THE WORLD'S ONLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE BUSINESS OF BOWLING
PUBLISHER & EDITOR Scott Frager firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: scottfrager
6 ISSUE AT HAND
By George, We Have Come a Long Way
Timing is Everything By David Garber
One professional’s opinion about the state of the family amusement industry.
8 SHORTS • Ohio’s Scene 75 times three • QubicaAMF and Ardent Leisure partner up Down Under • BVL’s Best Awards • Soul: The 2018 F2FEC announced for February at the Broadmoor • Marien Stark promoted to the Live Oak Bank FEC lending team
By George McAuliffe 16
38 TOURNAMENT Junior Gold A recap of all the Junior Gold winners. By David Garber
40 OFF THE CLOCK A Real Dynamo Proprietor Barbara Watts has an explosive hobby as a pyrotechnician. By Marci Williams
54 REMEMBER WHEN
The Nook and Ran-Ham Bowl get cozy
1965 Grandmas and Bowling Rule
By Mark Miller
By Patty Heath
24 COVER STORY
BVL Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary
Raising Millions for American Military Heroes
By Jim Goodwin 40
OFFICE MANAGER Patty Heath email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS David Garber Jim Goodwin Patty Heath George McAuliffe Mark Miller Marci Williams
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jackie Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org
ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Designworks www.dzynwrx.com (818) 735-9424
FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)
By Patty Heath
Breaking Down the Wall
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER David Garber
12655 Ventura Boulevard Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 789-2695(BOWL) Fax (818) 789-2812 email@example.com
HOTLINE: 818-789-2695 SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One copy of International Bowling Industry is sent free to every bowling center, independently owned pro shop and collegiate bowling center in the U.S., and every military bowling center and pro shop worldwide. Publisher reserves the right to provide free subscriptions to those individuals who meet publication qualifications. Additional subscriptions may be purchased for delivery in the U.S. for $50 per year. Subscriptions for Canada and Mexico are $65 per year, all other foreign subscriptions are $80 per year. All foreign subscriptions should be paid in U.S. funds using International Money Orders. POSTMASTER: Please send new as well as old address to International Bowling Industry, 12655 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604 USA. If possible, please furnish address mailing label. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright 2017, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.
MEMBER AND/OR SUPPORTER OF:
ISSUE AT HAND
Timing is Everything This month we are doing some celebrating. Personally, I am celebrating my third anniversary with IBI and my 40th year in bowling. As an industry, we are in a growth marketplace, with bowling getting higher on the list of what people want to do every day. Styx guitarist and songwriter, Tommy Shaw, said, “Timing is everything,” and in this case, it applies 100%. When I saw Scott Frager at Bowl Expo in 2014 and had a two-minute conversation, I had no idea that I would be moving from Florida to California. However, 30 days later, there I was in Cali, no apartment lined up, just the items I needed for everyday life that fit in my car. You’re probably thinking this guy is nuts, but during my entire career in bowling, I had been nomadic, willing to take on new challenges and jump hurdles to make my life better within an industry I love. When I took on the position of associate publisher with IBI, I only knew sales and bowling. Throwing a bowling ball well was a good part of my career. However, what did that have to do with publishing a trade magazine about bowling? The magazine was a departure from the consumer side which I knew extremely well, but I was sure that my expertise in the sport of bowling would bring new and
different ideas to an excellent publication. When I joined IBI, bowling was beginning to take center stage as an asset for FECs. This, in turn, helped motivate traditional bowling proprietors to begin a wave of remodels and new builds transforming centers into BECs or FECs. I feel strongly that this movement will continue. Like it or not, we are all being trained to be one-stop shoppers, e.g. Super Targets, Super Walmarts, and Amazon. This also goes for spending entertainment dollars. People want to go to one place for a few hours and use their entertainment budget with family and friends. Going to a bowling center, then a laser tag facility and finally traipsing off to a restaurant is not an option. It’s not time sensitive nor convenient to their lifestyle. I want to inspire proprietors to realize the potential of their businesses. If dollars are short, there are still ways to improve—inspired customer service can go a long way to brighten a center. It is my goal to spotlight the possibilities. Celebrating a work anniversary is fun, but when you do something you love and it helps an industry grow, that’s even better. The bowling industry is continuing to grow and prosper. Just like Bill Murray said in the movie Stripes, “That’s the fact, Jack.”
– DAVID GARBER, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER firstname.lastname@example.org
4THIS MONTH AT www.BowlingIndustry.com Traditionally, October is the month for the bookend, regional bowling trade shows. The West Coast Bowling Convention will take place October 1-2 at the Silver Legacy in Reno, NV. October 23-25 are the dates for the East Coast Bowling Centers Convention. It has moved this year from Atlantic City to Talahari Resorts and Convention in the Pocono Mountains, PA. For proprietors who were unable to break away and go to Bowl Expo, these shows offer a more intimate look at what’s going on in the world of bowling, with one-on-one time with manufacturers and supply companies, plus confabbing with other proprietors. A little fun; a little work; and a little closer to home. IBI is proud to, once again, be the official magazine of these shows. For more information go to either www.eastcoastbowl.com or www.wcbowling.com.
EXPANSIONS, OPENINGS & NEW BEGINNINGS
SOUTH AFRICAN FEC CHAIN EXPANDS
The Fun Company, an FEC chain based in Johannesburg, South Africa, operating eight sites, will open two more by the end of the year. The first, set to open this month, will be in the city of Nelspruit, with the other in Johannesburg to open sometime in November. Intergameonline.com wrote that company owner Guy Cominsky believes that this will make The Fun Company the second biggest FEC operator in South Africa. Cominsky pointed out that, for the most part, entertainment machines in South Africa are second hand. “That is our unique selling point. When we develop a site, the machines are all brand new. We really try to deliver a premium product,” said Cominsky. Currently operating exclusively in South Africa, Cominsky said that The Fun Company hopes, depending on the political climate, to expand into nearby African countries, including Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique.
SCENE75: NOW A TRIPLE SUCCESS Jonah Sandler risked most of his personal savings to open the megaentertainment complex Scene75 in Dayton, OH, in 2012. Five years later, the Cincinnati-area native will open his third location in Brunswick. Sandler has used a similar concept for each of his centers, converting empty warehouse or large retail spaces. The Dayton location is 120,000 square feet and the Cincinnati location is 84,000 square feet. The Brunswick Scene75 Entertainment Center will be 80,000 square feet and will include laser tag, indoor go-karts, virtual reality, blacklight mini-golf, bouncing inflatables, an arcade, mini-bowling, bumper cars and a 4-D motion theater. The new location will have a new eating concept that Sandler believes is the first in the nation. Instead of a restaurant, the venue will have an indoor food truck alley. Four popular food truck operators from the Cleveland area will sell their food options inside the new Scene75. The trucks have been cut in half and are part of the display in the restaurant area. Sandler intends to add a 12-lane bowling boutique to his Cincinnati location. With that in place, he hopes to bring the same thing to the Dayton location. In November 2016, Scene75 won Best Family Entertainment Center in North America. A key to Sandler’s success has been his social media marketing. In the three months leading up to the July 2012 opening of the first venue, Sandler grew Scene75’s Facebook base to 23,000 local fans. He has written a book, Before the Doors Opened, to help other entrepreneurs. It details how Facebook marketing helped Scene75 grow.
A BREWERY AND BOWLING GO HAND IN HAND What would you do if, after four years of going strong, your brewery’s name was taken from you? That is what happened to Atlas Brewery in Chicago. Atlas opened in 2012 and was an up-and-coming spot. However, a name dispute and legal ranglings eventually found the business without a name. Inspired by the Chicago fire of 1871 and the metaphor of burning everything to the ground, Burnt City Brewing rose from the ashes in 2016 and added eight lanes of bowling to the mix just to ensure success. Head brewer John Saller said, “We have sort of this pseudo-historical re-imagining of post-fire Chicago, and the various beers that we have are characters that live in it.” The beer lineup features the Face Melter, Dick the Butcher, the Radler, Freight Handler and the Balloon Boy. One feels as if they are part of a graphic novel! The brews plus the food, tater tot nachos, in-house smoked meats, pizza and a chicken schnitzel and brie sandwich, creates the atmosphere around which one can eat and drink and bowl all at the same time. There is even a brewers bowling league… as co-founder Steve Soble puts it, “a very neat little niche.”
LOCAL VETERANS GROUP BUYS CITY’S BOWLING CENTER In the August IBI, Spare Time Alley in Osmond, NE, was purchased by local citizens to save the town’s bowling center. Here is another example: a group of local veterans, VETS Inc., officially made an agreement with Gaylord Bowling Center in Gaylord, MI, to purchase the center which was going up for auction. The vets wanted to buy the center to keep it under local management. “The community has been so supportive of the VFW and local veterans, we wanted to be able to give something back,” said Steve Ralston. September 2017
Pictured are (l-r): Brett Bowen, Chemical Bank and VETS Inc. members Tony Sharkey, Ron LeBourdais, Steve Ralston, Richard Edmonds, and Jim Steward.
2018 F2FEC HAS ‘SOUL’ The 2018 F2FEC has been set for February 2022 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The theme for this exploration is “SOUL.” With SOUL, the Three Amigos get to the heart of the purpose that drives corporate organizations: people. Amigo Rick Iceberg of C.J. Barrymore’s, explained, “Each individual employee at our centers is a caretaker of every customer’s experience, and that customer interaction directly affects our reputation and profitability.” Amigo George Smith, president of Family Entertainment Group, explained, “maintaining a high-performance organization starts with people and involves creating an atmosphere of trust and empowerment and must include supporting the whole individual.” While Amigo Ben Jones, FEC Domain specialist, with Live Oak Bank, pointed out, “How we care for our people and provide for their future and well-being speaks to the core of our moral compass.” The Face 2 Face gathering will once again bring together the best of the best for thought provoking conversations with the outcome to help every attendee develop relationships and talk about what’s now, what’s next and focus on helping everyone contrast, compare and make more money. Be in the Room . ®
QUBICAAMF AND DOWN UNDER’S ARDENT LEISURE ARE QubicaAMF and Ardent Leisure, an Australian leisure and entertainment group, have partnered to take bowling to the next level throughout Australia. QubicaAMF has been selected as a dedicated partner for Ardent’s bowling and entertainment division, with plans to replace older pinsetter machines with new TMS String Pinspotters and to upgrade 82-770XL Pinspotters with Xli technology. It will also be the exclusive scoring provider, supplying BES X and Conqueror Pro to all new Kingpin facilities. Highway66 technology has also been incorporated in new Paytime Arcades. Across Australia and New Zealand, AMF and Kingpin account for 44 centers. 10
PEOPLEWATCHING Live Oak Bank announced the promotion of Marien Stark as a loan specialist to the FEC lending team. Her background in accounting and finance make her a perfect fit for this new role. Marien will join industry expert, Ben Jones, in helping entertainment and bowling centers identify financing opportunities to grow and update their businesses. Before joining the FEC team, Marien worked with Live Oak’s eLending department. During this time, she focused on loans under $350,000 for Marien Stark several industries but primarily served FEC borrowers.
IN REMEMBRANCE Three very active members of the bowling community died in July. Bill Lillard, Sr., 89 of Houston, TX, a USBC Hall of Famer and the USBC Open Championships career pinfall leader, died Sunday, July 30, following a battle with Leukemia. A few days prior, he was at the Storm Striking Against Breast Cancer mixed doubles tournament of which he had been a long-time supporter. Lillard is one of 11 Bill Lillard, Sr. bowlers in 114 years of tournament history to reach 65 years of participation at the Open Championships. IBI associate publisher, David Garber, shared, “Bill was one incredible bowler and gentleman, knowing how to win with class and style. He let his bowling ball do all the talking. I was fortunate to be a friend of Bill’s. My friend, you will be missed.”, Ohio lost its voice of bowling proprietors across the state. Pat Marazzi, executive director of the Bowling Centers Association of Ohio died July 15 after a brief illness. She was 62. Marazzi joined the BPA of Ohio in 1990. She was the tournament director for the Pins Over Average, Miller Buddy Doubles, Dayton Champions City Challenge and Pot of Gold tournaments. She succeeded Mike Hennessy as executive director of both the state and local associations in 1998. She was a huge supporter of Pat Marazzi bowling and proved herself a leader without ego. Mike McGrath, a member of the USBC and PBA Halls of Fame, died July 30 in California at 71. At the age of 19, McGrath won the 1965 PBA Portland Open in his professional debut. The left-hander would go on to win 10 PBA tour titles and was ranked 39th on the 2009 list of the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History. “The bowling industry has lost a quiet hero. Mike was one of the nicest gentleman I have ever met in my bowling career. He will be missed by all,” said Gary Forman of Mike McGrath Fountain Bowl, Fountain Valley, CA.
ß BITS & PIECES ß ß ß QubicaAMF and BPAA award $6,000 to lucky attendees at Bowl Expo QubicaAMF Worldwide (QubicaAMF), a world leading manufacturer of bowling and mini bowling products, and BPAA teamed up at Bowl Expo 2017 to present the Pro-Skills Challenge this past June. BPAA executive director Frank DeSocio said, “Thanks to QubicaAMF’s support and hosting of the event, we were able to engage our pro bowlers, attendees and one of our key sponsors all in one setting, sending home eight lucky attendees with a total of $6,000 in cash and prizes.” Eight attendees had the opportunity to be paired with one of four PBA members. The games were fun and engaged everyone. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Non-Smoking comes to Joplin’s Fourth Street Bowl Smoking versus non-smoking has been going on for years, with non-smoking winning the day in most centers across the U.S. It is so a non-issue now that is was surprising to come across a news item stating that Fourth Street Bowl in Joplin, MO, after over 40 years, has gone smoke free. Dennis Buck with fourth Street Bowl said, “We’re getting overwhelming response, a lot of thank yous. Business is up family-wise.” ---------------------------------------------------------------
Another Big Apple project which includes bowling Real estate is not cheap in NYC but that doesn’t stop developers or buyers. Waterline Square, the new megaproject in one of the last remaining Manhattan waterfront development sites, has launched condo sales, starting at $2M. The three-tower complex will offer an amenity center and private park right on the Hudson River. A plethora of popular activities, such as an indoor soccer field, basketball court and steam rooms, a movie theater and bowling center will be available. ---------------------------------------------------------------
A Bumpy Ride in Palm Beach Revolutions, an upscale bowling center, and CityPlace Retail, a mixed-use center which opened in 2000, in Palm Beach, FL, are locked in litigation. The latter filed two lawsuits against Revolutions: an eviction over alleged non-payment of rent and a demand to enforce guaranties. Revolutions’ counterclaim said CityPlace is ripping it off on unauthorized monthly charges for chilled water for the air condition system, even as CityPlace fails to maintain the center overall and keep its stores occupied. There has been a revolving roster of retailers and evictions and counterclaims. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Betting on Betting in New Jersey New Jersey lawmakers have agreed to a keno-style state lottery game, Quick Draw, hoping to revive New Jersey’s underfunded pension system. Customers can play Quick Draw at 400 taverns, restaurants, bowling centers and fraternal organizations, with retailers getting a percentage of sales and winnings. It is anticipated that at least $20 million in revenue will be generated. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Dublin Bowl is a good place to buy a lottery ticket Dublin Bowl in Dublin, CA, sold a winning, $1.2 million scratcher lottery ticket to a customer. Albert Tirnetta bought a $2 set of Life Scratchers, which he does on the same day, every week. He will have to decide whether to accept a $696,000 lump sum or take the entire $1.2 million spread out over 25 years, in $4,000 monthly installments. Either way, it sounds as if it is going for a good cause. Tirnetta said that while he’s done a good job of steadily paying off his major bills, this win comes at just the right time as a family member, whom he and his son take care of, has experienced medical problems. Dublin Bowl was also a winner, receiving a $6,000 retailer bonus for selling the winning ticket.
So many fundraisers and benefit events; so little space. Bowling centers across the nation open their doors every day to groups, organizations and people who step forward for the betterment of their communities. Bowling brings people together, and it is the perfect environment for nurturing those in need. Below are just a few of the centers doing their part: Steel Valley Lanes, Weirton, WV Mustang Alley, Baltimore, MD Kings Bowl America, Cool Springs, TN Ashwaubenon Bowling Center, Ashwaubenon, WI Buckeye Lanes, North Elmsted, OH Family Bowlaway Fun Center, Butler, PA Rose Bowl Lanes, Marshfield, WI Lake Country Lanes, Milledgeville, GA Fox Bowl, Wheaton, IL Sawgrass Lanes, Pompano Beach, FL Southwyck Bowl, Toledo, OH Gage Bowl, Topeka, KS Best’s Bowling Center, Monticello, IN Tangerine Bowl, Quincey, IL Let It Roll Bowl, Phoenix, AZ Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes, Memphis, TN KingPins, Portland, OR Creole Lanes, Houma, LA What is your center doing? Email Patty Heath at email@example.com.
BVL’S BEST AWARDS Twelve operators with centers from New York to California were honored with the annual BVL’s BEST awards, in recognition for their outstanding support of bowling’s own, oldest and most successful charity during the 2015-2016 season. In a BVL press release: Once again, Maple Family Centers (NY/FL) was at the forefront with their donation of $52,450.00. The centerpiece of the Maple Family Center’s fundraising event was the second annual Johnny Petraglia/BVL PBA 50 Open. Two other long-time multi-unit owner-operators were recognized for their commitment to America’s veterans through BVL—John Sommer of Don Carter Lanes Group (IL) and Pat and Lisa Ciniello from Bowland/HeadPinz (FL). In the largest single center donation, David and Melanie Kellerman were on hand to accept the plaque for Mel’s Lone Star Lanes (TX). Other single center supporters recognized were:Cloverleaf Bowl (CA) – Jim Chambers Fountain Bowl (CA) – Gary Forman Fox Bowl (IL) – Steve Bernard Georgetown Bowl (IN) – Dave Kerschner Other centers receiving honors were Bowl America (VA, MD, FL); Boje Enterrpises (FL), Bill and Jeff Boje; Hall Bowling Centers (MD), Wally Hall; and Thunderbird Lanes (PA), Elaine Brumberg. “I can’t say enough how much we appreciate these industry leaders also leading the way for America’s veterans through BVL,” noted BVL executive director, Mary Harrar. “They understand the promise our sport made to those who fought for our freedoms in 1942, and they are committed to seeing that we keep that promise.”
Fresh Eyes & Unbounded Enthusiasm In IBI ’s May 2017 issue, Danielle Allison, a 15-yearold student in Winter Park, FL, helped keep Aloma Bowl open. Now, in Pipestone, MN, another young lady has taken it upon herself to bring a local bowling center back to life. With the help of Preston Stahl, manager of the McDonald’s and the new owner of the building, Taya DeRycke, 19, will own the onceforeclosed Bole-Mor Lanes. DeRycke started working at Bole-Mor in 2012 as a high school student. In 2016, she created a GoFundMe page, in hopes of raising money to purchase the business. Stahl saw her efforts and was interested in becoming involved. He reached out to her and proposed business arrangement. Stahl purchased the building and DeRycke will own the 14
business and pay Stahl rent. Stahl has other investments in the community in rental properties, but this will be his first business property. “It’s Taya’s efforts more than mine,” he said. “She’s worked hard at it. She’s kept it up; she’s volunteered to do all that. She’s keeping one of those pillars of the community alive.” DeRycke is currently taking business classes to help prepare her to manage the center. She has had experience running the machines, taking care of the lanes, and knowing the customer base. The classes will help with the business side.
By Mark Miller
or nearly four generations, The Nook Restaurant and Ran-Ham Bowling Center had been St. Paul, MN, neighbors, separated by a brick wall, a stairwell and different owners. While the stairwell remains, the wall is gone and the same people own both establishments. Under young entrepreneurs, Ted Casper and Mike Runyon, The Nook has become a nationally-recognized burger joint, while Ran-Ham has returned to its glory days. Though it took nine years during the 2000s to make it happen, they’ve created an entertainment experience unlike any other. “The Nook was in need of more space for the dining area. That was our number one objective, to have more space for
our diners,” said 37-year-old owner Casper. “People would come in every day and say, ‘You guys should put these two places together.’ Everybody always believed the two places should be together, and it kind of worked out for everybody. We’re able to provide more space for our diners.” Casper and Runyon attended Cretin-Darham Hall High School, a private, Catholic institution across the street from their businesses. As kids they ate at The Nook and bowled at RanHam. When college turned out not to be their thing, the childhood friends looked elsewhere. Since Casper’s father and grandfather were both restaurateurs, he figured he’d follow them into the family business and brought Runyon with him.
FEATURE But at age 20, the dynamic duo weren’t even old enough to have a liquor license, so their fathers, Tom Casper and Pete Runyon, had to be the official owners of The Nook when they bought it in 2000. Two years later, the dads turned over ownership to the sons, and soon thereafter, they also bought Shamrocks in St. Paul. Ran-Ham, which opened southwest of downtown St. Paul around 1928, near the intersection of Randolph and Hamline streets, was owned for more than 20 years by Steve Steiner. After some dealings with the building landlord and Steiner, the sale to Casper and Runyon was made in 2009, with Steiner retained as the center’s mechanic. “We worked it out for him to help us run [the center] and guide us, because we had no idea how to jump around those machines,” Casper said. “We’re not mechanics, and I’m too big and clumsy to be climbing into those machines. It all worked out.” Until Runyon and Casper bought Ran-Ham, it had virtually been frozen in time for many years. They kept the old AMF machines, above-the-lane ball returns and hand scoring, restored the original wood lanes, and updated other equipment to 1960s standards. The only new amenities were some wood paneling and a mural painted by a local artist alongside lane one. “Everything else is original — the tables, chairs, the benches, all originals,” said Hannah Moen, one of the dual facility’s managers. “It was updated to our version of modern.” Matt McNiel, a national champion competitor, who started a classic draft league there this year, said, “Bowlers are able to enjoy a blast from the past if you will.” Ran-Ham only charges $4 a game for adults, $3 for kids, seniors, and students, with $1.50 shoe rental. “It’s really a throwback. People can walk back in time when they walk down the stairs,” Casper said. “I think everybody in St. Paul bowls there just for fun at least once a year. It’s just one of those old bowling centers that’s been there forever, that if you know about it, it’s something you have to do at least once a year, especially in the winter months when there’s not a whole lot of golfing to be done or fishing to be done around here.” Food-wise, Ran-Ham’s previous choices were limited to snacks and bowling center pizza. When the two businesses joined together, that allowed even more people to enjoy the world-famous food at The Nook, thanks in part to appearing on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show twice. The Nook burned down the week before Christmas in 2010. Though the fire did not affect Ran-Ham at all, the restaurant was closed for about six months. The signature sandwiches are hamburgers stuffed with cheese. One is called The Juicy Nookie/Juicy Lucy that’s stuffed with American cheese. In all, The Nook features 32 varieties of burger and a good selection of local and outside beers. Since 18
Left, co-owner Ted Casper, far right, co-owner Mike Runyon and their families.
the businesses became one, it’s received several local awards including Best Neighborhood Spot, Battle of the Burgers and Happiest Hour. There are leagues on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights in the fall and winter. Thursdays through Sundays and every day in the spring and summer, it’s open bowling featuring college students, business people and families. There’re plenty of parties especially during the winter holiday season, plus celebrations for youth birthdays and grooms dinners. “We are busy from the minute we open our doors until the moment we shut them,” Moen said.
NEW TWIN CITIES CLASSIC DRAFT LEAGUE CHOOSES RAN-HAM FOR TOUGH CONDITIONS Classic draft leagues used to be quite popular long ago but have diminished considerably in recent times. Matt McNiel wanted to help bring one back to his home area of Minneapolis-St. Paul, and chose the venerable Ran-Ham Bowling Center as the venue. The Wednesday night league was formed by McNiel, the only person to win three United States Bowling Congress all-events titles and a member of the 2015 Wichita State University team that won the 2015 USBC Intercollegiate team championship. The AnheuserBusch Classic that lasted 28 Wednesday nights ended the first Matt McNiel creator of the Classic Draft League at Ran-Ham. week of April.
“It was a Field of Dreams-like thing for me,” said McNiel. “I always wanted a classic draft league with better players, more difficult lane conditions, honest scoring, if you will. I just kind of took the initiative. If no one’s going to run something like this in town, I guess I better.” McNiel had been talking with Ran-Ham’s owners for a couple of years, and when he finally received a $6,000 sponsorship from local liquor distributor Capital Beverage, the league was a go. There were eight teams all named after Budweiser products. Each had up to six players rotating into the three available spots. McNiel expects to expand to four-player teams in 201718. “It’s really become the talk of the town here in the Twin Cities area,” said the 31-year-old McNiel, who works for Target as a global crisis management senior technician. “Our Facebook page has a lot of followers including (Hall of Famer) Marshall Holman. We’ve got a lot of interest not only locally but across the country as well. It’s pretty cool when I go to tournaments and people ask me about it. To get the recognition that what you’re doing is really good, people tell me that they wish they had it in their area. Hopefully, this is a renaissance, if you will, of our typical league spot. I would like to see more people my age get involved in the sport and bring back honest scoring and honest conditions.” To illustrate how tough the lanes were, the highest game was 299 by Junior Team USA member Brian Crane. There were only three 700 series and McNiel had the highest average of 202. “Nobody is really in it for the average or honor counts,” McNiel said. “It’s more about having good competition, a fun environment where skill is rewarded, good spare shooting is rewarded, and good shot making is rewarded. It’s not an average 240 or 250 every week and go home type of league. The league is a lot more engaging.” “You might bowl your best game on a synthetic lane then come to our place and have to adjust your game to the old lanes,” said Casper, co-owner of Ran-Ham. “It’s a throwback. It’s meant to be fun. Sometimes I get the real serious bowlers who get mad, but I say, ‘Look, this is how 20
the Ran-Ham is. It’s like golfing on a different course. If you golf the same golf course every weekend, you’re going to get good at it. If you go to a different one, it’s going to throw you off a bit.’ ” The league charged $30 in weekly fees and paid $5 for each of 32 available weekly points with the winning team splitting more than $3,400. The Nook even offered a deal of a burger, fries and a beer for $9.99, plus $7 pitchers of beer. The league features a good mix of young and middle-aged bowlers. Other top names competing this year included former Team USA members Sam Lantto and Eric Vermilyea and three-time USBC champion Charles Vashaw. None of them would have bowled at Ran-Ham had McNiel not discovered the wonders of the vintage center just a few years ago. “It was kind of a forgotten center for many years. I found out about it from (former Team USA member) Scott Pohl,” McNiel said. “We actually used it as practice for the Petersen Classic (in 2013). It was kind of a good place
All old school scoring at Ran-Ham.
to get in that Petersen Classic mindset. I walked in there and saw so much. I’ve heard from other bowlers that there used to be a lot of tournaments there back in the day. I wanted to have that, so younger generations could enjoy it as well.” ❖
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
BVL CELEBRATES ITS
75 ANNIVERSARY TH
RAISING MILLIONS FOR AMERICAN MILITARY HEROES By Jim Goodwin he Bowlers to Veterans Link is bowlingâ€™s very respected 501c3 charity, and one of the reasons it is doing so well, even in the face of losing most of its donation base over the past few decades, is it now operates using solid business principles; and the first thing a successful business needs is strong leaders. Backing the BVL all the way are great people
like John LaSpina, Mary Harrar, Fred Kaplowitz, Elizabeth Montanya, Libbi Fletcher, and many more heroes helping heroes. In 2014, Maple Lanes president and BPAA Hall of Fame proprietor John LaSpina was asked to become the first bowling center owner to chair the BVL board of directors. The LaSpina family owns seven bowling centers located in New York and Florida. With most of the bowling industry being driven by the Bowling Proprietors Association of America and the United States Bowling Congress, it made sense for the BVL board to shift from its decades-long, membership-based leadership to a more solid business
Marci Williams (USBC), Karl Kielich (USBC), Libbi Fletcher (USBC), John LaSpina (Chairman), VA Secretary McDonald, Pat Ciniello (Bowland/HeadPinz), Lisa Ciniello (Bowland/HeadPinz), Anita LaSpina (Maple Family Lanes).
COVER STORY approach. “When they asked me,” LaSpina said, “I told them I thought we might bring more proprietors into the picture.” To celebrate BVL’s Diamond Jubilee in 2017, LaSpina and the board wanted to do something very special. LaSpina suggested hiring consultant Fred Kaplowitz, a marketing and public relations specialist. “I was very humbled when John LaSpina asked me to work with BVL to achieve its mission,” said Kaplowitz. “Every day that I work with John and Mary Harrar, I get more John LaSpina inspired and more passionate, and it makes me think that I can do more to help these disabled American heroes make it all the way back to their families and loved ones.” After talking with BVL board members and others, Fred’s team went to work and came up with a new campaign called “Care, Commit, Contribute.” The first step was to create more awareness about BVL and its mission. Hundreds of phone calls and emails later, Kaplowitz was a little surprised that more center owners and personnel did not know about BVL. But that turned out to be good Mary Harrar news — centers might get more excited about something they perceive as a fresh new approach to helping a great cause while creating great public relations for their center. The next step was to work with Ten Pin Marketing to create a video about BVL along with sending emails to proprietors every Saturday morning – not begging emails, says Kaplowitz, but helping emails designed to inform proprietors how to run an easy and profitable fundraiser. Every week a new idea or two was introduced. Next, centers were asked to put donation cans for BVL on their customer service desks and agree to ask open play customers if they would like to round up their bill to make a small contribution. More than 500 Fred Kaplowitz centers agreed. Finally, centers were asked to make a contribution to BVL that seems really small, but adds up to a lot in only one year. This campaign is called It’s a Shoe In. It asks centers to donate the first shoe rental fee of each day to BVL. It does not seem like much, but for most centers, it will amount to a contribution of over $1000 in a year’s time. All of this comes together with November being BVL’s Month in America campaign. Centers will get digital flyers, emails, Facebook
John LaSpina, Marine veteran Mike Smith with his new mobile chair, and Jamie Brooks.
posts, and other point of sale materials that they can customize to fit their needs. Brightening Veteran’s Lives is the new tagline for BVL.
GIVING MILLIONS TO HELP HEROES Since it began 75 years ago, BVL has raised more than $50 million. Last year, LaSpina presented a check to VA officials in the amount of $925,356.76. What is even more impressive is the fact that 94% of all of the money raised goes directly to help veterans. Unlike many charities, BVL expenses have always been held to a minimum. Many more bowling centers are picking up the BVL banner. For decades, the heavy lifting has been done by individuals and volunteers, mostly from bowling leagues, but thanks to recent efforts, more of the effort is being led by bowling center owners, product manufacturers and others. Having center owners like Wally Hall and John LaSpina on the BVL board of directors has changed the direction and has sent the message that it is time for proprietors to step up and get more involved. “For many years, proprietors had almost nothing to do with BVL,” said LaSpina. “It was always very association driven. We just kind of closed our eyes and let it happen.” Since the merger of the membership groups and the opening of the International Bowling Campus, putting USBC and BPAA under the same roof, LaSpina believes that center owners now have an obligation to do more. Another part of LaSpina’s passion for BVL stems from IBI
COVER STORY his lifelong, personal friendship with Hall of Fame bowler Johnny Petraglia. “JP lived only ten blocks from our Maple Lanes center in New York, and we truly grew up together. His father was our junior coach. His mother was a league bowler. During the Vietnam War, I was a student, but JP lived it. He has such a deep understanding of what our service people go through while they are serving and after serving, because he is one of them. Guys like him and John Sommer were there in Vietnam, and they didn’t get treated well when they came home. They deserved much more respect, and finally, I think they are getting it because organizations like BVL have made people understand the enormity of their sacrifice for America and our freedom.” Petraglia has been a spokesperson and volunteer for BVL since returning home from his service in Vietnam in 1971 and becoming one of the best professional bowlers in history. “What makes BVL so special, aside from the fact that 94 cents of every dollar goes to the vets, is that the money goes to all things therapeutic,” said Petraglia. “People don’t realize how rare that is. Federal funding for vets stops at rehab, and rehab is tough for more than a few. Without BVL, all patients have to look forward to is the next day’s rehab. Through events, trips, tournaments, shows, and other things, we can have vets saying ‘This was a good day,’ and our job is to give them as many good days as possible, one Johnny Petraglia day at a time.” LaSpina’s Maple Lanes Centers are the hosts of the PBA50 Johnny Petraglia Open. Last year’s check to BVL from this event was $52,500. “I experienced a small measure of what the vets are going through. I know how it feels to me, but I can only imagine how tough it is for many others. These are people who defended us and were willing to die for us. How can we not help them? We must do everything we can to make sure that none of them die without us,” said Petraglia. John Sommer of Rockford, IL, is another Army vet who has been solidly behind the BVL for decades. Sommer served as a company commander in the Vietnam War. His love for fellow vets is second to none. His bowling centers raised more than $25,000 for BVL last year alone, and he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Wally Hall was one of the first bowling center owners to speak passionately about BVL’s mission, and when he lost his grandson, a Marine killed in Iraq in 2003, he realized even more how important it is for BVL to continue to thrive. “I John Sommer know that Jason would want me to help those who make it home but are injured,” said Hall. “I am proud that the bowling industry that I have been associated with for more than 50 years has BVL. It is inspiring to see that because of the generosity and volunteering of time and energy, millions of dollars have been raised over the years to help thousands of veterans.”
CHANGE IS HAPPENING, BUT BVL IS STILL BOWLER DRIVEN While everyone is happy that more and more business people are getting involved in BVL, no one is giving up on the league bowler base that has been the life blood for decades. This is one of the reasons Detroit’s Libbi Fletcher serves on the BVL board continued on page 30... 26
COVER STORY ...continued from page 26
She passed the position on to Mary Harrar in 2016 and remains a consultant specializing in of directors. Libbi is a legend in Detroit bowling circles, and she first became marketing and public relations. Harrar employs the involved while serving on the Detroit Women’s Bowling Association many skills she learned as an executive administrator at years ago. BVL is even more special to her because her father fought in Korea Thunderbird Lanes to build up BVL. From 1942-45, the Wings of Mercy program brought in an incredible $341,543.25 during the “I experienced a small measure of what the vets are war, providing what was then an going through. I know how it feels to me, but I can enormous amount of money to buy only imagine how tough it is for many others. These first a bomber and then three air evacuation planes to get wounded are people who defended us and were willing to die soldiers home. During that traumatic for us. How can we not help them? We must do time, the honorary chairman of BVL everything we can to make sure that none of them was none other than the King of the die without us.” Cowboys, Roy Rogers. Thanks to good coaching by a lady named — PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia LaVerne Carter, he was an excellent and avid bowler for decades after, and her sister is an Army vet. “Our league bowlers and associations have and a Hollywood celebrity who always supported always been what makes BVL what it is,” said Fletcher. “I believe that the troops. bowling centers are finally getting on board, as well as our manufacturers and other bowling entities. We have had centers that supported BVL for many years; some new ones who are now doing amazing things to raise funds; and many more we hope will support our 75th year and beyond. John LaSpina’s centers set an example of what can be done. Those of us on the BVL board are trying to After WW II, attention turned to caring for educate our local and state association leaders during the USBC conventions hospitalized vets and those who rely on the VA to stay committed to continuing this wonderful charity for our veterans. I for all kinds of treatments and therapy. In the am proud to serve on the BVL board and as the BVL chair for Metro early days, money was used for television sets, Detroit USBC.” sports publications, bowling equipment, exhibitions and entertainment. Some of those MORE BVL HEROES – MONTANYA, HARRAR, things still exist today, like the famous Re-Creation FLETCHER, AND MANY OTHER GREAT WOMEN Entertainment Troupe that works year round to Libbi Fletcher is one of a very strong group of women who have been entertain vets at hospitals and special shows. behind BVL efforts from the very beginning. When BVL started, the WIBC However, BVL has expanded its reach to include was going strong with their Wings of Mercy sponsorship of national recreational events like the program, part of the Victory program in America Wheelchair Games, Golden Age Games, a winter during the war. With WIBC and many bowling sports clinic and a creative arts festival. companies as partners, the American Bowling Passionate and patriotic people produce Congress created the BVL to work alongside the incredible programs to help America’s heroes, and Wings of Mercy program, which led to the National without question, BVL has an abundance of them. Bowling Council a short time later. But there is always room for more. ❖ From 1975 through 2014, the BVL was chaired by WIBC leaders Alberta Crowe, Agnes Duffy, Helene Phillips, Gladys Banker, Elaine Hagin, and Jim Goodwin is the founder and president of Darlene Baker, a very formidable group that kept the Bowling News Network and a former the fundraising fires burning brightly. In 2008, president and life member of the International Bowling Media Association. Elizabeth Montanya became the executive director Libbi Fletcher of BVL and served tirelessly for more than a decade. 30
By George McAuliffe
’ve been doing a lot of thinking since Bowl Expo about where we are as an industry. Our company deals in the broader family entertainment center (FEC) industry, of which the bowling entertainment center (BEC) is a part. If you’ve read my stuff before, you may have heard me say that we are in something of a golden age of family entertainment — we’re mainstream, which means we’re popular. Things are good across the board. My perspective comes from 38 years in the FEC business. We have seen ups and downs. There have been disruptions: new attractions or game categories, in-home competition, technology changes. Disruptions can be positive or negative — positive for the innovators who guess right and have great business models, negative for those who get left behind. When I started in the business, pinball was 20% of the game mix, video games were 80%.
Redemption wasn’t part of the mix. There was no home video back then. Arcades were mainly in malls and tourist attractions. The customer was (mainly) a 16-year-old boy. In the late ‘80s, redemption and crane machines started slowly to enter the market, and big-box, traditional FECs arrived on the stage. I remember suggesting to one of the major bowling chain execs back in the ‘90s that they might want to evolve their centers, adding FEC attractions. He (genially) threw me out. Today, the marriage of bowling and FEC thrives. That doesn’t mean I was right and he was wrong, it was just a matter of timing. Those are just some of the changes we’ve lived through. Add to that macroeconomic factors like recessions, gas price spikes, wars, etc. Along the way, we’ve experienced ups and downs as a result of those changes. We’ve adapted to some changes too late, others too early. We’ve hit a few
OPINION home runs and struck out a few times. We’ve seen newcomers succeed and veterans fail. So where are we today? Can we depend on the economy to stay strong? Read the business pages, and you’ll hear much smarter guys than I say the economy will keep growing, others say a downturn to the business cycle is inevitable. Will new games and attractions continue to feed customer desire for new experiences? We’re doing well with that at the moment. The wide appeal and innovations in laser tag keep interest in that attraction growing. We’ve had a steady stream of compelling new games for the arcade. Debit card systems continue to spread their positive economics. Virtual Reality (VR), escape rooms and new concepts in mini-golf all seem to have early promise. All good. But our perspective leads us to fight complacency in these good times. If we only had a crystal ball, we might have the answer to what the future holds. I do know one thing someone taught me a long time ago: we are in a business where, once we’ve got everything dialed in and running right, we better show up to
work the next day or it won’t stay that way. Not that I think that we as an industry have everything dialed in. Not by a long shot. We are in FECs around the country and around the world constantly and we see our clients and others leaving money on the table. How do we know that? Because in our twenty years of consulting others - and before that in managing 34
multi-location FECs - we’ve seen it time and time again. When sales are good, owners and GMs ease up on the details, or don’t focus on delivering change, economically, over time. Many get the need for a steady stream of new games (although not all GMs understand the whole picture of how to decide on a game purchase), but few are implementing effective event marketing or promotions in their centers. When it’s done correctly, internal marketing can be the most cost effective dollars you’ll ever spend to deliver a positive guest experience and motivate your guests to A) tell their friends, and B) come back again and again. As FECs have become mainstream, competition is on the rise. The challenge for FEC managers is to carve out their place in the market. Guest experience — that overused word which is so central to success — is where centers can differentiate themselves and make themselves the choice for consumers for out-of-home entertainment. A vibrant internal marketing program can contribute mightily to that cause. Paying attention to the numbers is another key: what gets measured gets managed. We generally stay away from promoting our business in these pages, but allow me an exception to tell you about a new suite of services we have designed specifically to help our members manage more effectively, focus on giving guests a great time every visit, and ensure that they remain relevant through ups and downs. It is The Pinnacle Insider and it is available for membership as of July 31. Take a quick peek at the suite of services our Insiders will have access to at ThePinnacleInsider.com. ❖
George McAuliffe has created and operated family entertainment centers from 2,000 to 150,000 square feet as a corporate executive, entrepreneur and consultant. He is president of Pinnacle Entertainment Group which just created The Pinnacle Insider as an exclusive club where subscribers can access Pinnacle’s respected services, operating philosophy, and other data- based tools to stay on top in their local markets.. Readers can visit www.ThePinnacleInsider.com to join or contact George at email@example.com or 314-422-7197.
SIX NEW CHAMPIONS WERE CROWNED AT THE 2017 JUNIOR GOLD CHAMPIONSHIPS PRESENTED BY THE BRANDS OF EBONITE INTERNATIONAL The 20th edition of the Junior Gold Championships had a record number of entries with more than 3,500 boys and girls bowling in this yearâ€™s event. The tournament took place in seven centers in the Cleveland area over a one week period with a record scholarship amount given out in excess of $320,000. Congratulations to all the winners and participants for making this the largest Junior Gold Event.
Junior Gold U15 winner, Solomon Salama earning a $5,000 scholarship.
Junior Gold U20 winner, Allie Leiendecker earning a $6,000 scholarship.
Junior Gold U15 winner, Jennifer Loredo earning a $3,500 scholarship.
Junior Gold U20 winner, Wesley Low Jr. earning a $10,000 scholarship. Junior Gold U12 winner, Brandon Bohn earning a $2,500 scholarship. 38
Junior Gold U12 winner, Karina Capron earning a $1,700 scholarship.
OFF THE CLOCK
Barbara Watts, BPAA director of the Northeast region and proprietor of Amity Bowl in Woodbridge, CT, has an explosive hobby as a pyrotechnician.
By Marci Williams ack in 1999, Barbara Watts was divorced and working at Amity Bowl as the assistant manager and bookkeeper, when a pro bowler/co-worker asked her for a date on a Saturday night. It was her birthday, so she agreed. He knew that she liked fireworks, so he surprised her by taking her to the fireworks show he was working that night. Little did he know that they were short crew members, so Barbara jumped right in. The first task she ever did was one of the most dangerous ones because of sparks: the reloading of steel pipes with shells. In fact, the task was so dangerous that it has been outlawed in some statesâ€“her company no longer does it. Most people would have run as fast as they could in the opposite direction, but not Barb; she was hooked immediately. She was surprised at how much work went into producing a show but loved the adrenaline rush. She has now worked as a pyrotechnician for 18 years. The love for her hobby was incredibly evident as she explained, for example, it takes approximately six hours to set up a 20-minute show. The average show is 12-18 minutes and location determines what size shells are used. Price is largely determined by the number of firings and the size of shells, with specialty shells being more expensive. Crew sizes vary from four to twelve people, depending on the size of the show; the average is five to ten. Some parts of the show are hand lit with flares, but the finale is always electronic. Barb primarily works the finales. Each show has three parts: an opening, a
body, and a finale, with larger shows having a midway. Every state has different rules regarding fireworks. Barbâ€™s crew only does shows in Connecticut which makes knowing the rules a bit easier. Barb and all crew members are required to wear full gear: eye protection, ear protection, hard hat, long-sleeved jacket, full pants, boots or a firecoat. A fire marshal inspects every show as they unpack and set up, and a fire department remains present at every show. July 4th is obviously the busiest time for pyrotechnicians; Barb did five shows from Friday, June 30, through Tuesday, July 4. They did one show on July 3rd at a country club, finished up at 1:30 a.m., drove to the next site, arrived at 3:00 a.m., slept Barbara Watts preparing the fireworks before the big show.
OFF THE CLOCK
3.5 hours, started setting up the July 4th show and finished up at 1:45 a.m. on July 5! She said it’s all worth it to hear the roar of the crowd at the end of the show. Some of the most popular songs for July 4th shows are our national anthem, Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” and Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America.” Barb’s company does shows during the off-season, with New Years Eve being popular. Fireworks can be created in the shape of hearts for weddings, choreographed to music, the sky’s the limit. She has done a show on a barge and, for one show, plowed an area in three feet of snow in freezing weather. She said the best shows are the ones done on or near water when people can view them from their boats and from land. There is no better reward than hearing the cheers from the crowd and the horns from the boats showing how much they enjoyed it. Being a pyrotechnician really changed after 9/11. Laws started requiring background and homeland security checks. Pyrotechnicians are required to take HAZMAT courses every two years. You must be over 18 and cannot have any felonies.
The calm before the big show
Barb admits that being a pyrotechnician has somewhat ruined watching firework shows for her. There’s nothing quite like being up close and personal, but she does attend them mainly in hopes of getting new ideas.
The fireworks continue to blast off. The fun begins!
Barb is incredibly happy that bowling brought fireworks into her life and laughs as she confesses that it’s difficult to staff her center when a fireworks show is scheduled, as six out of her twelve employees work on her crew. So, as you listen to your oldies on the radio and Debby Boone sings “You Light Up My Life,” think of all the joy Barb has brought to thousands of people through the years with her dangerous yet exhilarating hobby that she loves; she literally lights up people’s lives. ❖ Ms. Williams worked at Learjet Inc. (now Bombardier Learjet) for 33 years before retiring in 2005 as a corporate tax accountant. She served on the USBC board of directors for nine years, the BPAA board of directors for four years and the BVL board of directors for seven years. Her high game is a 300, and she is a proud supporter of the Wichita State and Newman University bowling programs.
SHOWCASE COFFEE TABLE COLLABORATION
Brunswick Bowling Products continues to innovate in response to the needs of the market, introducing new, custom options for several of its Center Stage™ furniture pieces. Design ideas came from proprietor requests, and in one case, a bowling center owner helped design the product—the Center Stage coffee table. It features four USB power outlets—a high-demand item for just about every customer demographic. Multiple cubbies store shoes, purses, and more, and an elevated center stand places food and beverages in easy reach. The table is available with a plinth base. As more centers go upscale, it’s important that furniture keep pace. When done well, interior design can really elevate the bowler experience, which positively impacts a center’s bottom line. Go to brunswickbowling.com.
NEW SCORING PLATFORM
US Bowling has launched the new PULSE Scoring platform 3.0. After 2.5 years of development, it will showcase the new system at PINZ in Kingston, MA, highlighting a beautifully redesigned scoring grid featuring live motion backgrounds and powerful animations. Bowlers will have a new, exciting way to share their experiences via the SocialBowl
HOUSE BALLS WITH PANACHE
Sometimes you just need to throw tradition aside and mix it up. QubicaAMF has introduced billiard-style house balls, designed to look like real billiard balls. Made from the same premium urethane and using the same manufacturing process as their one-of-a-kind Smart Ball System, these balls come standard with QubicaAMF’s patented Comfort Fit Grip. They are sure to add flair to any center. Available in two grip sizes per weight, the balls are a sure shot for boutique-style centers. Style, along with fast, simple selection and our exclusive Comfort Fit Grip make for happier bowlers—and more games. Learn more at qubicaamf.com.
Studio41b has recently shipped two escape rooms to Fribourg, Switzerland, which will be opening to the public this month. One is a horror room geared toward adults, while the other is a more family-friendly adventure. Already boasting other international installations, this will be Studio41b’s first foray on the European continent. Studio 41b says that the interest in real escape games is just as strong internationally
STYLISH & DURABLE FURNITURE
Stylish and engaging, the Brooklyn series of lounge furniture from Facility Concepts is a wonderful choice for your venue. It offers a full set of available pieces, including a sofa, loveseat or chair, sure to enhance the look of any facility and provide comfortable seating. Its durable construction is an excellent choice for bowling and/or family entertainment centers. Whether it’s the Brooklyn or another of the stylish offerings, including metal or wood-frame seating, tables, booths, millwork or interior décor, Facility Concepts can provide whatever you need to elevate the comfort and style of your center. When they say complete furniture solutions, they mean it! For more information, call (800) 915-8890 or go to facility-concepts.com.
as it is in the U.S., and they have many upcoming projects that will be installed in America and elsewhere. For more information on escape rooms or other attractions and theming, visit their website at studio41b.com.
IBI September 2017
APP on the social media platform of their choice. PULSE brings the power to the bowler in a simple, fun, easy-to-use system that they will love. Be sure to ask about the US Bowling rental program. Call (909) 548-0644 or usbowling.com.
Steltronic introduces its sixth generation Steltronic Reservation Kiosk, which reduces the amount of time for your customers to open a bowling lane at the front desk. Just like an airline check in, customers can now enter information in advance: their names, rental shoe sizes, and if they need bumpers for each player. Once all the information is entered, a reservation is automatically sent to the Focus front desk waiting list system. With all the information set up in advance, lanes can be sold faster from the desk, bowlers can start bowling sooner, and all this will make your bowling center more money as lanes are turned over more often. For more information, call (800) 942-5939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEPTEMBER 14-15 TrainerTainment Guest Services Conference BPAA Intl Training Campus (817) 886-4840 email@example.com 18-20 AL/MS BPA Annual Meeting Beau Rivage Resort Casino Biloxi, MS Skip Merryman (817) 385-8446 firstname.lastname@example.org 19 Boot Camp – Outside Sales Washington BPA Greg Olsen (206) 762-6752 Greg.email@example.com Boot Camp – Leadership Indiana BPA Scott Devers (764) 413-7323 firstname.lastname@example.org
24-29 BPAA Bowling University Entertainment Center Management Intl. Bowling Campus Arlington, TX (817) 649-5105 Bpaa.com 25-26 Florida State Bowling Assoc. Annual Meeting & Golf Villas of Grand Cypress Orlando, FL www.flstateba.com 26-27 LASERTRON Conference Lasertron Entertainment Center Rochester, NY Ann Kessler (305) 257-3930 email@example.com
West Coast Bowling Convention Silver Legacy Resort & Casino Reno, NV Sandi Thompson (925) 485-1855 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wcbowling.com
2-3 Missouri BPA Annual Meeting TBD Kansas City, MO Skip Merryman (817) 385-8446 email@example.com
IBI September 2017
25- November 1 U.S. Open Flamingo Bowl Liverpool, NY PBA.com
NOVEMBER 7-9 World Championship National Bowling Stadium Reno BPA.com
15-17 Texas Bowling Center Assoc. Southwest Trade Show Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino firstname.lastname@example.org
13-17 IAAPA Attractions Expo Orange County Convention Center Orlando www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAAttractions-Expo
16-27 A-2 Pinsetter Training QC FEC Moline, IL Frank Miroballi (540) 325-7684 Frankm1441@aol.com www.BrunswickA2training.com
DECEMBER 12 Boot Camp – Outside Sales Wisconsin BPA Yvonne Bennett (262) 783-4292 email@example.com www.bowlwi.com
17 Boot Camp – Outside Sales Oklahoma BPA Dicki Ward (405) 417-6416 Mimosafirstname.lastname@example.org
JANUARY 2018 14-18 Bowling Summit Marriott Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes (888) 649-5585 email@example.com bowlingsummit.com
23 BPA PA Annual Meeting @ECBCC Kalahari resorts & convention Pocono Mountains, PA (570) 580-6000
BPAA One-Day Management Boot Camps Available to state associations & multi-unit centers Contact Kelly Bednar (817) 385-8462 Kelly@bpaa.com
23 Kentucky BPA Annual Meeting For info: Jack McCarthy (502) 558-3450 firstname.lastname@example.org IBI
East Coast Bowling Centers Convention Kalahari Resorts & Convention Pocono Mountains, PA www.eastcoastbowl.com
Official magazine of the convention
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APPRAISALS APPRAISALS: LARRY DOBBS MAI, ASA. (214) 674-8187. Bowlingvaluations@yahoo.com.
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CENTERS FOR SALE SOUTH DAKOTA: high traffic, wellestablished center, Lucky Strike Lanes, in Spearfish. Recent upgrades: new electronics, scoring, remodeled bathrooms and new roof. Also included is mini golf course. Rick Weller, Northern Hills Real Estate Co., (605) 641-1987. NEBRASKA: 6-lane center & bar in Plainview, NE. Turnkey business. Contact Brandon Myers, Commercial Realty Group, (402) 843-0347. OHIO: Northeast. Pretty, mid-sized center w/late-model equipment, multiple profitcenters. Call Sandy Hansell (800) 222-9131. FLORIDA: Central. Attractive, mid-sized center with revenues trending up. Owner retiring. Call David Driscoll (352) 735-8065.
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Exclusive Phenolic Kickback Plates Front 15” x 33” Rear 19” x 23 ¾” $ 89.00 each (includes screws and instructions) FESI Solve-It Ball Wheel Liner @ $90.00 /roll 070-011-905 Waffle Distributor Belt w/ lacing $58.00 each Toll Free (800) 445-1090 | P (609) 267-2833 | F (609) 267-466 www.festrikezone.com | Resurfacing-Repairs-Supplies IBI
randmas are the best. Besides offering the tastiest treats, they love unconditionally. It’s a win-win with Grandma. In the 1960s, bowling was everywhere. Women were participating in koffee-klatch morning leagues and other social leagues with their husbands and their friends. Why not grandmas? The world of grandparents rocking on their front porches was coming to an end. In this ad for AMF’s Magic Triangle centers, Grandma just bowled 133! She deserves two kisses! AMF knew that bowling was an activity for all ages and a great hook for grandparents to enjoy their grandkids. Everyone bowls and enjoys it! Everyone. ❖ - Patty Heath