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VOL 26.1

8 SHORTS • Wonder Woman goes bowling • David Teitelbaum installed at Embed • IAAPA’s new chairman Andreas Anderson • Creative Works’ Memory Makers

38 FEATURE 60 Years of the Good Stuff Ryan Family Amusements has prospered for six decades, with adaptability being the key. By Paul Lane 20

By Patty Heath

44 TRADESHOW PREVIEW Blazing New Trails, Spurring Growth


Network in sunny Arizona at BPAA’s Mid-Winter Summit.

A Giant Lost Brent Perrier’s legacy will live on through friends and those he mentored.

By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

By Jim Goodwin


20 BUSINESS Carpe Diem!

Brewers Association 26

In Part II of IBI’s real estate story, six FECs thrive in former big box store locations.

1959 By Patty Heath

By Sean Krainet

47 Showcase 48 Datebook


49 Classifieds

The IBI Interview Game pioneer Nolan Bushnell is keeping it real, virtually.



January 2018

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Scott Frager Skype: scottfrager



CONTRIBUTORS Jim Goodwin Patty Heath Pamela Kleibrink Thompson Sean Krainert Paul Lane Robert Sax


ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Designworks (818) 735-9424

FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)

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

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.


By Robert Sax






The pairing of ice cream and bowling is happening in Chicago, IL, at the Pink Squirrel. While a definite opening date is still pending, this unique spot, with a supper club vibe, will offer a walkup ice cream window, a 1960s/70s-inspired cocktail bar, including Brooklyn egg creams and Harvey Wallbangers, plus boozy ice cream cocktails and two lanes of bowling. Owner Dustin Drankiewicz wanted to recreate Chicago’s southside spots with an entertainment factor. There will be room for 50 with a sidewalk patio. Sounds like a lot of fun.


NEW IS GOOD; REFURBISHED IS AWESOME Strike & Spare in Murfreesboro, TN, is 60 years old and was due for a make-over. The company owns 14 sites throughout Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. General manager Phillip Cox said, “It was time we put Proud staff at reopening of some love into this one.” The original Strike & Spare. center had 12 lanes upstairs and 12 lanes downstairs. In the late 1960s, 12 more lanes were added for the current 36 lanes. In this round of upgrades, the old furniture and carpeting were removed. Seating now features modern couches and movable coffee tables. Tile and linoleum replaces the old carpet. The biggest change is a new scoring system and pinsetters. Topping it off is a new arcade with nearly a dozen games, redeemable for prizes.

Airport Lanes in Sanford, FL, underwent an extensive remodel, adding new flooring and modern seating. Keith Baldwin, the regional general manager for Aloma Bowling Centers, said, “While we have always offered great leagues and affordable family fun, we adapted to become a comprehensive entertainment center, providing a one-of-a-kind entertainment and dining experience for everything from active young adults and dates to corporate outings or family time.” The renovations included new wood plank flooring throughout, updated seating areas with couches and modern tables and service counters with rock and wood accents. In addition to bowling, Airport Lanes offers an arcade, billiards and a full-service bar A new, modern look for Airport Lanes. and grill.


January 2018

SAVING SULLY’S Sully’s Bowling Lanes has been the place to go for fun and general hanging out since 1959. Michael Sullinger, Sully’s owner, took over the business from his grandfather; it is family run and a staple of Aransas Pass, TX. However, last August, Hurricane Harvey struck, and Sully’s was directly in its path. From the outside, it looked okay, but when Sullinger went inside, it was a different story. The ceiling had caved in, damaging the AC unit, all the electrical, and most of the interior. Repair estimates ran in the $500,000s. The center was denied any government assistance for repairs. They had fire and theft insurance but not windstorm, which they thought they had. While continuing the discussion with the government and the insurance company, the community rallied. Sully’s now has a GoFundMe account to help raise money, Everyone in the town has memories of bowling at Sully’s and wants it back.

ALSO HAPPENING Parkville Lanes, a duckpin center, in Parkville, MD, closed the first part of 2017. However, the 26-lane center has reopened and features a jukebox, full snack bar, soda machine, and pin ball machines. Bowlers in Hays, KS, have been bowling at Centennial Lanes since 1959. This past summer, it closed just long enough to renovate and update. The lanes and approaches are new, along with the bumpers, hoods and racks. Owners Brian and Rebecca VanMeter have remodeled Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, OH, and included new flat screen monitors, new flooring in the lounge and a repaved parking lot. They have also added Striker Bar and Grille.


GOODWILL CENTRAL MAKE-A-WISH CAMPAIGN Creative Works, a designer and builder of unique laser tag arenas with the WOW effect, reached out to attendees at IAAPA in Orlando to help grant wishes and memories to children in need, especially those with critical illness. They called the campaign Memory Makers. “As we celebrate our 20 Years of Memories at this trade show, we want to live our company’s values by delivering memories to those who need it most. Some of the companies who generously donated were: Betson; CenterEdge Software; Laser Blast; Live Oak Bank; Pinnacle Entertainment Group; Redemption Plus, SafePark USA; and Zone Laser Tag.

TOYS FOR TOT CHARITY DART TOURNAMENT A different tack on a traditional Toys for Tots event was held at Pheasant Lanes Family Fun Center in Bloomington, IL. It was the 2nd annual Toys for Tots Charity Dart Tournament which was held on 10 lanes of the 32-lane house. IBI’s question to David Bartlett, general manager, was darts on (L-R) Stacy Schmidgall; bowling lanes? “We set the dart Troy Ziegler, event organizer; and Joe Hoye, boards up at the tournament organizer. foul line and the players all stand on the approach to throw their darts.” There were 100 players participating in the main event, including members from Darts Team

USA, as well as a few professional dart players. “The darts have plastic tips and the players that play are excellent; they don’t miss the board. We also have runners for the players to walk on.” Just over $5,500 was raised in cash and toys for the children of McLean County. A silent auction and ticket drop raised $4,000. A job well done. Bartlett said, “We are looking forward to hosting this event again next year.” Bowling centers are busy places. Besides dishing out fun and comradery, centers across the nation support their bowlers, community, and charities. Jamestown Bowling Company, Jamestown, NY– 9th

annual Framed in Pink: Bowling Over Breast Cancer. Midway Lanes, Bismarck, ND – raising money for 22

years for Bismarck Cancer Center. Limerick Bowl, Limerick, PA – 4th annual Turkey Bowl

where people have a healthy meal and bowling offered by Crossroads Presbyterian Church. Jet Lanes, Presho, SD – Game On, Cancer received

over $5,000 from the community, plus a $31,873 private donation. Falcon Lanes, Valleyview, British Columbia, Canada – second annual Lions Club Dog Bowl to raise funds for the Guide Dogs’ program. Cinergy Entertainment Group, Texas – held a canned food drive for local pantries: West Texas Food Bank and Food Care Center in Killeen, TX.

What is your center doing? Email Patty Heath at

PEOPLEWATCHING The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has elected Andreas Andersen, CEO and president of Liseberg Group in Gothenburg, Sweden, as the organization’s chairman of the board for 2018. Andersen has served on the IAAPA board of directors since 2013. The new board of directors are: First Vice Chairman: David Rosenberg, Monterey Bay Aquarium, U.S.; Second Vice Chairman: Amanda Thompson OBE, UK; Treasurer: Charles “Hank” Salemi, U.S.; Immediate Past Chairman: Greg Hale, U.S.; and IAAPA President and CEO: Paul Noland. 10


January 2018

To continue its commitment to great service, Embed has hired David Teitelbaum as Installation Manger. His chief responsibility will be to insure all Embed system installations run smoothly and efficiently. For the past 27 years, Teitelbaum has provided implementation and support services for companies, including American and United Airlines, as well as physicians’ offices and surgery David Teitelbaum centers. Matthew Harrison, director of sales, said, “We’re pleased to have someone of David’s caliber as our new installation manager. His commitment to excellence and years of experience make him a great asset to our team.”


ß BITS & PIECES ß ß ß Intercard introduces Shindigger

Ardent Leisure loses Simon Kelly

Intercard debuted its latest party and reservation system, Shindigger, at IAAPA last November. It is a quick and convenient way to book parties, 24/7. It is also a stand-alone service that does not necessitate an Intercard debit system. An operator can issue game cards, handle redemption inventory control and allow customers to bank redemption points, plus reservations.

Owner of Main Event Entertainment, Ardent Leisure’s chief executive Simon Kelly has announced that he will step down after only six months on the job. Kelly’s resignation comes on the heels of U.S.-based Main Event Entertainment’s CEO Charlie Keegan’s departure. No official explanation was given for either of the two’s departure.


QubicaAMF previews HyperBowling IAAPA was the show for introductions. QubicaAMF previewed its latest product, HyperBowling. Per its press release, “HyperBowling is a high-tech blend of electronics and sensors—an unprecedented blend of technological sophistication for the industry—and fully integrated with BES X entertainment system.” It is described as a physical video game on a bowling lane, featuring four different games drawing attention and driving traffic. ----------------------------------------------------------------

Cinergy, an FEC Winner Cinergy Entertainment announced that it was selected as one of the top three for the 2017 Family Entertainment Centers of the World Award by IAAPA. Presented each year, it singles out FECs that demonstrate excellence in food and beverage, games and retail, human resources, live entertainment, new products, and exhibits.


Japan is in the midst of a bowling revival According to an article in Japan Today, after 50 years, Japan is experiencing a new bowling craze. In the late 1960s, there were approximately 3,697 bowling centers; today there are approximately 784. However, Round One, which operates 108 centers throughout Japan, sees a rekindling of interest. The 40th Japan National Bowling Championships, held in early November, took place in what is touted as the largest bowling center: the 116-lane Inazawa Grand Bowl in Aichi Prefecture. ----------------------------------------------------------------

Gambling goes to court The Supreme Court began hearing arguments on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Presently, the federal government only allows sports betting in four states: Montana, Oregon, Delaware, and Nevada, where it’s been legal for 25 years. A conflict in states rights versus the federal government, Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs at the American Gaming Association, likes her chances at the state level where more than 40 states already allow some form of gambling.


FetchRev shines at IAAPA FetchRev received a 2nd place Brass Ring award at IAAPA for Best New Product. Mike Carrillo and Brandon Willey are shown here with their new award.



January 2018




COUPLES THAT GO BOWLING, LIKE IT! A bowling date was had by Ryan Seacrest, morning-TV personality, and his longtime girlfriend Shayna Taylor, professional chef, at Frames Bowling Lounge in NYC. Seacrest bragged about it Wednesday morning on Live with Kelly and Ryan saying, “We could have stayed all night.”

DADDY’S HOME 2 Here’s another crazy Christmas movie pitting one generation against another and one style, wimpy, vs macho with two co/rival dads. It couldn’t have a better cast to accentuate the different camps: Mark Wahlberg and his dad, Mel Gibson, and Will Ferrell and his dad, John Lithgow, up against one another. It was described in Variety as a “holiday comedy that combines anarchy with toasty homilies.” There are a series of cartoons, psychological duels played out in a bowling center, a wild turkey shoot, and on an improvcomedy stage. I wonder who won the last venue?

WONDER WOMAN BOWLS! From Justice League to bowling league? Gal Gadot, aka Wonder Woman, went bowling during Thanksgiving weekend. All good heroines should bowl.

A current GoDaddy commercial points out how difficult life can be. “Some things in life are hard (like armless bowling). But, you know what’s easy? Building a website.” The helpful spokesperson points out that GoCentral by GoDaddy will make web building easier. Not sure it will help our accidentprone bowler.

MOOKIE BETTS IS ON A ROLL, A 300 ROLL Mookie Betts, right fielder for the NBL’s Boston Red Sox and two-time All Star and twice recipient of the Gold Glove, busies himself with bowling in his baseball off-season. According to ESPN and Mookie’s estimation, he has had 10 perfect games in bowling. However, he rolled his first 300 game in a PBA event last November at the World Series of Bowling in Reno.

BOWLING BOOK CORNER We all know The Food Network’s television show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, hosted by Guy Fieri. It is one of those shows where you watch one and you just keep watching. However, have you heard of Diners, Bowling Alleys, and Trailer Parks? No, it’s not a new TV series. It’s a book written by Andrew Hurley. To be precise, the title is: Diners, Bowling Alleys, and Trailer Parks: The American Dream in Postwar Consumer Culture. 14


January 2018

Through these three everyday bits of Americana, Hurley examines the struggle of blue-collar Americans, post-World War II, to attain the good life. An entertaining read but serious in its research and view of America’s ever-changing landscape. Again, we find bowling and centers at the heart of what and who we are as a country. Give it a read.



Perrier’s legacy will live on through friends and those he mentored. ABrentGiant Lost

By Jim Goodwin


hen former Brunswick Bowling Products CEO Brent Perrier passed away on December 3 at age 63, bowling lost a giant who always considered the entire worldwide industry when making major decisions. Perrier spent 37 years in the business before turning over the CEO keys to protégé Corey Dykstra in August of this year. Friends and family now mourning Perrier are having a hard time believing that lung cancer claimed the long time smoker only a few months into the time when he was getting up every morning to golf or to travel to see family or friends. He was diagnosed only about three months before he passed away. Every great leader has favorite quotes that they pass along. A few of the most remembered from Perrier by Dykstra were: “That is why they call it work and that is why they pay us to do it;” or perhaps his favorite, said with a modest sense of confidence, “Those people who think they know everything are particularly annoying to those of us who really do know everything.” Perrier’s career in bowling began as a chemist for the Perry Austen Company, which was acquired by Brunswick. During that time, he is credited with the invention of a glow-in-the-dark lane finish that earned a U.S. patent and led to the development of Brunswick’s very profitable Cosmic Bowling concept. His vast international experience took him to six continents during his long career. He served as the leader and V.P. of Worldwide Sales, Capital Equipment and Aftermarket Products before earning the CEO position. He leaves behind his wife Rose, four children, and a passion for travel, golf, bowling, and collecting automobiles.

In almost four decades traveling the world for Brunswick and bowling, Perrier made countless friends. Here are thoughts from a few of them: “I will miss him dearly, probably more than most, but trust that there are many stories out, and many [people] that he made feel just as special as he did me. Brent led Brunswick through a very challenging time when the international bowling market suffered quite a decline. He did it by putting his faith in our team and did a remarkable job making and communicating challenging decisions that were not only best for us, but for the industry. That will be his greatest legacy that everyone will remember.” Corey Dykstra ===



January 2018

“I knew Brent since the mid ‘90s. In the past few years we grew closer due to his personal and organizational love of the sport. He brightened the world around him and could get the best out of everybody. He will be missed.” Kevin Dornberger ===

Corey Dykstra

“We both had a love of live music and Brent especially enjoyed sending me videos of his many concert trips around the world. He especially enjoyed those trips when he could include his children. I will miss my golf and concerts with Brent, but most of all I will miss the many philosophical discussions I had with my dear friend. Rest in peace Brent, and enjoy those heavenly concerts!” Ron Wood


“My boss for 25 years. Great man. Always made me feel like family, never like an employee. I will miss him a lot. God bless, Brent.” Johnny Petraglia ===

“One fond memory was at a small dinner party during a visit to Brunswick in Muskegon. I opted to spring for the wine and selected two bottles of a fine vintage for the table. Brent leaned over and whispered, ‘That’s a great choice, but there’s one just as good for a lot less,’ which I went ahead and ordered. He didn’t save me anything, as the wine was so good, we ended up ordering two more bottles. Brent will be missed by all who knew him, and also by all the people in the bowling industry who did not know him, but who, unknowingly, were the beneficiary of his valuable influence and contributions.” Paul Lane ===

“Our friendship was much more than just business. We shared many dinners together and talked about family and the Olympic effort and all sorts of things. Barbara and I played golf with him several times, and we met for a golf event in Reno every year. Our Brunswick and Storm teams shared the lanes at the USBC Open. We talked about event sponsorships, mainly in Europe and Asia. Brent gave me a tour of their ball factory in Mexico a few years ago. We were just good friends and business associates who had a lot of common interests. It is so shocking when something like this happens, it doesn’t really sink in for a while. We will miss him a lot.” Bill Chrisman ===

“Brent always had a great relationship and respect for the bowling media. I first met him many years ago when introduced by BJ editor and pal Jim Dressel. That year, Dressel had been given the honor of operating BPAA’s remote control robot at their convention. During the trade show, he used the robot to relentlessly harass Brent while standing just far enough away that we could not be seen. When Brent finally figured out who the voice was, he found us and we all had a big laugh. Some may have thought Brent was just the corporate guy in a suit, but he also had a great sense of humor.” Jim Goodwin

UK through the 90’s ended up in late night poker games, and Brent was a good player. He helped me with sound advice throughout our years of friendship, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to join him on his 50th birthday Caribbean celebration cruise. It was the most memorable, and forgettable time of my life. Memorable because he introduced me to Long Island Iced Tea. Forgettable because I don’t remember visiting Jamaica and the Virgin Islands! Many times Brent would send a simple message texted to me from various parts of the world saying simply, ‘Never again!’ This always seemed to follow a heavy social occasion. Tragically I will not receive any more of these messages. Bowling has lost a great friend. I have lost one of my best friends.“ Nick Keppe ===

“I saw more potential in Brent Perrier than he envisioned for himself and got Brunswick to send him to Iowa State University to complete his MBA. This, some mentoring during our multiple international trips together, and his own charm and smarts helped him along the way toward eventually heading up the Brunswick Recreation Group.” Bob Stein ===

“Brent was a very dear and valued friend. We both shared a great business and personal friendship that was very special to me. He and I enjoyed so many great experiences together. We both shared the love of golf, music, wine, laughter, and of course bowling! He was, in his words, the Poor ‘ol Kingpin, or PKP for short, as he would sign off on his texts to me. We were bowling doubles partners at the USBC National tournament one year, and I believe we earned the lowest combined score that year, but we always had fun and we always enjoyed our time together. He sure knew how to entertain, and he valued his company, his friends and his customers. He is forever in my heart and I am sure he has reserved a tee time for us when I meet up with him in heaven. He will be missed by many.“ Tim Menard Brent Perrier (L) and Tim Menard (R).


“My earliest memories of Brent go back to his first days at Perry Austen. I have always been on the other side in business terms, and was the DBA distributor at that time. Despite the fact we were business competitors, we were always the best of friends socially. Every trade show in the 18


January 2018

Jim Goodwin is the founder and president of the Bowling News Network and a former president and life member of the International Bowling Media Association.



! M E I D E P R A OX


By Sean Krainert


n our November Beyond Bowling issue, we explored the world of ghost boxes: strip malls and big box stores that have closed their doors for good. The entertainment industry has found that there is an abundance of options for adaptive reuse of the real estate that was once prime for the shopping habits of our past. These spaces are becoming a beacon for the future of FECs, and the future of consumerism whose focus is swinging back to the customer experience. The experience economy, an innovative idea that exploded in the 1950s with the arrival of Disney’s Imagineers, has begun to resurface in its evolved form. The booming retail economy, supported by megastores offering an all-day-activity experience, held the attention of the consumer for decades. Today, enabling technology now allows consumers to make these transactions remotely from the comfort of home. And so, the doors have opened for the entertainment industry to take back center stage and all the time consumers used to spend in retail stores. “It’s all about building an experience. Producing entertainment in a social environment and giving people an experience is how you build repeatability and how you build loyalty. People still need someplace they can go, something that provides entertainment outside of the home. Taking these big spaces and turning them into real entertainment destinations for people to come and experience something,” says David Bishop, COO at Sally Corp, a dark ride and animatronic



January 2018

manufacturing company that serves amusement parks, attractions, museums, and retail clients worldwide. While the idea of moving into these ghost boxes is a new concept to most, both the entertainment industry and developers have had their finger on the pulse of this blossoming relationship for almost a decade. Spencer Norton, a sales executive at Firestone Financial, a firm that provides financing in the entertainment and amusement industry, agrees. “We have been seeing this trend of retail spaces David Bishop of Sally Corp. being reused for entertainment purposes strongly increase over the past five years. As these malls lose their anchor tenants, they have become very, very hungry for entertainment venues to move in. Entertainment businesses are finding they can negotiate really attractive lease terms, and in turn, be handed over near-turnkey spaces ready to load up with their entertainment equipment.” If there is any hesitation in considering moving into one of these retired spaces as an FEC, let these successful and thriving examples put some confidence in your decision. FECs below have taken the plunge and are reaping the benefits of big box reuse. Spencer Norton of Firestone Financial.

continued on page 24...

BUSINESS ...continued from page 20

1 SCENE 75 – OHIO This powerhouse featured in our December issue is a textbook example of having a vision and seeing it through. With three thriving locations in Ohio, these industry leaders started out by moving into vacant malls and big box stores that were well past their prime. Scooping up vacant properties, Les Sandler knew that there was a spark of potential in them to eventually fulfill his dream of one day opening an entertainment facility. Once son Jonah Sandler graduated college, he came straight home to do one thing: actualize his father’s vision. In 2012 they opened the Dayton location, in 2015 the Cincinnati location and 2017 the Cleveland location.

2 LEVEL 257 – SCHAUMBURG, IL Located in the retail-heavy Woodfield Mall, Level 257 breaks the mold of the average entertainment center. This contemporary restaurant and entertainment destination is meticulously created with a Pac-Man theme, and owned and run by no other than the legendary NAMCO USA Inc. Level 256 in the original Pac-Man game refers to when the player reaches the kill screen, a level at which the game stops the player from progressing. But Level 257 welcomes all players to continue the adventure to the next level of entertainment, hence, Level 257. The 42,000square-foot center was previously a warehouse for a Sears department store, and now features the famous Level 257 restaurant, 16 boutique bowling lanes, table tennis, video and board games. This truly unique venue is set in an upscale and chic environment, with of course, subtle references to the original Pac-Man game including menu items such as 1-UP and Game Over.

3 PALISADES CENTER – WEST NYACK, NY The Palisades Center, 25 miles north of NYC, is known as one of the top ten most visited malls in America. Under one roof and across four-levels, the center includes unparalleled retail shopping, premier dining, and destination entertainment including bowling lanes, an ice rink, the world’s tallest indoor ropes course, a comedy club and more. The Palisades Center is the ultimate example of the evolved mall with the perfect balance of retail, dining, and entertainment that not only gets consumers in the door, but keeps them there for extended periods of time. 24


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BUSINESS While physical retail shopping is in a decline since the introduction of online shopping, it isn’t dead. Finding that sweet balance as an all-in-one venue is a challenging feat—and the Palisades Center has nailed it.

high demand in the area for more retail and entertainment options. Projected opening of Film Alley is October 2018.


4 ROUND 1 – CONCORD, CA In August 2016, Round 1 Bowling and Amusement, a Japanese chain of family-oriented entertainment complexes, opened one of their newest facilities in a former Sports Authority site. The 52,000-squarefoot entertainment center took residence in and revitalized the Sunvalley Shopping Center in Concord, CA, with arcade games, bowling, billiards, karaoke, darts and other family-fun activities. Like many other renowned FECs that have revitalized oncefavorite retail areas, Round 1 attracted lines out the door the day they opened to the public. This location is Round 1’s 11th in the U.S., with a goal to open 200 across the nation, all within existing shopping centers that have unused ghost box space.

5 FILM ALLEY MOVIE ENTERTAINMENT CENTER – TERRELL, TX In Terrell, TX, located approximately 30 miles east of the downtown Dallas area, locals are bursting with excitement over the arrival of Film Alley Movie Entertainment Center. Breaking ground this past fall, the 74,000-square-foot entertainment facility is set to feature a movie theatre, bowling lanes, and an arcade. The multi-venue center is being developed by Schulman Theatres of Bryan, TX. This underconstruction FEC will be part of a larger 255-acre development called Crossroads of Terrell. Film Alley is only Phase 1 of this behemoth development, partially funded by government incentives in an effort to help cover public improvements, not building construction. Other tenants are said to be joining the empty big box spaces to serve the

Hyannis, MA, is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ten Pin Eatery, set to open in the spring of 2018 at the Cape Code Mall. This masterful FEC design is the result of two pioneers in dining and amusement, Ryan Family Amusements and Chapin’s Restaurant Group. These two local beacons are established brands within the community, adding leverage to their ability to add true value to a mall that was otherwise losing foot traffic. And they literally already have one foot in the door! Ryan’s Amusements game room is already a familiar entertainment stop within the mall, and is located in the upcoming new corridor for the project. The existing space the FEC will take over includes multiple storefronts within the current Macy’s Men’s wing. Ten Pin Eatery will have 11 bowling lanes, a two-story, 24-player laser tag facility, 50 arcade games, a 3-lane private bowling area for parties, and Chapin’s Restaurant.

It is time for the entertainment industry, FECs and BECs to seize this exceptional opportunity. Never has there been a better time to rebrand bowling and the value of social entertainment. “The customer experience—it’s all about giving the guest something they can talk about. And it’s more about the experience than anything else it could possibly be right now,” says Bishop. ❖

Sean Krainert is a freelance copywriter living in the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in real estate, hospitality and mental health writing. He is also an alumni of the Wichita State Shocker bowling program.


January 2018



THE IBI INTERVIEW Photo by Grettel Cortes

By Robert Sax



o give you an idea of how influential Nolan Bushnell has been in digital entertainment, Apple co-founder Steven Jobs once worked for him. An engineer, technology pioneer and entrepreneur, Bushnell is best known as the founder of Atari Corporation and Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater. He has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame and was named one of Newsweek’s “50 Men That Changed America.” Nolan recently visited the IBI office for a wide-ranging conversation about innovation, the future of location-based entertainment, the VR revival of Pong, and how to get that second quarter. Among his many current projects he is co-founder and chairman of Modal Systems, Inc., a virtual reality entertainment company started with Jason Crawford, an inventor and designer of interactive experiences.

We started off with a simple question:

IBI: How do you become a visionary? Nolan Bushnell: I think for me it’s always asking the question, ‘What is the kind of world I want to live in?’ I read a lot of science fiction. While some of it is post-apocalyptic, a lot of it is also aspirational in that a lot of the things are really cooler than today. I like to design things for myself. That is, games I want to play, projects I want to do, what have you. 26


January 2018

I think that the first step to anything is you have to say, ‘What do I want to fix?’ It can be as simple as, ‘I want to fix my boredom.’ Entertainment is driven by novelty as much as anything else. A second driver is mastery. Sometimes people just feel good when they’re able to master something. Whether it be knocking all the pins down with one ball or being able to run the table on a game of 8-ball.

COVER STORY IBI: When you were developing your early games at Atari, was that

something that you were thinking about? How do we get people through levels, or provide a sense of accomplishment and mastery?

that better than anything. It is this side of [Star Trek’s] holodeck, but in time we will approach the holodeck experience.

NB: When I first started, it was much simpler than that. How do I present

IBI: What is it about slipping into a different reality

these simulations that had never been done before in a compelling way? The first stage of development of Atari and of the games that we had was really articulating, on our cheap platform, things that I’d been doing on the big computers at the University of Utah. And then, as we got into the business more we started asking the question, ‘How do I get these games to earn more money?’ In the coin-op world, we were always fighting between a satisfying game experience and keeping the game to an average of three minutes, because that’s what you had to do in order to keep the revenue coming. That became a driver and we got more sophisticated and we figured out what people like to do and how we get the first quarter and how do we get the nth quarter. Often times, it was easy to get the first quarter and harder to get the second. Sometimes it was really hard to get.

IBI: What were some of the challenges in getting the first quarter? NB: Easy to use, intuitive. In the coin-op world, you have to think about simple. In the FEC space, you have to be simple. People won’t read instructions. They have to be able to drop their coin and be in the game immediately and know pretty much what’s going on. Occasionally, a game is not that intuitive. In the arcade, there were some games where people would cluster around somebody that was already playing and say, ‘Oh man, that’s cool.’ They would learn by watching. Whereas, if it was just stand-alone in a bar somewhere, sometimes it would have a harder time getting that following. Then there’s this whole idea of diversity of players. Is this [game] appropriate for an eight-year-old? Is it appropriate for a twenty-year-old? Are there things that allow you to bridge that gap? Today, there are a whole bunch of games that I think are inappropriate for ten-year-olds.

that people find so seductive?

NB: It’s about fantasy and role-playing. When you are playing Call of Duty or League of Legends, all of a sudden you are a mythical creature. Video game worlds are also satisfying because they’re understandable. They operate under a predictable set of rules. Life is pretty messy. There’s a lot of chaos, there’s a lot of things that don’t make sense. You’re surrounded by really stupid people sometimes. Therefore, life is somewhat unpredictable, whereas synthetic worlds are quite predictable.

IBI: So predictability in a game is something that’s very important. What role does storytelling or content play in the attractiveness of a game?

NB: I think that it can be important, and sometimes it’s not important at all. Not much of a story in Tetris, but it was a very satisfying game. I think story is part of this permission to believe in this alternative reality. Story in a game is frosting, but it’s definitely not the main course. The main course is the game play, the structure, the rules, what have you.

IBI: In the FEC industry, traditional games and

IBI: Because of content or play?

activities like bowling continue to play a big part. These have a set of rules and predictability. When you’re getting into something that’s expanded like virtual reality, what carries over from bowling?

NB: Content, primarily. I’ve never been a big fan of Grand Theft Auto.

NB: With bowling, the primary driver is mastery and

I feel like it celebrates the baser side of life, and I don’t think we need to celebrate that. Unfortunately, you can always make a buck with a race to the bottom.

Nolan featured in an ad for Atari.

competition. You feel good when you bowl a 240, or

IBI: How do you go about changing or disrupting an industry? That’s something that you’ve done several times in different industries.

NB: I call it creating access points. Whenever you do something different or extremely new, it’s as much teaching the public about this new thing as it is about anything else. You also want to assert that this is really a cool thing to do and that you will be rewarded intellectually, adventure-wise. Remember, entertainment is really about synthetic experiences in many instances. VR in some ways does IBI

January 2018


COVER STORY NB: I think that what is always the question is right

Nolan at Chuck E. Cheese.

190 in my case. I’m happy as a pig in muck with 190, which breaks out of my normal 130 kind of world. I think that all of these activities are important. I’m doing a lot of work in e-sports. E-sports are kind of interesting because if you’re a five-foot two-inch, 94-pound woman, you know you’re never going to play in the NFL. All of a sudden, with e-sports, you can develop skills and all of a sudden, you can become a star. The same thing goes with someone who may have a handicap. I was just at a game convention in São Paolo, Brazil. One of the star players down there is a paraplegic. I love the fact that this is open to physical, gender, and age diversity. It may become one of the most inclusive activities man has ever developed.

IBI: Do you think that e-sports are going to become an important component of a family entertainment center?

NB: Absolutely. I think that e-sports will become, in time, more important than the NFL and the NBA.

IBI: And by that you mean large numbers of people actually preferring to watch e-sports competitions than the NFL and NBA?

timing. It’s one thing to be right in the long-term, but you gotta make money next month. Initially there become parishes, then, ultimately, there will be the cathedral built. I think that the FECs will become the parishes of e-sports, once they have in their jurisdiction a sufficient number of players. When it comes to virtual reality, the virtual reality environment will begin to drive more and more of the entertainment. I think that virtual reality gives you the opportunity of having a more compelling experience because you are immersed in a very new and important way. I can’t imagine playing Pong on a two-dimensional screen, but I just get a real kick out of playing Pong in virtual reality. Editor’s note: Pong, the first video game from Bushnell’s Atari, became a classic. It has returned as one of Modal’s first games.

IBI: Does it fascinate you that Pong has come around again? Or that you’ve found a way to make it relevant again?

NB: Jason did the Pong game as a joke on me! I don’t think we ever expected it to be a commercial product. Which in some ways is déjà vu all over again because Pong, when we developed it [at Atari], we didn’t think it was gonna be a commercial product. It was a training thing.

NB: E-sports will have higher viewership. It’ll generate more ad revenue,

At this point Jason Crawford, co-founder of Modal, joined the discussion.

and ultimately, more ticket sales.

JC: While we were working on an e-sports

IBI: What are some of the reasons you think that? NB: Fans of a sport are created by players of that sport. If you look at people who are the most rabid [football] fans, they were the people who were the high school football captain, perhaps played intramural in college or on the college team. They become the fans because they appreciate the nuance of extremely capable players. They celebrate that capability. There are more people now playing video games than playing football. With the brain injuries in football, I expect that Pop Warner will go away, probably high school football will go away, within the next ten years. I think that that will cut off the feed stock of [pro football.] People will still want to be fans and so they will be attracted to the games that they know, and will celebrate the nuance.

IBI: With the advent of e-sports and virtual reality, what should today’s

FEC operator understand about customers who are interested in these new forms of entertainment? 30


January 2018

prototype called Mythic Combat, we whipped up Nolan and Jason Crawford.

COVER STORY Pong. [When Nolan tried it] he thought that he was getting in to Mythic Combat. He was like, ‘Wait a second, I’m in Pong!’ But the funny thing about it, like Nolan is saying, is that thing does really well. It earns.

average place. What we’ve spent a lot of time working on is to figure out how to make money. We don’t know if the [VR] industry at large will make money. We hope it does.

NB: There’s a very interesting thing in games, you can almost quantify the amount of money it’ll make based on the smiles people get out of it. People just get a kick out of it. You get 24-karat smiles out of everybody that plays the game.

NB: We see this as much as a software-as-a-service

IBI: Nolan, you’ve been through what I would say are some of the

early iterations of the family entertainment center business. Is it fair to say that Chuck E. Cheese was a family entertainment center?

NB: No question about it. We were really focused on bringing younger kids into the video game fold.

IBI: What are some of the early lessons learned from Chuck E. Cheese about how to put together food and entertainment and games and all of those pieces we now know as an FEC?

NB: I think that the first thing that you learn is that it’s important to have a diversity of offerings. The three-year-old wants something very, very different than the eight-year-old, and different again than the twelve-year-old. It’s not one size fits all.

IBI: Does Chuck E. Cheese’s recent retirement of the iconic Pizza Time Players animatronic band say something about where the family entertainment center concept is going?

NB: I don’t know. I think they’re taking a huge risk myself. Who knows? They’ve probably done all kinds of focus groups, but let me tell you the thing that’s scary about focus groups: they lie. [At Chuck E. Cheese] when we did a focus group [or] surveys, the people who were filling it out were the adults. They were saying they wanted it to be quieter, they wanted spicier pizza. You have to keep your eyes clearly on who the driver of your customer is. It’s the kids not the adults. You could give the best pizza in the world, and adults wouldn’t say, ‘Hey, let’s go to Chuck E. Cheese today!’

IBI: To segue into virtual reality, why does it appear that this is

the next big thing in location-based entertainment?

JC: The whole market is still evolving. I think it will become a big money maker. When Nolan got involved with the company, I was wrapped up in the technology. Nolan took his Atari and Chuck E. Cheese mentality and said, ‘Nope, we need to make this cheap, and we need to make it portable.’ He came in and said ‘This has to make dollars and cents. It has to be practical.’

NB: To a chain. JC: Everything that we’ve worked on over the last few years is to make [VR] a profitable thing. And not just for the Disneys and Universals, but for a bowling center, for an 32


January 2018

business as we do any kind of a hardware one. Our intention is to be a partner and make sure that our customers make money 365 days a year. Not just this year, but next year and the year after.

JC: You have all the technology, you have all this cool stuff, but at the end of the day, you’ve got square footage. You have to make a certain amount of money. All this fancy technology, okay, so what? It needs to be formatted in a consumable way for the end user, quick.

NB: And you have to be able to operate the system with an untrained, stoned teenager.

IBI: So is it going to be no more complicated than running a laser tag attraction?

NB: Easier. JC: Most FECs are staffed a lot with kids and part-time high school kids and college kids. Most people are not technically inclined. That’s not really a technology challenge, that is a design challenge. You have to make it so that the second you pick it up, it’s intuitive enough to where it’s literally like just push that button. We have this thing called the Modal command center, which runs the whole system. It’s a tablet, and it’s very, very, very simple.

NB: We’ve watched the kids who run it, and we know what they’ve stumbled on and we’ve fixed it. It’s at the point where I’d say that we can hand it off 90 percent of the time with zero instructions.

JC: If you know how to use an app on a phone, you can run the Modal system. It’s just that easy. That took a while too; we’ve done so much testing over the last few years. Nolan shows off his creation, Pong.

COVER STORY go somewhere and set it up at a commercial location and run it and learn. A lot of it has had nothing to do with technology, but just learning about what makes sense and getting that business model to work for the FECs.

IBI: So what is the business model for your system? JC: There are two options for Modal. We’ve given people the option, if they qualify, to do a partnership where we revenue share. We actually like that a little better but we do understand that much of the industry is driven by straight budget, where I have this much money to spend on new attractions this year that will bring in x amount of people and will take up x amount of space. A lot of places, they don’t mind putting the capital up for an attraction if it can get a reasonable return on investment.

NB: We’re driving for six months. JC: Our first system that we’re selling now, from what we’ve seen, is definitely under a year ROI for even a challenged location. We’ve been analyzing all this information for some time. With the affordability of our system, it allows the magic of free-roam VR at an affordable price point. We’re talking five dollar tickets.

Nolan on set at Modal developing his latest game.

NB: And it depends on content. IBI: Do you think the VR technology could get to a point

where the in-home experience would compete with location-based VR?

JC: I think that in any emerging platform that will happen. NB: But I think less so here because, first of all, there’s what I’d call the seated VR experience. That’s appropriate for home. The free-roaming, it’s a little bit harder. I think that VR free-roaming will be a special place that is probably gonna have a 20-year life.

JC: With the free-roam, a big component of what we’re trying to do is to make it social. One of the reasons you come and you bowl is because it’s family, friends, it’s a fun social activity. All the things that we make, we make sure that we check off the social component. IBI: There are quite a few companies out there trying

to succeed with VR entertainment. Can they all survive?

Nolan with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Jason Crawford.

IBI: How long is the game experience for five dollars? JC: It depends on what you’re doing. Every product we make has to be fun and magical, but it also has to have crazy high throughput. We have some interesting ways of handling time. If someone wants to charge $20, and have the person in there for 15 minutes, or somebody wants to charge $5 and have them in there for three minutes, we’re trying to offer products that allow flexibility for the operator. IBI: Are you seeing a certain sweet spot at this point or is it too early to tell?

NB: It feels like three minutes. JC: Yeah. Three to five minutes. This will change over time, obviously. 34


January 2018

NB: People always ask us about competition. My belief right now is that there is no competition, that we’re all linked arms, creating this new world. Zero Latency and the Void, they’re kind of the equivalent of a tent-pole movie. It’s expensive. It’s good. They’ve spent a lot of money and that’s good for the business because I think we need that. The only thing I’m worried about is that I don’t want anyone to get into a VR experience that’s unpleasant to them. As long as everybody leaves smiling, we’ve got a good industry. ❖

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


d; Mike James (Jim) Ryan, founder and owner, retire From left: Rob Nichols, president and partner;

Crowley, general manager and partner.

F F U T S D O O G E H T F O S R A 60 YE ly Amusements has survived and prospered for Ryan Fami y to success. ke e th en be s ha ity bil ta ap Ad s. de six deca

By Paul Lane


yan Family Amusements is a chain of entertainment centers in nine locations throughout the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts. All of the centers feature games rooms, and six locations include bowling along with an arcade featuring the latest video, merchandizing and redemption games. The six locations that include bowling offer either tenpin or candlepin and some offer both; one center combines duckpins with tenpins. For sure, Ryan’s is not the new kid on the block. A nineteenyear-old James (Jim) Ryan started his first business in May of 1958: an eight-lane bowling center under the post office in Needham, MA. A student at Boston University at the time, young Ryan managed the bowling center (which he purchased with no money down) until he could afford a night manager.



January 2018

He then focused on earning his university degree. Today, almost 60 years later, Jim Ryan is retired but still maintains an office at the Bourne, MA, headquarters, and stops by at least once a week to check emails, chat, and consult with and mentor the management team before heading out for lunch or to play golf.

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FEATURE Another young man, Rob Nichols, joined the company in April of 1977. Young Rob was undecided about what to do with his life after leaving college (which he admits he attended largely because of the football program), and was contemplating joining the Air Force. The idea disappeared when Jim Ryan asked him if he would like to have a job for the summer at Ryan’s. That’s just over 40 years ago, and, in 2006, Nichols was appointed president of the company. Nichols grew up in western New York, which, like most of the U.S., is exclusively tenpin bowling. He had never heard of nor seen candlepin or duckpin bowling until he joined Ryan’s. Candlepin bowling, which originated in Worcester, MA, was and still is popular on the Cape and in the New England region. During the 1980s, a new pastime emerged that became a big hit for Ryan Family Amusements: video games. “There were games like Pong and Breakout, and a few years later, Space Invaders and Pac Man, and from that point onwards the gaming industry went crazy,” said Nichols. Jim Ryan not only added video, merchandizing and redemption games to his locations — including three that are exclusively amusement arcade game facilities — he started a service division which is still active today that supplies and services amusement games to FECs, sports bars, restaurants and local camping resorts. Nichols shared what swipe card technology has done for business: “This has been the single most important addition or change to our business,” said Nichols. “We were slow to make the change and must give much credit to Mike Crowley, our general manager, who joined us six years ago. Mike brought years of experience and expertise to the table when he came on board and encouraged us to move to swipe technology. In short, Mike Crowley made it happen.” “Intercard is our swipe card vendor, and the impact was instant. We experienced a substantial increase in revenue across our nine venues,” added Nichols. “The smallest increase in any of our centers was 20% and much more in most of our other venues. For a rapid return on the investment, swipe card technology was more impactful than our overall marketing, which is also effective and necessary, but it takes longer to see a return.” Nichols says, “In our game or arcade rooms, redemption machines probably represent 60% of our business, while video games are about 15% and merchandising machines (e.g., cranes) are around 25%. However, we’re seeing a trend where our merchandizing machines are growing in popularity when compared to video games, and they are super profitable.” Because Ryan Family Amusements has so many different types of bowling, there is a mix of 40


January 2018

bowling equipment in the six venues. They plan to remove the duckpin machines at Raynham and replace them with candlepins. “The primary reason [for replacing the duckpin machines with candlepin machines] is we inherited a mechanic all those years ago when we purchased the center who was not only adept at keeping them [duckpin machines] running, but manufactured many of his own parts, parts which are no longer available in the aftermarket marketplace,” said Nichols. “Sadly he’s retiring. But the good news is we have availability of both good quality used candlepin machines and spare parts.” Presently Ryan’s is also considering reducing the number of candlepin machines and replacing them with tenpin. “We find that in our centers with both candlepin and tenpin, the candlepin bowling market is largely an older and local market segment that grew up with candlepin. Tenpin bowling appeals to both the older market segment and the new Millennials that make up the lion’s share of today’s business,” said Nichols. The company has plans to upgrade the facilities and food and beverage options at most of its locations. “We have several issues to address in this regard, including upgrading restrooms and making

FEATURE the entrances to our venues more modern and inviting,” says Nichols. “Food and beverage service in the venues that combine bowling with games rooms, etc., is somewhat limited. Our venues are quite small, and we don’t have the square footage available. We’re limited to beer, wine and snacks in some of our centers, and ordering in pizzas when requested. South Yarmouth is our only venue that has a snack bar and full liquor license,” said Nichols. “What we do have in some venues are meeting and party rooms designed for corporate team building events and birthday parties, etc. Happily, we have lots of these bookings, but the attendees are not looking to be cooped up in a meeting room. That’s what they come to get away from. They come to actively participate and have fun in all the activities available,” says Nichols, “so we are looking for ways to better utilize dead meeting room space by opening them up to embrace the other amenities we have to offer, and convert them into food and beverage outlets.” According to Nichols, conventional marketing is no longer the best option for them. Nichols said,”What we have found is that community and charity activities, fundraisers, corporate team building events, and birthday parties, plus social media are more effective in introducing new customers to our business.” When asked about the future, Nichols was pragmatic. “The trend of entertainment being the larger part of the [bowling] industry will not be short term. It’s here for the long haul, forever. We [must] watch market and entertainment trends closely to ensure we continue to meet the demands of consumers. We have been in the entertainment side of the business for the last 35 plus years of the almost 60 years that Ryan’s has been in business. And we continue to grow as we bring even more innovative concepts to the table. We would have dropped off the map years ago if we had not continued to introduce new ideas and concepts to our business.” So, what’s next for Ryan Family Amusements? “Shopping malls want entertainment facilities, not just for the revenues from the leased space, but, more importantly, entertainment amenities that are attracting additional traffic,” says Nichols. “Our next project is a joint venture with Chapin’s Restaurant Group, a local and highly successful restaurant operator. The new facility, which will be located in the Cape Cod Mall, will be called Ten Pin Eatery.” The joint venture will feature a full bar with multiple large screen TVs to watch sports; 11 lanes of tenpin bowling with string machines; a two-story, 24-player laser tag space; 50+ state-ofthe-art amusement arcade games; light and sound special effects; and a private, three-lane area that’s ideal for corporate and private events. At the restaurant, there will be sit down lunch 42


January 2018

and dinner service. Ten Pin Eatery will remain open long after the shopping mall closes each night, with a well-lit entrance from the parking lot, clearly identified with appropriate signage. The venture is slated to open in early 2018. As Jim Ryan approaches the 60th anniversary of Ryan Family Amusements, he can reflect and feel proud of the business he developed and the opportunities he’s created for so many employees. Rob Nichols says, “Mr. Ryan has been a wonderful boss, an inspiration and mentor to all who had the honor of working with him.” The number of people with tenures of 20, 30 and 40 plus years with the company is a testament to James Ryan’s management style. Today Rob Nichols and Mike Crowley are partners in the business, along with four others, each of whom manage aspects of the business that fall within their individual fields of expertise. Nichols final remarks were high praise for his co-workers. He said, “The team at Ryan’s is dynamite, and I would be lost without them. It’s comforting to know we have people like Mike Crowley who joined us six years ago as our general manager, and Ann Ring, who joined us 33 years ago, as our marketing director. Although the team at Ryan’s will continue to introduce new concepts and ideas to the business, the business model that Jim Ryan envisaged and developed over the past 60 years will also continue to be the foundation of the business. And why not? It’s a formula that has a proven track record of success. ❖

Paul Lane is former Director of Marketing and Marketing Services for AMF Bowling, Inc. He has been the director of 18 AMF World Cups, an officer in national and international trade associations, and a pro bowler during a career that spans more than 60 countries and 50 years.




Network in sunny Arizona at BPAA’s 2018 Mid-Winter Summit. By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson


strategic conference for bowling industry leaders, BPAA’s Mid-Winter Bowling Summit at Marriott Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes offers educational seminars, industry updates, and a Town Hall meeting with BPAA’s board of directors to learn what the association is planning for the future. The Summit is an opportunity to share best practices and chart the latest trends. “There are many reasons to attend the Summit, including the networking, the seminars and new concepts and ideas gleaned from other proprietors,” states Phil Torgerson, owner/president of Super Bowl, Inc. in Forest City, IA. Torgerson has attended at least 10 Summits and is both the Iowa BPA president and BPAA West Central Region director. “It is important to me to attend Bowl Summit every year,” states Andy Bartholomy, owner, Andy B’s Entertainment & Bowling Centers, with ten bowling facilities and over 335 lanes across Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Arkansas. Bartholomy has attended Summit for over 20 years and he concludes, “It has been worth the investment every time. Some of my favorite takeaways 44


January 2018

from last year include the beneficial presentation on how to effectively utilize social media to better reach your customers, and how to optimize top-of-mind awareness through strategic marketing and branding. The presentation about menu engineering was very informative — particularly the part about how to align your menu for better organization for customers plus the latest food trends.” “Summit provides us an opportunity to network with industry leaders who can share their challenges and hopes for the future,” states John Roush, Brunswick Bowling Products, VP of North American Capital Equipment Sales. “Their insights spark our innovation. We are always looking for ways to provide solutions and continued success to those we partner with. The Summit gives members an opportunity to step back and evaluate their programs and share what worked and what didn’t.” “The speakers at our events provide the broadest scope of education and perspective for our attendees,” notes BPAA’s Meetings and Events Director Kelly Parker. First, New York Times bestselling author of The 12 Week Year, Brian Moran, will present the keynote on Tuesday. Brian will explain how to achieve more in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months. Discover what it takes to perform at one’s best and why effective execution is key to consistent high performance. Moran points out, “Everyone works in the annual environment which makes it really easy to put things off.” The 12 Week Plan is more focused and tactical. “Most plans are conceptual, but you can’t execute concepts. If we’re not hitting the goal, Brian Moran

TRADESHOW at the closing event of Summit 2018. Corona Ranch’s vaqueros will thrill guests with skilled demonstrations of Mexican rodeo. In operation since 1991, Corona Ranch’s 13 wooded acres provide the perfect backdrop for dinner and entertainment. New this year are optional excursions on the Saturday prior to the Summit. Soar above the desert in a hot air balloon, learn the basics of glass blowing and make a bowl or paperweight, or play on a links-style course designed by Pete Dye that has been awarded 4.5 stars by Andy Masters Golf Digest. Roush adds, “If you’re serious about growing your business and providing your customers the best guest experience possible, you need to attend “It is a great way to connect with other bowling the Summit. Sometimes the smallest insights gained— operators and key BPAA staff. The pace is much slower whether that be through conversations or workshops— are invaluable. It’s not often that you get to spend than Bowl Expo, allowing for more engagement.” quality time and network with people who share your -Joe Schumacker, CEO of SpareZ, Davie, FL. passions and who could be going through the same situation as you. Networking with these groups helps us facing the generation that will make up 75% of the working evaluate the health of the industry and continue innovating solutions world by 2025. Hadeed will demonstrate the leadership shift to bring our customers greater success.” required to help Millennials thrive. Bartholomy concludes, “This conference will provide you an Other special sessions include “How to Get Members to incredible outlet to network with the best of the best in the industry Scream Your Name and Beg For More,” presented by Tom and gain invaluable tools to take your business to the next level in Morrison on Sunday. Commercial property tax consultants every area. We implemented the social media and menu engineering Paul Pennington, Jon Simard, and Ray Browning will discuss best practices after last year’s Bowl Summit. I am looking forward “Battling Skyrocketing Property Taxes” on Monday and to hearing the latest in cutting edge technology, marketing trends, provide information on remedies for real and personal and operations within the industry and networking with the strongest property assessments. Also on Monday, Carlos Saavedra, operators in the business.” senior director of Culture Marketing for Pepsi Co., will Blaze new trails in your business and spur your success to its introduce ways to create cross-cultural consumer experiences pinnacle at Bowling Summit 2018. You’re sure to forge new and reveal how to keep a business culturally and locally relationships and lasso some good ideas. See you there! ❖ relevant in “Winning In a Cross-Cultural World.” Taking tips from another industry, Andy BOWLING SUMMIT 2018 Masters shares “Leadership January 14-18, 2018 Lessons from Hollywood” in an Marriott Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes interactive session. Tempe, Arizona Attendees will be transported Website: to another time and culture at To register or learn more visit or call 888-649-5585. the famous Corona Ranch and Rodeo Grounds, Arizona’s only private Mexican and western Pamela Kleibrink Thompson lives in Idaho. In addition to writing, she rodeo facility; on Tuesday night. is a career coach and scenario role player for peace officer training. A unique oasis nestled in the Pamela worked as a production manager on the Emmy Award-winning shadow of South Mountain, animated series The Simpsons, where she bowled regularly with members of the crew. She speaks on career issues at conferences all Corona Ranch is the perfect place Carlos Saavedra over the world. You can reach Pamela at to enjoy a Southwest spectacular the breakdown is in one of two places; it’s either the planned content, in which case they do not have the right tactics, or it’s in the execution – they’re just not doing it. Vision is the ‘why.’ It is the starting point of all high performance. When you have a vision for something in your life, there is passion, there is commitment.” Bowling proprietors can attend a wide selection of Learning Labs. Of timely interest, Kristen Hadeed has a unique perspective on what it takes to train and retain the next generation of leaders. In “The Millenials are Coming!” on Monday, attendees will learn why Hadeed’s employees at her company, Student Maid, excel in relationshipbuilding, are confident problem-solvers, can handle constructive feedback, and are highly invested—even when cleaning dirty toilets. There are unique obstacles



January 2018


Alcohol Controls offers its BevSpot Beverage Management Program. BevSpot makes taking inventories extremely easy using your mobile device. Products are organized by locations to match your bar’s layout. Multiple users can perform inventories, drastically cutting inventory time. BevSpot calculates your bar’s actual product costs, potential sales, profit and pour costs across each of your beverage categories. The software learns from your trends and suggests improvements to your beverage program. BevSpot’s smart ordering automatically places product orders to distributors via email or text and keeps an organized, searchable online history of your orders and what gets delivered. The average customer gets paid back on their annual cost of BevSpot in the first three months. Visit or call (800) 285-2337. Sign up for a 20minute demo, and you will receive your first month at no cost.


QubicaAMF’s CenterPunch Deck Lighting is the only pin deck lighting system on the market controlled through a bowling management system—fully integrated with Conqueror Pro. When combined with the BES X Bowler Entertainment System, the lighting responds to on-lane events such as strikes, spares, and gutter balls. It includes: an easy point and click tool; creation of light shows in a matter of minutes; builds a custom light show library; schedules light shows for certain days and times; and runs different light shows on different lanes for customer groups. Visit to learn more.



Steltronic is proud to announce that its Focus scoring system is now interfaced with ORACLE, also known as MICROS®. With the popularity of the MICROS® terminals as a point of sale system for food and beverage, Steltronic has now interfaced to the MICROS system allowing the cashiers to open lanes, rent bowling shoes, pool tables, and POS products. Everything within the Focus software is interfaced with the MICROS terminals to process payments. “We are YOUR bowling center management specialists.” For more information: (800) 9425939 or

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Brunswick Build-to-Bowl, the single source solution for new center construction and reimagining projects, provides a complete line of services from the earliest planning stages right through project completion. Brunswick has mastered the most effective and efficient methods of coordinating the efforts of planners, designers, architects, contractors, installers, and training professionals to bring a new center development, modernization, or remodeling project to life in a timely and cost-effective manner. Whether it is the construction of a large entertainment complex, a family entertainment center, or undertaking a facility conversion, Brunswick’s turnkey construction assures quality, efficiency, and cost control. Learn more at IBI

January 2018



JANUARY 2-7 2018 USBC Team USA Trials U.S. Amateur Championships The Orleans Las Vegas

14-18 Bowling Summit Marriott Phoenix Tempe at the Buttes (888) 649-5585

28-30 IAAPA FEC Summit Laguna Beach, CA (703) 299-5761

6-7 2018 LaserTAG360 Danny Gruening (317) 834-4770, ext 104

20-22 F2FEC The Broadmoor Resort Colorado Springs, CO Ben Jones (248) 884-1700

21-22 BPAC/GA Convention & Trade Show Carolina Hotel Pinehurst Resort Pinehurst, NC

8-9 2018 LaserTAG360 Danny Gruening (317) 834-4770, ext 104

JUNE 7-10 Pro Shop Training Classes Jayhawk Bowling Supply Russ or Alex (800) 255-6436


22-23 Trainertainment Advanced Sales BPAA Training Campus, Arlington, TX 817-886-4840

APRIL 30-31 Lasertron’s Laser Tag Conference 800-897-8766

FEBRUARY 1 Pro Shop Training Classes Jayhawk Bowling Supply Russ or Alex (800) 255-6436

5-11 PBA Tournament of Champions AMF Riviera Lanes Akron, OH


IBI January 2018

5-8 Pro Shop Training Classes Jayhawk Bowling Supply Russ or Alex (800) 255-6436

12-13 Trainertainment Train the Trainer BPAA Training Campus, Arlington, TX 817-886-4840


1-2 Lasertron’s Laser Tag Conference 800-897-8766


11-12 Trainertainment Business Coaching BPAA Training Campus, Arlington, TX 817-886-4840

BPAA One-Day Management Boot Camps Available to state associations & multi-unit centers Contact Kelly Bednar (817) 385-8462



January 2018


CLASSIFIEDS EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Qubica and Steltronic auto scoring; power lifts; synthetic panels; bumper/gutter; glow machine; ball polisher; A2 machines. Installs available. 16-lane package ready to be installed; will separate. NEW & USED Pro Shop Equipment. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or REPAIR & EXCHANGE. Call for details (248) 375-2751.

EQUIPMENT WANTED LANE MACHINES WANTED. We will purchase your KEGEL-built machine, any age or condition. Call (608) 764-1464.

MECHANIC WANTED Certified Brunswick mechanic versed on all American and Japanese serial machines and ZOT conversions. Seeking part time or full time in the Denver and central Colorado area. Will furnish all tools and equipment. 43 years experience; excellent references. Call (303) 948-8770 or (303) 870-5860.



January 2018

MECHANIC WANTED HEAD MECHANIC for 82-30 pinsetters in South Florida. Will help to relocate. Email:

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

SERVICES AVAILABLE Looking for an influx of new league bowlers for your center? You need THE BOWLING LEAGUE GUY! or call (757) 390-2129. Drill Bit Sharpening and Measuring Ball Repair. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or

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

CENTERS FOR SALE OKLAHOMA: 16-lane center, complete remodel with top-of-line equipment. Includes laser tag, huge game room, bar, and snack bar. Lucrative. FLORIDA: Central. Attractive, mid-sized center with revenues trending up. Owner retiring. Call David Driscoll (352) 735-8065. CENTRAL IDAHO: Busy, updated, 8-lane (synthetic) center: electronic scorekeeping, league play & 50-seat restaurant with drive thru. Easy highway access. Assumable loan. Call (775) 720-2726 for more details. AMF and some BRUNSWICK PC board repair/exchange. 6-month warranty, fast turnaround. Call or write: WB8YJF Service 5586 Babbitt Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054 Toll Free: 888-902-BOWL (2695) Ph./Fax: (614) 855-3022 (Jon) E-mail: Visit us on the WEB!

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


CLASSIFIEDS PROPRIETORS WITH AMF 82-70 S.S. & M.P. MACHINES Save $$ on Chassis & P.C. Board Exchange & Repair! A reasonable alternative for Chassis and P.C. Board Exchanges MIKE BARRETT Call for Price List

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




Danny & Daryl Tucker Tucker Bowling Equipment Co. 609 N.E. 3rd St. Tulia, Texas 79088 Call (806) 995-4018 Fax (806) 995-4767

Bowling Parts, Inc. P.O. Box 801 Tulia, Texas 79088 Call (806) 995-3635 Email - IBI

January 2018


CLASSIFIEDS Felix Erickson Company Inc. Strike Zone © Family of Industry Leading Lane Products Strike Zone KB Lane Cleaner 5 gal case $ 95.00 Strike Zone Next Generation L.C. 5 gal/case $ 105.00 Strike Zone SuperStar L.C. 5 gal/case $ 120.00 Envi-Cide II Disinfectant/Shoe Aerosol $ 89.95/case Solve-It Orange All Purpose Cleaner $ 69.95/case ®





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 | Resurfacing-Repairs-Supplies



January 2018



your Classified Ad EASY toin place International Bowling WAYS Industry Magazine



your ad to:

(818) 789-2695


(818) 789-2812


January 2018






he United States Brewers’ Association, chartered in 1862 during the American Civil War as a reaction to federal taxation, is the oldest U.S. incorporated trade association. In this 1959 print ad, taxation was not the motivation–beer, any beer, was. Per the copy, the depiction of couples’ enjoying an evening out at the bowling center was “bubbling with life.” While the Brewers’ Foundation looked to beer as the common denominator, we know that bowling was/is the glue. In the 1959-60 season, the BPAA had 4,752 member centers, and ABC membership was 3,000,000 and rising. Beer was the reward for a job well-done, and bowling was the activity that set the stage for fun, friends and relaxation. ❖ - Patty Heath



January 2018

IBI Jan 2018 Issue  
IBI Jan 2018 Issue