THE WORLD'S ONLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE BUSINESS OF BOWLING
6 ISSUE AT HAND
28 COVER STORY
The Wild Game Entertainment Experience
By Scott Frager
Come for the food, stay for the fun By Paul Lane
8 SHORTS • Truck Stop Bowling • U.S. Mega Mansion • The Olympic Channel Welcomes World bowling • A Rosie the Riveter Who became a Proprietor
40 OPERATIONS Members With Benefits Should bowling centers offer memberships as a way to increase profits? By Robert Sax
By Patty Heath
Sheep Heid Inn, Scotland, a Must See!
By Patty Heath
Learn The Sport BPAA rolls out new youth program.
48 FEATURE 28
Sports of All Sorts Bowling takes its rightful place in Northern Kentucky. By Mark Miller
24 INDUSTRY PROFILE Alexander Gurkov Passes the Torch to Kegel
60 REMEMBER WHEN
Russian MacGyver and Kegel bring a line-of-sight tool to bowling.
Brunswick Bowling Balls
1960s By Patty Heath
By Evan Henerson
54 Showcase 55 Classifieds 40
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ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER David Garber email@example.com
OFFICE MANAGER Patty Heath firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS Patty Heath Evan Henerson Pamela Kleibrink Thompson Paul Lane Mark Miller Robert Sax
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PUBLISHER & EDITOR Scott Frager
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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.
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THE ISSUE AT HAND
Analyze This I can hear them. The sirens, in the not-too-far distance, begin their slow, dull roar, rising to that sharp and piercing whine that distinguishes fire engines. I get a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, not because I’m in need of their assistance, but because I’m not. They’re on their way, and there is nothing I can do to stop them. As they approach, the sirens fall silent, and all I hear are the deep, groaning roars of the engines downshifting to dead stops in front of my center. “False alarm,” I shout to the men, dutifully ignoring my frantic waves and rushing into the busy center looking for the firebox control system, where the man with the impossibly large fire hat declares that the problem is with “A/C unit, #12, duct 2.” “I know! I know,” I shamefully report to the battalion chief as we wrap up the unexpected visit. I guide them outside and notice the entire neighborhood is outside watching the spectacle: the restaurateur in his chef whites, the hotel manager, and a bunch of looky-loos I’ve never met.
“This is the second time tonight we’ve been called out to your business, sir. The next time, we’re going to have to shut you down,” threatens the chief. It is always at this exact moment that I awake from my feverish nightmare--the scene that recurs over and over as I battle a three-day flu/migraine. Now, I don’t know if there are any therapists in bowlingland who can help me analyze why I keep dreaming about A/C unit #12, duct 2. However, there must be a few of you out there who dream about dramas equally crazy. Right? I would appreciate if you would give me a shout or drop me a line and help shed some light on this phenomenon. Or, better yet, share your wild and crazy dreams/nightmares that involve your center. I’ll return the favor and analyze yours… When I feel better.
– SCOTT FRAGER, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
4Your Bowler of the Month IBI’s March Centennarian. Al Himsl, retired from the U.S. Army and the U.S. Postal Service, is working toward his 101st year and still bowling up a storm three times a week at Bar-Don Lanes in Easton, PA. On Mondays, Al bowls in a league and Wednesdays and Fridays, he can be seen practicing and bowling with his friends. He took up bowling in 1969 after his retirement from the Army. For his Centennial, last September, bowlers from Bar-Don gathered to celebrate him. Driving is still his mode of transportation and his only aid when bowling is a back Al Himsl brace, recommended by his doctor. “I get around pretty good, and bowling is about the only thing I can still do. It’s good exercise,” he shared with Jim Deegan, from lehighvalleylive.com. Al, here’s to a bowling-filled 2017!
Do you have a special bowler at your center we can highlight? Email Patty at email@example.com. 6
The ever-busy world of charity fundraisers and community outreach continues. Pikes Lanes, Southampton, PA, was the site for Bowling for Homeless Cats. All proceeds went to support the Emmett Food Fund, a Bingo’s Foundation program to support homeless cat colonies. A surprise birthday party was held for wounded warrior, Josh Sommers, who was struck in the head by a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan in 2010. State and local representatives joined friends and the community to celebrate Josh at Lex Lanes in Lexington, OH. Rotarians and members of the public bowled in the Rotary Charity Bowling Competition 2017 to raise funds for charity. The event was held at Riverside Superbowl in Kuching, Borneo. Yes, Borneo, across the seas in a land far, far away. Directed to help cancer research and programs helping cancer patients and their families, the 17th annual Fish Family 9-Pin Bowling Tournament and Steak Feed was held at Brewster’s Lanes in Reedsburg, WI. Ten Pin Alley in Wilmington, NC, opened its lanes to the Good Shepherd Center for its Bowling for Backpacks to help the homeless. The sisters of the Franciscan HealthHammond held its third annual Rolling for a Reason charity at Stardust Bowl III in Dyer, IN. More than $27,000 was raised for the Catherine McAuley Clinic, offering free and reduced-cost health care services.
PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES & BOWLING
Bowling fundraisers, professional athletes and Lucky Strike centers are a trifecta. All-star first baseman for the Arizona Diamondback, Paul Goldschmidt, and his wife Amy hosted Goldy’s Bowling Bash to raise money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders. The event took place at CityScape’s Lucky Strike in Phoenix and many of Goldschmidt’s teammates and friends participated. Jumping to hockey, Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Inner-City Education program’s eighth annual Celebrity ICE Bowl at Lucky Strike. Players bowled and mingled with fans, helping raise $200,000 to cover private school and college tuition for low-income children and to teach them hockey. Over $850,000 has been raised over the nine years of the program. Former New York Mets pitcher and current SNY sports analyst, Nelson Figueroa, hosted an Annual Charity Bowl at Lucky Strike Manhattan. Proceeds helped raise funds for Chai Lifeline, an international support network for families battling childhood illness. ‘Figgy’ and many high-profile sports stars bowled and greeted fans. A Chinese Auction offered a plethora of memorable items, e.g. a Tiki Barber signed football, Jim Kelly HOF football, and Mets baseball passes.
What is your center doing? Email Patty Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORLD BOWLING JOINS THE OLYMPIC CHANNEL The Olympic Channel, a global platform launched in August 2016 via mobile apps for Android and I OS devices and at olympicchannel.com, has announced that it has reached a cooperation agreement with World Bowling to collaborate on content for the channel. World Bowling joins 36 international federations (IFs) and IOC-recognized sports federations. The Olympic Channel is working together with its IF partners to create innovative partnerships encompassing live event streaming, event coverage, highlights, magazine shows, news coverage and original programming, as well as technical business solutions. Kevin Dornberger, World Bowling CEO, says, “The Olympic Channel offers us access to sports fans worldwide, and we look forward to expanding the reach of our sport and collaborating further with the Olympic Channel.” World bowling president, Sheikh Talal Mohammed Al-Sabah shared, “This is a fantastic step forward in the pursuit of expanding the global coverage of the sport of bowling.” 8
When Money is No Option U.S.’ Priciest Home
Bruce Makowsky started his money in handbags but definitely has branched out. As an owner-developer of BAM Luxury Development, his latest ‘spec’ project is the priciest house in the U.S. Not for the financially squeamish, this BelAir, CA, dream home is being offered at $250 million. The devil is in the details: the house has four levels, each with city-to-ocean panoramas, 38,000 square feet of interiors, 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, an infinity pool with a swim-up bar, a candy room, a movie theater, and most importantly 4 lanes of bowling. But that is just the beginning. The property also comes with a $30-million car collection, 130 art installations,
WATCH BOWLING AT THE WHITE HOUSE Friday, January 27, after the inauguration of President Trump, his ‘clan’ descended on the White House enjoying all that the historic house can offer. Donald Trump Jr, his wife Vanessa, and their daughter Kai Madison enjoyed bowling on the lanes, installed in 1969 by then President Richard Nixon, and located in the Kai Madison has fun bowling. basement.
BOWLING IN D.C. The White House is not the only place where one can play a few games of tenpin. Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio recently installed a bowling lane in the basement of Villa Firenze, the ambassador’s residence. During a welcome-to-Congress reception held at Villa Firenze, California Democrat and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was invited to roll the ceremonial first ball. A trooper at heart, she kicked off her signature stilettos and managed to take down a few pins.
LETHAL WEAPON ’S BOWLING GURU
custom luxury furnishings and (drum roll) a decommissioned helicopter parked on the roof. Afraid you can’t keep up the maintenance? There are seven full-time, live-in staff that Makowsky will pay for two years. Sounds like a slam dunk… or a strike!
Bowling can be a great way to move a plot along in television or, at least, make it fun. Fox’s popular series, Lethal Weapon, starring Damon Wayons as the veteran detective and Clayne Crawford as his slightly unhinged partner, managed to do that in episode 11 of season 1. While investigating a Texas Ranger’s murder, Wayons’ character Roger Murtaugh takes to the lanes bowling a perfect game. Well, why not?
BBIA DONATES TO IBMA CHUCK PEZZANO SCHOLARSHIP The Billiard and Bowling Institute of America (BBIA) donated $10,000 to the International Bowling Media Association (IBMA) to help secure its ongoing Chuck Pezzano Scholarship for young bowlers who study journalism in college. “We are proud to be able to make this contribution to such a worthy and important cause,” said BBIA president, Corey Dykstra. The contribution guarantees that the scholarship will be awarded for the next four years. Named after Hall of Fame journalist Chuck Pezzano, the scholarship will be presented this year at the IBMA Awards Presentation during the Industry Awards Luncheon at International Bowl Expo in June at Opryland in Nashville, TN. The application deadline is April 30. Apply at www.bowlingmedia.org. 10
EXPANSIONS, OPENINGS & NEW BEGINNINGS
STARS AND STRIKES INVADES ALABAMA
Chris Albano, managing partner and co-founder of Stars and Strikes, started the first location in Cumming, GA, in 2005. Since that time, nine facilities have opened in Georgia. However, the 10th location, slated to open in September, will be outside the state in Huntsville, AL. The 54,000-square-foot venue will have 24 lanes, a 7,000-square-foot arcade and prize store, bumper cars, and a two-story laser tag Huntsville’s Stars and arena. There will be private rooms and a 200-seat corporate event space. The Strikes will feature 24 $6 million project will create more than 100 new jobs. upscale lanes.
TRAVEL STOP ENTERTAINMENT CENTER Could this be a trend? In August 2016, IBI noted a KOA in Wytheville, VA, opening six lanes of campground bowling. In Columbia, SC, Petro, a national truck stop chain, is scheduled to open a Petro Travel Center in March which will include a convenience store, a Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant, a Starbucks, an 8,700-square-foot gaming center and a 16-lane bowling center. Tom Liutkus, senior vice president of marketing, shared with LiveTrucking.com that the bowling will make the location “a destination spot for the professional truck driver, as well as the local community.”
SWITCHY CHANGEY IN CHICAGO Brooklyn Bowl had hoped to settle in Chicago. However, it will be Punch Bowl Social securing the spot on the West Loop, on Fulton Market, scheduled for opening in October. While Brooklyn Bowl had planned to occupy three floors, the top floor being used as a music venue, Punch bowl will use only two floors. CEO Robert Thompson plans for eight bowling lanes, three private karaoke rooms and a bar within the 28,000-square-foot space. There is, at foot, a design for the first floor that is being kept under wraps. Punch Bowl Social is a busy bowling, gaming, restaurant and bar mini-chain based in Denver. With all the activity, the chain is becoming not so mini. Besides the Chicago location, there are several pending venues in the works for 2017 and beyond: three in California, one in Colorado and one in New York and Illinois. The year 2018 will see sites in Texas, Virginia, and Washington DC.
ALSO HAPPENING When the building, housing Hoosier Strike & Spare, aka Hoosier Lanes, in New Albany, IN, was sold at the beginning 2016, Jack McCarthy, general manager, went looking for a new site. Clarksville, IN, proved fruitful. The new, 45,000-square-foot Strike & Spare Family Fun Center will have 32 lanes of bowling, laser tag, bumper cars, an arcade and a roller skating rink. The remaining space in the 90,000-square-foot building will serve as an internet fulfillment center for CC Powersports, an outdoor powersports equipment Photo credit: Madeleine Winer, Courier-Journal supplier. In Allentown, PA, Pig Pen Sports Bar & Grill, which operated from 2009 to 2012, will reopen as Pig Pen Fun Bar in March. Painting and other cosmetic work are planned, but no extensive renovations will take place. The new Pig Pen will retain the original 12 lanes of bowling, a large rectangular bar and performance stage. There is a new look for the former AMF 34th Avenue Lanes rebranded as Bowlero Queens. Opened in January, the updated space has new arcade games and a new menu, matching the more upscale Bowlero brand. The 28,000-square-foot space has 35 lanes with black light bowling and video graphics, an arcade, and a sports bar and lounge.
Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes in Merrill, WI, is planning a major upgrade. Co-owner Mark Bares signed a contract with Brunswick to install the state-of-the-art SYNC scoring
Co-owner Mark Bares, right, shakes hands with Brunswick area sales manager, Jim Schultz.
system. Lincoln Lanes will be the second bowling center in the state of Wisconsin to make the move to the SYNC system. The center Sarah Purdy bought in Hilliard, OH, and rebranded Ten Pin Alley in 2006, is going through another expansion. Expected to cost $5 million and started at the beginning of the new year, Purdy is expanding the center space by 18,700 square feet to include an 8-lane VIP room separate from the original 16 lanes, plus a 2-story laser tag arena and game arcade, additional party rooms, and a renovated bar and restaurant.
A ROSIE THE RIVETER EXCHANGES WELDING FOR BOWLING
What does a Rosie the Riveter do after WWII? Mary Torres, 93, of San Leandro, CA, married, raised two sons and operated a bowling center in Fremont, CA, for 15 years. At the start of WWII, Mary Schevchik Torres was a high school senior in Donora, PA. After Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, she saw an ad in the local newspaper promising work and guaranteed housing for those who traveled to California and joined the war effort. Mary, the fourth of six children, born to Russian immigrants, embraced the call.
Mary Torres sharing her story. Photo credit: Paul Kuroda
Against her father’s wishes, Mary set off. She got a job at McClellan Air Force Base as an inventory clerk. However, after four months, she left Sacramento and applied for a job at Moore Dry Dock Co. in Oakland, building ships. She was trained for a week and became a spot welder, requiring protective leather outfits, long gloves and hoods. After six months, she passed her journeyman welder’s test and was then allowed to weld any part of the ship. Her salary jumped from 90 cents an hour to $1.35 an hour. “I was so proud,” she said. “I knew I was helping win the war.” Mary worked at the shipyard until 1945, when Moore Dry Dock laid off all women workers to accommodate returning male veterans. She eventually married her boss, Frank Torres, who passed away in 2004 at 92. Today, you can find our “Rosie” at the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, CA, where she is a docent every Saturday. Story credit: Based on an article by Darin Moriki, Bayareanewsgroup.com. 14
PEOPLEWATCHING ZOT Pinsetter Parts, Denver, CO, will have a new owner as of March 1. Roger Lindblad, the current president and principal owner of ZOT since 1984 and an employee for 17 years before that, will be retiring from the company. Taking the reins and ownership will be Peter John (PJ) Rosendahl. Roger Lindblad and PJ Rosendahl Rosendahl has been a partner and served as the company’s GM for the past three years. BMI Merchandise, national merchandise supplier, that distribute an extensive range of products to national entertainment chains, regional fun centers, prize kiosks and the nation’s amusement route operators, announced that Jim Chapman has joined the company as Regional Sales Manager. Chapman, an industry veteran in amusement Jim Chapman merchandise and game sales, will be integral to BMI‘s continued expansion. “It’s a pleasure to be joining a company on the forefront of redemption technology,” shared Chapman. His previous tenure was with Coast to Coast and Family Fun Companies. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and resides in Green Bay, WI. Helix Leisure, parent company of Embed, LAI Games and The Locker Network, announced the hiring of three key personnel to support the growth they’ve experienced in the past year and to ensure that the company meets its customer commitments. Rosa Tahmaseb is the new managing director for the Helix Leisure EMEA office in Dubai, UAE. She will oversee operations and work to identify new opportunities in the Rosa Tahmaseb European, Middle Eastern and Asian markets. A 28-year veteran of the gaming industry, Guy Lee, has been appointed Helix Leisure’s operations director of the North American office in Dallas, TX. While Shane Galford joins the company as the new support manager Shane Galford Guy Lee for Embed. The Helix Leisure Dallas office is hiring and seeking qualified candidates for new positions. Visit the Helix Leisure Job Portal at helixleisure.com/join-us.
Out s l l o R A A P B rogram P h t u o Y w Ne By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
very successful industry must continually attract new consumers. And it only makes sense that the younger the new consumers are, the longer they can support the industry. With that in mind, USA Bowling has crafted a new program geared toward igniting the passion in young bowlers, in turn, encouraging their continued participation in the sport. “Learn the Sport is a business-building program designed to develop the next generation of bowlers,” explains Bart Burger, director of membership and educational services of the BPAA. The program began development in June 2016 and was launched at the BPAA Summit on January 23 this year. The project was a true industry endeavor utilizing the talents at the International Bowling Campus with USBC Coaching, IBC Youth, and BPAA. It was modeled after their already successful Bowling 2.0 program. By taking this already proven system and adjusting the name and material to speak to kids in a language they are familiar with, there was no need to reinvent the wheel. “The program was modeled after the VERY successful Chrissie Kent
BUSINESS Bowling 2.0, a learn-to-bowl program targeting adults,” observes Burger. “The feedback from the industry “The program is being made available to all indicated there was a need for a similar program geared BPAA member centers, IBPSIA pro shops, and towards youth.” One of the challenges and motivators behind the USBC associations at a nominal cost of $29 for creation of the program was not having enough certified the standard kit and only $49 for the deluxe coaches in-house to continually support the overall growth kit,” notes Burger. of youth bowlers. “The program is unique in that it provides video lessons which allow proprietors to execute the program even if they are not fortunate enough to have not wanting to return to the lanes. Learn certified coaches ,” says Burger. the Sport focuses on teaching the With this program, any experienced bowler can serve as a coach. Chrissie Kent, GM fundamentals of bowling through an of Rose Bowl Lanes and Lakeside Lanes, Newark, NY and Penn Yan, NY notes that “[The organized structure that instills confidence Learn the Sport program] gives us great tools and structure without needing a in the youth bowlers, week after week. certified coach in the center. It gives us the opportunity to hand pick some adults from “This program uses coaching to promote our leagues who are interested in coaching without a huge time commitment.” the essence of what it means to improve. We’re coaching kids to get better from the first time they pick up a ball. Being coached once a week will keep kids During the development of the program, the research was clear. Bowling can be an interested and improve their skills,” notes enjoyable sport, but when people don’t know how to bowl, they come away frustrated, Stephen Padilla, director of coaching certification and development, Team USA assistant coach and USBC Gold Coach, with United States Bowling Congress. The program is structured to take place for one hour once a week for four weeks. Facilitators who teach the program are given easy-to-use guidelines for hosting classes. It begins with a video lesson followed by practice on the lanes. Every touchpoint of the program is set up to stir a sense of enjoyment in the young bowlers and generate excitement in coming back each week. “The Learn the Sport program continues to expand the USA Bowling brand with a unique fourweek recruitment program for bowling centers, pro shops, and even USBC associations to operate. One of our mottos has been to get more kids bowling by ‘getting them in, getting them excited, and getting them committed,’” says Roger Noordhoek, senior director youth marketing, IBC Youth Bowling Inc. The Learn the Sport comes with a comprehensive package that includes both instructional information as well as marketing. The proprietor’s guide outlines the lesson plans for all four weeks
continued on page 22... 18
BUSINESS ...continued from page 18
Bart Burger and Stephen Padilla present Learn the Sport at BPAA summit.
including a sample script for week one to introduce the program as well as weekly coaching tips. Also included are the DVDs with four weekly lessons, color as well as black and white fliers, and all of the necessary student handouts for each of the four lessons. The deluxe kit also includes a poster and a banner and there are a number of additional bonus items available online including an email template, website ad, and a 30-second promotional spot.
The program was designed to get youth excited about bowling, but the power lies in the hands of the coach or
$8 per week and typically has a ball as a premium item given to the bowler at the conclusion of the program. “IBC Youth will be happy to assist stakeholders with additional ideas on how to roll kids into a follow up league,” notes Noordhoek. “We also provide professional creative design services for free to bowling centers who inquire. All they have to do is contact IBC Youth and we’ll help develop their league and promotional flyers.” While the Learn the Sport program does not require a certified coach to facilitate it, the program does encourage the generation of new coaches who participate in guiding the program. As it creates new lifetime bowlers, Learn the Sport also aims to get new coaches involved in bowling beyond the four-week program. As the number of bowlers goes up, the need for educated coaches grows as well.
u After the intinial purchase every element in the kit can be downloaded at www.BPAA.com/mybpaa. You can customize some of the promotional materials with your center information and other specifics about your class schedules.
program facilitator in getting the kids committed to another program starting in week five. The proprietors’ guide that comes with the program outlines the steps to take in week four to convert the students into a rollover program. Each proprietor can decide the type of rollover program to offer, with the guideline to make it short in duration and have a fee attached. One of the most popular rollover programs suggested in the proprietor’s guide is the ‘8 for 8’ program. This program runs 8 weeks long, costs 22
Bowling is the largest participatory sport for youth in the United Sates with over 17 million youth ages 6 to 17 bowling each year, according to Simmons Research. Burger advises proprietors, “You can build your business while developing the next generation of bowlers.” Any and all BPAA members can get involved with the USA Bowling-Learn the Sport program. “This is another reason why it pays to belong to BPAA,” states Burger. “The program was funded and subsidized by members so it is only available to BPAA member centers.” ❖ 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.
INDUSTRY PROFILE Alexander Gurkov and Kegel CEO Chris Chartrand show off the Torch.
ALEXANDER GURKOV PASSES THE TORCH TO KEGEL Russian MacGyver and Kegel bring a line-of-sight tool to bowling. By Evan Henerson
epending upon your perspective, bowling is either very simple or highly technical. For Russian bowling coach Alexander Gurkov, it’s both. The website for Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, FL contains an article written by Gurkov titled “Jedi Bowling: Line-of-sight construction skill and the methods of its training.” Does that make Gurkov, who is both a coach and an inventor, a Yoda of the pins? Kegel CEO Chris Chartrand acknowledges Gurkov’s wisdom but draws a different parallel. “We call him a Russian MacGyver,” Chartrand says of the man who came to Kegel last summer from Russia by way of Nashville. “He has a real knack for looking at things in new ways, and it has infused a wonderful sense of energy into our building. He has just been a real breath of fresh air.” An entrepreneurial spirit, too. Gurkov was a highly awarded coach and trainer in his native Russia where he coached the Russian Youth National Team, taught at the University of 24
Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism and operated the bowling school, Bowllab. His resume will need to make room for some new accolades. In February of this year, Kegel shipped out the first lane targeting device that Gurkov invented to assist deaf bowlers in his native Russia. The device, which Chartrand envisions being swept up by bowling centers across the world, is called – appropriately enough – the Torch. “Our logo is a phoenix, so we have always used fire as a theme in our marketing to connect to our brand and to our logo,” Chartrand said. “What does a torch do? It kind of
INDUSTRY PROFILE shows you the way. So, that’s a pretty fitting name for this.” Gurkov, the human behind the Torch, describes his journey from Moscow to Lake Wales as a combination of serendipity, fortuitous timing, destiny and, yes, a realization of the American Dream. A multisport athlete who came to the sport of bowling relatively late, Gurkov is likely one of the few bowling coaches you will find who has Masters degrees in golf and optical engineering and who actively uses those principles in his coaching. Life at Kegel agrees with Gurkov who, along with his wife Ella, hopes his American journey will continue. “If 10, 15 years ago, someone had said to me that I would be working at Kegel Training Center, I would not have believed it. I would have said that person was mad,” says Gurkov. “Right now, this looks like destiny, and I am so happy. Right now, this looks like the best place in the world for me to realize my abilities.” On a Sunday morning, Gurkov is speaking by Skype from his apartment in Lake Wales which has a view of the lake and an occasional alligator. Although his English is excellent, joining the interview via Skype from Nashville to lend some occasional translation assistance is Gurkov’s longtime friend Andrey Belous. The Gurkovs were visiting Belous in Nashville in the spring of 2016. As part of their vacation, Gurkov sought out a bowling center and discovered the 52-lane Smyrna Bowling Center, one of the largest centers in the state of Tennessee. During his visit, Gurkov connected with the center’s pro shop owner,
Alexander Grukov, points out how the Torch can help bowlers line up.
Michelle Scheerer Rakow, and he started sharing some of his ideas including the lane targeting light. Rakow, who grew up in Florida and knew Chartrand, decided to introduce the two men. As luck would have it, Chartrand happened to be in Nashville allowing the
INDUSTRY PROFILE Chris and Alexander are proud of the new tool at the Kegel Training Center.
two to meet in person. Chartrand looked at Gurkov’s bowling line device, asked permission to shoot a video which he sent back to administrators at the training center. “When you’re a company like Kegel, people pitch us ideas all the time and most of the time, these ideas are not promising,” Chartrand says. “Alex set up the tool, I saw it, and it was instantaneous. I immediately knew how much of a benefit this would be to bowlers.” The Torch is essentially a bridge that straddles a lane with a vertical nine-foot pole placed above the lane - so the ball doesn’t hit it - at a strategic point on the lane. The pole is illuminated with LED lights and bowlers aim at it to improve their trajectories. As a bowler moves left or right, the light moves, and the angle of reflection changes. Correcting inconsistent arm swings are a common problem for trainers, but aiming for the light allows bowlers to work out their flaws. Gurkov, who was working with deaf bowlers in Moscow, designed the device to help bridge some of the communication gaps between himself and his trainees. He discovered that the visual aiming system had applications to people who were both visual and tactile learners. “My first degree in optical engineering really helped me. I know the rules of optics,” Gurkov said. “Every coach, every player when he bowls, he sees that vertical line from the back. When I worked in a bowling center, I saw the reflection of that vertical line as an aiming system. I thought if I could just make that line more visible, it would work.” Gurkov fashioned the first aiming device out of a fishing rod, LED tape, and a ramp. Even when using the crude prototype, his students instantly began to understand the principles of breakpoint, exit point and launch angle, and their results improved dramatically. Needless to say, the Kegel Torch has grown in sophistication over the course of its development and is now fully portable with a carrying case
as well as a battery charger so it no longer needs to be plugged into an outlet. It retails for between $695 and $1,000 and Chartrand envisions applications for bowlers of all ages and abilities including children and bowlers with physical disabilities. “Think Saturday morning with the kids. You’ve finished your league bowling and you put this out and let them practice. How easy is it to tell a 9-year-old, ‘just hit the line,’?” Chartrand says. “Since it can help so many bowlers improve, there’s no reason why every center in the world shouldn’t have one of these.” As the Torch starts burning through the marketplace, its inventor continues to work at Kegel, helping his students and potentially developing new products. He has started to work with video mirroring technology and virtual reality. “Bowling is a very unique multidimensional game,” Gurkov says. “As a coach, I enjoy finding that specific unique pathway for each of my students that we can work on to make him or her really great sportsmen.” ❖ 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.
Eight full-scale lanes with QubicaAMF's TMS String Machines.
The Wild Game ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE 28
COVER STORY By Paul Lane estled comfortably in the Bergen Park area of Evergreen, CO, you’ll find The Wild Game, a fine dining and entertainment center which, indigenous by design, is a perfect fit for a community named for evergreen trees near the original town site. Evergreen sits at an elevation of 7,200 feet in the Rocky Mountains, 15 miles west of Denver. While The Wild Game features many amenities found in today’s modern FEC’s, the resemblance ends there. The architecture is unique in almost every aspect, being somewhat rustic and more akin to a hunting lodge than the cookie-cutter, modern design concepts found in so many of the FECs developed in recent years. You’ll even find a large preserved black bear and buffalo, plus, bull elk and moose heads mounted on the walls. The site of The Wild Game was formerly the home of a seven screen AMC movie theater. Evergreen property developer, Dave Wilson, president of Wild Game Entertainment (LLC), had a vision of the business model that would be a good fit for the local market. It became even clearer after he toured the country looking for ideas by visiting numerous established entertainment and recreation facilities that included bowling. He knew he wanted something different, something special, and something that fit the demographic profile of the local community. Working closely on the three-year long project with Dave Wilson was his partner, Evergreen native, Sean Lynch. As General Contractor, Sean Lynch managed all aspects of the construction, from concept to completion. According to a 2010 census, the median age and income for a household in Evergreen skews higher The owner, Dave Wilson, and business than nearby Denver at 48-years old and a family income partner, Sean Lynch. of $88,589. “Evergreen’s older and more affluent society are typically more discriminating in their choice of dining and entertainment options and more demanding in terms of their expectations with regards to quality and service,” said Wilson. He added, “One of our goals was to improve a community asset; providing a fun place where people can enjoy quality food, recreation and entertainment at its highest level.” The 25,000-square-foot Wild Game facility features the Rendezvous Tap and Kitchen that can accommodate up to 150 guests within an upscale, yet casual, atmosphere. The restaurant offers Angus burgers, steaks, pasta, fish, sandwiches and salads complimented by a wide selection of cocktails and beers. Adjacent to the restaurant is the bar area for up to another 80 people, and an intimate wine tasting room which is perfect for small parties of up to 16 people. “First and foremost, we push the concept of quality food,” says Wilson. “Then we promote the recreation and entertainment elements. Hence the theme of our business: ‘Come for the Food, Stay for the Fun’”. Wilson said, “We believe that if the food service is below average the fun aspect may not be enough to convince a customer to return. Whereas, if the quality of the food and service is above average, the
COVER STORY customer will likely return multiple times and not necessarily just for the fun.” The fun features include the Clubhouse, an action-packed sports and entertainment hall featuring large format HD TVs and 12foot projection screens where one can catch games and special events. Also The Wild Game regularly provides live entertainment, featuring name bands and entertainers that perform on the stage area of the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse also includes the regions first and only full-scale indoor bocce ball court, plus multiple ping-pong tables, darts, billiards, shuffle boards, foosball and an outdoor patio featuring horseshoes. It also has its own bar area providing food and beverage service to patrons while they enjoy the various recreation and entertainment activities. Next is the Game Zone: a site offering a state-of-the-art video and redemption arcade featuring the most exciting and popular skill games in the industry. Players can accumulate points on a specially designed custom magnetic game card that can be used to redeem a variety of fun and unique prizes.
The Clubhouse, an action-packed sports and entertainment hall.
Eight full-scale lanes of bowling lanes equipped with QubicaAMF’s newest automatic scoring and TMS String Machines complete with four lane mask video projection screens round out the choices. Neil Pennington, director of product management and performance equipment for QubicaAMF, said: “Since the business model that Dave Wilson was implementing was focused on pure entertainment, the TMS String Machine was the right option for The Wild Game. Dave visited the QubicaAMF office 30
Rendezvous Tap and Kitchen upscale restaurant.
in Richmond, VA where we have a showroom with both the TMS String Machine and our Xli Edge Pinspotter side by side. Dave was able to bowl on both machines and concluded that, for the type of customers his business would be targeting, string pinspotters would be just fine.” Given the somewhat unique design concept of The Wild Game, the venue called for equally unique lighting architecture, not just for the bowling but for the entire facility. Mike Bovino, president of New Jersey based DFX Sound Vision said, “The Wild Game is a unique venue with its rustic feel and western theme. The goal of our design team was to continue the overall look and feel of this environment while bringing in the most updated and creative lighting and audio systems. Lighting highlighted the architectural elements in the building by using energy efficient LED and creative placement within the space. The entire system, audio, video and lighting are automated for ease and multiple and users maintaining a consistent feel throughout the day to day uses.” The Wild Game offers a VIP room, accommodating up to 150 people when set up theater style; and is an ideal location for more formal meetings. The VIP Room can be reconfigured with dining tables, ideal for receptions, banquets and more informal gatherings, it is flexible and is easily divided into smaller rooms for smaller groups. continued on page 34...
COVER STORY ...continued from page 30
Being located just 25-minutes from downtown Denver and the vast Denver Tech Center corporate business area, The Wild Game and its VIP room offers a unique place where corporations can conduct meetings and team-building events. The Wild Game has proven to be a popular venue for corporate businesses, finding it beneficial to have their employees participate in bowling and other recreational activities, in a relaxing fun-filled environment away from the daily stress of the city and corporate office. Dave Wilson shared that, in order of priority, his target customers are: families, adults and groups. Contrary to the emphasis on food and fun, and the fact that they have string machines, The Wild Game does have a league program, targeted to couples and families and are designed to be more of a social and recreational activity than the traditional sport of bowling. The Wild Game also participates in the Kid’s Bowl Free program and last summer around 1,100 kids were signed on for the program by their parents.. “With just eight lanes we really packed them in,” said Wilson. “Some days we had as many as eight on a lane, which was quite something to see. While the bowling was free, we did charge $3.00 for shoe rental. More important, we saw a significant residual benefit of added food and beverage sales, including from parents who accompanied their kids, many of whom also purchased family passes.” Birthday parties are virtually an everyday occurrence. “It’s always somebody’s birthday”, said Wilson, “and youngsters and adults alike have so much fun as guests at their friend’s party that they want to come back when it’s their birthday too.” The marketing effort at The Wild Game is aggressive and far reaching with focused efforts through local schools, the
Sheba: one of the venue's many wall-mounted animals.
Evergreen Chambers of Commerce (where Dave Wilson currently serves as a member of the board), and participation in local community events. Social media plays its part in their promotional activities too and is supported by advertising in local periodicals and newspapers. As you approach the Evergreen exit off Interstate I-70 in both directions, you’ll see billboard advertising including the message: “Come for the Game Zone: state-of-the-art video and redemption arcade.
Intimate 16-person wine room.
Food, Stay for the Fun.” California based Trifecta Management Group (TMG), with their vast experience and expertise in providing extensive innovative and comprehensive management services to the restaurant and retail entertainment business, have been retained to manage all aspects of The Wild Game. Dave Wilson selects the general manager and sales manager, but all the employees are on the payroll of TMG. In short, Wild Game has no employees working for them directly. This is a concept that works well for Dave Wilson and the Wild Game Development Group, leaving Dave and Sean Lynch free to focus on their many and varied other interests. For example, Wilson currently operates a number of real estate investment LLC’s. Over the past decade Wilson has developed a number of entities where he is responsible for acquisition, partnering, financing, leasing, maintenance,
THE WILD GAME AND THEIR INDUSTRY PARTNERS Ó Bowling Equipment by QubicaAMF Ó Lighting by DFX Ó Swipe Card System by Embed Ó Top 5 Redemption Games 1. Big Bass Wheel by Bay Tek Games 2. Spongebob Pineapple by Bandai Namco 3. Fishbowl Frenzy by Team Play 4. Quick Drop by Bay Tek Games 5. Dragons Claw by Benchmark Games Ó Management Group: Trifecta Ó BPAA Smart Buy Member 36
repair, tax, accounting and reporting for each of these multiple entities. So, what’s next for Wilson and Wild Game Development? Well, the next has already happened. In late February they opened a second flagship Wild Game facility in Longmont, CO, situated in the more affluent northern side of the Longmont-BoulderDiagonal which again makes the upscale Wild Game concept a perfect fit for the local demographic. The Wild Game Longmont is virtually a carbon copy of their Evergreen venue. It is housed in a redeveloped property, this time a former 25,000square-foot Office Depot outlet. In addition to all that the Evergreen venue offers, there is an exclusive private event banquet and meeting space that can accommodate up to 500 guests. For sure, Dave Wilson and the team at The Wild Game have developed a winning formula based on exceptional food, excellent service and exceptional fun. Like Wilson says, “We want our customers to walk in the door and say ‘Wow'. More importantly, after visiting The Wild Game, we want our customers to walk OUT the door and say ‘WOW’!” If you should happen to be in the area, “Come [in] for the Food, and Stay for the Fun.” You won’t regret it — The Wild Game is an exceptional experience. ❖
Paul Lane is former Director of Marketing and Marketing Services for AMF Bowling, Inc. He has been the director of 18 AMF World Cups, an officer in national and international trade associations, and a pro bowler during a career that spans more than 60 countries and 50 years.
MEMBERS WITH BENEFITS Should bowling centers offer memberships as a way to increase profits?
By Robert Sax
embership has its privileges,” was the chief American Express marketing slogan from 1987 to 1996. The campaign highlighted the special benefits that Amex customers enjoyed as cardmembers as an enticement not to switch to its less expensive competitors. In an increasingly competitive family entertainment market, can membership have benefits for center proprietors? We’re not referring to traditional loyalty programs, although those are still effective for customer retention. The membership model now attracting increasing attention is one that gives members access to a center for a recurring monthly fee. It’s like a health club membership, although in the FEC version, the proprietor wants members to come to the facility regularly. Crazy Pinz FEC in Fort Wayne, IN, has had a membership program since 2000. Owner Collin Kerschner borrowed the idea from theme parks and offered an annual membership at first; that has evolved over time to a program that is billed monthly to a credit card. Every month a member’s card is loaded with a bucket of entitlements that include two games of bowling, two shoe rentals, two games of laser tag and two rounds of mini-golf as well as perks like arcade game plays. Kerschner values the monthly entitlements at $320 and charges $39.99 Collin Kerschner, owner of Crazy Pinz FEC. per month for a family membership that includes four members. Each family member gets their own membership card. So far memberships are a small part of Kerschner’s customer base, but his members tend to be regular visitors. Approximately 30% of members use up their monthly services (which don’t roll over), a higher usage than at the average health club, he says. Membership programs can drive higher guest traffic and in-venue spending while encouraging usage during slower days and day parts. Kerschner says his most active members prefer to come when lines are 40
shorter and the facility is less crowded, noting, “I see much more of my members on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday than any other time.”
BETTER CASHFLOW VS. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION? The greatest benefit of a monthly membership program for the proprietor may be improved cash flow, because member fees are automatically charged to a credit card and collected at the beginning of the month. “The cool thing for us is that it withdraws the money from our members’ accounts automatically on the first of the month,” says Kerschner. “It’s guaranteed money whether they come in and bowl or not.” With their free or discounted services, members have an incentive to come in more often. That can generate additional revenue from food and beverage operations or more à la carte game play. Industry consultant Frank Seninsky of Amusement Entertainment Management says that he has seen increased revenue whenever membership programs are heavily marketed, and “customer retention of those members is good.” But Seninsky says there are risks too, including generating so much member traffic at peak hours that walk-in customers are turned off or turned away. “The idea is to limit the number of passes because they kill your walk-in traffic,” he says. “Everyone who comes to a place deserves to have equal treatment.”
OPERATIONS Seninsky says a good target is to keep merges it with his Embed systems through custom monthly membership level to 3% of your programming done by Embed. “It’s really customers. That way you get the benefit of seamless at this point,” he says. “It was ugly the very loyal customers who may spend as much first few years but now it’s almost hands-off.” as seven times what walk-in customers do, For those looking for a turnkey approach, without hurting overall business. Mike Biagiotti of MembershipStream is offering As an alternative to monthly memberships, FEC owners a complete monthly-membership Seninsky has experimented with various system based on a program he created for the VIP programs. One such program offered a Latitude360 chain. He also offers staff training and 10% discount at a center once the member ongoing support, and the system can provide had spent a minimum amount of money; it reports on such metrics as program financial failed because a 10% discount wasn’t performance and analysis of what services enough of an inducement. A better members are using. Frank Seninsky president/CEO draw has been a program that pays Some experienced proprietors are not yet Amusement Entertainment Management. members a $15 bonus in usage credit sold on the membership concept. Neil Hupfauer if they bring in a new member who registers and puts at least $15 on their card. of Cinergy Entertainment Group says the Memberships are successful at the popular Topgolf chain of golf-themed company is evaluating the concept methodically eatertainment venues, which introduced its Platinum membership in 2012. but will take its time due to concerns about Platinum members receive exclusive benefits including unlimited priority measuring the benefits of memberships. “Is [it] all access, unlimited play during designated hours, invitations to gain by selling memberships, exclusive events and discounts on food and beverages. The or are you just moving dollars Platinum membership requires a 12-month commitment and is that you would have gotten paid monthly or annually. anyway?” wonders Hupfauer. Susan Walmesley, Topgolf’s vice-president of marketing, says But demographics may favor the membership program helps the growth of memberships. build long-term relationships with Kerschner believes that today the company’s most loyal you have to serve the customers customers, many of whom visit in whatever way they want. “I several times a week. It also drives think that membership is the new business because Platinum future of our industry,” he says. members bring along friends, “Younger consumers are just family, clients, partners and used to paying things by vendors to their Topgolf outings, auto withdrawal on a Mike Biagiotti of Membership Stream. helping increase awareness of monthly basis. Consumers Topgolf among new audiences. are going to grow to expect “When a membership program builds it. It will be the centers that get ahead of that that brand advocacy and loyalty with steady will be successful.” revenue, you can’t ask for much more,” A growing number of owners are willing to try Susan Walmesley, Topgolf’s VP of marketing. says Walmesley. membership programs, and one industry expert told IBI that he expects membership programs to be a hot topic among savvy proprietors in 2017. It’s certainly a conversation worth joining. ❖
SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
Proprietors may have to add additional IT capability to handle the demands of a membership program. Kerschner developed the IT system he needed by trial and error, creating a hybrid system that uses a software package for fitness clubs to handle the collection of membership fees and 42
Robert Sax is a writer and PR consultant in Los Angeles. He grew up in Toronto, Canada, the home of five-pin bowling.
A STEP BACK IN TIME W
ould you like to time travel? Lately, TV viewers have been following the very popular, episodic Outlander with James Alexander Malcom Mackenzie Fraser, an 18th century Scottish Highlander, and the beautiful Claire Beauchamp Randall, a transplanted nurse from WW II England. Romance never looked so good. While not a regular occurrence outside of books, bowlers, too, can take a time-travel trip to Scotland and play skittles, an early parent of the game of bowling, with the ghosts of centuries past. The Sheep Heid Inn in Duddingston has been open for business, selling liquor and victuals, plus a game of skittles, since around 1360, making it one of the oldest, if not the oldest, public An inviting view of the entrance. house in Scotland. Sheep flourished in the countryside and were taken to One club remaining constant through Duddingston for slaughter before ending up in Edinburgh’s Old Town. The least usable the generations has been The Trotters. part was the head. However, the good folk of Duddingston became known for their Originally, it was a men’s-only club where culinary genius with this less than savory item. Two dishes, in particular, were favorites: powsowdie, aka sheep heid broth; and singed sheep heid. Not ones to waste, the locals used the remaining skulls as cobbles for their pathways. In 1580, King James VI of Scotland gave the inn an ornate ram’s head snuff box, which remained in the bar for 300 years before being sold at auction to the Earl of Roseberry whose descendants still View of the bar, another long-standing relic. have it. James stopped at the inn many times and played the everpopular skittles in the courtyard behind the pub. The Jacobite Army and the legendary Bonnie Prince Charlie encamped for a month in the area around the pub prior to the battle The skittle lanes that haven't changed since of Prestonpans in the 18th century. the 1870s. One would presume that the gentlemen would go to play skittles, soldiers spent many an hour with smoke, drink, and recite poetry. a dram or three playing skittles. There are many local legends and This would have been the same stories surrounding Sheep Heid Inn. time as our hero and heroine in However, for a bowler, playing skittles at the Outlander series. In 1870, the inn ranks with a golfer playing golf at skittles was brought inside with Saint Andrews. A must. Today, parties of the building of the two-lane up to 25 people can reserve the lanes. skittles alley. Regular customers The only stipulation is to make your during the 19th century included reservations way in advance! Visiting Sheep Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Heid Inn is a step back in the best way. Stevenson, the Royal Company of Archers and the City Sheriffs. - By Patty Heath
Bowling takes its rightful place in Northern Kentucky.
By Mark Miller bout 10 miles south of Cincinnati in Florence, lights, everything we could do except physically updating the Kentucky, is a 58,000-square-foot white building QubicaAMF software.” trimmed in blue that looks more like a large While Wing wishes the approaches met USBC standards warehouse than a facility that includes bowling instead of coming up short, the bowlers that frequent the lanes. Stepping inside, four full-length basketball facility don’t seem to mind. “They actually built them that courts that double as volleyball courts and a large game room way when they sank in the concrete,” he said. “Instead of immediately come into view at its center. going back like they were supposed to they did not and I’m Upstairs you’ll find a fitness facility as impressive as any not sure why that was because there is room in the back health club equipped with state-of-the-art free weights and behind the lanes that they could have pushed that back a exercise bikes. And just below it in the far corner of the first little bit. But for some logistical reason they chose not to.” floor are eight QubicaAMF lanes. While the lanes are18 inches short of meeting United States Bowling Ariel shot of Sports of all Sorts. Congress specifications, the area youth and business people who regularly come to Sports of All Sorts don’t care if the lanes can’t be officially certified. They are there to have fun. “The bowling alley basically was a feature added on to for parties,” said Perry Wing, the facility’s director and one of three co-owners. “We do a lot of birthday parties, field trips and corporate outings here. We just refinished our bowling alley this year (2016). It’s got a brand-new bar in it, new carpet, new 48
FEATURE Sports of All Sorts was opened in 2004 by Gene Daniels, a long-time active member of the area’s youth sports community who owned a different family fitness concept facility about 15 minutes away. Wing, a former information technology project manager, operated a non-profit organization called Beach Grove Boosters. That group later became the Northern Kentucky Youth Association which rented space at the previous Daniels’ facility which did not have bowling lanes. Wing served as youth director at Sports of All Sorts from its opening until 2013 when he and two others were
Basketball courts that double for Volleyball.
designated as the court-appointed receivers when Daniels encountered a financial hardship and had to walk away from the business. That lasted until June 2015 when they outright purchased the place. Wing’s partners are Dr. Anil Goel, a cardiologist who lives in the Detroit area, and Dr. Deepak Mittal, a nephrology and internal medicine specialist who lives in nearby Alexandria. The doctors are very hands-off with Goel rarely 50
visiting and Mittal stopping by some weekends with his children. “Both are very intelligent people who have helped me succeed in what I wanted to do. We all had the same vision for the facility which was kind of scary,” Wink said. “We wanted a place for family and kids all together for the community. It was really a great fit.” Wink had always wanted to own his own sports complex since he was a little boy. He picked that vibe up from his father who wanted it for the community. “Back then it was slim pickings because you just didn’t see that concept. I just took what he envisioned and partnered up with somebody who had that and then from there to now, here we are.”
Arcade with fitness center above.
Though his father died many years ago, Wing’s 91year-old mother, Betty, has been able to see her son living his dream. Both parents were bowlers at the former Bowlounge in the Latonia neighborhood of Covington. Wing’s aunt owned Bellwood Bowling Lanes in nearby Newport many years ago and he bowled in youth leagues and occasionally substituted for his father on Monday nights but that’s about it. “Having the bowling alley here you’d think I’d get out and bowl. But I’ve only bowled maybe two or three times since ’04 because, you know how it is when you’re in the facility, people want to talk business all the time,” he said. “You never have the enjoyment.” Youth bowlers enjoy the lanes in Saturday morning leagues plus Monday through Friday in fall and spring, there are evening leagues for Kenton County students of about seven schools in grades 3-8. While there is not currently any organized adult competition, there have been friends and family groups that have formed in the past. The facility features plenty of organized competition outside of bowling especially for youth. This includes recreational, competitive and AAU basketball plus recreational and club levels for girls’ volleyball. There are also sports skills clinics and training plus sports performance, nutrition and personal fitness instruction through The Academy. 52
“We focus on the youth but we also have a fitness center upstairs for adults,” Wing said. “We just totally revamped that. Plus we re-did the downstairs with LED lighting and wood floors replacing the blue concrete floors. It needed a facelift, it needed a fresh look. It was time.” Wing and his staff have been in the middle of a marketing effort to promote the renovated bowling area to groups. “We’re trying to get back to our roots,” said Wing, While Wing believes that business can always be better, it is doing well enough for this type of industry. “The whole purpose of this facility is family entertainment – family fun, fitness, and fellowship,” Wing said. “It’s the place to be if you want to play with your kids. “Everybody comes in on the weekends or on Saturday and Sunday and thinking this business is making money hand over fist. That’s not State-of-the-art fitness center for all workout levels.
the case,” he said. “We’re lucky. We’re paying the bills and staying in the black but this is not something anybody’s going to get rich doing. I get tickled pink I can pay my bills every week and can make our overhead here. We operate enough for that.” ❖
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 email@example.com.
SHOWCASE GREEN & NON-TOXIC PRODUCTS
Zapp It Bowling Products’ mission is to offer products that are 100% biodegradable. Their bowling ball cleaners have been tested by the USBC and approved for use during certified competition. Zapp It is now introducing the only green lane cleaner, LANE CLEANER PLUS. This product was tested for quality, affordability and easy use. Lane Cleaner Plus has no toxic chemicals; is not flammable; has no harmful vapors; needs no special handling; and is so versatile that it can be used throughout the entire center. For more information go to www.4zappit.com or contact owners Woody and Linda Woodcock at (866) 927-7488.
Epicenter™ from Brunswick Bowling creates an authentic bowling experience in a smaller footprint, using reduced-length lanes, low-maintenance StringPin™ pinsetters, and full-size balls and pins. Epicenter bowling lures kids away from more high-tech attractions with the chance to be more social and physically active.
Steltronic has announced that its Focus scoring system is now interfaced with ORACLE, also known as MICROS®, allowing cashiers to process payments to open lanes, rent bowling shoes, pool tables, POS products, and everything within the Focus software. ‘We are YOUR bowing center management specialists.’ For more information: (800) 9425939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FACEBOOK FOR BOWLING
Get real results from your Facebook presence with boosted posts, daily ads, contests, and more. Reach 1,000+ people per day in your market with Facebook for Bowling from eBowl.biz, the industry leader in digital marketing. We are helping bowling centers in 40 states reach more people every day—and, we never require a contract. Get details at www.eBowl.biz or call (541) 549-0999.
The StringPin pinsetter makes tangles a nonissue, since the system auto-detects them and rights the pins without staff intervention. The synthetic lanes come in a variety of lengths. It is very popular with venues that might not have room for traditional bowling. For more info call (800) 9372695 or email email@example.com.
QubicaAMF offers the future with its new CenterPunch Deck Lighting. It is the only pin deck lighting system controlled through a bowling management system—fully integrated with Conqueror Pro. When combined with the BES X
Live Oak Bank, founded in 2008, understands the factors specific to the bowling industry, as well as the financing needs. Live Oak provides financing for expansion, modernization, construction, acquisition, working capital, equipment and refinancing from $75,000 to $5 million. The expedited and transparent process is simple and gets the funds to you fast so you can get back to work. To learn more, contact www.liveoakbank.com/bowling-center-loans. 54
IBI March 2017
Bowler Entertainment System, the lighting responds to on-lane events such as strikes, spares and gutter balls, delivering a more impactful guest experience. Features include: easy point and click tool; create light shows in minutes; a custom light show library; schedule light shows for certain days and times; and different light shows can be run on different lanes for separate customer groups. Visit QubicaAMF.com/CenterPunch to learn more.
CLASSIFIEDS Felix Erickson Co., Inc. Strike Zone © Family of Lane Products Strike Zone© Next Generation LC 5 gal case $105 Envi-Cide II Disinfectant Shoe sparay 12/15 oz $87.95 Solve-It © Orange Foam Cleaner 12/18 oz $69.95 FESI Solve-IT © Ball Wheel Liner 22’ $90 NEW RM 107 Rubber/Cork Wheel Liner $29.95/Roll 000-024-604 Gray Ball Lift Belt $195 ea. Exclusive Phenolic Kickback Plates Front F128D 16” x 33” $88 ea. Rear F129 19” x 23 3/4” $88 ea. F132T 15" x 50" $130 ea. All plates include screws and instructions 800-445-1090 (F) 609-267-4669 festrikezone.com Resurfacing - Repairs - Supplies - Synthetics 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
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
CLASSIFIEDS MECHANIC WANTED San Diego, CA: A or B mechanic wanted for AMF 82-70s. Send resume to email@example.com.
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Kegel Kustodian Plus. Great condition. Call (208) 344-2695. Two (2) Route 66 Qubica bowling games with extensions. In excellent shape! One owner, 12 years old. $3,500 each/OBO. Call for photos. (603) 455-7010. FOR SALE: 32 lanes Steltronic Super Elex, excellent condition, can separate; we install. 16-lane complete package (or 2 8s), equipment all refurbished and currently in use with Steltronic scoring, A2 pinsetters, HPL lanes-- pick up and move to your location. Gloss Boss Luster King. Brunswick swing/swivel. Wood bowling lanes, 2 ¼”. Four-foot Blacklight bulbs. Glow vending machine. Powerlifts. 30 AMF HPL arrow panels, new, and HPL lanes. 22 Brunswick Anvil, like new. Complete deck and gearbox assemblies. firstname.lastname@example.org.
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE For REDLINE FOUL LIGHTS, call 1 (888) 569-7845 or visit Bowlingtrader.com, your FREE bowling buy and sell site. NEW & USED Pro Shop Equipment. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com. REPAIR & EXCHANGE. Call for details (248) 375-2751.
EQUIPMENT WANTED LANE MACHINES WANTED. We will purchase your KEGEL-built machine, any age or condition. Call (608) 764-1464.
EDUCATION & TRAINING PRO SHOP TRAINING. Classes always forming. Jayhawk Bowling Supply (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com.
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CLASSIFIEDS PROPRIETORS WITH AMF 82-70 S.S. & M.P. MACHINES Save $$ on Chassis & P.C. Board Exchange & Repair! A reasonable alternative for Chassis and P.C. Board Exchanges MIKE BARRETT Call for Price List
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CLASSIFIEDS SERVICES AVAILABLE Looking for an influx of new league bowlers for your center? You need THE BOWLING LEAGUE GUY! Bowlinleagueguy.com or call (757) 390-2129. Drill Bit Sharpening and Measuring Ball Repair. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com.
APPRAISALS APPRAISALS: LARRY DOBBS MAI, ASA. (214) 674-8187. Bowlingvaluations@yahoo.com.
SELL YOUR CENTER
CENTERS FOR SALE TEXAS PANHANDLE: 12-lane center in thriving small town. 11,760-sq-ft building on 1.96 acres with 11,760-sq-ft asphalt parking lot. Includes real estate. AMF 82-30 machines, BOSS scoring system, ball drilling equipment, wood lanes. All well-maintained and in excellent shape. Large sitting and recreation area. Beer license. Single family owner for 50 years. Jon King, Attorney, CPA, Real Estate Broker, email@example.com or (806) 244-0166. NEW HAMPSHIRE: rare Mount Washington Valley entertainment opportunity. 16 rock maple lanes w/ overhead electric scorekeeping. Simulated golf games, coin games & 26-seat snack bar. 12,000 sq. ft. Equipment included. Lots of parking. Close to Fryeburg Academy/North Conway, NH. Call Badger Realty (603) 356-5757. SW WISCONSIN: 10-lane center, includes bar & grill. New metal roof and paint. Wellestablished leagues. $250,000 OBO. (608) 341-9056. 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.
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ARE YOU A FAN OF BOWLING?
www.Facebook.com/BowlingFan 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit us on the WEB! http://home.earthlink.net/~wb8yjf/
LOCKER KEYS FAST! All Keys done by code # Locks and Master Keys E-mail: email@example.com TOLL FREE
t’s the 1960s and bowling is coming into its zenith. In April of 1960 Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. rebranded as Brunswick. While the company was into pins and equipment, bowling balls, at the time, were their meat and potatoes. So many styles and so many colors! Twelve models to be exact, with a color and weight for every bowler: man, woman or child. Of course, no ball is complete without a bag and shoe complement. Check out the prices! Ah, the good ol’ days. Now let’s talk about those six energetic bowlers. There’s some real body English going on. And in 1960, there were 3,500,000 ABC members and 1,542,362 WIBC members, all modeling the same behavior across the country. No wonder Brunswick was a growing company and bowling balls were high on their list. ❖ - Patty Heath
MARCH 13 TrainerTainment Leadership Conference BPAA Intl Training Campus (817) 886-4840 firstname.lastname@example.org Boot Camp Digital Marketing New York State BPA Kathleen Leitgeb (518) 464-1176 email@example.com
APRIL 4-6 Birthday University Chicago, IL Frank Price (919)387-1966 www.fl-price.com
11 Boot Camp Leadership & Time Management Max Bowl North Texas Bowling Centers Humble, TX David Kellerman (512) 930-2200 firstname.lastname@example.org
20 Boot Camp Leadership & Time Managemen Texas Bowling Centers Intl Bowling Campus Arlington TX David Kellerman (512) 930-2200 email@example.com 21-23 NJ Amusement Associations East Coast Gift & Variety Show Golden Nugget Atlantic City, NJ www.njamusements.com 62
IBI March 2017
23-28 BPAA – Bowling University Bowling Center Management Intl Bowling Campus Arlington TX Bpaa.com/bowlinguniversity/management-schools
8-9 TrainerTainment Sales Conference BPAA Intl Training Campus (817) 886-4840 firstname.lastname@example.org
23 – July 9 USBC Women’s Championships Raising Cane’s River Center Baton Rouge, LA
18-22 BPAA International Bowl Expo Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center Nashville, TN www.bowlexpo.com
24-27 USBC Convention & Annual Meeting The Orleans Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, NV Email: email@example.com (800) 514-2695
Boot Camp Digital Marketing Colorado BPA Chris Gallas (817) 385-8471 www.bowlcolorado.com
24- May 5 Brunswick A-2 Pinsetter Training QC FEC Moline, IL Frank Miroballi (540) 325-7684 www.BrunswickA2training.com
MAY Boot Camp League Development Iowa BPA Bev Van Blair (641) 792-1380 firstname.lastname@example.org Boot Camp Leadership/Time Management Bowl Illinois Bill Duff (847) 385-8471 email@example.com
JUNE 5-16 A-2 Pinsetter Training QC FEC Moline, IL Frank Miroballi (540) 325-7684 www.BrunswickA2training.com
JULY 10-21 A-2 Pinsetter Training QC FEC Moline, IL Frank Miroballi (540) 325-7684 www.BrunswickA2training.com
AUGUST 7-18 A-2 Pinsetter Training QC FEC Moline, IL Frank Miroballi (540) 325-7684 www.BrunswickA2training.com
SEPTEMBER 14-15 TrainerTainment Guest Services Conference BPAA Intl Training Campus (17) 886-4840 firstname.lastname@example.org BPAA One-Day Management Boot Camps Available to state associations & multi-unit centers Contact Kelly Bednar (817) 385-8462 Kelly@bpaa.com