Bowling Center Mgmt BCA Wisconsin Dale’s Weston Lanes & Mountain Bay Conf. Ctr. Weston, WI (262) 783-4292

3-6 Kegel Summer Camp Championship Mental Game & Lane Play Techniques Sponsored by Ebonite Kegel Training Center, Lake Wales, FL (800) 280-2695 www.kegeltrainingcenter.com

16-18 BCA Michigan 71st Annual Convention & Trade Show Radisson Hotel, Lansing www.michiganbowl.com

7-18 A-2 Pinsetter Training QC FEC Moline, IL Frank Miroballi (540) 325-7684 www.BrunswickA2training.com

27-29 BPAC/GA Convention Sea Trail Golf Resort Sunset Beach, NC Beth Smiril (336) 339-1314 bpacga@gmail.com

28-30 Coaches Workshop Kegel Training Center Lake Wales, FL kegeltrainingcenter.com

28-30 Kegel Summer Camp Jr Gold & Tournament Prep Clinic Sponsored by Ebonite Kegel Training Center, Lake Wales, FL (800) 280-2695 www.kegeltrainingcenter.com 62

IBI July 2017

10-12 Kegel Summer Camp Elite Physical Game Characteristics Sponsored by Ebonite Kegel Training Center, Lake Wales, FL (800) 280-2695 www.kegeltrainingcenter.com

SEPTEMBER 14-15 TrainerTainment Guest Services Conference BPAA Intl Training Campus (817) 886-4840 cso@trainertainment.net

25-26 Florida State Bowling Assoc. Annual Meeting & Golf Villas of Grand Cypress Orlando, FL www.flstateba.com

26-27 LASERTRON Conference Lasertron Entertainment Center Rochester, NY Ann Kessler (305) 257-3930 akessler@lasertron.us

OCTOBER 16-27 A-2 Pinsetter Training QC FEC Moline, IL Frank Miroballi (540) 325-7684 Frankm1441@aol.com www.BrunswickA2training.com

23 Kentucky BPA Annual Meeting For info: Jack McCarthy (502) 558-3450 jmccarthy@sasfe.com

23-25 East Coast Bowling Centers Convention Kalahari Resorts & Convention Pocono Mountains, PA www.eastcoast bowl.com

NOVEMBER 13-17 IAAPA Attractions Expo Orange County Convention Center Orlando www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAAttractionsExpo

BPAA One-Day Management Boot Camps Available to state associations & multi-unit centers Contact Kelly Bednar (817) 385-8462 Kelly@bpaa.com


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