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VOL 24.11



Every Day is Veterans Day

The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday

By Scott Frager

Jennifer and Christopher Tyll work hard for their country, family and bowling. By Jim Goodwin



By Patty Heath


CONTRIBUTORS Jim Goodwin Fred Groh Patty Heath Pamela Kleibrink Thompson George McAuliffe Robert Sax

• IAAPA Preview • US Bowling’s ‘Booming’ Business • Circle Bowl and Entertainment • Interesting Interview • Showcase


Schlitz Brewing Company 1957 By Patty Heath

By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

59 Classifieds 22 BVL It’s In The Can

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jackie Fisher ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Designworks (818) 735-9424

FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)

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 2015, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.


Veterans charity enlists center proprietors to reach new donors. By Robert Sax 44

November 2016




The Marine Corps Reserve brings the joy of Christmas to needy children, one toy at a time.

IBI Skype: scottfrager

12655 Ventura Boulevard Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 789-2695(BOWL) Fax (818) 789-2812





• A veteran salute to Mirsi Pecman • IBMHF spotlights Charlie Brown. • Striking Words, a bowling glossary • IAAPA’s new home—Orlando • Big Play is big fun.

It Started With A Doll



Every Day is Veterans Day It’s 76 degrees and a light drizzle is falling as AMTRAK #774 makes its way southbound from Los Angeles to Oceanside, CA. I’m on the road visiting bowling centers: one of the things I love most while wearing my Bowling Centers of Southern California executive director hat (as opposed to my publisher or bowling center general manager hat). Sentimentally, this will be my final day to call on bowling centers as the BCSC executive director. My retirement from the BCSC is just days away. However, today is a great day. I have been asked to present some BCSC/ BPAA member benefits to Navy and Marine bowling center managers from the West Coast. The meeting will be held at Camp Pendleton, inside the wonderfully remodeled Leatherneck Lanes. Leatherneck Lanes, formerly Devil Dog Lanes, happens to be one of the first bowling centers I visited 10 years ago when I was a younger, rookie ED. As the train gently sways and clicks and clacks the track parallels the cloudy California coastline. Sometimes, I peek to the left and scan for U.S. Marines training with their heavy hardware: tanks, attack helicopters, jets and more. When checking right, it’s not uncommon to see a few U.S. Navy ships doing their thing on the horizon. After a few minutes, my focus is back on the meeting, and those professional military bowling

center managers. These men and women, mostly civilians, are well-trained bowling professionals. In this month’s issue of IBI, we feature a military man who found the bowling business after serving his country. Christopher Tyll of Easy Day American Food and Fun Center, is an ex-Navy SEAL turned restauranteur and entrepreneur. He proudly honors the men that he served with, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice, within his entertainment center which stands as a living tribute to those whom he holds near to his heart. Jim Goodwin paints a beautiful picture of Tyll and his family. It’s a must-read, Americanhero-does-good story. While the nation celebrates Veterans Day on November 11th, I believe that every day should be Veteras Day. I hope that everyone reading this column takes the time to donate, or, better yet, take advantage of the Kids Bowl Free/ Brightening Veterans Lives (BVL) turn-key donation kit to engage and encourage our bowlers to contribute to BVL. Cheers!



4THIS MONTH AT 2016 saw Pokémon and its characters become the most popular game in HISTORY! It is trendy and, for the bowling industry, a hook into increasing center revenue. IBI writer, Sean Krainert, in the September issue, gave proprietors a heads-up into how this lastest, more mobile version of the game can bring people into a center. NEW can be fun—if you jump in! No lesson would be complete without a test. Scott Frager, publisher, encouraged readers to find the hidden Pokémon cuties lurking within the pages of the issue. Being the first to pass the test would give you a $100 VISA card. The winner was Dan McDonough. When not seeking out Pokémon characters, McDonough is a photographer and publisher of Sports Reporter, a weekly bowling tournament newspaper since 1940, based in New Jersey. “My son, Dan Jr., has been driving my grandson, Dan III, all over the Philly area to collect the Pokémon Go characters.” Dan McDonough (Taken at Nintendo Well, it seems that grandpa isn’t slow in getting into the craze. Congratulations. World NYC). 6


November 2016


ß BITS & PIECES ß ß ß ZOT, Storm & Breast Cancer Awareness Month Storm Products held its third annual Paint the Lanes Pink promotion this past October. The goal was to bring awareness to and financial support for the fight against breast cancer. A variety of ‘pink’ products were for sale which helped fund a donation to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. To create that pink glow, ZOT’s ColorSplash VersaLamp LED joined the cause and literally painted the lanes pink. ZOT also donated to Storm’s fundraising a percentage of all its sales of the ColorSplash line of products during October.

ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß EBN Services & AMC Bowling Products join forces.

AMC Bowling Parts, a manufacturer and provider of Americanmade bowling parts, is now owned and operated by EBN Services Inc. In the replacement pinsetter parts business for over 20 years, EBN, headed by Ed Fox, will maintain the manufacturing, sales and support which both companies have created.

ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß V-Yard in Amman, Jordan taps Intercard

Intercard, Inc., a cash management solutions company, recently completed the installation of its iGuardian system and i3 Readers for V-Yard, a new indoor family entertainment center located in the Khalda district in Amman, Jordan. The iGuardian technology, a security product that pairs a child’s wristband with the card of their parent or guardian, works well with the family-oriented games and activities.

ßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßßß Canada’s Cineplex Entertainment acquires New Jersey’s Tricorp Amusements Inc.

Cineplex Entertainment announced acquisition of Tricorp Amusements Inc., based in New Jersey. It will become part of Cineplex Starburst Inc., a subsidiary of Cineplex Entertainment. With this, CSI becomes one of the leading distributors and operators of amusement and gaming equipment across North America. Headquartered in Toronto, CSI has 16 offices across Canada and the U.S. 8


November 2016

PEOPLEWATCHING Kegel, Lake Wales, FL, has announced the addition of Bill Walters and Bruce Wilgus to Kegel’s pinsetter parts division team. Walters joins Kegel with 40 years experience as an A2 and GSX mechanic. He will be heading up the educational and technical support areas. Walters is a longtime member of and a former contributor to IBI magazine. He has Bill Walters also designed several pinsetter parts currently being used in the industry. Bruce Wilgus comes to his new position with Kegel’s research and development team with 40 years of manufacturing experience. His knowledge and experience in product design and development concerning aftermarket replacement parts will be a great asset to the team. Wilgus began his career working in a bowling center for Brunswick. He purchased D&B Mfg, making bowling Bruce Wilgus parts for Brunswick and AMF. Walters has relocated to Florida from Colorado, while Wilgus will work remotely from his home in Oregon.

BOWLING BOOK CORNER Hate to say it, but it is almost Christmas. Trying to come up with a unique present for that avid bowler, beginning bowler, or anyone in the business of bowling? This might just be it! Ezynta Books offers Striking Words, “the most extensive bowling glossary every published. It has 478 pages, more than 2,400 word entries and 700+ illustrations, clarifying bowling terms and providing historical information, international references, bowling ball drilling terms, illustrations of oil patterns and a listing of the 108 current national tenpin bowling organizations around the world.” Walt McIntosh, glossarist, and Diane Hanson, illustrator and partner, have been working on this project for over 10 years. John Janawicz, Kegel technical support, offered this statement, “We were all very impressed with how thorough this glossary is. Extremely current! Nice work!” Walt McIntosh Striking Words is available through the website:, in paperback and as an eBook.



BIG PLAY, BIG FUN Brandon Woolbridge has big plans for the residents of Biloxi, MS. His Big Play Family Fun Center has been transformed into Big Play Entertainment Center. The 26,000-square-foot complex offers 12 lanes of Brunswick bowling, a sports bar, and a fun arcade for all ages. While kid friendly, after 10 p.m., Big Play becomes a club for the 21 and older group. In short, Big Play is high energy and high tech, with running lights along the lanes, neon-colored bowling balls, electronic scoring, projector screens and a video and sound system. Comfortable couches and full-service food and beverage to the lanes add to the mix. The arcade offers Laser Maze. Players choose an easy, medium or hard mission and navigate past the lasers through a foggy room to reach the target. Those outside the room can monitor the progress. A card swipe system lets players load money for arcade games, and the points earned are tallied on the card to be redeemed at a very inviting redemption prize wall. Big Play can accommodate events from birthday parties with a burger and hot dog bar to corporate functions with a prime rib carving station. Brandon’s Sports Bar is filled with photos and memorabilia which he and his father have collected for over 20 years. With banks of TVs airing games, everyone can find something to enjoy. Big Play is definitely big fun!

MEXICO’S NEW CONCEPT: MALLTERTAINMENT “In this new era we are living, the people have changed their habits of consumption—that is why today we have an opportunity to see our industry under another optic, an optic focused on the community and good living,” says Abraham Cababie, president of Grupo GICSA, a developer of shopping centers in Mexico. MALLTERTAINMENT is the new innovative concept combining size, entertainment, community and mixed commercial use, somewhat of a spinoff of the U.S. FEC. The current project, scheduled to open in September 2017 in Puebla, will be built on a 185,000-square-meter space of land. It will house a fair, including a wheel of fortune and a hot air balloon, plus a multifaceted venue including cinemas, a bowling center, restaurants and live event spaces. The goal is to create community through trade, entertainment, art, and food and beverage. Rodrigo Assam, investor relations director of GICSA shared, “The complex is expected to generate an estimated 2,500 jobs, both temporary and permanent, from groundbreaking to operation.” Besides the Puebla project, there are four more currently in development stages for Leon, Queretaro, Cancun and Pachuca.

ALSO HAPPENING … Riviera Lanes in Green Bay, WI, completed an extensive makeover, installing new electronics, seats and other accessories. Owners Larry and Carol Ehlinger added automatic Touch Score 3 terminals with 49-inch flat-screen boards on the 36 lanes, in addition to 12 49-inch TVs. The seating area has new padded seats and extra bowling ball holders designed by Larry Ehlinger. Aqua Entertainment Center in Los Banos, CA, is open for business. It offers 10 bowling lanes, Qubica scoring and AMF machines, a party room and a redemption-style game room, plus a laser tag arena. El Jebowl in El Jebel, CO, has a new identity, Bowlounge. Craig Spivey, co-owner with Tom Weber, is out to give the younger generation of Roaring Fork Valley something to do besides ski. Sixteen televisions over the lanes will keep bowlers engaged, and an expanded bar and a game room, separate from the bowling area, will create a larger feel. The center was Craig Spivey (left) and Dillon McDermott, constructed with reclaimed right-hand man, show off renovation. hardwood from a closed Photo Credit: Anna Stonehouse, The Aspen center in Longview, TX. Times


November 2016



BVL CONTRIBUTIONS RISE Through the continued support of bowling associations and centers, BVL contributions for the most recent fiscal year rose almost $16,000 from 2015 to $924,567 for the season ending July 31, 2016. In addition, there were a wide range of bowling-related fundraising events helping to boost the results: an auction of a Kegel lane machine resulted in a donation of almost $14,500 and Bowl America President Leslie Goldberg Charity Foundation gifted $10,000 to name just two of many.


The International Association of Amusements Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the largest international trade association for amusement facilities and attractions, will move its global headquarters from Alexandria, VA, to Orlando, FL, beginning 2017. As stated in its press release, “The IAAPA board of directors concluded the worldwide headquarters for the association should be located in the global epicenter of the theme park and attractions industry, Orlando. In addition to world-renowned theme parks, including Legoland Florida, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, and Walt Disney World, the region offers Fun Spot, Ripley’s Entertainment, Dave & Buster’s, and other best-in-class attractions including water parks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, and national attractions. Many of the industry’s leading manufacturers and suppliers have a presence in the region as well.” IAAPA also maintains regional offices in Brussels, the Middle East, Africa, Mexico City and Hong Kong. Concurrently, IAAPA announced plans to host its annual conference and trade show, IAAPA Attractions Expo, in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center through 2030.


A national survey found that, while the support required by more than 21 million veterans in America is growing, philanthropic support is fragmented and charitable contributions are not maintaining pace. John LaSpina, BVL board of director chair, said, “BVL and the sport of bowling made our promise to our nation’s veterans in 1942: ‘We will not forget your sacrifice.’ We have work to do to meet the needs of those that sacrificed for us.”


WATCH 13 IS A LUCKY NUMBER FOR KIKI SHEPARD It was all fun and games…for a good cause. You can count on Pinz in Studio City, CA, for high-profile events, and Kiki Shepard’s 13th annual Celebrity Bowling Challenge to benefit her K.I.S. Foundation was no exception. Shepard, an actor, dancer and Broadway performer, known for her hosting of Showtime at the Apollo, also carries the Sickle Cell trait, which led her to start her foundation and promote awareness. Some of the celebrities to be seen supporting this event were James Pickens Jr., Grey’s Anatomy; Chandra Wilson,

We congratulate Bill Diamond on his purchase of this fine center and thank Bill White for trusting us to handle the sale. We wish both of them all the best in the future. Kiki on air with Pat Prescott at the Wave, L.A. radio, promoting her Celebrity Bowling Challenge. Bowling’s Only Full-Service Brokers, Appraisers & Financial Advisors

(800) 222-9131 Check out our current listings at

28200 Southfield Rd., Southfield, MI 48076 12


November 2016

Grey’s Anatomy; Rocky Carroll, NCIS; Super Bowl/ Dancing with the Stars champion Donald Driver; Marsai Martin, Black-ish; and Pooch Hall, Ray Donovan to name only a few.


IBMHF SPOTLIGHTS CHARLIE BROWN & THE GANG A must-see journey through the Peanuts cartoons of our time. The International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame is currently displaying the Bowling for Peanuts exhibit, running through January 14, 2017. Charles Schulz’s cartoon series has been a part of American culture for nearly 70 years. His keen observations and ability to parallel his own life experiences have been credited with its success. Bowling is one of those everyday activities that mesh Bob Gudorf, IBMHF president, and well with Charlie Brown and his Jessica Bell, curator and program gang. It was a natural for manager, show off Peanuts’ cartoon Schulz, a league bowler himself, strips and bowling memorabilia at to include bowling. The comic the IBMHF exhibit. strips contained in the exhibit were generously donated to the museum by Schultz. “The museum is proud to be hosting an exhibit by the world’s most beloved cartoonist, Charles Schultz,” said Bob Gudorf, IBMHF

president. “Jessica [Bell, IBMHF curator] has done an amazing job putting the display together, and I am sure every bowler and Peanuts fan will enjoy visiting the exhibit.” For complete information and hours for the exhibit, log on to

Veterans Day:

On a Personal Note By Patty Heath

I had been working with Jeff Harrison at Princess Lanes in Pittsburgh, PA, to highlight one of his senior bowlers, 96year-old Mirsi Pecman. Mirsi was a veteran of WWII, serving in the European theater and participating in the Battle of the Bulge. While born in Yugoslavia, Mirsi, short for Miroslav, served his adopted country for five years; his sister Amelia also served as a First Lieutenant in the nursing corps both in the U.S. and in the Mariana Islands. I thought it would be nice to highlight not only a veteran but an avid bowler. He had been bowling for 60 years, starting with duck pins and moving on to tenpins. Princess Lanes was his home away from home, and he bowled there three times a week. I had Jeff ask him what bowling meant to him and he replied therapy and exercise. I think I would put socializing in there as well, as he had been a widow since 1992. When Jeff emailed me in June that Mirsi had suddenly passed away, I was deeply saddened. It seemed the opportunity was lost. Then I took a look at the photo of him in his uniform, and there scrawled at the bottom was “Remember me.” I know he is remembered at Princess Lanes, and he is remembered by his family, daughters, Janet and Linda, and close friends. However, he also is remembered on Veterans Day as one of many who served their country well. IBI salutes you, soldier! µµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµµ

UPDATE: THE QUEEN OF HEARTS UNCOVERED FINALLY! With approximately 5,000 people looking on, Aaron King, SkyLane’s owner, put one of the most exciting lotteries to rest. With only three cards to be uncovered, the Queen of Hearts finally gave it up, with a payout of over $3.4 million. With 15,000 people in attendance the previous week, the rules were changed so that the winner need not be present. That took a lot of stress off of the small town of Garrettsvillle, OH. And the winner was? Terri Vechery of Mantua, OH. Vechery was not there, but King FaceTimed her and “she started bawling, of course, like anybody would for winning that amount of money,” said King. Aaron King and crowd.

Terri Vechery. 14


November 2016


The Marine Corps Reserve brings the joy of Christmas to needy children, one toy at a time. By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson


n 1947, Diane Hendricks handcrafted a doll and asked her husband to deliver it to an organization so it could be given to a needy child at Christmas. When the couple discovered no such organization existed, Diane suggested that her husband, Major Bill Hendricks, United States Marine Corps Reserve, start one. The organization he started almost 70 years ago was called Toys for Tots. That same year, President Harry S. Truman officially opened the first White House bowling alley on April 25. Five thousand toys were collected and distributed in Los Angeles in 1947. The following year, Toys for Tots expanded into a nationwide effort when the United States Marine Corps Reserve adopted the program. The Toys for Tots train logo was created by railroad enthusiast and eternally youthful Walt Disney, who also created the first national Toys for Tots poster. Sixty-five years after its founding, in 2012, Toys for Tots distributed nearly 16.8 million new toys to more than 7 million children across the United States. Bowling center operators who participate in this annual effort can increase traffic and contribute to a worthy cause. USMC First Sgt. Shaun Nichols, based in Idaho, states, “In order for a bowling center to become a drop off location, they must contact the local coordinator and attend a Toys for Tots Kick Off meeting.” He notes that all donated toys stay in the local area. “We coordinate with local agencies such as the Salvation Army, and other various non-profit organizations to identify families and distribute the toys.” Bowling operators can arrange for a Marine in dress blues to visit a location on a specific day. Usually local toy collection campaigns begin in 16


November 2016

October and last until mid to late December. However, Kendra Gaines, general manager of Aloma Bowl in Winter Park, FL, celebrated Christmas in July this year for the first time. “Our local association came up with the idea this year because last year, Toys for Tots fell a little short in collections. They thought it was a good opportunity to get an early start. Our local bowling association (Orlando USBC) has collected for many years. There are years that guests are more than generous, bringing in bikes and overloading our boxes. All children should experience the joy of Christmas! It makes us feel good to know that we are helping put smiles on the faces of local kids.” Gaines says it’s easy to get involved with Toys for Tots. “We just supply the box and make announcements. Our league bowlers really come through with donations. Contact your local Toys for Tots early to get your Toys for Tots boxes

FEATURE really gratifying to know that you will make the day of a kid on Christmas.” Tim Mullen, regional operations director for three locations of Pin Strikes Entertainment Center in Stockbridge, GA, says they got involved with Toys for Tots because, “We wanted to give back to the community and felt this was the best choice for us. We also got many other organizations to donate. We produced many revenue generated parties from those who donated.” He advises, “Promote, promote, promote. Any promotions are great promotions.” Pin Strikes’ involvement benefitted Toys for Tots, but Mullen points out that Toys for Tots also benefitted Pin Strikes. The community involvement, he says, “Put our locations in the spot light to show we support our community.” He is looking forward to working with Toys for Tots for a second year in 2016. There are many ways bowling center operators can contribute to Toys for Tots while building goodwill and business. All the toys are donated to someone who needs them. Besides being a drop off point, bowling centers could also sponsor a customer raffle. All proceeds would go to purchase toys. Help kids enjoy Christmas. Perhaps you can host a special Toys for Tots tournament with the only requirement to bring a toy as your entry fee and have fun bowling. If you host special Toys for Tots events, advertise through social media and local promotion. Hosting Toys for Tots brings in the Christmas spirit. It also might bring in some people who wouldn't normally bowl. The Toys for Tots website reminds us that realisticlooking weapons and gifts with food will not be distributed. Toys for children ages 0-3 and 8-12 are especially needed. If you want to donate a toy for a pre-teen or teen, Toys for Tots has a few ideas: sporting equipment/bags/balls; books, backpacks, cosmetics, purses, watch/wallet gift sets, bath gift Master Sergeant Shay Henry (left) and Staff Sergeant Rodrigo Caldas of the United States sets, board games, radio control cars/trucks, handMarine Corps Reserve carry on the holiday tradition of collecting Toys for Tots. held electronics, skateboards/helmets, curling irons, Photo by: Lance Thompson. hair straighteners, and hair dryers. Your holidays and those of a child in need will shine brighter with your simple act of giving. and be listed on their website as a drop off location.” ❖ Brent Supple, general manager at Linbrook Bowl in Anaheim, CA, recalls how they started doing Toys for Tots about three years ago. “A large group of loyal Pamela Kleibrink Thompson lives in Idaho. In addition to writing, she is a career bowlers suggested that it would be nice to do this for coach and scenario role player for peace officer training. Pamela worked as a production manager on the Emmy Award-winning animated series The less fortunate children at the holidays. There really is Simpsons, where she bowled regularly with members of the crew. She not much required from the bowling center as the fire speaks on career issues at conferences all over the world.You can reach Pamela department picks up the toys around December at 20th. It has been a lot of fun to be involved and 18


November 2016





op quiz: can you name the charity founded by bowlers during WWII that has become a leader in supporting recreational programs for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel? If you answered Bowlers to Veterans Link, you were probably in the room at Bowl Expo 2016 when this accomplished group officially launched its latest initiative. Care. Commit. Contribute. is an awareness-building and fund-raising campaign designed specifically for bowling centers.



November 2016

It provides a number of easy-to-implement programs that empower proprietors and their customers to support BVL while generating positive publicity for their centers. To participate, a proprietor must commit to raising a minimum of $1,000 for BVL over a twelve-month period. The centerpiece of the campaign is the official Care. Commit. Contribute. donation can designed for display at the service counter. Customers will be encouraged to donate their loose change or round up their bill and put the difference in the can. Mary Harrar, executive director of BVL, says, “It’s the easiest way to raise money by using that can as the catalyst to get people to donate to BVL.” The BVL website offers a variety of additional fundraising ideas such as: 8 Donating the income from the first shoe rental of the day to BVL, a simple action that could generate as much as $500 annually. 8 Selling Soldier Pin cutouts which customers can put their name on and post on a wall in the center. 8 Selling BVL’s popular green camo-pattern Support Our Troops silicone wristbands The website also offers a wealth of marketing materials including fliers and press release templates that make it easy for proprietors to build out their campaigns. Harrar has always been big on veterans’ causes, noting that her father and father-in-law are veterans. She first became involved with BVL during her career with the Thunderbird Lanes chain in Pennsylvania. “During the last six years [we] raised over $40,000 for BVL,” says Mary. “I was very fortunate to be asked to go down to Arlington National Cemetery and participate in the Veterans Day ceremonies as part of that. It hooked me.” Some of bowling’s top marketers have teamed up on the new campaign, which originated in a conversation between John LaSpina, BVL board chairman, and Fred Kaplowitz of The Kaploe Group. LaSpina told Kaplowitz that the bulk of BVL’s donations had historically come from USBC members and BVL tournaments. With the decline in league bowling, LaSpina was concerned about dwindling annual contributions and how to replace them. “I asked what about the proprietors?” recalls Kaplowitz, “and John said that’s what I’m on to next. He asked me for a proposal.” Kaplowitz drafted a strategic plan and once the BVL board approved it, he brainstormed with Bruce Davis, his partner in Kids Bowl Free, to plan the tactics of Care. Commit. Contribute. BVL, originally known as the Bowlers Victory Legion, was founded in 1942 by women bowlers who raised funds to support American troops in World War II. According to the Florida Times-Union, the Womens International Bowling Congress’ War Service Department, headed by Violet McClatchey of Lake Charles, Louisiana, started the campaign. Between 1942 and 1945, the campaign garnered more than $341,000 through tournaments and fundraisers around the country for the Wings of Mercy fund. The money was used to

OPERATIONS purchase, among other things, three medical evacuation planes and a mobile field ambulance unit. BVL has continued to help veterans ever since, raising almost $50 million to date to provide recreational and therapeutic programs and services that help boost morale and brighten spirits. Over time the merger of WIBC and ABC into the USBC, the eventual passing of the BVL’s founders, and the vicissitudes of league bowling have reduced the profile of the charity. “We are trying to create awareness of BVL,” says Kaplowitz. “It’s amazing. I speak to people, managers and even owners, who don’t know what BVL is.” BVL is still well known in the veterans’ community, however. Its many projects include grants that provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to VA hospitals and outpatient clinics for the purchase of recreational supplies and equipment. BVL bowling clinics and tournaments encourage VA patients to get involved with a fun activity that’s adaptable for almost any ability. The group’s outreach to active duty personnel includes shipping popular bowling kits (a portable carpet lane with rubberized bowling ball and pins) to active duty troops around the world. “The bowling industry is so well respected by the Veterans’ Administration and the people within the VA,” says LaSpina, who has attended several annual official VA events in Washington, D.C. “Forget the myriad of problems they have. The people that serve others within the VA system think we’re great because we’re providing dollars to them for non-budgeted therapeutic and recreational projects.” Robert A. McDonald, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, was the featured speaker at the Care. Commit. Contribute. roll-out at Bowl Expo; he celebrated the group’s work on behalf of veterans. “We at the VA appreciate that BVL has never forgotten veterans' sacrifices," said McDonald. "We are both pleased and proud to work with our BVL partners, and we remain grateful to them for their enduring commitment and noble work for veterans—brightening their days, boosting their spirits, and helping speed their recovery." “We were delighted that [Secretary McDonald] agreed to take time out of his very busy schedule to help support BVL. That speaks volumes about his appreciation for BVL and dedication to our veterans," said LaSpina. The highlight of the campaign introduction was a new promotional video that showcases BVL’s history and work in a montage of moving historical and contemporary


We congratulate Mike Hafez on his purchase of this fine center and thank Fifth Third Bank for trusting us to handle the sale. We wish Mike all the best.

scenes. Jim Nyhan and Jeff Davis of Ten Pin Marketing produced the video in just a month on a modest budget. Nyhan, a proprietor for 25 years, saw himself as the target audience for the video. “ I had heard of BVL but didn’t know much about it,” says Nyhan. “We tried to tell a story in the video that educated the bowling proprietors and bowlers so they could understand what the [BVL] mission was and the history of it.” “We want to get this video into the hands of every association leader, bowling center manager and community volunteer out there,” said LaSpina. “Through the video, we can effectively explain the need and importance of BVL programs for our veterans. This message must be communicated to our bowling community.” The three-minute video is available in several formats at the BVL website, making it easy for proprietors to run it on their own websites or in their center. So far the video has accumulated more than 100,000 views online. BVL’s initial goal is to sign up 1,000 bowling centers for Care. Commit. Contribute., and Harrar says they signed up more than 45 centers at Bowl Expo. “Our goal is to raise $2 million a year from bowling for BVL,” says LaSpina. As the video explains, “For BVL’s founders, recognizing the importance of recreation therapy was a natural. They understood the value of an afternoon bowling outing with friends. Camaraderie, fun, fitness and friendship are all built into the sport. After all, no one goes bowling alone.” By supporting Care. Commit. Contribute. the bowling industry can show another generation of disabled American warriors that they are not alone either. BVL hopes you will join up soon. ❖

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

(800) 222-9131 Check out our current listings at

28200 Southfield Rd., Southfield, MI 48076 24


November 2016

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


Jennifer and Christopher Tyll work hard for country, family and bowling. 28


November 2016

COVER STORY By Jim Goodwin e know it is a cliché, but the story you are about to read might make a pretty good movie. Son of a school teacher grows up in small town America. He excels in sports and academics. He earns his way into the prestigious Naval Academy where he meets his future wife. They fall in love and get married right after graduation. But then war breaks out and they realize that country comes first. Boy becomes one of only 24 out of a class of 250 to be in elite Navy SEALS unit and does four tours in war regions. Wife has amazing accomplishments of her own: serves as a firefighter aboard Navy cruiser and hand selected to serve as Flag Officer to the first Marine Corp General to command a battle group at sea. Intermission Girl completes Navy service with honors and gets a great job in Washington DC with defense contractor while boy fights on as SEAL Platoon and Detachment Commander. Close friends are killed in war. Girl lives one day at a time praying for her husband and his men. Because of war, they only get together for 60 days in five years . . . but somehow love gets stronger. Finally, Boy hangs up battle gear and comes home. Washington DC is not an ideal place to start a family, so they choose the beautiful state of Maine. They are blessed with a son, then a daughter, then another daughter. . . my goodness, another one is coming soon. Meanwhile, Boy gets into restaurant business. Boy runs for state legislature but loses close election. He bounces back by building another business, this time a small bowling center and a second restaurant. Life is good. They love each other, their children, their community, and their country . . . what could be better than that? And what comes next? We can hardly wait to see.


The stars of this movie-worthy story are real people - Christopher and Jennifer Tyll. They own and operate the Easy Day American Food and Fun Center in South Portland, Maine. They also own a Pat’s Pizza franchise store in nearby Portland. Chris and Jennifer’s road to the good life they enjoy today has been full of adventures, service to country, challenges, setbacks, much love and determination. Tyll grew up in tiny Ubly, Michigan, a town of about 900 miles northeast of Detroit. Chris liked sports of all kinds, and by the time he reached high school, he was pretty good at more than one. He was quarterback and captain of the football team, served three years as captain of the track team, and played basketball. He also bowled in youth leagues at his Great Uncle Ed’s little four-lane center. It was called Crazy Horse Bowl. By his senior year, colleges were knocking on the door, but not just for his athletic ability. He also had the grades, and served as president of his local National Honor Society. “My dad was a school teacher, and my mom worked as an EMT, so we had a pretty humble small town life growing up. My brother and sister and I learned early how important it is to do well in school and get involved in the community. My dad also served as town clerk, and mom was the treasurer.” Money was not abundant for college, so when recruiters came calling, they were welcomed. He ended up going to the grade 13 U.S. Naval Academy Prep School where he earned a full ride scholarship to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. “I played football at the prep school, but the next year, I was cut from the Navy football team. It was quite a setback for me; I had never really failed at anything up until then,” he

said. Not one to dwell in defeat, Tyll took up another sport he had never tried – rugby. He became pretty good at it, ended up being the team captain, and played in two Final Four Tournaments during his three years on the team. Meanwhile, he met and fell in love with Jennifer Bohr from Pennsylvania. They met during a training exercise in the summer after their freshman year at Annapolis. After graduation in April of 2001, Chris


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COVER STORY and Jennifer got married and prepared to serve the required five years in the Navy to pay back for the education they had received. Both applied and were accepted into Surface Warfare units in the same battle group. “We knew we would be on separate ships but thought we might be in the same port together at the same time,” said Chris. “We thought of it as an adventure, almost fun. Our country was at peace. There were threats then, but not like now.” And then came September 11, 2001. Only a few months into their great new life as navy officers, the whole world turned upside down, and Chris knew immediately that he needed to do more than just ride out his time in the Navy. “Some of my friends had gone to Special Warfare SEAL Training, and I knew the day after 911 that is what I wanted to do. I was like a lot of guys who wanted to take the fight to the enemy, so I applied for a new assignment.” It took another 18 months for Tyll to get into the SEAL training program. “I worked very hard as a surface officer so I could get strong recommendations for the SEAL program, and it paid off,” he said. In 2003, Tyll’s SEAL training class started with 250. At graduation, there were only 24 left, and he was one of them. “You have read that it is a tough program, and that’s true,” he said. “It is pretty intense.” Over the next several years, Chris completed four tours in Iraq, serving as a SEAL assistant operations officer, squad leader, platoon commander, and detachment commander of SEAL Team Four.

a large state, but has a rural, small town feel, much like the area in Michigan where Chris grew up. Jen grew up in Philadelphia, so it was a bigger change for her. It was also tough leaving her job, but she knew it was the right decision. “We had some relatives there who helped me get into the restaurant business, and my roommate at Annapolis, who was also a SEAL, was from Cumberland, Maine. We always said we wanted to stay close, so we settled in Portland,” said Tyll. Meanwhile, Jen was busy as an assistant damage control officer aboard the USS Lake Champlain. She was then hand picked to serve as flag aide to General Joseph Medina, who was the first Marine Corps general to command a Navy battle group at sea. After discharge, Jen landed a very good job with Lockheed Martin based in Washington, DC. Her job was strategic planning and business development as part of a team transitioning technologies from Air Force to Navy applications. When Chris completed his service in 2009, the young couple looked forward to finally spending time together and raising a family, but they decided that Washington, DC was not the best place for kids, so they were off to Maine. It is 30


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COVER STORY president; just put your name out there. Be quiet unless you are willing to go for it and fix whatever is wrong.” Jen Tyll seems to have the same getit-done attitude as her husband. She serves as commander of the local American Legion post and president of the Military Officers of America Southern Maine Chapter. She is also a scout master for son James’ Wolf Scout pack and Grace’s Dailey Scout group.“As difficult as my transition has been at times, I can only imagine what Jen goes through,” said Chris “From being active

Fast Track to Food and Entertainment Business In 2010, Chris met John Kyle. John helped him get a franchise store in the 14store Pat’s Pizza chain. Tyll’s store operates in a unique old building in Portland on three floors. “Running a business on three different floors has its challenges, but we found ways to make it work,” said Tyll. In 2013, Tyll worked with Brunswick’s Eric Lindfors to build the Easy Day American Food and Fun Center at a beautiful location on the Fore River in South Portland. It didn’t take long for Lindfors to learn that Tyll was not someone who liked to linger over a project. “By our second phone call, I knew that Chris was a special person who was going to make the project happen. If he has to go over, under, or around, he was going to find a way to get it done,” said Lindfors. And Tyll did find a way. The beautiful new building with 10 state-of-the-art Brunswick lanes with GSX pinsetters opened in March of 2014. It features a great restaurant, a 110-foot glass wall overlooking the river, and a special tribute wall honoring every soldier and sailor lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tyll’s Pat’s Pizza store also has a tribute to a few fellow Navy SEALs. “When we were deployed, we would pass the time by talking about who we would most like to have dinner with,” said Tyll. “So I had the idea to put up a few guys I served with and a little bit about why they are so special.”

Politics and Community Involvement In 2012 Chris ran for state senate in his district. He lost a close race but made a lot of new friends. “My parents taught me to get involved. Don’t just sit on the sidelines and complain,” he said. “It does not matter if you run for dogcatcher or

in the Navy, to corporate America, to now being a fulltime mom.” This Veteran’s Day, we will remember all of those who have sacrificed so much for our country, and this year, we should also be thankful for great American heroes like Chris and Jen Tyll for bringing their leadership skills and incredible attitudes to bowling and the American business world. ❖ 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.



November 2016

FALL 2016


The Insider’s Guide to IAAPA George McAuliffe leads us through the highlights of this year’s tradeshow. George McAuliffe IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, holds their annual mega-trade show of all-things-FEC November 14-18 in Orlando. Here’s a preview of highlights.


Bay Tek continues to play a leading role among game manufacturers. You can now add Grand Piano Keys to their unbelievable roster of recent Top Ten hits which includes: Big Bass Wheel, Ticket Monster, Dizzy Chicken, Crank It, Connect Four, and Sink It, all of which continue to be strong performers in our clients FEC’s. We expect a lot of buzz around their latest pieces Quick Drop and Tower of Tickets, both of which debuted last year and are now proven performers. Their Prize Hub automated redemption centers should be especially interesting to traditional bowling centers with space constraints. Finally, Bay Tek will be showcasing their newest game, scheduled for launch later this fall, Pop the Lock. Bay Tek is excited about this game and the preliminary earnings they are seeing in the field.


In the bowling business, experience is everything. Brunswick Bowling Products has led the global bowling industry for more than 125 years. Brunswick is justifiably proud of its formidable experience, product functionality and performance, superior value, and long-term ROI, with products installed in more than 70% of the world’s bowling centers. Brunswick will be featuring its complete line of products at IAAPA, which includes everything from Sync®, the revolutionary new scoring and management system, to reliable pinsetters and higher-scoring lanes, to the Center Stage furniture line, featuring the latest styles in bowling center furnishings. The company’s team of sales specialists will be on hand acting as strategic partners, wholly committed to their customer’s success.


Coastal Amusements is innovating once again and will be debuting two new pieces at the show this year. The latest 38


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multi-player skill game is Volcano, featuring the volcanos Kani, Laka, and Moku. Volcano is an easy to play, three-player game designed for all ages, with eye-catching RGB lighting and an attractive cabinet. Another Coastal Amusements contribution to the new game lineup is BREAKOUT™, the latest game offering in its 65” video game system (VGS). Industry historians will remember the name from one of the pioneering classics. Coastal’s game, based on this iconic title, challenges players to break as many bricks as possible. BREAKOUT ™ joins a growing list of Coastal Amusement games including Subway Surfers™, Temple Run 2 ™, Frog Around and The Balloon Game. All games in the system are easily converted with a simple software and graphics change.


The leading provider of debit card systems to BECs, Embed will be showing new tools for entertainment operators. Embed, now part of Helix Leisure, is well into its second decade of developing and deploying out-of-home entertainment software and card systems. At this year’s show, they will feature their full line of reader options, including the flagship product smart Touch reader, recently installed at Dave and Buster’s. While in the booth, expect to hear about more innovations in debit card technology, some of which are here now and some are in the pipeline, including how to unlock the power of your data.


The folks at Creative Works strive to deliver the WOW Effect and create memorable experiences for family and bowling entertainment centers. They will raise the bar again this year at IAAPA by showcasing a new technology that incorporates projection mapping and dynamic content into the mini golf and laser tag attractions. I know; it sounds exciting! Creative Works will also have upgrades and an entirely new theme for their popular Lazer Frenzy laser maze. And most importantly, a new product will be making its debut at the show. They wouldn’t tell me any more so, like you, I’ll just have to see it in Orlando.

LAI GAMES, Booth 615

One of the best things at IAAPA is that manufacturers debut

PROFESSIONAL OPINION their new games. LAI Games will be premiering two this year: HYPERshoot and Let’s Bounce. Basketball is one of the staples in an arcade game mix, and HYPERshoot reinvents arcade basketball with an innovative and rewarding experience for players of all skill levels. That makes it a must stop for me! LAI’s second new release, Let’s Bounce, is billed as a rewarding multiplayer redemption game for all ages that is simple to understand and play. I’m told the bonus feature adds a lot for skill players who have mastered the gameplay. LAI’s proven new winners will be in the booth as well. The Vault is a 100% skill-based game that challenges players to line up targets and unlock the treasure inside. Snapshot 2 Photo Booth offers dual cameras for normal and selfie style photos, as well as a comprehensive and unique range of filters, decorations and frames for guests to enjoy. Photos are printed, and guests have the ability to share pictures of his/her visit on all leading social media platforms. Prize Box has a fresh take on the crane game and features a small footprint with a low profile which makes it perfect for placement in arcade front areas and windows to preserve sight lines.

Redemption Plus always surprises with new ways to help customer’s remain relevant and ahead of the game. Over the past 20 years, they’ve learned how a great guest experience generates repeat visitors and increases the bottom lines. This year the company will be taking visitors to the booth on a #ExperienceExpedition. The expedition answers the question, “How do you ensure that each guest walks away from your facility with a memory of a great experience?” The goal is to provide a journey that will help customers better their business in ways they haven’t yet imagined. Some of the information booth visitors will be collecting on their #ExperienceExpedition include gamechanging systems to help run redemption programs more easily, insights into increasing the bottom line, elevating business strategy, and meeting with arcade room design specialists.

LIVE OAK BANK, Booth 2931


Live Oak Bank has become a leading lender to the amusement and bowling industries. Its sharp focus is getting deals done for FECs, bowling centers, roller skating centers, small parks and water parks nationwide. Ben Jones, a former operator and amusement park industry leader, heads the lending team. Live Oak Bank provides financing for the purchase of new games and attractions, remodeling, expansion, refinancing to improve cash flow or a combination. They are becoming a household name in the industry, demonstrating their flexibility and understanding of the operator’s borrowing needs. A new and exciting conversation at the Live Oak Bank booth at IAAPA this year will be about their express loan option. Known for their more traditional lending in existing business loans for construction, refinance and projects up to $5 million, Live Oak now offers an express loan for amounts between $50,000 and $350,000 for working capital and equipment. The express loan product has a quick qualifying turnaround, whereby funds are usually available in 10 business days.

QUBICAAMF, Booth 1040

A leader in the bowling world, QubicaAMF, will be greeting friends and customers from the U.S. and 40


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around the world at this year’s IAAPA. The Suite Spot mini bowling lounge concept will be on display in the booth this year, having had a great year as centers large and small see mini bowling as a good investment. QubicaAMF sees IAAPA as a great showcase to demonstrate the breadth of their product offerings, as more and more entertainment centers recognize bowling as a solid core activity to drive traffic to their location, beyond traditional bowling centers. QubicaAMF feels that IAAPA is probably the best show in terms of the variety of the audience. They will be in the booth in force to have time for all the interested traffic.


In its 100 years as a game distributor, Shaffer has developed a track record of integrity, customer first DNA, and professional execution. They were early into broadening their focus to FECs and are now a nationwide player. They will be exercising their consultative approach to developing your game room in their booth this year, planning to create a positive customer experience through their unique interactive process. Shaffer works hard to foster a purposeful connection with their customers, leading to knowledge-powered customer service through innovative thinking. The Shaffer team will be ready to advise and assist customers and new developers. Shaffer looks forward to developing and continuing to grow strong relationships. They are committed to listening to their customers in order to craft custom solutions, while providing them the opportunity to see their innovative approach to FEC and BEC game rooms.

EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR PROGRAMS IAAPA has a long, well-deserved reputation for quality educational programs. It has a lot to offer, and not just on the FEC track. Check out the whole program at ❖ George McAuliffe has operated FECs as a corporate executive, consultant and entrepreneur. He is currently the principal of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. He writes for RePlay and IBI and speaks at FEC industry conferences.


‘Booming’ Business Comes to Mini-Bowling US Bowling launches its first fully-themed line.

By Fred Groh


ho wouldn’t want to go up to a pirate ship and throw a cannon ball down the lanes and knock over some pins?” said Mike Conejo, creative director at US Bowling, previewing the company’s first fully-themed version of its Rollerball mini-bowling game. It debuts at IAAPA, Nov. 14-18. The new game, Cannon Bowl, includes Rollerball features such as individual lane control and the company’s string pinsetter. Lane surfaces are full tenpin quality, require no oil, and wipe clean of shoe marks, because customers bowl in their street shoes. A single Cannon Bowl unit (two lanes) is about 41x10½ feet, although the length can be customized to as little as 30 feet. The guts are the same proven innards of Rollerball, but everything else is different. “True theming,” Conejo calls it. Not just changing the color of the lanes and slapping an ID sticker on the sidewall. The lanes look like the deck planking of a pirate ship. Down at the end, the masking resembles a sail weathered by sea winds, black with a white skull-and-crossbones. It’s printed on heavy-duty canvas with a wire backing to simulate a sail caught in the breeze. A “vent” to the ship’s hold, part of the deck graphic and approximately underfoot where the bowler releases the ball, reveals prisoner shackles far below. Overhead, wheeling gulls cry out and the ship creaks underfoot—or 42


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they seem to, on a sound track designed by Conejo. When a 4-inch, 4-pound “cannon ball” returns through the barrel of a cannon, it’s accompanied by a flash of red LED light from the mouth of the cannon and a “kaboom” programmable by the customer, for example only when a strike is thrown. The free-standing parrot is about 5½ feet tall but smaller, less cartoony birds can be attached to the uprights along the sides of the game or on the lamppost. For the sound effects, stereo speakers are concealed in two pirate chests, while the lane computers and the scoring system reside in the rum barrel. Atop the barrel are twin touchscreens. Installation requires no excavating, and although the attraction isn’t mobile, it can be moved. Theming materials are the best, reports Conejo: theme-park-quality fiberglass and resin. The nylon netting, also theme-park grade with its 3-inch open loops, withstands the impact of the ball and keeps it in the play area. “People want more,” Conejo offered, the same as when mini-bowling was added to the US Bowling line nine years ago. Zombie, Western and Viking themes for Rollerball are on the drawing board. Trade show attendees of all ages love to step up and throw the ball whenever the company is exhibiting its mini-bowling. “Kids like it because it’s scaled down to their size. They can relate and feel like it’s made for them. Adults like it because it’s kind of a novelty, like a Skee-Ball version of bowling that has truly realistic pin action. You can even put a spin on the ball when you’re bowling.” Or, when it comes to Cannon Bowl, do a little swashbuckling as you bowl. ❖

Fred Groh is a regular contributor to IBI and former managing editor of the magazine.


Circle of Life Doing a 360 at Circle Bowl and Entertainment. By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson


volve or die!” was the rallying cry at the first Face to Face Entertainment Conference (F2FEC), and bowling center operators like Keith Doughterty are embracing that message. “We completely renovated the 30,000-squarefoot traditional bowling center that has been in our family for over 50 years,” says Doughterty, owner of Circle Bowl and Entertainment in Ledgewood, NJ. “We took away nine bowling lanes, a meeting room and a store front to add a laser tag arena and redemption arcade. We also added two party rooms which we never had before and a VIP room with five bowling lanes, bar and lounge area. We installed a brand new sound and audio system with drop down projectors. We can’t wait until the project is fully completed to really show it off. There is nothing else like it in our area.” BEFORE Jodi Snyder, event coordinator, manager, and part owner of Circle Bowl and Entertainment, explained that they needed to find ways to increase revenue. Attending conferences such as Bowl Expo made it clear that the trend in bowling is fewer lanes because there are fewer league bowlers. “As everyone in the bowling industry knows, league bowling is on a steep decline,” explains Shawn Aiello, the general manager of Circle Bowl and Entertainment. “Our leagues began to decline a few years ago, and we had to decide whether to plan for the future or just let the business run itself out.” “Circle Bowl was opened in 1959 by the Dougherty



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family,” shares Aiello. “It is in its third generation of family ownership.” Built originally as a 24-lane center, the last major renovation was 40 years ago when 10 lanes were added to meet the growing demands of league bowlers. “We offer league bowling Monday through Thursday nights, with a kids program on Saturday and Sunday morning, and [we] have open bowling available every day.” Aiello continues, “We removed nine lanes – started with 34 and slimmed down to 25. We are using lanes one through five as a private VIP area with custom Brunswick cherry wood color lanes.” They




converted the traditional bowling center to a new bowling entertainment center (BEC). “There are 20 lanes on our main area that are used for league bowling and open play. With the extra space, we added laser tag, rock climbing, and an arcade. We also converted our pizzeria into a full-service restaurant and upgraded our bar to 20 taps,” Aiello adds. “Circle Lanes had been a traditional bowling center with a snack bar and bowling,” states Mark Novak, Brunswick sales manager. “Both the bowling equipment and the facility were showing their age. The owners knew that they needed to do more than replace the bowling equipment in order to compete in today’s entertainment environment, and we began a discussion about revamping their business model to create new profit centers and increase revenue.” “Over the course of about a year, we had several meetings with Keith and Shawn to discuss their vision for the center, their business objectives and the opportunity within their market,” relates Novak. “We toured a number of facilities together and introduced them to owners and operators of other bowling entertainment centers who shared valuable insights on equipment, as well as operations. I really wanted to provide them with as much information as possible, so they would feel confident that the decisions they were making were in the best interest of the business. They 46


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installed ProLane synthetic lanes, ColorFull lanes, Sync scoring and management system, Lanescape masking units, Pinball Wizard automatic bumpers, and [new] ball return hoods and racks.” “Working with companies that can identify key demographic traits and offer products that fit within the profile of the market area will lower the overall risk of the investment,” comments Kris Des Roches, Brunswick sales manager. “Consideration should be given to the entire scope of a project, and how each of the components of a renovation can be integrated. It is important to keep in mind that bowling is typically still the anchor product following a renovation, and the look and functionality of this equipment needs to be addressed to


fit the needs of existing and future guests.” “We converted our facility to a kind of hybrid,” says Snyder. “We packed in a lot of new amenities to bring in more revenue. We added attractions, including a laser tag arena, an arcade with 30 games, a rock climbing wall and a juke’n’box.” A juke’n’box is an immersive attraction that combines music, energy and action and encourages team building. “Laser tag seemed a no brainer in our market because we have only two competing arenas in the area,” observed Aiello. “The juke’n’box, sold by Studio 41b in Florida, was a great add-on for our arcade. The rock climbing wall seemed to tie the arcade and laser tag together and also gave us another selling point on our party packages.” Circle Bowl worked with Betson Enterprises to select the right mix of arcade games. “They let us know what’s popular,” noted Snyder. Two of the 30 games featured in the arcade are Trio-Tech’s Typhoon Motion Theater and Aliens: Armageddon, a light gun shooter arcade game developed by Play Mechanix and Raw Thrills. The upgraded arcade also includes a card payment system, where customers pre-load a player card with value and then swipe as payment. "As with all Intercard installations worldwide, the system we provided to Circle Bowl and Entertainment gives them more marketing muscle," said Intercard CEO Scott Sherrod. "They have more data to work with that are current and actionable. We were honored that they selected us to help them realize their vision for their new venue." Circle Bowl also worked with BMI Merchandise, located in Lakewood, New Jersey. Dave Schwartz, vice president of sales and marketing, points out that New Jersey law prevents operators like Circle Bowl from operating full-on amusement unless they have major attractions like go karts, in which case they would qualify as a theme park. BMI Merchandise supplied Circle Bowl with crane games and merchandise for the games and their redemption counter. Schwartz noted that Circle Bowl doesn’t need BMI’s Automated Merchandise Replenishment System, because they won’t have a high volume redemption center. Schwartz shares that Circle Bowl is limited in its arcade due to the 48


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law which limits ticket or points payouts in New Jersey. “People want to play for bigger prizes,” states Schwartz, but notes that they can’t do this at bowling centers in New Jersey. Aiello shared, “Dynamic Designs from Birmingham, Michigan, did our final design--Jennifer Irizarry and Doug Wilkerson were BEFORE awesome.” “We thought we’d reopen in September, but with any kind of construction, it takes longer than you think,” says Snyder. “Besides the normal challenges of construction, our biggest challenge is that the league bowlers are not happy with the change. They don’t have a pro shop or lockers anymore, and they feel they are not being treated fairly. We’ve fielded a lot of complaints from league bowlers.” Circle Bowl continues to work closely with and support their leagues. Aiello adds, “Getting ourselves and our employees into the mindset that we are an entertainment center and not just a bowling center is the biggest challenge.” The final phase of the renovation project was the completion of Big Ed’s Taphouse and Grill.

Final suggestions? “If you are planning a project like this, do your homework and research,” advises Aiello. “Make sure you understand your market. And whatever the architects and builders anticipate in build time, add three months.” Now with 25 lanes and many more attractions, Circle Bowl and Entertainment is ready for another 50 years providing quality, family fun. ❖ 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 Award-winning 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


Optimizing Growth, Value and Service A few minutes with Sean Stormes, Chief Results Officer at Redemption Plus.

By George McAuliffe 1. You are the newly installed Chief Results Officer at Redemption Plus. Please tell us about that. What an amazing opportunity! The company has a 20-year track record of innovation in the redemption industry with fiercely loyal customers. As for me, I performed in an outside strategy role for the company the last few years, helping the executive leadership team add insights to existing product strategies. Now leading the team from the inside, I’m tasked with three primary objectives: growth, value and service. Together, we ensure a high-performing, optimized business ecosystem at Redemption Plus that provides healthy results by empowering our customers to win big. I’m very bullish on Redemption Plus!

2. Please share what Redemption Plus does, and why is it relevant for Bowling Entertainment Centers (BECs)? At our core, we provide products: relevant merchandise that drives redemption sales, arriving accurately and on time. But we have also developed a compelling suite of services that include physical BEC facility design; data analytics; assessments; and merchandising techniques [that] we call MerchINSIGHTS to help family and bowling entertainment centers innovate and deliver an elite guest experience. 50


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3. You have a certain set of beliefs about what has traditionally been called the sales process. Can you share them? My philosophy developed from studying progressive industry leaders over the last 20 years, including Whole Foods, Pixar, Amazon, Zappos and Apple, to name a few. After three decades of leading sales and marketing organizations, I witnessed the significant value these business-to-consumer leaders designed, developed and delivered. I believe the same “Big Idea” Sean Stormes disruptive approach should apply to business-to-business companies. It starts with a dedication and diligence to understand customers deeply, what they need but cannot yet articulate. In essence, identifying new offerings before customers know they need it. They also understood that sameness is a losing proposition and that the real responsibility of leadership is to offer unprecedented value to their customers. When unprecedented value is created, demand creation and attraction occur. In the new, more effective model, marketing becomes the new selling. As Peter Thiel is fond of saying, “If you have to sell it, then it’s not good enough.” Therefore, leadership’s job is to create demand through unprecedented value.

4. How can that philosophy be applied to the BEC? Great question, George! FEC attractions compete for people’s time,

INTERESTING INTERVIEW attention and money. Someone can open some or all of those attractions down the street, and that’s all the more reason to defeat sameness by excelling at determining why customers buy. Today, consumers are not (just) buying a product or service. They really buy what I call the Core Four. First, they buy purpose. People want to know why the company exists and the difference it wants to make in the world. Second is experience, understanding, holistically, all of the various experiential touchpoints from the customer’s point of view. Third is community, meaning the construction of how customers rally together. Fourth is story, and that is not going to the market to share your story. Rather, it is positively influencing the story customers tell about you to others. Bernadette Jiwa communicates this concept best. Her blog on this topic is outstanding:

5. What would you expect that story to sound like? A well-crafted story answers specific key questions. Why is that BEC meaningful to me? Do they help me feel more of how I want to feel? [Do they] help me achieve more of what I want to achieve? Understanding the story customers tell themselves and their friends and family is how you discover the golden nuggets that drive revenue and other key performance indicators.

6. A BEC, like any FEC, serves a local market and has to work hard to stay relevant. How do high performance service industries achieve innovation? Innovation emanates from the perpetual search for unprecedented value. The golden nuggets are a great place to start. Innovation stems from unspoken needs. The traditional sales approach is to uncover customer pain, but the unspoken need is much more powerful. Nobody asked for the automobile, airplane, television or internet. Third is ethnography, staying close to the customer to study and understand them, similar to an effective investigator. Finally, connecting the dots to uncover insights that reveal “new truths” is critical to disruptive industry innovation. Finally, it becomes a design process. More often than not it’s the smaller things, the incremental steps that add up to a strong brand built from unprecedented value.

7. Can you give us three ideas for BEC owners to become more innovative, especially as it relates to marketing? I love to say, “If you want to be great, then study greatness.” Here’s a wonderful read on the subject: The Revenue Growth 52


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Habit, by Alex Goldfayn. Content (email) marketing should validate, inform, educate and attract customers on the many offerings and benefits of patronizing a BEC. Remember to share customer stories, and be consistent above else. Provide a constant flow of content that’s relevant to your customer’s story, NOT yours.

8. Having observed the BEC market from the supplier side, how do you see the future? Ah, the future. I believe that the challenge will be remaining relevant to the millennial generation and those that follow. Millennials think differently than prior generations, and the generation behind them is even more different. How BECs respond to rapidly changing demographics and psychographics will determine relevance, and therefore demand creation and attraction. It’s not about the BEC. It’s about the customer. At Redemption Plus, we think it’s our responsibility to help our BEC customer leadership improve the guest experience and grow profitable revenue. We want to truly partner with BECs to help them fortify their respective competitive advantages. When our customers are healthy and relevant, so are we. Think “co-creation” as our definition of partnership.

9. Any other wisdom you care to share for our readers? Tim Brown of IDEO wrote a fabulous book, Change by Design. He advises being nimble, constantly looking at the core business, learning how to consistently innovate. Design thinking not only ensures survival, but also enables businesses to thrive over time. Thanks, Sean. We wish you the best for your continued success. ❖

George McAuliffe has operated family entertainment centers from 2,000 to 150,000 square feet as a corporate executive and entrepreneur. As a consultant he has helped hundreds of clients add or improve redemption game rooms and FEC attractions. He is currently the principal of Pinnacle Entertainment Group whose clients include Embed, Redemption Plus and Shaffer Distributing Company. He writes for RePlay and International Bowling Industry magazines and speaks at FEC industry conferences.



Brunswick has taken the guesswork and excessive labor out of effective database marketing. Sync seamlessly tracks the effectiveness of your campaigns, showing how much additional revenue is generated with each redemption. Rather than simply rewarding regular customers with discounts, Sync helps drive traffic to new or less active customers with personalized offers. Brunswick brings the first cloud-based scoring and management systems to the bowling industry. Every customer touch point, from decision to departure, is addressed in the robust, feature-rich POS—the only one that gives insights to improve business. It all adds up to a single, easy-to-use system that aligns customer interaction with center operations to drive traffic, increase sales, and encourage repeat visits. Visit


LAI Games’ new 100% skill redemption game, The Vault, is now in stock. The Vault challenges players to line

up targets and unlock treasure inside. Players get three chances to skillfully stop spinning reels in the safe zone to test their safe-cracking abilities. Unlocking the Minor Prize is within easy reach for every player; they have the choice to take or forfeit and play on for the opportunity to win the Major Prize shown in the cabinet topper. With an attractive all-metal cabinet, eye-catching, colorful LED lighting, and its safe-cracking theme, The Vault is an attraction on its own in any game room. This new game from LAI Games makes every player feel like a winner while unlocking big profits for operators. For more information, please visit


Come see the latest skilled, video, redemption game from Bay Tek Games at IAAPA booth 1015. Scheduled for launch later this fall, Pop the Lock, a popular app game, has now been translated into an awesome arcade attraction. It is a fastpaced game where players are trying to hit the yellow circle that pops up around the circumference of the playing field. Hit the yellow circle and another appears randomly. Great hand-eye coordination will aid players in hitting all 50 circles and Pop the Lock for the bonus! It is addictive and fun with increased skill achieved with each participation. Bay Tek is excited to introduce Pop the Lock and point out the preliminary earnings seen in the field. For more info on Bay Tek Games go to



QubicaAMF’s The Suite Spot™ is an industry-first solution that brings all the benefits of QubicaAMF’s expertise in bowling innovation to the larger entertainment world. Combining next-gen features of the popular Highway66 mini bowling, powered by BES X, plus Harmony Infinity, the industry’s first reconfigurable furniture line, The Suite Spot, will send VIP, family, or group events, and corporate and birthday party business soaring—and leave you celebrating. Visit for more information.



November 2016

Shaffer Distributing combines consulting services, support, installation and post installation services to the amusement game industry. It is the only distributor to operate game rooms throughout the U.S., providing real world experience. The goal is to assist customers in achieving the highest return on their invested dollars. Shaffer takes great pride in maintaining relationships after the initial set-up, offering unparalleled service in all facets of entertainment center projects. While focusing on a center’s business growth, Shaffer proactively seeks new product releases, enhancements and innovative ideas to pass on to its customers. Please stop by IAAPA booth 550 to meet Shaffer’s Family Entertainment Experts or contact George Speakman at



Embed’s smartTouch™ family of products is transforming the guest experience, letting operators interact with players in new and exciting ways. No matter what the facility type, operational needs, media costs, or player demographics, there’s a smartTouch™ reader that can take business to a whole new level. All models support the latest RFID and NFC “Tap” technologies. The new swipe model combines the RFID with traditional mag-stripe functionality, making backwards compatibility a breeze for operators. It provides a comfortable transition for users who are used to swiping and are not yet familiar with “tap” technology. Operators can offer a progression of payment types for their VIP customers, e.g. magnetic strip cards for casual users, RFID tap cards for VIP members, and RFID-branded merchandise for top-tier VIPs. For more information, visit


How much time, money and effort are you wasting in your redemption area? Redemption Plus has a solution. MerchINSIGHTS is a proven full-inventory management system for redemption areas that leverages a customized retail merchandising design, filled with a selection of data-validated product, so the focus can be on the guest experience. When visiting IAAPA, stop by the Redemption Plus booth 1300 to learn more about MerchINSIGHTS and to implement the program in any facility. While there, you will be taken on an #ExperienceExpedition, where you will better your business strategy in ways never imagined. Don’t miss out on the adventure. Connect with Remption Plus. Join in on the insights, discussions and shenanigans on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Or, contact Tabatha Bender,



Coastal Amusements, located in Lakewood, NJ, has announced the release of the Atari classic: BREAKOUT™. This iconic title challenges players to break as many bricks as possible by using the paddle to direct the ball against the brick wall. To bring the game into the 21st century, Coastal added many new features such as: special bricks to give the player a ‘multi-ball’ experience; instant tickets and power-ups; and power-downs to help challenge today’s players. Also, ‘Catch a Falling Star’ allows players a chance to win the Big Bonus for even more tickets. BREAKOUT™ joins the growing list of Coastal’s 65” VGS including Subway Surfers™, Temple Run 2™, Frog Around, and Balloon Game. All games in the system are easily converted with a simple software and graphics change. For more info, contact Patrick Mills at

Live Oak Bank is not your traditional bank. Their mission is to create an unprecedented banking experience for small business owners nationwide, through service and technology. With a laser focus on innovation in finance and technology, Live Oak Bank brings efficiency and excellence to the lending process. They believe deeply in personal service and taking care of their customers throughout the life of the relationship. Bowling center owners face unique issues and financing needs. Live Oak Bank understands. With a team of FEC experts and lending specialists, they are well-positioned to help center owners reach new growth, providing FEC and bowling center loans up to $5 million for working capital, expansion, remodeling, construction, acquisition, equipment and refinancing. Contact Ben Jones, FEC industry specialist, at (910) 798-1210 or email at



November 2016




to place your Classified Ad in International Bowling Industry Magazine

Call (818) 789-2695

Fax (818) 789-2812


your ad to:


(818) 789-2695

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 Resurfacing - Repairs - Supplies - Synthetics IBI

November 2016


CLASSIFIEDS MANAGEMENT OPENINGS Seven Ten, 40,000-square-foot entertainment complex in Hagerstown, MD, is seeking an OPERATIONS MANAGER. The facility houses 22 tenpin lanes, arcade, event room, restaurant, bar & lounge. Applicants must have a minimum three (3) years’ experience in restaurant management. Compensation includes: Salary + insurance + housing. Please email CENTER MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITY: Are you an assistant manager or manager looking for an opportunity to grow professionally, as well as financially? Do you have the motivation, drive and energy needed to grow our center’s business? If so, you will want to contact us today. We are a Kansas City, MO, area bowling center seeking a candidate who is eager to help our business grow. We offer salary plus vacation. To apply, please email your resume and salary history to

LOCKER KEYS FAST! All Keys done by code # Locks and Master Keys E-mail: TOLL FREE



November 2016


EQUIPMENT FOR SALE NEW & USED Pro Shop Equipment. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or REMOVING 26 LANES for remodeling— Everything Works: Brunswick Scoring; (79) Scanners & Scanner Tester; AS 80 Color Overheads; 25’ Zenith Overheads; Back ‘n White Lowers; 901 Software; Purrfect Desk; Brother Laser Print w/ Thermal Receipt printer; Zot ET 2001 Electronic Triggering; DTS Register Program Loader. Total package or parts available. Contact Rob (908) 763-1192. Complete 16-lane Brunswick GSX system (2001-2002); light use for 5 years; professionally un-installed & stored in dry storage since 2008. Full package including pinsetters, ball returns, synthetic lanes, under-flooring, electronics, balls, shoes, extensive spare parts, etc. Located in Colorado. $10K/Lane OBO. Contact Bob @ FOR SALE: Steltronic automatic scoring, WINS system, 36 lanes, bumper compatible; can separate, like new. 16-lane HPL foul line forward. 2-lane Anvil synthetics, foul line forward. Hood&Rack conversions w/ power lift. Media mask. A2s & parts. Installations & complete installs.


MARKETING ASSOCIATE NEEDED Are you a creative marketing associate, skilled at assessing bowling and family entertainment center operations and marketing to determine where there are opportunities to grow the business and increase revenue? QubicaAMF, a leader in the recreation and entertainment business for over 50 years, is seeking a Virtual Marketing Associate to work with our customers to identify opportunities for growth and develop an action plan to deliver on those opportunities. We are seeking a self-motivated professional with polished communication skills, who pays attention to details, is a great listener and is able to empathize with customers. The ideal candidate will have practical marketing planning and strategy experience, a deep understanding of bowling center operations and be customer service focused. Experience working with Conqueror Pro in an operating environment and working with CorelDraw is highly preferred. Additionally, proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, general cloud knowledge and calendar and data management is required.




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 -

This position will be responsible for conducting comprehensive assessments, developing action plans, coaching clients to execute the action plan and providing successful and proven solutions to challenges. We offer a competitive compensation package which includes medical and a 401K plan.

Could this be the ideal position for you? Want to learn more? 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 Rosa Katz at


November 2016


CLASSIFIEDS MINIATURE GOLF COURSES Indoor/Outdoor. Portable/Pre-Fab. Black Light/Traditional/Pro Putter. 202 Bridge Street Jessup, PA 18434 570-489-8623

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: Visit us on the WEB!

EQUIPMENT FOR SALE 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.

SERVICES AVAILABLE is YOUR FREE bowling buy and sell site. Sponsored by Redline Foul Lights. Tel: 1 (888) 569-7845.

SERVICES AVAILABLE Drill Bit Sharpening and Measuring Ball Repair. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or AMF 5850 & 6525 CHASSIS. Exchange your tired or damaged chassis for an upgraded, rewired, cleaned, painted and ready-to-run chassis. Fast turnaround. Lifetime guarantee. References available. [Lazy mechanics & clueless owners, please call someone else.] CHASSIS DOCTOR (330) 314-8951.

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


CENTERS FOR SALE NORTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN: Clean, modern, 14,000 s/f, 12-lane center with Brunswick Pro Anvil lanes & approaches; brand new Touch 3 auto scoring w/ 42� monitors. Great league base & lucrative annual tournaments. Includes: large, active poker room; lounge & snack bar; small pro shop, plus karaoke, games, pool & air hockey tables. Lots of parking! Call (989) 739-4515 for more information. SW WISCONSIN: 12-lane center with Brunswick pinsetters & AMF synthetic lanes; 13 solid leagues; newly remodeled fullservice restaurant and bar; newly remodeled banquet hall w/ full-service kitchen and bar; excellent community support, prime location! Call (563) 451-4759 NORTHERN GULF COAST: 24-lane, split 16/8, FEC. Built in 2006. 2.5 acres and 28,000 s/f building. Brunswick GSX, well maintained. New Brunswick scoring system and Aloha cash register systems in 2014. Fully enclosed bar/restaurant, full kitchen, walk-in freezer/cooler and pizza oven. Kegel lane machine and new ball drilling equipment. Call Pete, (228) 348-6921 or email: 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. 62


November 2016

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

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


November 2016



B 1957 Schlitz Brewing Co.

y the snow spattered trees and white hills, we know Dave, Mary, Bill and Joan are warm and cozy inside a bowling center. As the ad states, “Best game of the season, and time for refreshment that adds to the fun.” No surprise there. Bowling was the best game, and Schlitz Brewing Company hitched its star to it. 1957 was the year of the Chevy and Corvette. Sputnik 1 flew in on the scene and Maverick debuted on TV--lots going on, with a few glitches, Suez Canal crisis and Asian flu pandemic to name two. Bowling was readying itself for a big surge that would last through the ‘60s. Schlitz knew a good venue and so did the Dave, Mary, Bill and Joans across the U.S. ❖ - Patty Heath



November 2016

IBI November 2016 issue  
IBI November 2016 issue