THE WORLD'S ONLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE BUSINESS OF BOWLING
PUBLISHER & EDITOR Scott Frager firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: scottfrager
6 ISSUE AT HAND
Visa Time By Scott Frager
8 SHORTS • Brass Ring awarded to Embed. • LAI’s Speed of Light debuts on TV series. • Brunswick brings on new people. • Crunch Technology introduces Unreal Bowling. • IAAPA does not disappoint.
Elevating A Rising Star
From karaoke to The Voice, Shelby Brown stands above the rest.
OFFICE MANAGER Patty Heath
By Evan Henerson
34 TOURNAMENT QubicaAMF World Cup Highlights from the 51st tournament. By Hero Noda and David Garber
36 CONFERENCE 10X Better
Be prepared to get bowled over with insights and inspiration at the upcoming F2FEC 2016 conference.
Let Loose and Play On The Big Easy’s Fulton Alley is a place where everyone comes out to play.
By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
46 REMEMBER WHEN 1950s Dial Soap
A Curve Ball
A Clean Start to the New Year
Neil Hupfauer’s unexpected return to the bowling industry is a win for Cinergy Entertainment.
By Patty Heath
By Jim Goodwin
24 COVER STORY
Dinghong, A Symbol of Prosperity
CONTRIBUTORS David Garber Jim Goodwin Patty Heath Evan Henerson Pamela Kleibrink Thompson Hero Noda Robert Sax
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Fred Groh email@example.com
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jackie Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
By Robert Sax
By Robert Sax
ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Designworks
By Patty Heath
How Kevin and Wendy Wen are helping to reawaken bowling in China.
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER David Garber
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 2015, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.
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THE ISSUE AT HAND
Visa Time If there ever were a year to apply for a visa, 2016 is the year: not the Visa that requires a high FICO score and is “accepted everywhere,” and not the kind that will expand your debt. The visa I’m talking about is guaranteed to expand your mind and will grow your perspective of our amazing sport and business. I think this is the year to apply for a travel visa and head to the People’s Republic of China. There are many bowling stories about contemporary China. We’ve featured and profiled quite a few exceptional companies and leaders over the years. In the 90s, China was fueling the growth of the bowling industry. Then, as the world experienced an economic crisis, the tide turned. The bowling market in China imploded and has been struggling to reinvent itself ever since. Our issue this month is dedicated to the amazing new breed of bowling entrepreneurs in China. With Kevin and Wendy Wen, we glimpse the spirit and go-get-it attitude that is energizing Chinese business across the board, and bowling in particular. As if that isn’t enough to make you want to visit this re-emerging market, I would highly recommend checking out this year’s 52nd annual QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup which will be held
in Shanghai at Hao’s Bowl. The QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup continually evolves and is a window into the world of the sport of bowling. This past year’s event was held at the venerable 56-laner inside Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas. Close to 100 countries participated in this event. No athlete was bowling for a paycheck here. Each athlete bowled because of their inner love and passion to represent their country in a sport they love. Olympics? Well, until that day, this event captures that spirit and mission. Finally, what is also exciting to see is a Chinese professional bowling team being selected, trained and given a chance to bowl in the World Series of Bowling in Reno late last year. One must give credit to Frank Zhao of Longmarch Bowling who brought a dream to reality, and for Brunswick who was willing to sponsor and support the Chinese Dream Team. Watching the various videos of their team’s bowling styles only adds to the mystique and intrigue. Looking forward to running into you this year, the year to focus on China.
TRAVEL BACK TO THE FUTURE
TO WATCH BOWLING
– SCOTT FRAGER, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
4Your Bowler of the Month Mabel Hook, 95-years young, is another nonagenarian to inspire you! Bowling at Beaver-Vu Bowl in Beavercreek, OH, she is the senior member of the Wednesday morning Tea Timers league and bowls Sunday nights in the Our Gang league, plus subbing during the week when asked. Bowling keeps her going, Mabel shared with contributing writer Debbie Juniewicz of MyDaytonDailyNews.com. There are also 12 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren to keep her busy. She has been bowling for more than six decades. Her first lanes were in the basement of a Catholic church in Indiana which included pin boys. “You’re never too old,” she says. Mabel, we salute you!
Do you have a special bowler at your center we can highlight? Email Patty at email@example.com. 6
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LAI Games’ Speed of Light debuts on TV series
Thanksgiving Baby’s First Birthday When Ryland Hochscheid asks where he was born, there will be a good story. Ashley Hochsheid, and her husband, Terry, were on their way to the hospital on Thanksgiving Day 2014 when baby Ryland, their second child, decided it was time to arrive. In lieu of a hospital, the parking lot at Colerain Bowl in Colerain, OH, became the delivery room, and Colerain firefighter Andy Smith became the delivery doctor. Colerain Bowl owner Mickey Heeg said, “What better way to Ryland Hochscheid enjoys his first start off a Thanksgiving?” The birthday cake. Hochsheids told WLWT News 5 that they planned on having Ryland’s first birthday party at Colerain Bowl. And that is just what they did. Cut to Nov. 25, 2015. By the looks of our one-year-old, Ryland feels right at home on the lanes. Happy Birthday!
ß ß ß ß ßß ß ß ß ß ß ß ß ß ß ß ß Bowler strikes it big with lottery ticket.
LaRu Bowling Lanes in Highland Heights, KY, recently sold the winning ticket for the Kentucky Cash Ball drawing. The $200,000 prize, at the time Eagle Country Online posted this, had not yet been claimed. The winner has 180 days. Let’s see. . . Nov. 10 and counting.
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Speed of Light, a popular redemption arcade game developed by game manufacturer LAI Games, made its television series debut recently on the new Nickelodeon show, Game Shakers. The show is about two prodigal girls who create a hit video game app and subsequently start a multimillion-dollar title gaming company. (Every parent’s dream!) The game itself is a creative solution for entertainment centers that tests players’ reaction time and grabs their attention with a unique concept that combines the addictiveness of gaming with a test of players’ reflexes. Speed of Light won the Best of Show Award in the Redemption Arcade Game category in 2011 for its creative concept and market relevance. Speed of Light can be found at Dave & Buster’s.
DORNBERGER STEPS DOWN AS PRESIDENT OF WORLD BOWLING When immovable objects come together, compromise can be a positive solution. At least that is what seems to have taken place at World Bowling. The two leading figures in the power-pull are Kevin Dornberger, president and CEO of World Bowling, and Sheikh Talal Mohammad A-Sabah, president of the Asian Bowling Federation. In a combined letter from the two, addressed to the World Bowling executive board and member federations, Dornberger will step down as president, paving the way for Sheikh Talal to become the new head of the organization. Sheikh Talal’s strong support from Asian Bowling Federation member nations would likely give him the nod in a head-tohead election. Thus the compromise. “We agree completely that the entire bowling 8
community must become united in our efforts: zones, federations and the bowling industry,” the letter states. “We could only achieve our maximum potential by combining and targeting our resources on our primary goals.” These goals were listed as making the sport more appealing to youth; increasing television coverage and spectator appeal; soliciting more commercial sponsors and partners outside the bowling industry; and encouraging all federations to work closely with their National Olympic Committees. The gist: Dornberger has withdrawn his nomination for president of WTBA/World Bowling for 2015 – 2019. Sheikh Talal has been elected president of World Bowling and has agreed to work with Dornberber. Sheikh Talal will propose to the executive board that Dornberger continue to remain CEO of WTBA/World Bowling for a period of three years.
SHORTS In beginning a new year, let’s first look back to some major movers who made support and generosity part of their bowling business plan during the holidays. Steve and Vanessa Fred, proprietors of VNS Lanes in Philadelphia, PA, have a wonderful tradition. They put up a big Christmas tree and hang cards from homeless and battered women’s shelters, giving sizes for coats, shoes and clothes for boys, girls and mothers. Bowlers adopt a card and buy a gift for that person or child from the list, wrap it and put it under the tree. The center then hosts a holiday feast for the bowlers and the women and children. Fun, food and needed gifts make Christmas a gratifying time for all. Chris and Cheryl Sobottka, owners of Club 53 Bar and Bowling Center in Amery, WI, shared with IBI the center’s reach-out to honor one of its employees, who took his life this past August. To help in the healing of family and friends and to support the Polk County Mental Health Task Force for Suicide Prevention, the center held the first annual K.A.P. (Kevin Adam Prindle) 9 Pin Tournament. The event was a huge success and raised $9,000 for the Task Force. In January 2014, SUNY (State University of New York) Broome launched its first global service-learning course directly providing humanitarian assistance to those in Grande Saline and Cite Soleil, Haiti. Through the course, students engage in projects that address pressing community needs. This past holiday, the college’s first bowling tournament fundraiser was held at Midway Lanes, Vestal, NY. How about a Thanksgiving meal for 500? That was what Limerick Bowl, Limerick, PA, hosted along with Crossroads Presbyterian Church. The Turkey Bowl was the event’s second year and exceeded last year’s numbers. Food appreciation, and family fun warmed the hearts of participants and volunteers. Of course, there is always the traditional turkey bowl which has frozen turkeys sliding down the lanes to pummel pins. That is what happened at Aaron’s Family Fun Center in Belton, MO. Participants hurled frozen turkeys for the Belton Chamber of Commerce with the proceeds going toward scholarships for Belton students. Karen Fletcher, chairwoman for the turkey bowling committee, said the event is in its fourth year. “It’s a fun way to get people in the community involved,” said Fletcher. Doing something good while having fun bowling has increased the number of participants each year. What is your center doing? Email Patty Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bowling is now Unreal Crunch Technology located in Orlando, FL, wants to make bowling unreal with its interactive lane display system combining high-end graphics and audio, aptly named Unreal Bowling. This visually amazing experience goes beyond glow and cosmic bowling. Once the ball is thrown, sound and colorful images track its journey to the pins. It could be balloons, flames or interlocking octagons. Gregg Pasdiora, representing Unreal Bowling, shares that seeing is believing. The Unreal system can be experienced at Paone’s Blackhawk Lanes in Sterling, IL. Geographically challenged? Visit www.unrealbowl.com. A young bowler watches his ball traverse the piano keys; as the ball passes, each individual key lights up and plays a tune.
A GLANCE AT IAAPA ATTRACTIONS
IAAPA, an association for the attractions industry worldwide, held its 2015 expo Nov. 16-20 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Its success is clearly seen in the numbers published: u 1,066 companies displayed new products and services on 558,610 net-square-feet of floor space. u 21,200 qualified buyers from around the world were present. u 13,400 people participated in 114 education programs. u 1,260 participants met, socialized and shared ideas at the opening reception. u Exhibitors held a record 34 press conferences to reveal new rides, attractions, technologies and innovations. u Approximately $150,000 was raised for Give Kids the World through a golf tournament, motorcycle ride, fun run and walk and corporate donations. Since 1995, IAAPA has raised more than $1 million for The Village. “This was an incredible week,” said IAAPA president and CEO, Paul Noland. “Walking the trade show floor, it was evident that the global attractions industry is booming in every corner of the world.” IBI
EXPANSIONS, OPENINGS & NEW BEGINNINGS Jerry and Teresa Ferrell purchased Victory Lanes in Excelsior Springs, MO. With a new name, Tiger Bowl, and a top-to-bottom cleaning and painting, it is open for business. The former Melody Lanes in Penn Hills, PA, has been purchased by Doug Lincoln and his business partner, Sophie Jano. With plans to renovate and update the space, they hope to reopen by August under the new name Sophie’s Lanes. Upon completion, there will be 10 lanes, pool tables, a snack bar and other upgraded equipment. “I’ve always wanted to do this since I was a kid,” Lincoln said. Playdrome of Cherry Hill, NJ, is now The Big Event. After 50 years and a 2-year, $2 million renovation, the 1960s center, owned by Jon Perper, now offers a one-stop entertainment experience for bowlers in leagues and leisure bowlers; a VIP section for corporate and social parties; a café; and Game Mania, a boardwalk-like arcade featuring over 50 games and a rock climbing wall. Perper said, “We want to be that community gathering spot for everything.” Another re-invention, Saratoga Bowling Lanes in Corpus Christi, is now Bowlero. Included in the upgraded center is a laser tag arena, an arcade, a sports bar and outdoor beer garden.
IAAPA’S BRASS RING AWARD GOES TO EMBED Embed, a revenue management systems provider, announced that it was awarded the IAAPA Brass Ring award for the smartTouch™ Reader, chosen as the best new product in the Revenue & Admission Control/Wristbands/RFID Technology category. This is the second such award given to Embed, honoring excellence and creativity. smartTouch Reader was developed from the ground up with guests, operators and technical staff in mind. Two models, Insert and Tap, officially launched at IAAPA, with the Swipe version set for release in the first quarter of 2016. “We’re highly appreciative of our pilot customers who’ve helped us shape the smartTouch Readers into a On the left is Mark Easte, ground-breaking platform for guest Senior VP of research and interaction and service innovation,” development and on the said Theo Sanders, CEO of Helix right is Theo Sanders, CEO. Leisure. 10
PEOPLEWATCHING Brunswick Bowling has made a few additions to its Consumer Products division. Jeremy Pettenger and Jordan Vanover have joined the team as product specialists and will be based in Muskegon, MI. Pettenger joins Brunswick with nine years of outside sales and project Jeremy Pettenger management experience. He is a USBC certified coach and bowled collegiately at Grand Valley State University where he earned a degree in sociology. Vanover’s background is sales, pro shop operations and coaching. Certified as an IBPSIA Master Instructor, Vanover is a graduate of Jordan Vanover Saginaw Valley State University and most recently was a regional sales manager for Turbo 2-N-1 Grips. Moving to Brunswick’s capital equipment side, Kris DesRoches has been hired as capital equipment management consultant for New York, New Jersey and the New England states. With more than 15 years of BEC support experience, DesRoches will consult with existing bowling centers, as well as support sales of capital equipment, including Sync, Pro Lane and Anvilane systems, GS pinsetters, and Center Kris DeRoches Stage and Frameworx furniture. Prior to his hiring at Brunswick, DesRoches was director of sales for Canada at Striker Bowling Solutions. IBMA tapped Jackie Wyckoff to assume the duties of operations manager as of last October. IBMA president Keith Hamilton said, “The board felt Jackie was uniquely qualified for the job. She has served on or chaired most of the committees over the past decade, and she was president from 2009 to 2011.” To name a few of her duties, Wyckoff will coordinate the IBMA committees and chairmen and oversee social media, including the website, Facebook groups and Twitter feed. She shared, “I was delighted when President Hamilton called and told me I had been selected to assume this new position. I think it’s a good fit for all Jackie Wyckoff of us.”
Let Loose and Play On
At the Big Easy’s Fulton Alley, come out and have a great time. By Robert Sax
ew Orleans is a city that reveres its local traditions, from jazz to Mardi Gras parades to red beans and rice. It doesn’t jump on trends, preferring that the new be respectfully integrated into the existing local culture. So that’s the approach Kyle Brechtel, creator of Fulton Alley, used to bring a contemporary, boutique bowling center and bar to his native city. “I always believed New Orleans is not a late adopter, but kind of a last adopter,” says Brechtel, who opened Fulton Alley in 2013 at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino in a revitalized section of downtown. In fact, it took more than a decade for Fulton Alley to come to fruition. The story began in 2004, when Harrah’s had begun adding additional entertainment attractions to its property. They planned to make a section of Fulton Street, near the casino, into a year-round nightlife area. “We had a vision to create a more well-rounded entertainment offering,” said Kristin Westberg, Harrah’s vice president of marketing. “We’ve been part of the revitalization of the Central Business District.”
Harrah’s envisioned an upscale bowling center as one of the attractions. According to Brechtel, they first approached John Blanchard, owner of the city’s famous Rock’n’Bowl concert and bowling venue. But Blanchard didn’t want to open a second location, and Brechtel, a restaurant developer with a successful McAllister’s Deli franchise in the casino, told them that he would be interested in exploring the concept. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and put the bowling venue and other Fulton Street developments on hold. Brechtel continued developing his group of franchised restaurants, including eight McAllister's Delis, until the recession hit in 2009. He then decided to take a pause from development and get his MBA at Tulane University. He was finishing up his MBA in 2010 when Harrah’s came
back to him about the bowling concept. They were getting interest from other developers and told him, "If you want to do this you need to get a proposal together and come present it to us." Coincidentally Brechtel’s last MBA class was New Venture Creation, and for his class project he created a business plan for what ultimately became Fulton Alley. “The timing worked out where I was actually able to get some credits for my class while at the same time starting the due diligence in earnest on this project,” recalls Brechtel. “That's when things really kicked off, and I hired a consultant [Jerry Morola of Amusement Entertainment Management ] to do a feasibility study.” He also traveled the country to check out successful boutique bowling concepts including Lucky Strike Lanes, Brooklyn Bowl and Bowl and Barrel in Dallas. “I really got a feel for this boutique model that was emerging everywhere,” says Brechtel. He shared that some of the people he talked to mentioned Rock’n’Bowl as an inspiration. “It was kind of ironic that here in New Orleans we may have had one of the early boutique bowling alleys but it got refined and expanded all over before it came full circle [and] came back here.”
It Had to be the Real Thing Brechtel and his team didn't want Fulton Alley to simply mimic the other boutique concepts that were already out there. It had to be rooted in the Crescent City and it had to be authentic. “We wanted it to feel like New Orleans without being faux New Orleans. We didn't want to have Mardi Gras beads, and especially being in a location [where] you can get a lot of businesses that cater more towards the tourists,” says Brechtel. “We wanted it to be a place where first locals, then tourists, felt like they were in New Orleans and were getting an authentic experience.” Dynamic Design of Michigan handled the architectural and interior design, converting the ground floor of Harrah’s parking garage into Fulton Alley. Theming designer Doug Wilkerson’s first step was to tour the Central Business District and other areas with Brechtel, “window-shopping” the many interesting establishments there in search of authentic design elements such as light fixtures, wallpaper and windows. “We gathered all the different pieces of New Orleans we
wanted to bring to the project,” says Wilkerson. His favorite piece is the bar, which is made from reclaimed wood from river barges, a staple of New Orleans design since the early 18th century. Instead of standard masking units over the pins, Wilkerson put in a brick wall with replica windows, maintaining the old industrial look that’s typical of the old warehouses in the area. Wilkerson, who also does scenic design for attractions, enjoyed the opportunity to apply his skills at bringing out the strong story elements of the city of New Orleans. “It’s one location we did that really had a story built into it.”
Sinful Food and Drink Mark Twain praised New Orleans food as “delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” Creating an authentic New Orleans vibe meant paying close attention to food and drink in a city that loves to indulge in both. For cuisine, Brechtel turned to Michael Nirenberg, the chef who launched the Tivoli & Lee restaurant and its modern take on Southern cuisine. He created a menu that
Fulton Alley calls an “essential collection of Southern classics, street food and pub favorites.” You might recognize some of the dishes by name, but they have been reworked for an upscale palate. The appetizer list includes Cajun beef pies with spicy creolaise, fried Brussels sprouts with a pepper jelly glaze and deviled eggs filled with a tangy remoulade topped with chicken cracklins. Even more substantial offerings include sweet and spicy chicken or pork belly sliders and tacos with barbecued beef or sautéed Gulf shrimp. Desserts are a contemporary riff on New Orleans classics, like chocolate and raisin bread pudding beignets, bacon praline bites and frozen peanut butter bites. It’s food for the taste-conscious, not the diet-conscious, but this is the Big Easy. A bar in New Orleans must have great drinks, so Brechtel enlisted Neal Bodenheimer and Kirk Estopinal, the mixologists behind the city’s popular Cure and Bellocq cocktail bars. Guests will find a list of artisanal cocktails including the Ole Miss Betsy, a concoction of cinnamon-infused brandy, demerara sugar, IBI
Angostura bitters and scotch, and The Exchanging Lanes, a variation on the Sazerac, the classic cocktail of New Orleans. There’s also a selection of spirits, domestic beers and wines. Brechtel says the public reaction has been very positive. “Where we are, it's a heavy event-based [clientele], parties during the week. We have a lot of corporate business from the conferences and conventions during the week and then on the weekends, it becomes more locals with people that are going out. We have a very singular focus which is just this idea, this concept of ‘playing’.” Harrah’s is very pleased with Fulton Alley, which is popular with its customers and employees alike. It also draws a good crowd from the nearby convention center. “Conventioneers are walking down Convention Center Boulevard going back to their hotels and they see this fantastic looking bowling alley,” says Westberg, “and it lures them in. It provides a really fun group activity for those folks.” The bowling lanes are in heavy demand, and to give patrons additional
options, Brechtel has added a game parlor. It features shuffleboard, bocce, board games and a giant chess set which encourages group game-play and hanging out. This allows people to start “playing” while waiting for a bowling lane to become available. “We wanted to do it in a way that was somewhat nostalgic in terms of the bowling. People can play with friends and put their phones down for a while and actually have a conversation,” says Brechtel. Now that Fulton Alley is up and running, will Brechtel open others? He says not yet. “I already have some markets in mind, but we're not going to force it. Fulton Alley in itself will probably be a one-off. Harrah's wanted Fulton Alley to be representative of this location and this property,” he says. “I'm looking at opportunities as we speak and hopefully within the next couple of years, we'll be moving forward with something.” In the meantime, you know where the party (and the bowling) is on Fulton Street. ❖
Robert Sax is a writer and PR consultant in Los Angeles. He grew up in Toronto, Canada, the home of five-pin bowling.
A Curve Ball Neil Hupfauer’s unexpected return to the bowling industry is a win for Cinergy Entertainment.
By Jim Goodwin hat a difference a day makes. In 1986, Neil Hupfauer decided to leave the restaurant business and was one day away from purchasing a small chain of billiard parlors when his friend Ronnie Rhodes, former owner of Bowling & Billiards of Dallas, told him the Golden Triangle Bowl in Irving, TX, was available for purchase. Two weeks later, Hupfauer was in the bowling business as owner of the 48-lane, landmark center. “I negotiated a deal in five days, cancelled the billiard deal, and closed all within about ten days,” Hupfauer said. His first hire, recommended by Rhodes,
was chief mechanic Pete Delmonte. “They told me that keeping the pinsetters and systems working was most important,” he said, “and it is still true today.” He was on the fast track then, and it continued for more than 20 years. Today, at 74, Hupfauer is the interim chief operating officer of Cinergy Entertainment Group, Inc. where he is helping owner and CEO Jeff Benson figure out the newest trend in family entertainment centers. The new hybrid model that has Cinergy and a few others very excited is the combination of two of America’s oldest and favorite recreational activities, bowling and movies, along with food and beverage, games and other activities we have seen in 21st century models. Hupfauer’s newest challenge was not planned. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball.
The Love of His Life Neil Hupfauer is a strong man; a disciplined marine who is a tough and brilliant business entrepreneur. But nothing prepared him for the time when his beloved and beautiful wife Jan became ill. In the fall of 2014, she was diagnosed with FTD, which by itself is life changing; but only a few months passed before doctors discovered that she also had ALS. Jan passed away on July 14, 2015. They were married for 34 years. They have three daughters and eight grandchildren. Neil also has three step-children from a previous marriage. “It has been a very difficult time,” said The love of Neil's life, his wife Jan. Hupfauer. “She did so many things and touched so many people. This house is an example. She picked every piece of furniture, all of the colors, everything. She was great with friends and family. She had style and class, and I hope some of it rubbed off on me. I used to tease her because I never knew you could spend so much on one chair or one pillow.” Many were surprised when in 2007 he sold his booming Main Event Entertainment business and decided to take a few years off to spend time with Jan and the family. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life. Together, he and Jan traveled all over Europe, to Italy several times, to Australia, and to many other places.
“None of us ever knows everything that is ahead of us, and I’m so glad that we decided to spend that time together. Not just because of what happened, but because it was great for both of us,” said Hupfauer.
The Road from Jack in the Box to Cinergy The foundation for Hupfauer’s success in the bowling business was built on the restaurant business. In 1960, while in the Marine Corp stationed in California, he got a part-time job with a friend at a local Jack in the Box. After he was discharged from the Marines in 1963, he leased a Jack in the Box in Houston. In three years, he had worked his way up to area training director in Houston, and then area manager for the DallasFort Worth market. In 1969, he moved back to his hometown of Chicago to become the regional manager in charge of all stores east of the Mississippi, and a year later became division vice president in charge of five states. He had enjoyed his time in Dallas and decided to move back there and make it his new permanent home. In Dallas, he started bowling in a local league, and met Ronnie Rhodes and most of the top bowlers in the area. In 1977, he left Jack in the Box to open his own barbeque restaurant, called Drover BBQ, and while building that business, signed on as the financial manager at Rhodes’ business, Bowling & Billiards of Dallas. With Bowling & Billiards and his Drover BBQ going well, Hupfauer added two more BBQ restaurants, and purchased a chain of 22 Dog House drive-through restaurants. Two years later, he sold the Dog House chain and opened another BBQ. In 1986, he wanted a career change from the endless hours required in the restaurant business. This is when he purchased Golden Triangle Bowl,
renaming it Triangle. Only a year later, he was approached by a California-based chain, American Recreation Centers (ARC), with a partnership deal. Immediately, the new company added a center in Lewisville, TX. Next a converted former hardware store in Richardson, TX, was added with centers in Houston and Midland coming later. In 1992, Triangle Arlington became the first all-new center for the Texas division of ARC. Hupfauer wanted to make it more of a family center than the traditional model. It was billed as the “first commercial non-smoking center in America.”
Two years later, the company built a new center in upscale Addison, TX, and named it Fun Fest. As the name suggested, it was all about open play. Birthday and corporate parties were introduced and aggressively sold. A full-time outside sales staff promoted the new concept. Fun Fest was unique not only because it was one of America’s first FECs, but because, many of the ideas Hupfauer had been talking about were proven to work. Laser tag was installed, the first debit card system for video games was introduced, and a Pizza Hut franchise within the building all proved to be wildly popular. After Fun Fest, Hupfauer knew for sure he was seeing the future model for bowling centers. Then another unexpected twist accelerated the process... In 1997, America’s largest chain of centers, AMF, in an attempt to consolidate the industry, aggressively bought centers across the nation, and the ARC chain was one of those acquisitions. They did not want a minority partner like Hupfauer, and he did not want to be their partner, so he negotiated a buy-out. AMF did not ask for a non-compete clause. “I don’t know why they didn’t, but it made me
PROFILE happy, and I immediately began planning the next version of the Fun Fest concept,” said Hupfauer. This time, Hupfauer partnered with wellrespected Dallas businessman David Smith, and they laid out plans for a new chain of family centers. Jan Hupfauer suggested the name Main Event Entertainment, and it stuck. The first of many Main Events opened in Lewisville, TX, in October 1998. “Neil is the type of person that any good business man would want for a partner. The only regret I have is that I didn't meet him ten years earlier,” shared Smith. Staffing of the new Main Events was made easier when chief mechanic Pete Delmonte and seven other former Triangle managers decided to leave AMF to work for Hupfauer. Apparently, the loyalty and integrity they learned from Hupfauer rubbed off. “The years I spent working for Neil were the happiest of my career,” said Delmonte. “Neil taught me a lot. I feel blessed to have met and worked for someone in the industry who had integrity and dealt honestly with me and with others. I especially appreciated the way Neil viewed the business as a ‘real business’ and operated with sincere respect for his employees, his vendors and his associates. I consider him directly responsible for the current modernized version of a bowling center combined with a family recreation facility.” In 2007, with eight locations doing very well, Hupfauer and Smith sold Main Event Entertainment to Macquarie Leisure Trust. It was a cash deal, and the plan was that Macquarie would take the chain nationwide.
Neil Hupfauer left and Jeff Benson right.
Now as COO with Cinergy, Jeff Benson CEO, couldn’t be more excited that he now has one of the pioneers of the bowling entertainment business on his team. “Neil’s vast experience developing and operating bowling and family entertainment centers, coupled with his entrepreneurial perspective will allow Cinergy to further develop and expand our operations and innovation,” he told IBI after Hupfauer came on-board in September. Cinergy Entertainment Group has a very busy 51,000-square22
foot entertainment complex in Midland, and two 90,000-squarefoot centers coming – one in Odessa, TX, only 17 miles from Midland under construction, and one in Amarillo on the drawing board. Midland does not have room for bowling, but it may be added later. Odessa and Amarillo will have bowling. “The movie business is extremely simple compared to an FEC,” said Hupfauer. “I’ve asked Jeff a hundred times – are you sure you want to do this? Because it is a lot more work and expense, but it is rewarding if you do it well. The two different businesses are opposites in terms of service, but when you combine them, it is not just twice as good, it is four or five times as good. Hollywood drives traffic. Even when movies are bad, they still bring way more people to the building than a bowling center or FEC would get on its own.”
A Winning Philosophy and Priceless Advice “The Marines had a huge impact on how I live my life,” Hupfauer said. “It taught me self-discipline, work ethic, commitment, organization, but most of all the Marine Corp motto, Semper Fi, which means always faithful, always loyal. ” His advice for young entrepreneurs is similar. He believes, “Respect the team, have a sense of urgency, excellence in execution, attention to detail, measure everything, but most important, have integrity and keep an open mind.” But even with all of his accomplishments, and likely more on the horizon, Hupfauer remains humble. “I am most proud that I have made many friends, created many jobs, and with Jan, raised terrific kids. What more could anyone ask for?” ❖
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.
By Robert Sax
European king had a royal chalice as a symbol of power. A Chinese emperor had a ding, an elaborately decorated cast bronze incense container which evolved from a traditional clay cooking pot. The ding became an emblem of dynastic power and the word “ding” later came to symbolize prosperity. In contemporary China, the husband and wife team of Kevin and Wendy Wen are building a dynasty of their own, a chain of bowling centers known as Dinghong (“Grand Prosperity”) Bowling. It’s the largest chain in China at seven centers and growing, so Dinghong seems an apt choice of name.
“We are making a revolution in bowling center management in the China market,” says Wendy Wen. “We are trying to create a new business model which is transformed and upgraded from traditional bowling alleys that will evolve into a new combination of sports, recreation and entertainment.”
SPORTS ENTHUSIAST TO BOWLING PROPRIETOR
As an athlete and sports fan, Kevin Wen loves all kinds of sports. He graduated from Beijing Sports University in 1986 with a bachelor’s IBI
COVER STORY degree in physical education and a major in basketball. Kevin became fascinated by bowling in 1993, when the sport was new to China. Bowling boomed in China in the 1990s, and in September 1997
Kevin opened his first bowling center in his hometown of Mudanjiang, a city in Northern China. At the same time, he married Wendy, an architect who helped design the bowling centerâ€™s building and interior. Kevin had just gotten his center established when the bowling boom collapsed in 2000. Many Chinese bowling centers
subsequently closed, but Kevin managed to stay in business. In the summer of 2002, Wendy attended her first Bowl Expo in New Orleans. She was impressed with the high level of the U.S. bowling industry, especially its marketing and promotion practices which were well ahead of the Chinese industry at that time. Wendy then travelled around America for two months, meeting people from the BPAA, USBC and PBA, as well as many proprietors. On her return, Wendy decided that she had more opportunities and faced less competition in the Chinese bowling market than in its architecture and design industry. She went to work full-time with Kevin at Dinghong, determined to become the leaders in Chinese bowling. She still gets to exercise her architectural and project management skills in constructing and managing their centers. In 2003, the Wens began a period of steady growth that continues today. One by one they opened new centers in the cities of northern China. Today Dinghong Bowling has more than 100 lanes combined in seven centers located in Harbin, Changchun, Daqing and Mudanjiang. Gary Smith, the former vice president of international sales for Brunswick, sees the Chinese market as â€œabsolutely ripe for these new style bowling entertainment centersâ€? that Dinghong is building. He describes the general state of Chinese bowling as
COVER STORY “stuck in the '90s. Basically just old, traditional bowling alleys.” Membership, the foundation of Dinghong’s daily revenue, stands at more than 30,000; member benefits include special pricing. “Chinese people like to get extra benefits,” says Wendy, “so we have used membership to satisfy this consumer demand.” The company has developed its own patented membership software, which Wendy says is a very successful marketing tool for Dinghong.
the leisure sports industry is still developing, it’s a promising market because consumer demand is growing and the central government encourages businesses that promote physical health and recreation. Increasing numbers of Chinese are travelling abroad now, with the United States as the number two destination (France is number one). According to Forbes magazine, in 2014 nearly two million Chinese visitors arrived in the U.S., up 21 percent over 2013. Industry officials expect to record another 25 – 30 percent increase this year, about 50 percent higher than previous growth projections for 2015. While in America, these tourists are visiting many entertainment venues (including BECs and FECs) that are much more advanced than what they are used to in China. Dinghong
URBANIZATION AND FOREIGN TRAVEL BOOST BOWLING
China has urbanized significantly in the last few decades as a result of accelerated economic and social development. According to the 2010 Chinese census, almost 50 percent of the population was urban residents, up from 36 percent in the 2000 population census. It is estimated that China's urban population will reach one billion by 2030.
China now has more than 160 cities with a population of more than one million, including seven megacities with a population of more than 10 million; Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shenzhen, and Wuhan. By 2025, it is estimated that the country will be home to 221 cities with more than a million inhabitants. The steady development of the economy means that many Chinese now have more leisure time and enough disposable income to participate in recreational activities like bowling. While IBI
COVER STORY is working diligently to meet the raised expectations of these returning tourists, especially the younger generation. “It is no doubt that a combination of different attractions will drive more
the affluent and sophisticated people of the Shenzen area. It is Dinghong’s first center in southern China. “We’ll try to make this new center fresh, fashionable and relaxed,” says Wendy. “The interior design uses the contrast of different material textures, such as stone, steel, bricks and wood to make the center classic and elegant.”
A PROSPEROUS FUTURE
and more young people [to bowling centers] as long as your service and products are brilliant enough. Not only bowling equipment, but also food and cocktails,” says Wendy. A particular challenge is to adapt American ideas to suit Chinese tastes and spending patterns. “Making a successful new bowling model accommodated to the new young Chinese generation’s taste is our core work right now,” says Wendy. “The Chinese, like the Asian culture in general, they're really into sport and bowling is a big sport for them,” says Smith. “They're also starting to see the way that the bowling industry has changed and evolved in the last ten years. Now they're starting to see the entertainment side of it as well.” Dinghong’s new, more sophisticated model is now available in the upscale Ouya Shopping Square in the city of Changchun. It features 26 lanes with a 22-lane primary section and a four-lane VIP section. Equipment is from Brunswick, including GS-96 pinsetters and a Vector Plus scoring system. The center also has an arcade and a billiards room, plus an American-style burger bar called High Five Burger and the L & R Lounge for cocktails, beer and wine. According to Wendy, the new center is already Dinghong’s most successful, with twice the revenue of the chain’s number two center. The Wens’ most ambitious project to date is a bowling center at the elaborate Mission Hills golf resort near Shenzen, China’s fastestgrowing urban area. A veritable Disney World of golf, Mission Hills boasts twelve 18-hole resort and championship courses designed by golf's greatest legends, including Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Greg Norman. The resort’s owners are now developing Mission Hills Centreville, a US$793 million commercial development next door to the golf course that will feature a 700 room five-star hotel, IMAX theatre, exhibition halls, 200 retailers, an international school and 1,000 apartments all surrounded by extensive parkland. It is intended to be the first high-end shopping mall in northern Shenzhen and opened in the fall of 2015. For the bowling center, the Wens plan a 20-lane operation with 4 VIP lanes, cosmic bowling and Western-style food and beverages. They are determined to raise the bar for Chinese bowling centers and wow even 28
After 20 years of experience in the Chinese bowling industry, the Wens believe that China has entered a revitalization period they call the “bowling spring.” To further capitalize on the situation, Dinghong diversified its operation in 2013 by becoming a distributor in China of Brunswick capital equipment, after-market parts and supplies and consumer goods. Wendy feels the next five years will be a key period for the company. “Dinghong is going to widen the gap with its competitors,” she says. “With the support from a capital investing company, we are planning to build two to three centers in big cities in China each year.” Gary Smith agrees that the current demographics and economic situation favor a revival of the Chinese bowling industry. “The Chinese people have two main things [now],” says Smith. “Two big things that you didn't see
on a widespread basis back in the bowling boom. That is freedom and money.” Freedom and money that the Wens believe will support a new and sustainable flowering of prosperity for Dinghong and Chinese bowling. ❖
Robert Sax is a writer and PR consultant in Los Angeles. He grew up in Toronto, Canada, the home of five-pin bowling.
From karaoke to The Voice, Shelby Brown stands above the rest. By Evan Henerson hen trend-watchers talk about the career of budding country and pop songstress Shelby Brown, they will undoubtedly make reference to Brown winning audiences over during karaoke competitions at the local bowling center near the Brown family’s hometown of Elberta, AL. It’s part of her lore. Shelby was 11 when she first picked up a mic at Gulf Bowl in Foley, AL, and she has been a regular performer at the center over the past five years, from winning scholarship money in the center’s karaoke competitions to being a popular Saturday night headliner, all the way up to being selected to compete for a recording contract in the ninth season of NBC’s hit series, The Voice. The Voice even highlighted Gulf Bowl during background segments on Shelby, during which the singer affectionately refers to the center as “my bowling alley.” As Shelby’s mother Osa Brown recounts it, Shelby had sung once or twice informally during karaoke at the bowling center, unbeknownst to her parents. The family came in one evening for a bite to eat, and Shelby went off to put in a song for karaoke. “My cousin and I were sitting there talking, and then she stops and says, ‘Oh my gosh, did you know she could sing like that?’ I turned around, and our daughter is up there singing, and she didn’t sound like an 11 year old,” Osa Brown said. “Jerry, who runs the karaoke, came up and asked how old she was and had she had any lessons. So we kind of started sitting up and taking notice of things.”
“Shelby considers that bowling alley to be the place where she has grown up on stage,” Osa Brown continued. “Everybody there has been so fantastic and encouraging. We are just so appreciative of everyone’s support.” Shelby, who turned 17 in August, last performed at Gulf Bowl in October, just as the ninth season of The Voice was getting underway. The center’s owner, Sonya Cole, reports that regular Monday and Tuesday night The Voice-watching parties at Gulf Bowl have been well attended as patrons rooted for hometown hero Shelby to take the top prize. Cole very much hopes that Shelby – who spent several months in Los Angeles for the tapings - will return to Gulf Bowl for future performances in front of even larger audiences. Shelby, who was coached by pop superstar Adam Levine, made it all the way to the top nine before being eliminated in early December. If and when Shelby Brown re-takes the stage at the bowling center that launched her singing career, she may have a different kind of stage to take. Gulf Bowl has purchased the Profit Platform™, a modular stage erected over a number of lanes for events or performances. Since developing the Profit Platform™, Gordon Murrey of GKM, International, has seen bowling centers throughout the United States and internationally use the quickly-assembled stage for concerts, bar mitzvahs, weddings, dances, fundraisers and anything else that proprietors can dream up. “You have a huge space dedicated to a single purpose.”
BUSINESS Murrey said. “Periodically and strategically, you should be able to use that space to multi-task and do some amazing things.” Murrey, who is based in Southern California, followed Shelby Brown’s ascent on The Voice with great interest, particularly with an eye towards how her journey reflects potential opportunities for the bowling industry to attract new clients. Like Gulf Bowl’s Cole, he hopes Brown will eventually returns to Foley to perform. He also envisions bowling centers evolving their entertainment model to provide more platforms for other up-and-coming entertainers. Diversifying entertainment options to service the interests of its clientele is a constant challenge for bowling center proprietors. Casual bowlers and league bowlers may represent a key portion of the demographic, but operators know that a certain segment of their customer base will never pick up a ball and will seek other options if there is nothing at the center to hold their interest. In addition to its restaurant and game room, Gulf Bowl offers multi-level laser tag. The summer karaoke contests, which have students competing for scholarship money, are popular. Foley sits less than 10 miles from the popular tourist destination of Gulf Shores, meaning Gulf Bowl will always face
PRODUCT SPECIALIST NEEDED / WESTERN REGION A leader in the recreation and entertainment business for over fifty years is searching for a scoring and technology Product Specialist based in the western half of the U.S. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of two years of practical experience working with Conqueror Pro in an operating environment, good communication skills and a deep understanding of bowling center operations. They should also be proficient in general IT areas such as basic TCP/IP networks, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office Suites, as well as deeply familiar with the use of QubicaAMF scoring systems. The position requires the ability to complete product demonstrations and assist sales representatives with developing and closing opportunities. The position will be responsible for attaining a sales budget, attending industry trade shows and managing communications between the field and product management. The position requires 50% travel. We offer a competitive compensation package which includes medical and a 401(k). If you have the desire to work for the market leader in the industry, please send your resume along with a cover letter detailing your experience to Bob Lehman at email@example.com.
entertainment competition. “We have tried all kinds of entertainment – solo acts, bands, anything and everything,” said Cole, whose family also operates Eastern Shore Lanes in Spanish Fort, AL. “We’re trying to see what our customers want. We came to see that people who visited our restaurant may be a different clientele. People that bowl really didn’t come for karaoke and people who came to listen to people sing really didn’t bowl.” Center topography also plays a role in the entertainment decisions for center proprietors who have limited concourse space. Shelby has performed in the restaurant which accommodates 130 people. At her last appearance, Gulf Bowl management expected such a large turnout that they moved the entertainment to the outdoor parking lot and included a barbecue. The Profit Platform™ temporarily takes away lane space but brings the entertainment directly into the center, essentially uniting bowlers and nonbowlers alike at the same event, says Joe Schumacker, who has used the Profit Platform for more than five years at his 64-lane center SpareZ in South Florida. In addition to being used for special events and concerts, the platform comes out every Friday and Saturday for DJs. Recently, for a concert featuring the hip-hop act the OMG GirlZ SpareZ sold 1,100 tickets. “If we can make the center a special place or make an event a special event by way of what we do, then that’s a big step forward,” said Schumacker, past president of the BPAA. “If I were advising folks getting into the business, the Profit Platform would be part of my starter package for any new operator of a bowling business.”. ❖
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.
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top eight women bowlers.
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Kevin Dornberger and Pat Ciniello.
Sam’s Town, Q ubicaAMF Wor ld Cup host.
Pat Ciniello and Juan Cabezas pass the torch to the hosts of the 52nd QubicaAMF World Cup in Shanghai, China.
Top 24 men bowlers.
QubicaAMF President Juan Cabezas with men’s champion Wu Siu Hong, women’s champion Clara Juliana Guererro and QubicaAMF’s chairman of the board Pat Ciniello.
Mort Luby, Frank Sissons and Paul Lane. IBI
10XBetter Bowled over with insights and inspiration at F2FEC.
By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
eaders, innovators and visionaries in the family entertainment business will gather in San Diego in February for the second annual Face to Face Entertainment Conference (F2FEC). Participants will include manufacturers, suppliers and operators in all segments of the industry including bowling centers and traditional family entertainment centers. The theme for 2016 is 10X Better. The conference hosts, known as the Three Amigos, are; Ben Jones, a senior lender specializing in entertainment centers at Live Oak Bank; Rick Iceberg, president of CJ Barrymore’s; and George Smith, president of the Family Entertainment Group. They are planning a lively, instructive and relevant event. F2FEC 2016 will be held Tuesday, Feb. 23, to Thursday, Feb. 25, at Kona Kai Resort in San Diego, CA. F2FEC is an entertaining strategy forum. Change or Die was the provocative theme of the first conference. TED-like presentations led to lively interactive table talk sprinkled with humor. The Three Amigos stimulated the discussions by singling out alliance partners and calling upon leaders in the entertainment center industry. Questions were posed, such as, “Can you pay your staff a starting wage of $10 an hour?” or “Are your prices too low?” or “ Are you visible and are you bankable?” More than just questions, the Amigos led debate and offered action steps. One principle of particular interest to bowling center operators was the vulnerability of standnt. alone attractions. There was a general consensus Guests mingling at the 2015 eve that every entertainment center had to offer a variety of attractions, games and upgraded food and beverage services to remain competitive. Andy Bartholomy, owner of Andy B’s based in Springfield, MO, noted that the number of traditional league bowlers is shrinking. He is taking out lanes and using the space to add other attractions that entice younger customers. A spirited discussion between Bartholomy and Chris Mohrhardt, proprietor of Incredible Mo's in Grawn, MI, raised issues pertinent to bowling center operators everywhere — the need to broaden the
d George Smith. k Iceberg,Ben Jones an The Three Amigos: Ric
demographic of customers to their businesses. As Bartholomy noted, “We have to make difficult choices. Traditional bowling is hard to update.” Bartholomy recently added 6,000 square feet to Battlefield Lanes in Springfield, MO, and transformed the center with 21 traditional bowling lanes, each with food and beverage service; 10 lanes of “VIB” (very important bowler) luxury bowling for public and private groups, with new scoring software, music and full bar with service provided on the lanes; a 2,700-square-foot underground arena for up to 20 laser tag players in a flooded mine design; a game room and prize center; full-scale restaurant and bar with catering service; and corporate meeting and party rooms. Phil Huffman, Party Czar at BAM! in Holland, MI, learned, “the importance of regularly scrutinizing every aspect of my business” at the F2FEC. “Taking a critical look at my arcade and party rooms,” he is implementing some of what he learned at F2FEC by “changing our birthday party rooms into VIP suites, our snack bar into an adult bar and adding a few more arcade games.” BAM’s state-of-the-art bowling center in a lounge atmosphere offers rock-and-glow bowling, junior youth league, and bowling leagues. “A lot of practical, useful information was
CONFERENCE presented,” stated Brad Little, partner and general manager of HeyDay Entertainment in Norman, OK. “The correct business mindset, the correct business model, and strategic risk-taking were among a few of the concepts that resonated. Since attending the F2FEC, we’ve put into place a leadership training course for our management team and rewritten our customer service manual for our staff. ” “I enjoyed some of the presentations regarding reinvestment in your FEC for both new opportunities and to keep it alive and viable,” shard George R. Ward, II, CFO, Incredible Pizza Franchise Group, LLC, which offers miniature bowling in Springfield, MO. “There seems to be a groundswell regarding Chris Mohrhardt compensation and how to increase minimum wages and the compensation for the rest of your employees. Without movement on our parts, employees will go to the national
Brad and Keri Littl e
with Tracy and Tr ey
Bates, Owners of HeyDay.
chains (e.g.Walmart), and we will miss the opportunity to hire the best.” Barry Zelickson, proprietor of The Big Thrill Factory, which offers black light bowling on its eight lanes in Minnetonka, MN, noted, “The opportunity to speak to so many seasoned operators and compare notes, as well as share best practices, was key. A key takeaway is that we need to keep moving forward to stay relevant. You can't stop investing in your business.” Mohrhardt agreed, “A conference like F2FEC is very energizing, especially when you bring together the finest minds in the industry to share best practices. My takeaways were focused around doing something substantial to move our business to the next level, improving employee engagement and increasing accountability for managers. We have already scheduled professional training for our employees to ensure we are providing them with the proper tools – with the goal of improving engagement.” Bartholomy, who has 10 bowling centers in four states, commented, “I view F2 much like I view our seminars at Bowl Expo. We are adding more attractions to our centers that are not bowling related. Just as we learn about the bowling industry from those of us that have made it our ‘life's work,’ we can learn from experts from these other industries that can greatly reduce our learning curve. Ben Jones, Rick Iceberg, and George Smith did a fantastic job putting the conference together.” As Jones advised, “It’s vital to learn something new every day. The number one key is relationships. F2FEC is an opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with friends.” If you get an opportunity to attend the next F2FEC in February 2016, don’t miss it. Scott Danger, president of Box Thirteen Productions in Harbor Springs, MI, comments, “The Three Amigos, Jones, Iceberg and Smith, have changed the conference landscape with the first F2FEC. F2FEC is by far the most relevant education and networking experience across all sectors industry-wide. I am looking forward to 10X Better in 2016." ❖ Pamela Kleibrink Thompson lives in Idaho. In addition to writing, she is a career coach and scenario role player for peace officer training. Pamela worked as a production manager on the Emmy Awardwinning animated series The Simpsons, where she bowled regularly with members of the crew. She speaks on career issues at conferences all over the world. You can reach Pamela at PamRecruit@q.com.
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CENTERS FOR SALE CENTRAL IDAHO: 8-lane Brunswick center with Anvil lanes, 50-seat restaurant with Drive-Thru Window. All new appliances. Only bowling center within 60 miles. Call (775) 720-2726. PENNSYLVANIA: 20-lane popular & busy, newly renovated, historic 80-year-old Brunswick center. Includes 20 A pinsetters, auto scoring, and a stage. Just remodeled. In an up-and-coming Pittsburgh suburb. Website with lots of info available. Call (412) 503-3606.
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CENTERS FOR SALE COLORDAO, ASPEN: Profitable 16-lane center with pro shop, game arcade, snack bar & bar/restaurant including indoor & outdoor seating. Family owned for 22 years. Only league-licensed center within 50+ mile radius. Plenty of parking. SBA financing available to qualified buyer. Priced to sell @ $575K. Contact John Hornblower, VR Business Brokers, Aspen Co. (970) 429-8220. NORTHEAST INDIANA: Busy 16-lane center complete with snack bar, includes beer & wine license. Electronic scoring, upgraded audio & video systems. Highly visible location on Highway 27 in Portland, IN, with ample parking. Pics & info @ Century21adv.com. Contact Rob Green, Century 21 Advance Realty, email@example.com or (260) 525-8474. CENTRAL OHIO: 16-lane profitable Brunswick center with nightly leagues, lounge and snack bar. In fastest-growing and highest-income county in Ohio. Call Debra (740) 369-3451. WESTERN OREGON: 16-lane center in growing small town with high quality of life. Revenue per lane above average and cash flow trending up. Strong state license video poker revenue. A-2s, wood lanes, Qubica scoring, Frameworx seating. Includes real estate. Ken Paton, (503) 645-5630. WESTERN WASHINGTON: 32-lane center in urban area with colleges and military nearby. Strong revenue with upside potential. A-2s, HPL, Frameworx scoring. Real estate includes extensive recent upgrades. Large building with generous parking included. Ken Paton, (503) 645-5630. NE ARIZONA: 12-lane Brunswick center, new scoring, room to add 4 more lanes. 14,201-square-foot building. 2.41 ac. Food, & #6 liquor license. Growing area: Hdepot, Lowes, & Super Walmart. Appraisal done. 21,780 cars pass by daily. Family owned 21 yrs. Owner retiring. See Pics at Covey Luxury Properties. Call Bryan (928) 521-2681. APPRAISALS: LARRY DOBBS MAI, ASA. (214) 674-8187. Bowlingvaluations@yahoo.com. OHIO, Archbold: 12-lane Brunswick center on 1.81 acres w/ 13,440 s/f commercial bldg. Plus QubicaAMF scoring system, pro shop with eqpt. & restaurant/bar area with eqpt. & fixtures. Asking 189,900.00. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 451-7843 x 15290.
CLASSIFIEDS CENTERS FOR SALE NW PENNSYLVANIA: 24-lane center in Bradford, PA. Building is 20,000 s/f with lounge, snack bar & pro shop. 90 minutes from Buffalo, NY, and Erie, PA. Owner looking to retire. For video tour and information, go to: www.byllyelanes.net/forsale. OKLAHOMA: Lease to Own or Owner Carry for Viable Investor. 16 lanes—fully remodeled with so much potential, A2s, Steltronic w/42” flatscreens, synthetic panels, 11th Frame Grill, laser tag, largest game room in the area & thriving lounge w/ room to expand. (719) 251-1616.
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
ere we go – January – and a brand new year reaching out before us! Let’s make a clean start and dial back to the 1950s, when germs and microbes first took center stage. Co-ed sports activities were on the rise and staying ‘cool’ was paramount. With AT-7, hexachlorophene, Dial soap’s roundthe-clock protection would keep the most avid bowler sweet smelling. Go ahead, have fun, throw that ball, lift those arms in celebration. Aren’t you glad you use Dial? (Don’t you wish everybody did?) In 1948 when Dial was first introduced, there were 1,259,000 ABC members and 432,926 WIBC members. By the late ‘50s, 3,000,000 ABC members and 1,231,529 WIBC members were bowling with confidence. ❖