6 SHORTS • Remembrance: Jim Welch • Big Bill Walton helps open Big Al’s in California • Pinstripes on the Move • Go Bowling and NASCAR Go Steady for Year #3
BEYOND BOWLING 31 According to George
38 Todd Britton Ups His Game
44 Interesting Interview:
Keri Little, HD5 Entertainment, LLC
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54 FUN AND GAMES
Daroll and Dolores Frewing Pay It Forward
Our First Crossword Puzzle
The US Bowling owners establish an annual college scholarship
By Myles Mellor and Patty Heath
By Mark Miller
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22 COVER STORY The Newest, Latest, and Best Gary and Eve Skidmore live the mantra in their newly renovated center in Albuquerque By Mark Miller
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 $60 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, P.O. Box 7350 Overland Park, KS 66207 USA. If possible, please furnish address mailing label. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright 2020, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.
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A RICH MAN, INDEED HONORING BOWLING PROMOTER JIM WELCH By Mark Miller
f the true measure of a person’s life is the number of people who honor him or her when they leave this Earth, then Jim Welch proved to be a rich man. The standing-room-only crowd that gathered Jan. 7 at Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ in Dallas,TX, came to laugh and cry nine days after the gentle giant passed away at age 63. Other than his family and a few others, most were there because of bowling. In fact, when the Rev. Erin Wyma asked for those who met him through bowling to stand up, about 90 percent of the crowd responded. That’s the influence Jim had on the sport. He was one of those people who never met a stranger, greeting old and new friends with a smile and a hearty laugh. He was the ultimate networker in the bowling world. Welch was a long-time, nationally known tournament manager whose full-time job was running leagues and tournaments for Bowlero. Through the years, he managed many competitions for which he charged a monetary fee. However, there was one event where he gladly volunteered. For 17 years, he served as tournament director of the Professional Bowlers Association/Professional Women’s Bowling Association Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament. Most people may know it as the Luci Bonneau Memorial Bowling Tournament or The Luci for short. When tournament founder Donna Connors asked him to take over as tournament manager, he agreed to do it at a simple discount – Diet Dr. Pepper. He led a six-person North Texas crew each year. “Every year, when I go down there the first thing I see is if there’s a cooler full of Diet Dr. Pepper,” he said in 2017. “I actually take vacation when I go down there because I’m not working for the company at that time but it’s a charity deal so that’s how I get to do it. The whole bowling community down there pulls together.” Born in Tampa, FL, Welch spent his childhood in places like Okinawa, Japan, and Maine since his father was in the Air Force. The family settled in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in time for him to finish high school and then earn a business degree at the University of Texas-Arlington. He started his career as a counter person at the former Hurst Bowl and progressed to general manager at centers in the Dallas area, Las Vegas, and Florida before returning to North Texas. People who knew him well knew he was funny, compassionate
and intelligent. His laugh was instantly recognizable, and he was always ready with a quick-witted joke or hilarious text. “Jim was an incredible mentor, and he truly loved the sport of bowling,” remembers David Garber, associate publisher of International Bowling Magazine. “I was fortunate to call him my best friend for 36 years. Beside the deep, personal loss to so many family and friends, the tournament bowling world has lost a real champion.” Welch is survived by his mother Martha Welch; brother Joe Welch and wife, Lynn; sister Anne Bloom and husband, Jeff; sister Mary Welch; brother Matt Welch; six loving nieces and nephews; many dear cousins, aunts, and uncles; and friends, comprising a large extended family, including Beth Standlee, Phillip Perry, Alex Barnishin and David Garber. The family asks that any donations in his memory be made to Striking Against Breast Cancer.
Jim Welch (L) with David Garber
EXPANSIONS, OPENINGS & NEW BEGINNINGS
BOWLERO’S NEW CALIFORNIA LOCATION: A HELLO-GOODBYE-HELLO STORY
Since 1947, Wagon Wheel Bowl had been a landmark at the 101 Freeway and Pacific Coast Highway in Oxnard, CA. The complex was designed by Arthur Froehlich, who was the architect for Hollywood Park Racetrack and Hanna Barbera Studios. However, in 2015 Wagon Wheel, after several years empty, was demolished to make way for the creation of The Collection at RiverPark, 1,500 apartments, condos, and town homes, on the 64-acre property. The 62-year-old lanes were turned into communal tables for The Annex, a food hall in The Collection. However, this year, Bowlero, the largest owner and operator of centers in the world, with more than 300 locations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, will bring bowling back with a new, 32,000-squarefoot entertainment venue. Opening is set for later in the year.
BIG AL’S OPENS & BIG BILL WALTON ATTENDS Big Al’s, a family-owned sports bar and entertainment center company, based in the Pacific Northwest, opened its first California location in the former Best Buy space in Ontario. Among the first invited guests to view the new digs was NBA and UCLA basketball legend Bill Walton. The 6’ 11” super star signed autographs for fans. Big Al’s features 12 lanes of bowling and arcade games in a stadium setting, along with The Ocho, a VIP lounge with a giant screen that can display a number of games simultaneously.
PINSTRIPES – FROM EAST TO WEST Pinstripes, founded by Dale Schwartz in 2005 and headquartered in Chicago, has been on the move. Connecticut and Texas are the recipients of the latest locations. Starting in the West, The Kirby Collection, a mixed-use, high-end development in Houston, TX, opened a Pinstripes last October. The two-story facility occupies 33,000 Houston, TX square feet which includes 13 lanes of bowling, six indoor and outdoor bocce courts, and space for private events, plus a ballroom that can accommodate 200 people. It is the second location in Texas. Moving across the country, the SoNo Collection mall now hosts Houston, TX Pinstripes. It is the first Northeast location for the ever-expanding entertainment concept and the 13th location nationally. The venue includes a top-deck patio overlooking Norwalk Harbor and Long Island Sound. There are a dozen bowling lanes and four bocce courts, plus the ability to accommodate private events of up to 1,000 people. Houston, TX Pinstripes is definitely on a roll.
ALSO HAPPENING A new dream or re-conjuring an old dream, bowling centers keep evolving. Here’s what’s been happening and, hopefully, what will emerge. John Losito’s Sun Valley Lanes, 42 years in Lincoln, NE, has been going through a transformation getting ready for the PBA 2020 U.S. Open. The indoor space will house the existing bowling center, an arcade that will double in size, a new pro shop, larger kitchen, and an addition of laser tag and miniature golf. “We have become known as a world-class bowling facility, and we wanted to bring the level of fun to other activities,” Losito said. WhirlyBall and Movie Tavern replace a Sears box store in Brookfield, WI. The 45,000square-foot WhirlyBall facility features bowling, multi-level laser tag, the Pivot Room restaurant, bar, and meeting space, in addition to two bumper car courts. Laurel Bowl in Binghamton, NY, is breathing new life. The business, purchased by Jeff and Beckie Ripic last year and rebranded Ripics Carousel Lanes, has been overhauling the 24lane center. The Ripics owned the pro shop inside Laurel Bowl before taking on this new venture. ShowBiz Cinemas is in the midst of expanding its present location in Waxahachie, TX. The project, ShowBiz Cinemas’ Waxahachie Bowling, Movies and More!, will add 11,000 square feet to accommodate 14 boutique bowling lanes, a café, and an arcade with a prize redemption room. The theater will remain open during construction with the completion to be this summer, 2020.
BUSINESS AT LARGE 8 KEGEL IN-DEPTH COACHING COURSE Kegel Training Center (KTC) recently hosted its inaugural Kegel Coaching Master’s Program (KCMP). The three-day class is designed for coaches to more intensely focus on specific topics of the game. The initial class focused on the topic of direction, with participants learning the elements of the game that can cause directional issues and how changes can affect the end result. They also studied troubleshooting techniques to help quickly make improvements for their students. For additional information on classes scheduled, visit kegeltrainingcenter.com.
8 GO BOWLING & NASCAR RENEW FOR YEAR #3 Go Bowling will extend its relationship with Richmond Raceway, Richmond, VA, for the third consecutive season as the entitlement sponsor for the fall 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NSX) race. The Go Bowling 250 will return for the NXS Regular Season Championship race on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. “We appreciate our relationship with the Go Bowling brand,” said Richmond president Dennis Bickmeier, “and look forward to continuing to work together to bring the community of bowling and motorsports fans together at America’s Premier Short Track.” Go Bowling is also entitlement sponsor for the Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International. It previously had been entitlement sponsor at Kansas Speedway and Pocono Raceway. Go Bowling is the consumer-facing brand for the bowling industry. Its website, GoBowling.com, is the go-to site for consumers to learn more about bowling, including information about 2,000 bowling centers around the country, along with promotional offers, and bowling video tips. Richmond Raceway and the bowling industry have partnered to host the PWBA Tour Championship the last three years (2017-2019). 10
Photo op for Kegel’s first Coaching Master’s Program participants
8 QUBICAAMF AIMS AT TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION At the end of 2019, QubicaAMF added a new partner. Stephens Capital Partners officially joined the ownership team, investing in QubicaAMF by purchasing a minority stake in the company. Stephens Capital Partners is a privately-owned investment banking firm based in Little Rock, AR, with offices across the U.S. and in Europe. Per its press release, QubicaAMF has increased by over 50% since 2014. Its workforce has grown from 450 to nearly 600 people around the world, and it continues to employ the largest and fastest growing R&D team in the industry. The partnership with Stephens will unlock research and development and capital investments for the company to be able to provide centers with products needed to enhance their businesses. “The technology available today to manage and market entertainment centers and serve and entertain guests is the best we have ever had, but we are just scratching the surface of what can really be done to WOW guests!” states Emanuele Govoni, CEO, QubicaAMF.
Mark Calandrello, second from left, general manager of Westgate Lanes in Brockton, MA, accepts the yearly award for economic impact in the region from the Metro South Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s annual meeting in November. Westgate’s business plan calls for a $6 million investment over two years in expansion and updating; the center has added 14 new jobs to date. “Bowling leagues and bowling activities tend to still be attracting young millennials at a healthy pace, so much so that an investment of this kind, we believe, will be rewarded and add to the quality of life of our region,” said Chris Cooney, Metro South CEO and president (at right end in picture), explaining the award to Westgate. Among other businesses honored (their representatives pictured left to right) were a real estate developer, sports pub, tobacco leaf marketer, a bank, and a Catholic ministry. Chair of the chamber board, Fred Clark, stands next to Cooney.
ß BITS & PIECES ß ß ß Andretti Indoor Karting & Games debuts Omni Arena in Orlando
Virtuix, developer of the Omni Arena virtual reality esports attraction, announced that Omni Arena has debuted at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games in Orlando, FL. Virtuix has started rolling out the popular attraction nationwide. In Omni, up to four players can compete for top spots on leaderboards to win cash from a $100,000 prize pool sponsored by Virtuix and HP. The ongoing contests are organized and managed entirely by Virtuix, so operators don’t have to do anything. -----------------------------------------------------
Brunswick signs 3-year agreement with PBA
Brunswick Bowling Products announced it has signed a 3-year, multimillion-dollar sponsorship and product registration agreement with the PBA. The agreement assures products for all brands will be represented on the PBA tour: Brunswick, Columbia 300, DV8, Ebonite, Hammer, Radical, and Track ball brands; Brunswick and Hammer bowling shoes; andall the accessories for Ultimate Bowling Products and Powerhouse brands. -----------------------------------------------------
PEOPLEWATCHING Bay Tek Entertainment has announced the recent hire of Matthew Deith as the new director of sales. Deith will be replacing Rick Rochetti, who will be retiring in April. Rochetti shared, “I’ve known Matthew for many years and appreciate what his experience and expertise can bring to Bay Tek.” Deith was most recently the managing director at Harry Levy Group in the Matthew Deith UK where he managed global sales. He has been involved in the amusement industry for over 25 years. Brunswick Bowling Products has made several changes to its sales team following the recent asset acquisition of Ebonite International. Adam Ishman and Dave Wodka come to Brunswick with over 45 years of combined bowling industry experience. Ishman joins Brunswick Bowling Products as product specialist for its Adam Ishman west sales territory. Wodka has been named product specialist for the northeast territory. Other changes are: Jordan Vanover has been promoted to international sales manager; Kevin Tabron will transition into a new role as product Dave Wodka specialist for key accounts; Tyler Armour, will now cover the southeast territory; John Bercier will remain product specialist for the Midwest territory; and Mike Dole will remain product specialist for the central territory. “We are very excited about all of the changes taking place,” said Ron Bragg, North America sales manager. We are well-positioned to represent all of the brands within our portfolio.”
Frank Wilkinson honored by his community
Frank Wilkinson comes from a bowling family. His father, Rab, was a professional bowler and one of Staten Island’s all-time best. Rab’s Country Lanes, which son Frank inherited and nurtured, has been a bastion for the community. Recently Wilkinson was honored by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce with the Louis R. Miller Leadership Award as an exemplary business person and community leader. 12
Kim Wheeler has joined the Trifecta Management Group (TMG) as director of training and development. Most recently Wheeler was with TrainerTainment. Prior to that, she facilitated district-wide technology related training for the largest school district in San Antonio, TX. She is also an Air Force veteran and has over 12 years in presentation, training, and development for individuals from entry to executive levels.
Mike Judy has joined Classic Products Corp. as business development manager. Prior to joining Classic, Judy served 13 years as Ebonite International’s North American sales manager. An active member of the bowling industry, Judy served as president of BBIA, working with USBC as part of Junior Gold.
Daroll and Dolores Frewing Pay It Forward
Daroll and Dolores Frewing
The US Bowling owners establish an annual college scholarship By Mark Miller
owling has been very, very good to Daroll Frewing and his family for 60 years, so the CEO of US Bowling Corporation wanted to do something to return the favor. The result is the Daroll and Dolores Frewing College Scholarship Award which will debut in 2020. “We’ve made many friends over the years and love the bowling industry,” said the soon-to-be 80-year-old Daroll Frewing. “It has brought a lot of success and has allowed us to diversify into several other businesses. We’re very proud to be a part of the bowling industry.” The scholarship will award $25,000 annually to a child or grandchild of an active member of the BPAA. It started when the Frewings donated $250,000 in 2018 to the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame — Daroll serves on the Board of Trustees. The IBMHOF will govern the scholarship, the first of which will be awarded at this year’s International Bowl Expo in Denver.
FEATURE Applications will be available on the bowlingmuseum.com site or from Kari Smith, the IBMHOF’s curator/manager. Born in Alberta, Canada, the Frewing family moved to the state of Washington in 1941 and later to Portland, OR. After attending the University of Oregon for the 1958-1959 school year, Daroll was persuaded by his brother, Ray, a ball driller at Brunswick’s regional office in Portland, to join the company. In 1967, Daroll made the bold move to Brunswick headquarters in Muskegon, MI, to lead the service department for the then-new automatic scoring system; he later served as general service manager for the bowling division. After 26 years, Daroll knew it was time to leave Brunswick. He did not intend to return to the bowling business. But as fate would have it, he did, and it has served him and his family well. “A gentleman and friend who had worked for me for 12 years, Ray Selzler, started a company called Quality Bowling Corporation, which, at the time, was building pinsetter parts for Brunswick and AMF automatic pinsetters and was becoming very successful. He asked me if I was interested in moving out to the West Coast to help his two sons run his business. Because of my international responsibilities with Brunswick, I had a lot of international contacts, and I said yes just so we could get out of the snow
of the Midwest. This worked out very well.” After working for Quality Bowling Corporation for nearly four years, Frewing ran into Dan Tucker when both were stranded at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport during a snowstorm. Tucker owned Tucker Bowling Equipment Company/Bowling Parts, Inc., a Tulia, TX, company that bought and sold used bowling pinsetters.“I went over to introduce myself and he said, ‘I know who you are!’ And I said, ‘That’s good because I know who you are too, and I’d like to take you to dinner.’” The two gentlemen sat down together and realized that they had mutual interests. Tucker was a used equipment dealer and US Bowling CEO Daroll Frewing Daroll had customers who were looking for used parts. Daroll suggested that Tucker should buy the equipment for Daroll and then Daroll would buy it from Tucker and sell it to his clients. They shared in the profits. “We did that very successfully for a couple of years,” remembers Daroll.
FEATURE Frewing and the Selzer brothers decided to start a new company called American Bowling Corporation which handled capital equipment. The partners became quite successful, but the Selzer brothers later wanted to move operations from California to Eugene, OR, but Daroll had no interest in moving.The partners decided to split the company, and the Selzlerowned American Bowling moved to Oregon. The timing was perfect, as Frewing’s son, David, was about to finish college. Father and son founded US Bowling Corporation in 1994 in Corona, CA. Five years later, they moved to the current headquarters in Chino, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles. “Today we are a full-line bowling equipment manufacturer with our own lanes, string pinsetters, automatic scoring system, ball returns, bumpers, seating, and masking units,” Daroll said. “We are one of only three full-line bowling equipment manufacturers in the bowling industry, and we are poised to compete head-to-head with the best of them.” With Daroll as CEO and David as company president, business has thrived for more than 25 years, having grown the company to its current 30 employees. US Bowling Corporation has had the great fortune of installing thousands of lanes of bowling equipment all over the world. In addition to still working nearly every day for US Bowling Corporation, Daroll and David develop and build large industrial distribution buildings in the Southern California market, along with several other investment interests.
David and Daroll Frewing
Janet and David Frewing
Many people ask how Daroll works every day and, he responds, like Clint Eastwood, “I won’t let the old man in.” The Frewings have built strong relationships with many proprietors in the bowling industry. With their great success, they want to give back to the bowling industry by supporting the higher educational needs of the children or grandchildren of bowling proprietors. Daroll and Dolores are hoping this will allow selected students 18
to move ahead with their college education, earning success and wisdom along the way, and maybe someday paying it forward like the Frewings. The Frewing seniors split their time between Long Beach, CA, and Boulder City, NV. It’s been a good life for them. “Having enjoyed this success, my wife and I want to give back to the industry that supported us for all these years,” states Daroll. And giving back they are. ❖
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.
THE NEWEST, LATEST, AND BEST 22
Gary and Eve Skidmore live the mantra in their newly renovated center in Albuquerque By Mark Miller
“My first year [on the tour] was difficult, but I won in Austin, ith their business treading water and moving Texas, my second year and that gave me the confidence to closer to retirement, Gary and Eve Skidmore continue,” he said. ”You always think you can win but you don’t knew they needed to do something to make Skidmore’s Holiday Bowl attractive to the get the confidence until you win.” people of Albuquerque, NM, and beyond. The Skidmores Between 1981 and 1998, he won six titles, finished in second decided to transform their traditional bowling center into an place four times, and made 17 televised finals. His success FEC. They found a bank willing to lend them the $4.8 million allowed him to partner with McLeod to purchase Holiday needed to pay off the old mortgage and execute the project. Bowl in 1986 from Jack Burt, the general manager of original The long-time proprietors introduced their new concept to the owner Tom Shaw, who opened it 1958. The Skidmores have public last year. now owned Skidmore’s Holiday Bowl outright for many years. While the financials have proven that they made the right “I was very lucky and blessed with everything I was able to decision overall, the Skidmores learned the hard way the accomplish, and everything I have in my life now is because of things they would do differently if they had to do it again. They bowling,” he said. want other proprietors thinking of Skidmore’s Holiday Bowl doing something similar to know has long been an innovator: about their journey. it was the first center in New Before understanding where Mexico to add glow-in-thethey are, it’s important to know how dark bowling; and it was the they got there. It started when Gary first center in the state with was 5 years old, bowling with his an updated scoring system. father at the former Sport Bowl in “We’ve always tried to give downtown Albuquerque. the customers the newest, He was 27 years old when he latest, best stuff, so that’s joined the Tour after a number of helped us,” Gary said. “I’ve years working in retail sales while always been a firm believer The newly renovated lanes at Skidmore’s Holiday Bowl bowling weekends on the PBA that at the end of the year, Regional tour. He didn’t try the big if there’s excess profit, I stage right after high school like so many others of his would rather reinvest it in the business than take half of it.” generation due to a lack of confidence. But when his stepfather, Across the street, Lomas Bowl opened in 1957 and later Duncan McLeod, put together a group of people to finance became Leisure Bowl under late owner Dick Tanner. The 32his dream, he finally took the plunge in the summer of 1981. lane facility was bought by the Skidmores and daughter Alisha
COVER STORY and husband Zeke Ziska from Janet Tanner in 2012. They changed the name to Skidz Family Entertainment Center. It was soon after buying Skidz that the Skidmores started seeing the new trends in family entertainment and began to think about ways to improve the business. After operating both centers for nearly four years, the owner of the Kia dealership next door to Skidz made the Skidmores an offer to buy the real estate. “We had no intentions of selling,” Gary remembers, but it was an offer they couldn’t refuse. “We had started noticing the decline in league numbers,” Gary said. “We had plateaued without any measurable increase in income for three years. We were kind of treading water. Part of that was the economy. We started doing research into how we can grow the business. We started looking at different options, and the FEC concept was very appealing to both of us. “We started doing more research and got some ideas. But then we realized we needed a bank to help us. We connected with Mike Cairns at Live Oak Bank in Wilmington, North Carolina. They treated us like family. They brought a corporate structure to a mom-and-pop operation.” The Skidmores momand-pop approach to business meant that they new practically every customer’s name. But the back-of-the-house business
The new bar and restaurant area at Skidmore’s Holiday Bowl
concepts like budgets, percentages, and spreadsheets were brought to the table by Live Oak Bank. The Skidmores used $1.4 million of the $4.8 million loan to pay off the existing mortgage. The remaining $3.4 million was designated for the renovation project, which included removing six of the original 32 lanes to make room for a two-level, 24,000-square-foot addition. Trifecta Management Group lead by Mike Auger helped put the various proposals together and trained the wait staff. continued on page 30...
COVER STORY ...continued from page 24
The new bar and restaurant area at Skidmore’s Holiday Bowl
They bought a pizza oven and other items from Standard Restaurant Equipment to create a new, expanded fresh-made kitchen. They upgraded the menu to a full service restaurant featuring fresh made pizza dough, burgers, and fried chicken fingers with house-made dipping sauces. “We can do anything in that restaurant that you can do in any fine dining restaurant,” said Gary, who added 20-25 staff in the food and beverage area. The Skidmores replaced 12 outdated games with 52 modern video and prize games they bought outright from Player One. They also added a redemption center under the direction of Redemption Plus. The settee areas were updated with more modern, comfortable seating. “It’s been a learning process for us as far as getting everything right,” Gary said. Part of that learning process was the time it ultimately took to complete the project. The Skidmores thought they were going to re-open in August 2018, but construction delays pushed the opening back to October 15. Those delays cost the business lost revenues from not being done on time: $66,000 in revenue in August 2018; $140,000 in August 2019. There were also extra expenses based on the contractor errors. In hindsight, Gary wishes penalties for contractors who do not make the scheduled construction deadlines had been included in his agreements with the contractor. Performance-bonus clauses included for completing tasks ahead of schedule would have motivated the contractor to stay on schedule and within budget. “I would never recommend the contractor who did our project to anyone,” he said. “There were decisions that were made that caused delays that weren’t necessary if they were done right. “This contractor came recommended by both Brunswick and Live Oak Bank, people in the industry who said he was the right guy,” says Gary “It was quite unfortunate. Do your own research and find contractors who anticipate changes.” Gary suggests personally checking the references of the approved contractors. He recommends the contractor contractually agrees to the budgets and deadlines ahead of time. If the pre-approved deadlines aren’t met, extra costs, like loss of income, will be the burden of the contractor. 30
“This way it’s a win-win for both sides,” explains Gary. “ You don’t mind giving someone a little extra money if they get you open sooner.” Gary firmly believes that if the contractor understands there are costs to him because of his delays, this will incentivize the contractor to stick to the budget and the construction schedule. What was supposed to take 120 days ultimately took 250 days. But the good news came when the Skidmores compared the financials from this year with two years ago, before they started the project. Before the project, about 65-70% of the revenue came from bowling. Since then, it’s been nearly a 5050 split. In the first six months after the renovations, Skidmore’s Holiday Bowl took in $670,000 in food and beverage and $750,000 in bowling. The numbers look fantastic: $2.9 million in revenue is projected for 2019, about $500,000 better than its best-ever year. Those are important numbers to someone like Gary, who turned 65 in March. With seven children, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild, Gary and Eve are excited about the future. “For the long-term
The new arcade installed under the direction of Redemption Plus
health of the business, so that Eve and I can retire, so our son Aaron Bacoccini can step in and take over, [the renovation and upgrade] were the best things we could have done,” Gary said. “We definitely can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” With the Skidmores planning to retire by the end of 2021 and the business on solid ground, Gary says, “We’re excited about that process.” It’s been a daring experience, but without the risk, there would have been no reward. ❖
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.
According to George t was a year ago this month that we published my interview with Todd Britton, the recent past president of Bowl Canada (the Canadian bowling association) and proprietor of the then brand-new Uptown Alley, Winnipeg. Our company was privileged to work on the project for Todd and, back then, it was off to a great start. Fast forward a year and Robert Sax brings us up to date on Todd’s center. I’ll leave it at that and let you read the feature. It seems like we just left IAAPA, doesn’t it? Well, Amusement Expo is right around the corner, this year in New Orleans, March 9-11. Howard McAuliffe provides the preview of what to expect inside Beyond Bowling. I’ve always found Amusement Expo to be, in some respects, more important than IAAPA as a buying show due to the timing. While most new games are shown at IAAPA, it is only by Amusement Expo that we have good sales data on actual performance. Smarter buys are made at this show which is seeing more BEC operator attendance every year. Speaking of smarter, my interview this month is with Keri Little, a managing partner of HD5 Entertainment, LLC. This edition is our first Beyond Bowling of the year. I always review past editions as we start a new year looking for patterns and
new ideas. What jumped out at me in this year’s review is my reliance on male interview subjects; it’s been essentially all men. We’re changing that, starting now. Keri is an experienced BEC operator, and she shares her unique perspective on what is important to execute operations at a high level. As we enter 2020, the talk of the industry is the amount of competition out there. Competition can be direct and indirect; both types compete for the time and dollars of our guests. The second biggest topic is the labor market: with the U.S. at record low levels of unemployment, staffing is challenging to say the least, as is turnover. So BEC operators need to work smarter than ever. Hopefully this Beyond Bowling will provide some ideas and help to get the year off to a good start for you. Enjoy! ❖
George McAuliffe Principal, Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Jazz Up Your Business in the Big Easy Get a beat on the FEC and BEC businesses at Amusement Expo International in New Orleans
By Howard McAuliffe
he 2020 Amusement Expo International in New Orleans, March 9 - 11, is going to be an inspiring, educational, and enjoyable three-day event in a great city. The expo will include multiple opportunities for education in one combined tradeshow. All education sessions take place on Monday, March 9, and will be provided by Amusement Expo. It will feature an FEC track of seminars, as well as a ‘street’ track which is focused on route operations. In addition to these educational opportunities, Amusement Expo continues the tradition of co-locating with the VR Summit, curated by VR guru Bob Cooney, the National Bulk Ed Rensi Vendors Association Convention (NBVA), and the Laser Tag Convention. While the educational sessions are separate, there will only be one tradeshow with all vendors exhibiting at the Expo.
No matter how much experience we gain, there is always room to improve. The Amusement Expo education program has been growing and improving steadily over the last three years, and, for many, it is the most important day of the Expo. All educational sessions will be held on Monday, March 9. This year will feature the most high profile keynote to date, former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi. Mr. Rensi is an excellent speaker with a wealth of knowledge about business and life, plus he is not afraid to ruffle feathers. He will likely inspire — and maybe slightly offend — everyone in the room, which makes for a thought-provoking session. The FEC and street tracks provide a great variety of knowledge from leaders in the
industry and focus on cutting-edge technologies, as well as the nuts-and-bolts operational improvements. The VR Summit is the premier VR event of the year for the out-ofhome entertainment industry. The Laser Tag Convention and NBVA sessions are targeted to those very important niches for attendees that want to learn about these specific areas.
As the FEC business has expanded rapidly in the last 10 years, largely due to the growth of BECs, the show has added a dedicated FEC track. The speakers have not been announced yet, but we have been informed topics will include eSports, escape rooms, marketing, hiring and training staff, in addition to topics focusing on FEC operations. Each year the quality of the speakers improves, and the sessions are focused on helping attendees improve their business.
The route business has always been a staple in the amusement industry. These companies provide amusement equipment in bowling centers, bars, grocery stores, and a plethora of other locations. Traditionally, these operators provide juke boxes, pool tables, ATMs, as well as a few arcade and crane games in multiple locations. While all of these categories of equipment are still provided by these operators, many have begun to provide full redemption arcades. Often these arcades are operated with an automated redemption solution, like Prize Hub, but increasingly they also
EXPO PREVIEW provide full redemption counters. The educational sessions will focus on route operations as well as specific categories of equipment, like ATMs, and provide opportunities for operators to meet and discuss topics face to face.
The VR Summit at Amusement Expo is the most important event of the year for the out-of-home entertainment side of the VR business. Most new FEC projects in 2020 will have a VR component, and existing centers are rapidly adding VR â€” but picking a winner is difficult. The VR Summit will feature a variety of panels and a keynote presentation geared to the out-of-home VR market. At this writing, the speakers had not been announced, though last year they included The Void, Dreamscape, Virtuix, Two Bit Circus, and Ubisoft. Attendees will be educated on the current state of the VR market as well as where it is going.
THE LASER TAG CONVENTION AND NBVA CONVENTION
The Laser Tag Convention provides a slate of seminars dedicated to the laser tag business. Seminars will focus on multiple aspects of this business, including: marketing, financing, designing, insuring, and operating a laser tag attraction and/or business. The NBVA
Convention will organize a series of seminars focused on the bulk vending industry.
After a full day of education on Monday, March 9, the tradeshow floor will be open on Tuesday, March 10, and Wednesday, March 11. This is the place to see the vendors of toys, games, related products, and VR products. The show provides a focused environment compared to the overwhelming IAAPA show. This allows for a more intimate space to speak with vendors and spend time in each booth. This is also a good show to network and learn how new products released at IAAPA are performing in the field, as well as see new products that were not ready for IAAPA. Hope to see you there. â?– Howard McAuliffe is vice president of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Pinnacle Entertainment Group has conceived, developed, and operated family entertainment businesses in every size and budget, and integrated in to many other business as both corporate executives and entrepreneurs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upping The Game Todd Britton pulls out all the stops at Uptown Alley in Winnipeg By Robert Sax
innipeg, Canada, has had its ups and downs. In the late 1800s, it was one of the most successful cities in North America, a major rail center with more millionaires per capita than New York City. Then the First World War, the Great Depression, and plummeting wheat prices began a long economic slump that only began turning around in the last 10 years. As witnessed by the strong growth of its entertainment sector, life in Winnipeg has gotten much better of late. Winnipeggers once again have an NHL hockey team (the Winnipeg Jets redux) in a fancy hockey arena, and brew pubs and foodie havens are proliferating. Now they can also enjoy the city’s first modern bowling entertainment center, Uptown Alley, thanks to local proprietor and former Bowl Canada president, Todd Britton. Todd grew up in a bowling family. His father Brian Britton operated Winnipeg’s iconic Academy Lanes, located in a converted Moorish-style 1930s movie palace with an architecturall-significant exterior. “Like many kids that grow up in the industry, I hung out with my dad,” says Britton. “I think I started going to work with him when I was 12 doing odd jobs. I was lucky that I felt passionate about the industry at a young age.”
Todd, 42, now runs the family’s three local bowling centers along with his dad Brian, mother Heather, and brother Jay. Those include two traditional centers, Academy West Bowl and Billy Mosienko Lanes, and, as of December 2018, their brand-new flagship operation Uptown Alley. It’s located in Polo Park just north of downtown Winnipeg in a big retail and entertainment area. How it came to be is a story of turning challenge into opportunity. A few years back, the owner of the building that housed Academy Lanes informed Todd that was he was not going to renew their lease.
The team at Uptown Alley from the left: general manager Nathan Hogg, Jay Britton, and Todd Britton
Uptown Alley went to town designing and installing a new arcade designed by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Todd describes the decision as “reasonably mutual,” since he had already been considering making a move. While Academy Lanes was a much-loved institution in the community, Todd didn’t see a big future for the traditional bowling center. Through his work with Bowl Canada, Todd developed an excellent overview of the bowling industry and in the direction it was moving. He felt the future lay with the modern bowling entertainment center, and that he and his family had the opportunity to build the first one in Winnipeg. It wasn’t the first time that the Brittons had gambled on something new. In 1995, their league play had fallen off and business was down significantly. Glow bowling was a hot trend, and Brian Britton invested big on the new technology. Academy Lanes became the first bowling center in Winnipeg–and possibly in Canada–to offer glow bowling and a fancy music system. “Glow bowling was sold as this thing to make your bowling center more appealing to people in their teens and 20s,” Todd told the Winnipeg Free Press in 2015. “But after offering it for only two weeks, we started getting all these phone calls from moms wanting to book us in the afternoon for their five-
year-olds’ birthday parties. It was something we hadn’t counted on, but after 10 or 15 (calls), we looked at each other and said, ‘OK, let’s figure out a way to do this for kids, too.’ We haven’t really looked back since.” For Uptown Alley, they sought a large building with an exclusive parking lot in an area with lots of people in search of entertainment. The answer turned out to be a vacant, big box store, a former Cabela’s sporting goods location just a few blocks from Polo Park Mall, Winnipeg’s major shopping area. “The traffic in the area is extremely high, and we felt that [unlike] most older bowling centers in a neighborhood that became residential, we were more in a retail space and we felt like that would help us [to] drive traffic,” says Britton. Uptown Alley’s retro-sounding name was inspired by the Uptown movie theatre that occupied the old building before it became a bowling center in 1960. When Brian Britton eventually took over the center, he changed the name to Academy Uptown Lanes to emphasize its location on Academy Road. The core of the new 43,000-square-foot, C$7 million BEC
Uptown Alley’s Bistro Lounge boasts 20 high definition TVs and 12 beers on tap
is thirty bowling lanes set up for 5-pin bowling, the predominant format in Western Canada. However, Todd designed part of Uptown Alley to facilitate a future conversion to 10-pin, because the bigger format was becoming increasingly popular in the bigger Canadian markets of Toronto and Montreal. “Todd is a very innovative person. He has another center that is a split 5-pin and 10-pin house,” says Mark Buffa of Buffa Distribution, who supplied the capital equipment for Uptown Alley. “He appreciates the synergy that both games bring to one place. I believe that 10-pin will continue growing across Canada.”
More Ways to Play
Todd’s customers have a wide range of play choices at the new center. While there were a few pinballs and a crane game or two in the old Academy Lanes, for Uptown Alley, he’s seriously upped his game with a big arcade and the first full redemption Group in Winnipeg.
The space-themed laser tag attraction installed by Art Attack from Edmonton, Canada 40
FEATURE Todd. “Mostly it’s duos and trios,” says Todd, “but we can accommodate a five piece band easily.”
The Future is Uptown
The gleaming, new redemption center
Todd sees the future of his family’s business as BECs. “Over the course of the next probably five to ten years, I would imagine we’ll be out of the traditional bowling business and looking to transition our centers into this type of concept,” he says. With lessons learned from building Uptown Alley, he’s confident that they can repeat the process, closing down the older centers and
The arcade, designed by Pinnacle Entertainment, has 50+ games, including some that are brand new to Winnipeg; 80% of the games are redemption. “The new arcade is a 180 degree change from the old Academy Lanes,” says Pinnacle’s George McAuliffe. “It was a great space to work with and that made it a fun project.” Another popular feature is a 3,500-square-foot laser tag attraction with equipment from Zone Lasertag and an arena designed and built by IAAPA award-winner Art Attack of Edmonton, Canada. Britton says he chose a space theme because, “There’s a reason why Disney bought Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy. Space is always cool.” For Earth-bound traditionalists, there’s also a ping-pong room.
Food, Drink and Music
Hungry and thirsty customers can satisfy themselves at Uptown Alley’s Bistro Lounge. It has 20 high-definition TV screens, room for more than 90 people, and 12 beers on tap. The diverse menu ranges from burgers and sandwiches to steaks to poutine and perogies, and even a pulled-pork pizza. Late-night bowlers (and early ones too) will love the all-day breakfast service. A wide variety of party and banquet dishes are available as well and are served in the center’s modular party rooms that can host up to 100 people. Several of Canada’s most successful rock bands came from Winnipeg, including the Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, and Crash Test Dummies. So it’s no big surprise that Uptown Alley presents local bands in the Bistro two or three nights a week. The Bistro is located right behind 14 of the lanes so bowlers can enjoy the music too. “Having live music was definitely something that people weren’t expecting, and it added value to the experience,” says The arcade offers top-of-the-line games and experiences
Winnipeg’s famous Moorish-style 1930s Uptown movie palace inspired the name for Uptown Alley
setting up brand new ones. Todd hopes to have a second Uptown Alley up and running within the next three years. However, at the moment there’s no competition, although he expects a Rec Room to move into Winnipeg in 2020. The national chain’s concept offers little or no bowling, so Uptown Alley looks to have the upscale BEC segment to itself for some time. ❖
Management and POS system: QubicaAMF Conqueror Pro Scoring system: QubicaAMF BES-X Lanes and pinsetters: Brunswick Pro Anvil 1 and SW-1 Furniture: Venue Arcade design: Pinnacle Entertainment Group Arcade games: Shaffer Distributing Card system: Embed
Robert Sax is a writer and PR consultant in Los Angeles. He grew up in Toronto, Canada, the home of five-pin bowling.
Step Up Front Keri Little steps into a leadership role at the newly formed HD5 Entertainment, LLC
By George McAuliffe Keri Little is one of four managing partners of HD5 Entertainment, LLC, a recently formed BEC collaboration with two highly respected FECs in Oklahoma and a recent addition in Denison, TX. She and her husband, Brad, recently sold his interest in that partnership to form HD5 Entertainment, LLC, with Scott and Jenny Emley of Austin’s High 5 and High 5 Anderson Lanes. The partnership is in the process of developing their first joint venture in North Texas.
1. Tell us about your company, its origins, and history. HD5 was formed by four people that share a passion for creating memories for families and developing the people that choose to be a part of our team. We all strongly believe that joining our vision, systems, cultures, and ideas will make for a great BEC brand. We’ll soon have a public announcement about our first joint venture facility. We each started in the industry in our own venture - the Littles about twelve years ago and the Emleys about five. Jenny and Scott Emley started with High 5, a full BEC in Austin, TX. The four of us met a few years back at a Three Amigo’s F2FEC conference in Atlanta. We formed an instant friendship and decided we each shared a common vision of changing lives and growing a legacy within the industry. Several months ago, we sold our interest in our original concept and formed an alliance with the Emleys, to form HD5 Entertainment, LLC, utilizing the High 5 brand that Scott and Jenny had developed. Keri Little 44
2. How did you get into the business? Brad and I met about two and a half years after he started the business. When we met, Brad was a widower and I had been a widow for over eight years. Brad and I married, and I have been diving into various parts of the business ever since. 3. Obviously, you must have liked something about the business or industry. What made you to want to get involved? Something about the BEC business just gets in your blood. I had been an entrepreneur, owning a popcorn distribution business. My claim to fame was my product being carried in the Nieman Marcus Christmas catalogue. I had also been a floor supervisor in a large casino, and later [I was] in restaurant management. So, I had the entertainment management experience and the passion for the service industry. I’ve always been excited about leading and creating a positive culture that delivers a great guest experience, so it was kind of a natural fit. I was also a Mary Kay director for seven years, which gave me plenty of experience with moms! 4. You’ve been a BEC operator for five years now. Can you boil it down to the top three factors for your company’s success? First, develop a strong leadership team and culture. Second, management has to continually educate themselves on new ideas, trends, and what other leaders in the industry are doing. Third, have systems and procedures that deliver the best possible guest experience. It’s hard to narrow it down to just three! One of the many things the Emleys have also managed to do is perfect the league bowling at High5, integrating competitive bowling with casual bowling entertainment.
INTERESTING INTERVIEW 5. What is your vision of a BEC? You might be asking about attractions, but I think the centerpiece is people oriented: the community, the guests, and your staff. I am big on developing people, and I feel that the stronger your leadership and management team, the stronger the rest of your team will be. That is what drives repeat visits, which in turn brings in more revenue. You will also have more word-of-mouth traffic that brings in events, birthday parties, and groups. Finally, [I envision] a state-of-the-art center with a strong team culture where families come to create great memories. In our previous concept, we won IAAPA’s FEC of the Year award in 2015. I attribute that to our managers who lived the culture and delivered it to our guests.
6. Hiring and retaining great people is a huge challenge in today’s labor marketplace. Would you agree? What is your approach? Yes, definitely! We look for people whom we think will fit with our culture. Our first focus is on what we call ‘kingdom building.’ We want guests to feel different after a visit to one of our centers — not just have a great time, but [feel] really fulfilled. That only happens when the whole team buys in to that culture. As leaders, we think our job is to help our team develop as people, to teach them skills and help them develop confidence that they can grow with. A lot of our team members are young people. It sounds funny, but we actually celebrate when they tell us they are moving on to school, or on in their career passion. Nothing is better than when they come back and tell us they appreciated their time with us and what they learned. That leadership approach works when they buy in to the culture during their time with us.
7. What is your approach to the food and beverage component? We believe the market is moving away from a sit-down, heavy entrée, formal dining area, to more shareables — appetizersized plates that promote an active, social experience. We still have burgers and pizzas and know that you must be flexible. The fun thing is that there’s always something new in food service trends.
8. What are the important steps in the development process? Our first facility started with a smaller footprint, with laser tag, an arcade, a miniature golf course and a pizza restaurant. About three years after opening, we added a ropes course above the arcade. A couple of years later, we did a two-story
expansion to add bowling and a full restaurant, including an upstairs lounge and full bar. We have learned that you have to constantly refine and re-examine your facility and, related to that, make sure most of the square footage is producing a return on investment. 9. How do you handle the adult versus family customer segments? At High 5, we have a two-story facility where the upstairs serves adults only after 9 p.m. The traffic patterns and natural behavior of different age groups tend to take care of that. That said, you want to be able to cater to both groups as much as possible. 10. On a more personal note, you are a woman leader in our industry. Are there any particular challenges or experiences you can share in that regard? When I married Brad, he and his partner had [shaped] the business into a very successful, traditional FEC. As Brad’s wife, I was considered an owner by some and filled roles as needed, but I had no formal authority. Not having that formal role came with certain limitations. So, I’d suggest that it’s important to have a formal position in the organization with clear authority to be most effective. I’m certainly enjoying my new position much more! It’s so much fun growing the vision with Brad and the Emleys. 11. Any final words of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers? I think women, in particular, need to step to the front in the industry. We have great ideas that tend to end up being our husband’s (LOL!). Women are needed and can help an organization provide the complete experience for the guests and increase the bottom line. Thanks Keri! ❖
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 a partner in Pinnacle Entertainment Group (www.grouppinnacle.com) whose clients include Intercard, Rhode Island Novelty, and Shaffer Distributing Company. He writes for RePlay and International Bowling Industry magazines and speaks at many FEC industry conferences.
REDEMPTION REORDER SOLUTIONS
Spend less time putting together your redemption prize order. Redemption Plus’ Rapid Reorder™ is a reorder solution tht works with most card reader systems to automatically add redeemed merchandise to your cart for review. The program gives you the final say in what gets shipped to your location. You have the freedom of choice, plus the convenience of a pre-built cart based on your redemption data. Using Rapid Reorder™ saves participating customers an average of 45 minutes a week in ordering time, all the while giving you control over what product ends up in the assortment. For more information, please email email@example.com or call (888) 564-7587.
CENTER LIGHTING EFFECTS
QubicaAMF’s CenterPunch Deck Lighting is the only pin deck lighting system on the market which is controlled through a bowling management system—fully integrated with Conqueror Pro. In addition, when combined with the BES X Bowler Entertainment System, the lighting responds to on-lane events such as strikes, spares, and gutter balls, delivering a more impactful guest experience. Highlights include: easy “point and click” tool; creation of light shows in minutes; build a custom light show library; schedule light shows for certain days and times; and run different light shows on different lanes for different customer groups! Welcome to the future of lighting effects. Visit QubicaAMF.com/CenterPunch to learn more.
VIRTUAL REALITY ESPORTS
ROWDY RACING GAME
Smash your way to victory in Nitro Trucks™, a rowdy, off-road racing game from Betson, the team that brought you MotoGP! Select from 14 upgradeable trucks and get ‘em dirty on six exciting tracks. Pick up powerups to repair your vehicle and earn nitro boosts. Then, hit the RAM button to show your opponents who’s boss! An immersive cabinet design puts you in the driver’s seat, complete with roll cage, 5.1 surround sound speakers, LED lighting, and force feedback steering wheel. Connect up to eight games for a rip-roarin‘ good time. Betson customer service can be reached at (800) 768-8952.
Omni Arena™ is a virtual reality esports attraction for up to four players. Thanks to Omni motion platforms, players can physically walk and run around inside virtual reality games without boundaries and within a small footprint. The attraction includes ongoing prize contests with a $100,000 prize pool sponsored by Virtuix and HP. Any time guests play, they have a chance to win real money, resulting in a repeat play rate of over 30%, the highest of any VR attraction. Omni Arena offers a complete guest experience including a recorded gameplay video. Thanks to its rich guest experience, operators charge as much as $15 per play. Omni Arena generates revenues for operators of $15K-$20K per month on average, with top sites earning $30K per month. For info, contact Lisa Chapman (737) 202-4761 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTOBOOTHS CREATE KEEPSAKES
For a new revenue stream to increase profits while offering customers a fun experience, contact Apple Industries today! Choose from a wide range of innovative products: compact or large size for group pictures; movie themed photobooths; interactive videos; exclusive scene backgrounds; external screens; and custom-made designs with your own branding! All Apple’s FACE PLACE photobooths have social media connectivity so customers will promote your location while posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. FACE PLACE Marvel Adventure Lab, a new attraction, is truly unique and amazing. Your photo is transformed into comic art, putting you alongside your favorite Marvel characters. Everyone will be thrilled to capture a moment in your FACE PLACE photobooth as a keepsake. For more info, email email@example.com.
COIN AMUSEMENT MACHINE
LAI Games’ Pearl Fisher is taking bowling centers by storm, out earning the most popular coin pushers on the market! It takes the classic appeal of a coin pusher and mixes in the thrill of a multi-layered, big-ticket game. Players drop pearls down the pin board into a matrix of multipliers to win tickets and special oversized Dragon Pearls, giving access to a super bonus big ticket jackpot. Winning tickets are immediately paid out to reward players, keeping the excitement high. With many opportunities to win across multiple mini-games, Pearl Fisher is a uniquely entertaining amusement machine. For complete information and videos, visit laigames.com/pearl-fisher or contact your authorized LAI Games distributor.
FREE SOFTWARE UPDATES
This year, Steltronic is celebrating 40 years in the bowling industry! The month of February is a big month for free software updates. Included is the implementation of a world bowling scoring method; instant messaging for your scoring monitors; new score sheet printouts with actual pinfall display, ball by ball; and crossed mode (league style) bowling for standalone systems. Imply pinsetters interfaced a total of 35+ pinsetters worldwide. Steltronic really believes software updates should be free! Center management specialists since 1980. For more information call (800) 942-5939 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brunswick is thrilled to introduce Sync® Invicta™, the next generation of Sync, the industry’s fastest growing scoring and POS system. With the release of Sync Invicta, Brunswick is introducing a number of innovative new products specifically designed for each customer segment: open play, groups, and league bowlers. Vision™ User Interface, modeled after leading digital streaming and ecommerce sites, suggests other games the guest may be interested in playing. Vision UI clearly explains game rules and playing time, leading to less staff intervention. Open Lane®, a custom mobile app, makes it easier for customers to connect with their favorite FEC. Users can sign on to waitlists for food and games; track and share scoring achievements; earn reward points; and access exclusive specials and coupons. Rival Rumble™, a team competition, is designed to encourage participation across all skill levels. It delivers high-resolution, engaging content to all lanes of bowlers to compete with each other. For more info: Brunswickbowling.com. IBI
CLASSIFIEDS SOLUTION TO PUZZLE FROM PAGE 54
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CROSSWORD PUZZLE 1
Across 1 Nation where bowling originated
4 4 strikes in a row 28
8 Skating rink surface 9 Detroit ____ wings
11 King ____ 33
14 Water-skiing locale 15 Christmas tree decor
16 Newport’s state 40
17 Unhappy 19 ____ Bowling the Movie
21 The A in PBA, abbr. 22 Indicates the manufacturer 23 Let’s __ lunch! 24 ____, Death and Bowling 25 Network that covered PBA for many years 28 Used a towel 30 Large lake 31 State where nine-pin is still played
Answers on top of page 50
Down 1 Founder of PBA 2 Return
23 Late 70s movie about a PBA pro
3 Three strikes in a row
24 Race measurement
26 First headquarters of the BPAA
5 Co-star of Kingpin 6 Omega or flaxseed
27 Bismarck’s state
34 Bar bill
10 Sushi fish
28 Last name of the owner of Celebrity Sports Center in Denver
36 Pin setters are often referred to as these
12 They might be rock hard
29 King Pin finals location
32 Envelope that comes back
39 Toward the edge
40 Debtor’s note
20 Cartoon character who went bowling with his buddy
33 Star of the movie, 7-10 Split 35 German word for bread
41 Chef who bowled for charity on TV, Rachel ____ 42 Jackpot Bowling- 1959 host, Milton ____
7 Body of values
38 Bench player Puzzle credit: Myles Mellor | www.mylesmellor.com | www.ilovecrosswords.com