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Spread the Word that you are Keeping it Clean! Reassure your customers that your bowling center is a safe place for fun and entertainment.

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CONTENTS

VOL 28.6

6 RESOURCE GUIDE

26 COVER STORY

IBI’s new section on business resources

In An Uncertain Season, ‘Bowling Will Be Back’

By Patty Heath

Incoming BPAA President Jim Decker prepares for these unique times By Fred Groh

14 SHORTS

22

32 LEADERSHIP

• BVL Donates $100,000 • Kegel extends warranties • Wood is essential for QubicaAMF • Bowling bank toy with a high price tag • Backyard lanes • Island Time Family Fun Center preps against germs • The Alley’s Angel • BPA-Minnesota video scholarship contest

This Is Not Normal Navigating through abnormal times and doing the right things By Ben Jones

42 BUSINESS OPINION Stay In The Game Overcoming COVID-19 in the American amusement industry By Scott Sherrod

26

60 MARKETING Bringing Back Your Best Customers Intercard’s Jerry Heinz believes planning now will pay off later

22 IN MEMORIAM A Tribute to Keijiro Nakano

By Jerry Heinz

Saying goodbye to an icon of the bowling business

71 REMEMBER WHEN

By Paul “Memory” Lane

Charlie Brown & Friends By Patty Heath

48 Showcase 60

IBI

June 2020

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Scott Frager frager@bowlingindustry.com Skype: scottfrager

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER David Garber garber@bowlingindustry.com

OFFICE MANAGER Patty Heath heath@bowlingindustry.com

CONTRIBUTORS Fred Groh Patty Heath Jerry Heinz Ben Jones Paul Lane Scott Sherrod

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jackie Fisher fisher@bowlingindustry.com

ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Designworks www.dzynwrx.com (818) 735-9424

FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)

P.O. Box 7350 Overland Park, KS 66207 (818) 789-2695(BOWL) Fax (818) 789-2812 info@bowlingindustry.com

www.BowlingIndustry.com

HOTLINE: 818-789-2695

By Patty Heath

4

THE WORLD'S ONLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE BUSINESS OF BOWLING

64 Classifieds

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.

MEMBER AND/OR SUPPORTER OF:


RESOURCE

AMUSEMENT RECOVERY WEBSITE A collection of leaders in the bowling/FEC entertainment industry have come together in the interest of helping operators endure the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and to help create a plan for post-virus success. Amusement Recovery is a website combining informational resources to help small businesses. “We want to help the amazing operators in this industry,” commented Armando Lanti, president of Creative Works. “The contributors who created the website are working together to continually add new, timely content to the website. We want to share new information with business owners as quickly as possible, which is crucial because of how fast the pandemic situation is evolving.” Here are many of the companies and organizations who have contributed to this website: AAMA, Amusement Products, Betson, CenterEdge Software, Concepts Performance Management, Creative Works, Delta Strike, Embed, FEG Group, Hologate, Laser Blast, Laserforce, Mini Melts, Party Center Software, Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Player Once Amusement Group, QubicaAMF, Redemption Plus, Shaffer Distributing Company, Sureshot Redemption, and TrainerTainment. Visit amusementrecovery.com to start learning today. www.AmusementRecovery.com

QubicaAMFʼs Reopening Marketing Kit Reopening is upon us and QubicaAMF has released a marketing kit for centers to use during the transition. The Welcome Back to Bowling marketing kit includes social posts, monitor ads, email templates, labels, outdoor signage, checklists, and a Venue Reopening Guide outlining operational considerations and best practices for centers. The kit is available for download for free and will continue to be updated: www.qubicaamf.com/support/center-reopening-marketing-kit. In addition, the QubicaAMF technical support team is available to assist centers with free reopening technical support: www.qubicaamf.com/scheduletechsupport. Further, there is the complete QubicaAMF Resource Center: www.qubicaamf.com/support. www.qubicaamf.com

FEC SLACK CHANNEL TO FOSTER SUPPORT A Slack channel has been created for use by owners, operators, and other key players in the FEC industry to share knowledge, best practices, and ideas during and after the COVID-19 crisis. It has grown to include nearly 200 participants around the world since its creation at the beginning of the pandemic. Thereʼs a channel featuring industry news and events, a channel for FEC professionals to become introduced to each other, a channel for specific needs and requests, and, a robust channel specific to COVID-19. Founding member Christine Buhr, former owner and president of Shakers Fun Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, shared, “Thereʼs a clear need for this new way for all of us to stay in touch with each other, share a variety of ideas, and, candidly, sometimes commiserate a bit about many of the issues weʼre all struggling with now and working hard to address.” In order to join, an interested participant only needs to provide their name, business name, a little background on the business, and a brief statement about the help theyʼre seeking. Visit: fecinternational.org to request to participate. www.fecinternational.org 6

IBI

June 2020


Back to Bowling! When you are ready to open, we’ll help you make that happen Dear Valued Customer, dŚĞƐĞĂƌĞĐŚĂůůĞŶŐŝŶŐƟŵĞƐĨŽƌĂůůŽĨƵƐ͘^ŝŶĐĞŵLJůĞƩĞƌƚŽLJŽƵŽŶDĂƌĐŚϭϯ͕ϮϬϮϬ͕ĂůŽƚŚĂƐĐŚĂŶŐĞĚĂƌŽƵŶĚƚŚĞǁŽƌůĚ͘ Almost all ďŽǁůŝŶŐĂŶĚĞŶƚĞƌƚĂŝŶŵĞŶƚĐĞŶƚĞƌƐǁĞƌĞĨŽƌĐĞĚƚŽĐůŽƐĞĂƐĂƌĞƐƵůƚŽĨƚŚĞŽƌŽŶĂǀŝƌƵƐƉĂŶĚĞŵŝĐͶĂŶĚǁŝƚŚŶŽĐůĞĂƌƵŶĚĞƌƐƚĂŶĚŝŶŐŽĨǁŚĞŶƚŚĞƐĞůŽĐŬĚŽǁŶƐŵŝŐŚƚĞŶĚ͘ƵƌŝŶŐƚŚŝƐƟŵĞ͕ŽƵƌƚĞĂŵƐďĞŐĂŶǁŽƌŬŝŶŐǀĞƌLJŚĂƌĚƚŽƉƌŽǀŝĚĞŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶĂŶĚƐƵƉƉŽƌƚ ƚŽŚĞůƉLJŽƵƚŚƌŽƵŐŚƚŚĞƐŚƵƚĚŽǁŶ͘ EŽǁ͕ƚŚĂƚǁĞĂƌĞĮŶĂůůLJĂƉƉƌŽĂĐŚŝŶŐƚŚĞĞŶĚŽĨƚŚĞůŽĐŬĚŽǁŶĂŶĚĐĞŶƚĞƌƐŝŶƚŚĞh͘^͘ĂƌĞďĞŐŝŶŶŝŶŐƚŽƌĞƐƚĂƌƚ͕YƵďŝĐĂD&ŝƐŚĞƌĞŽŶĞ ŵŽƌĞƟŵĞƚŽŚĞůƉLJŽƵŽƉĞƌĂƚĞƚŚƌŽƵŐŚƚŚĞƌĞŽƉĞŶŝŶŐĂŶĚƐŽĐŝĂůĚŝƐƚĂŶĐŝŶŐƉŚĂƐĞ͘ dŚŝƐŝƐǁŚĂƚǁĞŚĂǀĞĚŽŶĞĂŶĚǁŝůůĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƚŽĚŽƚŽŚĞůƉĚƵƌŝŶŐƚŚĞƐĞĐŚĂůůĞŶŐŝŶŐƟŵĞƐ͗ KƵƌdĞĐŚŶŝĐĂů^ƵƉƉŽƌƚƚĞĂŵƐŚĂǀĞďĞĞŶĂŶĚǁŝůůĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƚŽďĞĂǀĂŝůĂďůĞĨŽƌŽƵƌĐƵƐƚŽŵĞƌƐ͘ƐǁĞůŽŽŬĨŽƌǁĂƌĚ͕ĂŶĚLJŽƵďĞŐŝŶƚŽƌĞŽƉĞŶ͕ŽƵƌƚĞĐŚŶŝĐĂůƐƵƉƉŽƌƚƚĞĂŵƐƌĞŵĂŝŶĂǀĂŝůĂďůĞƚŽĂƐƐŝƐƚLJŽƵǁŝƚŚĨƌĞĞƌĞŽƉĞŶŝŶŐƚĞĐŚŶŝĐĂůƐƵƉƉŽƌƚ͘ KǀĞƌƚŚĞƉĂƐƚŶŝŶĞǁĞĞŬƐ͕ŽƵƌǁĞďŝŶĂƌƐĞƌŝĞƐĂŶĚ&ĂĐĞŬ>ŝǀĞĞǀĞŶƚƐŚĂǀĞďƌŽƵŐŚƚƐŽŵĂŶLJƉƌŽƉƌŝĞƚŽƌƐ͕ŵĂŶĂŐĞƌƐ͕ƚĞĐŚŶŝĐŝĂŶƐ͕ ŝŶĚƵƐƚƌLJůĞĂĚĞƌƐĂŶĚǀĞŶĚŽƌƐƚŽŐĞƚŚĞƌƚŽĐŽůůĂďŽƌĂƚĞĂŶĚĞdžĐŚĂŶŐĞŝĚĞĂƐĂŶĚďĞƐƚƉƌĂĐƟĐĞƐ͘tĞŚĂǀĞůĞĂƌŶĞĚƐŽŵƵĐŚĂďŽƵƚƚŚĞ ĐŚĂůůĞŶŐĞƐŽĨƚŚĞŽƵƚďƌĞĂŬĐƌŝƐŝƐĂŶĚǁŚĂƚƚŽĚŽƚŽŽǀĞƌĐŽŵĞƚŚĞŵ͘ DĂŶLJŽĨLJŽƵĂƌĞĮŶĚŝŶŐŵŽƟǀĂƟŽŶŝŶŚŽǁǁĞĂůůĂƌĞĐŽŵŝŶŐƚŽŐĞƚŚĞƌ͕ĞǀĞŶŝĨŽŶůLJĚŝŐŝƚĂůůLJ͕ƚŽŚĞůƉŽŶĞĂŶŽƚŚĞƌ͕ůĞĂƌŶĨƌŽŵĞĂĐŚŽƚŚĞƌ ĂŶĚƐƵƉƉŽƌƚĂŶĚƉƌŽŵŽƚĞƚŚĞŝŶĚƵƐƚƌLJǁĞĂůůůŽǀĞ͘ KƵƌŽŶůŝŶĞĞǀĞŶƚƐǁŝůůĐŽŶƟŶƵĞŝŶƚŚĞŶĞdžƚǁĞĞŬƐĂŶĚŵŽŶƚŚƐǁŚŝůĞĐĞŶƚĞƌƐƌĞŽƉĞŶ͘WůĞĂƐĞĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƚŽũŽŝŶƵƐĨŽƌŽƵƌƵƉĐŽŵŝŶŐĞǀĞŶƚƐ͊ tĞŚĂǀĞĂĚĚĞĚĂŶĞŶƟƌĞŶĞǁůŝďƌĂƌLJŽĨĐŽŶƚĞŶƚ͕ůŝŶŬƐĂŶĚƚŚĞůĂƚĞƐƚƌĞŽƉĞŶŝŶŐƌĞƐŽƵƌĐĞƐĂŶĚƚŽŽůƐƚŽƚŚĞYƵďŝĐĂD&ZĞƐŽƵƌĐĞĞŶƚĞƌ͘ WůĞĂƐĞĐŚĞĐŬŽƵƚŽƵƌďĞƐƚƉƌĂĐƟĐĞƐĨŽƌďŽǁůŝŶŐŽƉĞƌĂƟŽŶƐďĂƐĞĚŽŶƐŽĐŝĂůĚŝƐƚĂŶĐŝŶŐƌĞƋƵŝƌĞŵĞŶƚƐ͕ĂŶĚĨŽƌƐĂŶŝƟnjŝŶŐ͕ĐůĞĂŶŝŶŐĂŶĚ ŵĂŝŶƚĂŝŶŝŶŐLJŽƵƌďŽǁůŝŶŐĞƋƵŝƉŵĞŶƚ͘ zŽƵǁŝůůĂůƐŽĮŶĚĚĞƚĂŝůĞĚŝŶƐƚƌƵĐƟŽŶƐƚŽůĞǀĞƌĂŐĞŽƵƌƐLJƐƚĞŵƐŝŶŶĞǁǁĂLJƐƚŚĂƚƐƵƉƉŽƌƚŚŽǁĐĞŶƚĞƌƐǁŝůůŚĂǀĞƚŽŽƉĞƌĂƚĞĂƌŽƵŶĚƐŽĐŝĂů ĚŝƐƚĂŶĐŝŶŐĂŶĚƚŽďĞƩĞƌŵĞĞƚƚŚĞŶĞĞĚƐŽĨŐƵĞƐƚƐĂƐƚŚĞLJƌĞƚƵƌŶƚŽLJŽƵƌďƵƐŝŶĞƐƐĞƐ͘WůĞĂƐĞďĞŽŶƚŚĞůŽŽŬŽƵƚĨŽƌĂĚĚŝƟŽŶĂůŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶ ĐŽŵŝŶŐŝŶŵŝĚͲ:ƵŶĞŽŶŽƵƌ͞ĂĐŬƚŽŽǁůŝŶŐtĞŬŝŶŐ^ƵƉƉŽƌƚWĂĐŬĂŐĞ͟ǁŝƚŚĨĞĂƚƵƌĞƐƚŽŚĞůƉLJŽƵŵĂŶĂŐĞŐƵĞƐƚƐĂŶĚŬŝŶŐƐ͘ tĞ͛ǀĞǁŽƌŬĞĚǁŝƚŚh^ƚŽĚĞǀĞůŽƉĂůƚĞƌŶĂƟǀĞůĞĂŐƵĞĨŽƌŵĂƚƐƚŚĂƚĐĂŶďĞƵƟůŝnjĞĚŝŶƚŚĞŶĞǁĐŽŶƚĞdžƚŽĨƐŽĐŝĂůĚŝƐƚĂŶĐŝŶŐďLJůĞǀĞƌĂŐŝŶŐ >^ĂŶĚLJŽƵƌYƵďŝĐĂD&ƐLJƐƚĞŵ͘ŽǁŶůŽĂĚƚŚĞƐĞĞƐƐĞŶƟĂůh^ĂƉƉƌŽǀĞĚĨŽƌŵĂƚƐĂŶĚŝŶƐƚƌƵĐƟŽŶƐ to restart your leagues and get LJŽƵƌŵŽƐƚĂǀŝĚďŽǁůĞƌƐďĂĐŬŝŶƚŽLJŽƵƌĐĞŶƚĞƌƐĂĨĞůLJ͘ &ŝŶĂůůLJ͕ǁĞŚĂǀĞĐƌĞĂƚĞĚĂĨƌĞĞĚŝŐŝƚĂůWelcome Back to BowlingĞŶƚĞƌZĞŽƉĞŶŝŶŐDĂƌŬĞƟŶŐ<ŝƚĐŽŵƉůĞƚĞǁŝƚŚƐŽĐŝĂůƉŽƐƚƐ͕ŵŽŶŝƚŽƌĂĚƐ͕ ĞŵĂŝůƚĞŵƉůĂƚĞƐ͕ŇŽŽƌƐƟĐŬĞƌƐ͕ĞƋƵŝƉŵĞŶƚůĂďĞůƐĂŶĚŽƵƚĚŽŽƌƐŝŐŶĂŐĞĂƐLJŽƵƉƌĞƉĂƌĞƚŽŽƉĞŶLJŽƵƌĚŽŽƌƐ͕ĂŶĚƚŽŵĂŬĞŝƚĂůŝƩůĞĞĂƐŝĞƌƚŽ ĐŽŵŵƵŶŝĐĂƚĞƚŽLJŽƵƌŐƵĞƐƚƐ͘ tĞǁŝůůĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƚŽĞdžƉĂŶĚƚŚŝƐĐŽŶƚĞŶƚĂŶĚǁŝůůĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƚŽǁŽƌŬǁŝƚŚŝŶĚƵƐƚƌLJůĞĂĚĞƌƐĂŶĚŝŶƐƟƚƵƟŽŶƐ͕ŝŶƚŚĞǁĞĞŬƐĂŶĚŵŽŶƚŚƐƚŽ ĐŽŵĞ͕ĂƐLJŽƵƌŶĞĞĚƐĞǀŽůǀĞ͘tŚĞŶLJŽƵĂƌĞƌĞĂĚLJƚŽŽƉĞŶLJŽƵƌĚŽŽƌƐ͕ǁĞĂƌĞŚĞƌĞƚŽŚĞůƉLJŽƵŵĂŬĞƚŚĂƚŚĂƉƉĞŶ͘ ŽŶ͛ƚŚĞƐŝƚĂƚĞƚŽƌĞĂĐŚŽƵƚƚŽŽƵƌƚĞĂŵ͕ĨŽƌĂŶLJŚĞůƉLJŽƵŵĂLJŶĞĞĚ͘ ƐK͕ĂŶĚŽŶďĞŚĂůĨŽĨƚŚĞYƵďŝĐĂD&ĨĂŵŝůLJ͕/ǁĂŶƚƚŽƚŚĂŶŬLJŽƵĨŽƌLJŽƵƌĚĞĚŝĐĂƟŽŶƚŽŽƵƌŝŶĚƵƐƚƌLJĚƵƌŝŶŐƚŚŝƐĐŚĂůůĞŶŐŝŶŐƟŵĞ͘tĞ ŬŶŽǁǁĞĐĂŶ͛ƚďĞƐƵĐĐĞƐƐĨƵůƵŶůĞƐƐLJŽƵĂƌĞ͘dŽĚĞƐĞƌǀĞLJŽƵƌƚƌƵƐƚ͕ǁĞĂƌĞĚĞƚĞƌŵŝŶĞĚƚŽĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƚŽǁŽƌŬǀĞƌLJŚĂƌĚ͕ƚŽŚĞůƉĞŶƐƵƌĞLJŽƵƌ ĨƵƚƵƌĞƐƵĐĐĞƐƐ͘ tŚŝůƐƚǁĞĂƐĂŶŝŶĚƵƐƚƌLJĮŶĚǁĂLJƐƚŽŽǀĞƌĐŽŵĞƚŚĞƐĞĐŚĂůůĞŶŐĞƐĂŶĚƉƌĞǀĂŝů͕ǁĞĂƚYƵďŝĐĂD&ǁŝůůĂĐĐĞůĞƌĂƚĞŽƵƌŝŶǀĞƐƚŵĞŶƚƐƚŽ ŝŶŶŽǀĂƚĞĂŶĚƚŽĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƚŽDĂŬĞŽǁůŝŶŐŵĂnjŝŶŐ͘ /ŚĂǀĞŶŽĚŽƵďƚƚŚĂƚďLJǁŽƌŬŝŶŐƚŽŐĞƚŚĞƌǁĞǁŝůůŐĞƚƚŚƌŽƵŐŚƚŚŝƐĐƌŝƐŝƐĂŶĚŐĞƚƉĞŽƉůĞďĂĐŬƚŽďŽǁůŝŶŐ͕ŵŽƌĞƚŚĂŶĞǀĞƌďĞĨŽƌĞ͘ Sincerely, ŵĂŶƵĞůĞ'ŽǀŽŶŝ K͕YƵďŝĐĂD&


RESOURCE

REOPENING TOOLKIT Realizing that not all FECs have in-house marketing teams or the resources to hire marketing agencies, Embedʼs in-house marketing and creative team has developed a comprehensive and creative toolkit to help plan for a successful reopening and expedite recovery. The Creatives are provided in ready-to-print versions or artwork files that can be customized by adding logos, modifying copy, etc. Some of the powerful messaging: The Coronavirus is serious, so is our response; Keep Your Distance; Cough Under Cover; and Good Hygiene is in Your Hands. Embed also offers downloadable Insights Paper; FEC 2.0: Getting to the Other Side; videos with industry-insiders via EmbedLIVE, a web series that includes 20 webchats across 68 segments; and inspiring blog content written in-house by the Embed team, plus the award-winning Mobile Wallet, free for one year. Going to www.embedcard.com/resources/covid19-resource-centre gives you free access to all of the valuable tools to help you get back to what you do best—business. www.embedcard.com

RAISE THE SAILS To help businesses navigate through the pandemic and experience successful reopenings, Hownd® has just published its Raise the Sails Reopening Marketing Guide. The guide features many of Howndʼs proven best practices and immediately actionable recommendations to address a post-pandemic business environment. Recommendations include sales and marketing strategies and tactics; advertising; messaging; how to build revenue and establish new revenue streams; how to pivot promotional offerings; keeping employees engaged; and a variety of other useful ideas. Visit www.hownd.com/RaisetheSails. Hownd has also announced that it is now part of the #OpenWeStand movement created by GoDaddy to support small businesses struggling through COVID-19. Consumers who want to learn more about how they can support their local businesses by purchasing “Buy Now, Visit Later Support Vouchers” can visit www.myhownd.com/BuyNowVisitLater. www.myhownd.com

COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS This website is a concise list of each state and its requirements for opening up businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is worth going through. There are tabs for executive orders per state, reopen plans, and data and prediction models. Once you open the Executive Orders tab, you can filter down to bowling specifically. Just one more place to go for factual information: web.csg.org/covid19/ u u u ,csg.org

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RESOURCE BPAA OFFERINGS FOR REOPENING The Bowling University team continues to offer ideas and resources for centers to use to begin the process of reopening. Now is the time to refresh centers and mindsets to create a successful Take Two! This website offers information and best practices for all aspects of center operations: Bowling, Staffing, F&B, Marketing, Resources, and Media. Visit the site: www.bowlingunivesrsity.net/opening. A new feature is Breakfast with Bowling University hosted by Bart Burger. Its latest 15-minute course is COVID-19 Social Distancing & Personal Hygiene. For more information go to: www.bowlinguniversity.net/ondemand. Other COVID-19 resources can be reached by going to www.bpaa.com and click any of the resource tabs. Take special note of the Reopening Products tab which offers Smart Buy offerings, plus other sources for cleaning products and essentials for a successful reopening. www.bowlinguniversity.net

SBA LOAN INFORMATION In response to the coronavirus pandemic, small business owners in all 50 U.S. states, including Washington D.C. and territories, are eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000, plus a variety of other debt relief programs. Learn more at www.sba.gov. www.sba.gov

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We’re working hard to support the industry during these difficult times. We can’t wait until we’re ready to get back to a state of play, but until that happens we’ll continue to do our best to support our partners and customers with ideas and resources to get through this, because at the end of the day we’re all connected.

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SHORTS

K E E P

B U S Y

W H I L E

WA I T I N G

PREPPING AGAINST GERMS Island Time Family Fun Center in Brunswick, OH, is waiting on word to reopen. But that wait has been used proactively. Owner Bryan Lysikowski is pretty sure his center will be one of the cleanest venues in town. He has been treating all areas with MicroShield 360, an antimicrobial coating that inhibits the ability of viruses and bacteria to live on surfaces as long as surfaces are kept clean with basic cleaning practices. The treatment at Island Time has included all internal surfaces, restrooms, outdoor seating, and dining areas, as well as batting cage tokens and equipment, golf clubs, balls, and bats. The coating has gained approval for contact with food serving surfaces from the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While Island Time does not have bowling, its best practices would seem to be a good fit for any center. For more info, go to www.microshield360.com.

MINNESOTA’S VIDEO WINNERS

THE ALLEY AND ITS ANGEL

Josh Hodney of BPA of Minnesota has announced the winners of the BPAM’s first video scholarship contest. The brothersister team of Braden and Adeline McLaughlin won the top spot. Youth, high school, and collegiate bowlers who reside in Minnesota were encouraged to submit a 45- to 90-second video (cell phones and iPads accepted). All the videos required a positive theme and included some references to bowling from a list created by BPAM. A $1,500 scholarship was divided between the top six submissions, $250 per entry. With shutdowns and social distancing, this bowling community found a way to keep bowling in the forefront and create a positive activity to occupy young people. Enjoy the McLaughlins’ winning video.

David Crowley’s world revolves around his 17,000square-foot center, restaurant, and sports bar, The Alley, in Charleston, SC. With the shutdown, he tried to do all he could to help his employees. Little did he know that one of his employees would be a benefactor in helping him do that. Lauren Ridenour is a waitress at The Alley. That’s her day job, and she is thankful to work there. However, her calling is her art. She sells it on Etsy, on her website, and at a booth in the Charleston Market. She was notified of a contest, Foot the Bill, run by Vans Custom Shoes. Artists could submit a video detailing their project and their designed Vans shoe. Ten winners would have their shoes sold on the Vans website, and all net proceeds would go to benefit the charity of their choice during this tough time. Ridenour chose as her charity The Alley Employee Relief Fund that Crowley set up to help his employees. She didn’t even tell him. It came as a complete surprise. He thought she had won a gift card or something comparable. Then Ridenour and Crowley set about deciding how the funds, based on sales of the shoe, would be distributed: “A portion will go to The Alley Employee Relief Fun to help staff with basic life necessities. Another portion will go for the essential needs for the business, and then [we will] look at other funds for hospitality workers in Charleston,” Crowley said. They will try to find the best way to share with the Charleston food and beverage community. Sometimes things just happen that put a smile on your face. You too can help by buying a pair of Ridenour’s shoes. www.vans.com.

TO MAKE ENDS MEET: CURBSIDE MEAL SERVICE Spanish Trail Lanes in Gautier, MS, has begun offering its most popular menu items through a curbside service. It will be its first source of income since the end of March. Co-owner Rachel Holbert told Joyce Philippe, wlox.com, she had to lay off most of her staff, 11 out of 13 employees. “People have been missing our food, but also just to generate a little revenue in the building so hopefully, we can bring back a few more employees to help their families as well.” In anticipation of opening up, Holbert is preparing the space for safe social distancing. In the meantime, curbside meal service will operate Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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WELCOME BACK TO BOWLING CENTER REOPENING MARKETING KIT e ome Back to Bowling Center Reopening As you prepare to reopen, we have created a free digital Welc DĂƌŬĞƟŶŐ<ŝƚĨŽƌLJŽƵƚŽƵƟůŝnjĞƚŽǁĞůĐŽŵĞLJŽƵƌĐƵƐƚŽŵĞƌƐďĂĐŬƚŽLJŽƵƌĐĞŶƚĞƌ͘dŚĞŬŝƚŝƐĐŽŵƉůĞƚĞǁŝƚŚ͗ • Social posts • Monitor Ads ͻŵĂŝůdĞŵƉůĂƚĞƐ

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WELCOME BACK TO BOWLING!


SHORTS

THE THREE AMIGOS ANNOUNCE THE RETURN OF F2FEC

RISE IS THE THEME FOR A REIMAGINED FACE TO FACE EXPERIENCE. After pushing “pause” at the conclusion of the 2019 Imagine event, the Three Amigos are anticipating an early March 2021 timeframe for the reimagined Face to Face Experience, themed RISE. RISE was already the determined as a theme in 2019. However, for the Amigos what has changed is the context. “What we envisioned in 2019 is less important; now is the focus, the future is the focus; the world, the nation, our industry faces huge challenges with the physical and cultural shifts brought upon us by COVID-19, and RISE we must!” F2FEC, Face 2 Face Entertainment Conference, is a North American trade experience planned and philanthropically produced by the Three Amigos: Rick Iceberg, George Smith, and Ben Jones. Attendees include manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, media and facility owners from traditional family entertainment centers, bowling centers, cinema, trampoline parks, roller skating, laser, food-forward eateries, specialty and hybrid entertainment concepts. All who attend develop new resources, expand networks, and enrich relationships. It creates an atmosphere of responsibility for transparency and sharing of information for the sustainability of all. With change at the forefront, the Three Amigos will remain flexible for planning and producing RISE as the next several months are weighed with uncertainty. Details and information will be posted on the F2FEC Facebook page and at www.F2conference.com. For more information, contact the Three Amigos: Rick Iceberg, CJ Barrymore’s: rick@F2conference.com / (810) 444-2222; Ben Jones, ben@f2conference.com / (248) 884-1700; George Smith, Family Entertainment Group: geosmith4756@gamil.com / (630) 240-8261.

Be In The Room© and RISE to Reset, Rebuild, and Reach 16

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SHORTS

BUSINESS AT LARGE 8 HOWND’S SUPPORT VOUCHER REVENUE IS A SUCCESS Hownd®, a foot traffic generation platform that temporarily pivoted its business model to Support Voucher sales to help generate immediate cash for local brick & mortar merchants during the COVID-19 pandemic, announced that Hownd merchants have received more than $1.5 million in proceeds from the purchase of vouchers by consumers. The vouchers are essentially non-expiring gift cards consumers easily purchase from their favorite local merchants through several digital channels, including the MyHownd mobile app.

8 KEGEL EXTENDS WARRANTIES Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, Kegel has been looking for opportunities to help its customers. Therefore, it has decided to extend its warranties on all lane machines. For all customers with active warranties as of March 1, 2020, coverage has been extended for an additional six months past the original expiration date. Due to the widespread closures of centers, many lane machines have not been in use. Gus Falgien, Kegel’s vice president of sales, stated, “We hope this warranty extension will provide a small sense of relief to bowling centers during this difficult time.”

8

8 BVL CREATES NEW PROGRAM Bowlers to Veterans Link (BVL), a highly-ranked 501c3 charity, which addresses the emotional and physical needs of veterans and active-duty military, is donating a $100,000 grant to the Department of Veterans Affairs to support two new programs—Compassionate Contact Corps and Tele-Yoga Therapy. These funds will allow veterans to keep a virtual personal connection during the COVID19 pandemic with programs that focus on essential, ongoing physical therapy and mental health needs such as depression and suicide prevention. “BVL has always been here for our veterans since 1942, and we will always be here for them with great appreciation,” said John LaSpina, BVL board chair. “It’s an honor for BVL to help fund these much-needed programs and to make this donation on behalf of a bowling community that salutes and supports our veterans.” If you’re interested in more information or would like to donate, please visit BVL.org.

8 WOOD CAN BE CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL

All Betson offices and services are now open. The buildings, however, remain open to Betson employees only. Appointments can be made for scheduled pickups and drop-offs of equipment, parts, repairs, and advanced replacements. Additional information can be obtained by calling (800) 524-2343 or email: sales@betson.com.

QubicaAMF Worldwide in Lowville, NY, manufactures bowling pins. It is not an essential business in the scope of COVID-19, but sometimes common sense comes into play. Lewis County permitted the company to use up its remaining inventory of lumber which was outside and would be damaged by the elements. “We’re a wood products company, and you can’t leave that wood outside for an extended period of time,” Wayne White, vice president and general manager of the pins division, said to the Watertown Daily Times. “We’re very grateful we were allowed to continue to operate.” According to White, the materials in the yard were worth over $300,000. At this time, the Lowville company site has limited its manufacturing to process the wood only to the point that it can be brought inside and complete pin orders as they are placed. IBI

June 2020

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SHORTS

BUSINESS AT LARGE 8 IN AND AROUND THE USBC A CHANGE OF RULES According to bowl.com, Terry Bigham reported that the USBC board of directors “approved waivers and modifications to USBC playing rules to allow certified leagues and tournaments more flexibility to return to bowling while adhering to local health guidelines related to COVID-19.” These modifications allow certified competition to take place on one lane only for the entirety of a game. Additionally, bowlers will be allowed to use isopropyl alcohol, known as rubbing alcohol, to clean their bowling balls during competition. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists isopropyl alcohol as an approved disinfectant for use against COVID-19. With the concern for safety of bowlers and the desire to move forward during the current pandemic, the USBC reviewed its rules and policies to open up tournament play and league competition.

USBC POSTPONES CONVENTION BUT COMPLETES ELECTIONS The USBC approved a special resolution to cancel the USBC 2020 Convention and postpone the Annual Meeting until 2021 due to COVID-19 public health restrictions. However,

the board held its officer elections. Melissa McDaniel of Raleigh, NC, was elected president, and Adam Mitchell of Centreville, VA, was selected as vice president. Their terms will begin on Aug. 1, 2020. McDaniel currently is the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee chair. She has led the largest youth program in the country as center director and head coach. Mitchell has been a board member for Nation’s Capital Area USBC since 2014 and is a current Virginia State Youth Director.

USBC BOARD MEMBER SELECTION Jim Decker, BPAA vice president and owner of Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, CA, was selected by the BPAA to serve as its representative on the USBC board. The position is currently held by Cathy DeSocio, who reaches her term limit on July 31. Cornell M. Jackson of Kilmarnock, VA, has been appointed to serve a sixth year as director-at-large, representing The National Bowling Association (TNBA). Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, MN, and Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady, NY, were elected to the USBC board by Team USA athletes. Their three-year terms will start Aug. 1. Visit BOWL.com/Convention for the complete USBC News press release regarding the 2020 and 20021 USBC Conventions and Annual Meetings.

WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY Sometimes, a feel-good story just hits the spot! Reporter Bennett Brinkman of The Oklahoman, met and spoke with Eric Jones and his father Heath Jones. Eric, a student at Edmond Memorial High School, competes in bowling competitions nationally and hopes to do so in West Virginia in August. When COVID-19 struck, a place to practice his skills was gone. Eric and his dad tried to figure out what to do to allow him to practice. They spent three weeks working two to four hours each day to build a bowling lane, complete with pinsetter, in their backyard. It created a bonding moment and definitely an education moment at home, learning about pulleys and power tools. Heath shared that the pinsetter was particularly difficult to build, but he was highly motivated after setting up pins for Eric. Eric has used the lane every day to maintain his skills and train for competition which he hopes will be in the near future. Of course, we’re not sure how the neighbors handle the noise but for father and son, it has been priceless.

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SHORTS

COLLATERAL DAMAGE: THIS VIRUS HAS A FACE There are stories in every state, county, and local town where businesses have flourished for decades and are part of the local lore but find themselves not at a crossroad but a dead end. It’s not business; it’s people. People who have worked hard, befriended their community, supported their customers, and find themselves, at no fault of their own, done. Doors closed for the last time. Colonial Bowling Center in Worcester, MA, is the last candlepin center in town. 91-year-old Nick Anderson no longer has the energy to run the business, and the statewide shutdown in March helped him decide it was time. Manager Paul Wambach, who has worked at the center for 30 years, says it opened in 1960 when candlepin bowling was at its height. The genesis of candlepin is credited to Justin “Pop” White in Worcester in 1881. Speaking to Nick Emmons, WBZ-TV, Wambach noted that not much has changed inside the center since its opening, from the furniture to the lanes. That being said, he said, “I’ll just miss being in here with people that are here to have a good time. I know everybody, and they all know me.”

Leopard Lanes is an institution in Bellevue, NE. For over 30 years, it has been host to Nebraska Special Olympics bowling events. It has special needs groups from Iowa that come to bowl several times a week. Peggy Swarbrick, who has worked at the center seven days a week for as long as she can remember, having inherited the center from her parents, said, “We knew them [special needs groups] all by name, and we knew everything about them. We took care of them all the time, and now they have no place to go.” Swarbrick said Leopard Lanes’ closing was not planned. It was business as usual until March 15. “You can only pay bills and everything for so long and not have any income and then not know when you can open, and if you can open at full capacity. After so long, you run out of money.” She talked with her employees individually before the news of the closing got out. Most of them have worked with her for 20 to 35 years—they’re all considered family. “I’ve worked here all my life; I raised my kids here, and it’s the people,” Swarbrick said. “It’s always the people. That’s why you come to work every day, to see the people.” [Credit to Austin Plourde, staff writer, Omaha.com.]

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A LITTLE GEM OF A TOY With all the furor over reopening businesses and continuing lock downs, it is hard to imagine that in the world of antique collecting, business has moved along with hardly a pause. In Whitehouse Station, NJ, RSL Auction Company held an antique toy auction on Apr. 4-5. It included approximately 1,230 lots of antique toys, including 950 from a Roman collector. It was hailed by the firm as one of the finest toy collections in recent years. The only wrinkle was that the live part became an online-only, phone/absentee bidding format. The total sale grossed $1,556,000. Not bad for a pandemic. The gem from IBI ’s perspective was a bowling alley bank in blue paint. It was the finest example known of this design from Kyser & Rex. In all original condition, according to auction partner Leon Weiss, it was the only one he knows of with blue paint. What would it have put you back? $87,000! Note the ring-a-ding ding which captures the sound of the pins crashing. Charming!

FEEDING HEALTH CARE WORKERS Greg Ising lives in Pittsburgh. Nesbit’s Lanes, also in Pittsburgh, has been shut down since mid-March. In trying to keep the business going, Anthony Tierno, Nesbit’s manager, started accepting take-out orders. Ising wanted to help health care workers. He started a GoFundMe, hoping to raise money to buy food from Nesbit’s. In the first two days, about $800 was raised. Ising then bought the meals. “It was a great idea,” said Tierno to Jennifer Borrasso of KDKA. “It helped us, and it helped the frontline workers, which was definitely awesome. We’ve had a lot of donations from our league bowlers. They love it here. They want to see us come out on the other side of this.” Ising delivered 125 meals to health care workers in Monroeville at UPMC East, a testing site, and Forbes Hospital.


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IN REMEMBRANCE

By Paul “Memory” Lane

I

n an email from Akira Nakano, president of Eastern Sports Ltd. and chairman of Starlanes bowling center chain in Japan, I learned that Mr. Keijiro Nakano had died of a brain hemorrhage. He was 93 years old and had been in a nursing home for the past two years. He was recovering from a recent stroke but took a turn for the worse and died on May 16, 2020. His passing is a huge loss for the bowling industry worldwide. His contribution and dedication to the industry was massive. He was honored with numerous awards from many bowling organizations. I first met Mr. Nakano in early 1970 at the height of the bowling boom in Japan when both he and I were involved in the formation of the National Bowling Council of Japan (NBCJ). After that, we always crossed paths during my many visits to Japan for AMF and at the annual BPAA Convention and Bowl Expo. In late 1983, Mr. Nakano expressed an interest in bringing the PBA Tour to Japan and asked if I would introduce him to the PBA’s founder, Eddie Elias, and commissioner, Joe Antenora, at the next BPAA convention in June of 1984. That meeting was a big success and the Japan Cup was underway in Tokyo by 1985. The Japan Cup is an invitational tournament which brings the point leaders from the PBA and the Japan Professional Bowlers Association (JPBA) together in head-tohead competition. Mr. Nakano, as president of Eastern Sports Ltd. chain of centers, was initially the sole investor in the Japan Cup, which became an annual event on the PBA/JPBA calendar. In its day, the Japan Cup boasted the biggest budget of any tournament, including a $50,000 first place prize. The visiting players and their families and friends enjoyed lavish hospitality from their Japanese host. In recognition of his efforts, the PBA inducted Mr. Nakano into the Hall of Fame in the Meritorious Service category in 1999. Mr. Nakano founded Eastern Sports Ltd. and today it operates nine centers. Until recently, Eastern Sports Ltd. was also the

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IN REMEMBRANCE

distributor for US Polychem, Murrey International, and ZOT Pinsetter Parts. Nippon Bowling chain was a company and distributor for Brunswick Japan. They sold and leased lanes and pinsetters to bowling centers. The Nippon Bowling chain registered and owned the name Starlanes and permitted customers to use the name Starlanes for their businesses. In 1964, the proprietors of several Starlanes centers got together and founded the Starlanes chain, with the goal of sharing marketing and promotion costs and bulk buying. Mr. Nakano owned a center that was a member of Starlanes, and, over the years, he added nine more centers to become the largest member in the chain. He also purchased and became the owner of the registered Starlanes brand name. As the largest member, he served as the chairman of Starlanes from 1979 to 1999. Today, Mr. Nakano’s nephew Akira Nakano serves as chairman of Starlanes which operates seventeen centers, including the nine Eastern Sports centers mentioned above. The other eight Starlanes centers are independently owned and operated on a franchise basis. All seventeen centers are marketed as a chain with the brand name of Starlanes. Mr. Nakano was also a past president of the Japan Bowling Proprietors Association from 1994 to 2000. But, it was Keijiro san’s passion and consistent lobbying with the goal of getting bowling accepted as a sport in the Olympic Games that brought him the most recognition by the industry. He lobbied for bowling to be admitted in the Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, in 1998; Barcelona, Spain, in 1992; and Atlanta, U.S.A., in 1996. He also lobbied for bowling’s inclusion in the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994, and Nagano, Japan, in 1998. This tireless effort, driven by passion, earned Mr. Nakano an award for international recognition by the National Bowling Council of Japan in 2000, and in 1994 and 2006 by the Bowling Proprietors Association of Japan. He earned the BPAA’s V. A. Wapensky Award in 1993 and a Victor Lerner Memorial Medal in 2000. Internationally, he was awarded the Presidents Medal by the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ – International Federation of Bowlers). Putting his business persona to one side for a moment, my fondest memory of Keijiro Nakano was his warm, friendly

personality. He always greeted me with a big smile and a twinkle in his eye, always ready for a laugh. Keijiro was also an accomplished artist. A selection of his work was displayed in the conference room at the Eastern Sports Ltd. and Starlanes head office in Tokyo. Mr. Nakano will be missed by the bowling industry in Japan, by me, and all who got to know him over the years. Due to the coronavirus, a small, Christian funeral service for Mr. Nakano will be held with only his immediate family. According to his nephew, Akira Nakano, a memorial service will be held to include his more extended family, business associates, and friends once restrictions have been lifted. Keijiro Nakano is survived by his wife Chieko, a son, and a daughter. ❖ Photo Credit: Hiroshi (Hero) Noda

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.

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Y YOUR OUR SUCCESS SUCCESS IS OUR BUSINESS

NEW NE W GAMES MES A AVAILABLE VA AIL ABLE (800) 524-2343 524-2343 | sales@betson.com sales@betson.com | www.betson.com www.betson.com


COVER STORY

IN AN UNCERTAIN SEASON,

‘BOWLING WILL

BE BACK’

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COVER STORY

New BPAA President Jim Decker prepares for these unique times By Fred Groh

J

im Decker, who becomes BPAA president on July 1, isn’t sure how he first learned about the epidemic. “Hard to say, but we knew something was up” even before the TV news announced a shelter-in-place order by the health director for Sonoma County, CA, where his center is located. The date was March 17. “They want to re-open the state in phases,” Decker told us when we talked at the beginning of last month. “I guess right now we’re in phase 1. The construction industry is back, landscapers are back. I hear that bowling centers, movie theaters and gyms are going to be in phase 3. I think there’s going to be four phases. The fourth will be when they lift the shelter-in-place order. “Everything is so uncertain,” he continued about a spring that has been an uncertain season for almost all Americans. “You have President Trump saying one thing, then each governor saying another thing or the same thing but it comes down, in our county, to a county health director. What she says is what we’re going to have to abide by and it’s still uncertain what the guidelines are going to be. “Everything right now is hearsay. We just hear that when we open, we’re going to be limited to 10 people and then we’ll be able to have 50 people in, but there’s nothing written yet. It’s frustrating, hard to make plans with all this uncertainty.” Decker, a second-generation proprietor in Rohnert Park, CA, is not uncertain about his direction once he takes the presidential chair, however. Most new presidents have specific goals in mind, for example Randy Thompson whom Decker replaces as president. “Randy’s agenda was to further develop our youth bowling program,” Decker related. “We hired a PR firm to look into what other sports are doing to promote their individual sports. We’re utilizing that company to look into what we should be doing for youth bowling, to promote that better.” Not Decker. “I’m not going to have a personal agenda. As president, my job is to make sure [the] Strategic Plan is executed.” He was referring to the BPAA’s master strategy. In support of the association’s vision “to lead the industry towards increased participation, relevance and prosperity” and its mission “to enhance the profitability of members,” the 2020 Plan outlines four strategies: business growth, education, and networking/collaboration for members, and national media awareness for bowling. (See the Plan at https://bpaa.com/BPAA/About-the-BPAA/Our-Mission-Vision.) Two of BPAA’s four strategies fit coronavirus business conditions, and Decker’s

approach to his presidency, like a right-size bowling shoe. “I think there’s two key elements, education and awareness,” he said about how the industry needs to respond to the epidemic. “I think education comes first in this. Proprietors are going to have to become reeducated [in] the ‘new normal’ of how we operate our centers. Secondly, I think the general public has to become aware of what we’re doing in our centers to make a safe environment.” Already BPAA has “stepped up,” he told us, with Decker’s special kudos to BPAA membership services director Bart Burger, who helmed creation of the Reopening Resource Center now on the BPAA website. Decker closed his Double Decker Lanes just as BPAA launched an email campaign about how to safely shutter a center for the duration. “Now that centers are slowly starting to open back up, there’s been a lot of IBI

June 2020

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COVER STORY communication [from BPAA about] how to re-open your center and what safety precautions you should be implementing to make your customers feel safe.” The Reopening Resource Center was uploaded on April 30. Visit https://bowlinguniversity.net/opening/. “The most important thing ongoing is: people are really going to have to feel comfortable about coming back to bowl,” Decker asserted. “There’s been a lot of bad publicity about how easy it is to become infected coming into a bowling center. There’s a lot of touch points, there’s issues with house balls, rental shoes. There’s a really negative perception [in] the general public. Getting the word out to proprietors to have them follow these guidelines is going to go a long way to making the public feel secure again about visiting our centers.” There’s more to come. Decker reported a major marketing program in the works with PR firm Taylor and Associates to increase the national awareness of bowling. The release date is another uncertainty in the picture. “We’re wondering do we kick it off in the summer, when nobody generally bowls, or do we wait until fall. But there will be something down the road,” he assured us. We asked Decker whether the reopening of the industry would be put on the agenda for any of the BPAA committees. He answered, “If a new issue comes up, we don’t necessarily create a committee for it; we’ll create a task force. I can see a task force coming out of this. A task force is a group of board members—and actually you

don’t have to be a board member to be on a task force, could be anybody in the industry—and the task force tackles relevant problems a little quicker than a committee would.”

While Decker will miss out on the standard induction for a BPAA president, some of that ceremony may be arranged for the East Coast show in October. “We’ll probably do a lot of the things we do at Bowl Expo. You know the awards luncheon? I think we’re going to try to do that. We feel that all those people who are going to get awards need to be recognized. But it’s not set in stone yet,” he cautioned. “Coming into my presidency, I thought, boy, all I’ve got to do is make sure that the Strategic Plan is in place and that I implement it. Things have really changed for me! It seems like I’m putting out a big fire. “Bowling is going to really take a big hit here,” Jim Decker believes. “I don’t think it’s going to be an easy road. But I think the most important thing is to assure proprietors that bowling will be back.” ❖

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

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LEADERSHIP

THIS IS

NOT NORMAL

Navigating through abnormal times and doing the right things.

By Ben Jones

E

veryone reading this is a leader. Everyone has a leadership role to fulfill at some point. We lead friends, family, co-workers, and employees. We lead groups, classrooms, customers, and even strangers. Right now, humanity compels us all to lead and to follow: lead when we can, follow when we should, and participate because we must.   The challenges presented by COVID-19 are unprecedented. With stakes higher than any game, no one is placing any bets as long as uncertainty is the only certainty. We are facing a crisis that is forcing us to make difficult, gut-wrenching decisions, and, sadly for some, this crisis will affect them in profound, perhaps unfair ways. For all of us, there will be some portion of business, family, or everyday life that is altered, perhaps irreparably. We must lead, follow, and actively participate now.  The unknowns of COVID-19 are scary and foster the kind of fear that can be debilitating. Yet fear is also a motivator; pushing through fear is part of the leaders mindset, bringing with it valuable insight to help overcome obstacles. The science, research, and the worldwide stats lead to more questions than answers. Our world — business leaders included — are feeling

their way forward, blind. Our new daily routines arer anything but “normal.” Nothing yesterday or today resembles a “new normal” or a “now normal” as the word “normal” implies – something occurring naturally, conforming, typical, or expected. COVID-19 has delivered us an “abnormal,” the deviation from normal that is uncharacteristic and undesirable. If anything is new, it is the persistent reality of the unknown, and that is abnormal. Crisis management has few game plans to execute. Everyone reading this is in a different situation. That said, I submit that you will do the right thing. And, I ask that you have confidence in the decisions you make, because they will be the very best that you can do. Simple, maybe, but also deceptively true. You are not expected to have all of the answers, or to instinctively know what the right thing is to do at all times. This requires a collective — a peer group, people who align with your values, and who identify with you and understand your business. It also requires that you seek assistance and guidance, and be a resource for others by offering the same in mutuality. Those who will emerge on top — the ones who find the right path — are usually the people who seek to help others. The way onward and upward is by doing the right thing the best way we can. Here are some suggestions that we can all take now and some things we should all be thinking now.

LISTEN, AND EXPAND the sources that you normally subscribe to.

VERIFY all news but particularly online news before spreading it. Don’t spread mis- or disinformation. Verify first.

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BEING COMPASSIONATELY HARD ON ISSUES AND SOFT ON PEOPLE are the elements that enable a stable organization. Being empathetic when interacting with your employees and vendors means understanding their place, putting yourself in their shoes. Making tough decisions and being hard on issues to protect the company will be better understood and accepted if you have exercised compassionate leadership first.


LEADERSHIP ROLE MODELING is a great way to influence behavior. ‘Do as I say’ won’t work anymore. We are in a ‘Do as I do’ situational crisis.

LEARN FAST, because family, workers, and those you lead depend on you to be the Chief Learner.

ADOPT AN ”UNKNOWN” FILTER MENTALITY. Seek new ways to engage and support family, friends, and employees, all of whom have shifted routines and habits.

COMMUNICATE with confidence, consistency and clarity. Over communicate. PROACTIVENESS is key to LEAD. Act now. If you are uncertain what to do, then ask. To an employee, ‘How may I support you,’ would be appreciated. Asking a peer, ‘What are you doing?’ can open a conversation where information is shared.

emerging on the positive side of orders, bans, and quarantines. Stay connected to peer groups and share what you learn. The giving of information doesn’t make you less smart; it simply raises the intelligence level for everyone. We need each other and we are better together. Continued on page 38...

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LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY. New business practices, new behaviors, and new rituals have already emerged and more will be coming faster. Whether these will become new habits and change behavior long term is unknown. There is no science or similar history to build a model to rely upon. It is possible that over time the most essential of these practices and behaviors will become part of a stronger, new reset and rebuilt society.

...continued from page 34

ENABLE SHIFTS AND CHANGE. Business practices and processes will be stressed. Open pathways for change and enable new methods to surface. Plan and respond now; do not retract. Websites, apps, and social media may each require new tools, attention, and capabilities.

PRIORITIES ARE PRIORITIES. We will emerge on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis mode. It is easy to think about cutting and to revert backwards. Some priorities require reevaluation, but others are just that, priorities, and their action or result will be needed to reopen and sustain business.

SPEED, NOT PERFECTION, IS KEY. Imperfect information and uncertainty surrounds business and life. COLIN POWELL’S Current consumer behavior is 40/70 RULE: unpredictable based on No decision should be made with less than 40% of the necessary limited to no historical information. reference. Making decisions A decision can be made with 70% with imperfect data is of the necessary information. essential since waiting for data will delay important decisions.

CUSTOMERS MATTER. It is easy to lose contact with customers. Consumer behavior has changed and is evolving with each news cycle. Expect more shifts; radical changes are likely with factors and forces unknown. Engaging customers now and throughout the crisis will be a competitive advantage when the crisis softens and pent-up demand settles in.

CHANGE OR DIE. The new abnormal will not be business as normal. The economic impact of a post COVID-19 crisis is not clear. And the impact is certain to be different throughout industry sectors and from state to state. The shift will likely involve portions of everything noted herein. More difficult decisions will need to be made. Don’t stop planning. Keep running scenarios. 38

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June 2020

EMBRACE A LONG-TERM PERSPECTIVE. The abnormal routine and outlook of today will jumpstart entrepreneurial activity and R&D innovation that will shape tomorrow. New business models and competition will surface. Keep a perspective on sustainability and a long view of the future.

You now manage a process, and Job One is to mitigate the downside of the COVID-19 crisis. Be persistent, find ways to be innovative, creative, and strong and you will evolve through these times on the upside. Look ahead, keep moving forward, and stay compassionate. ❖

Ben Jones is an industry enthusiast. He shares his perspectives each month through Boomer Blog and invites your feedback. He may be reached at boomerblog2@gmail.com.


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BUSINESS OPINION

Overcoming COVID-19 in the American amusement industry By Scott Sherrod, CEO, Intercard

T

he coronavirus pandemic is presenting the American amusement industry with unprecedented challenges, from mandatory closings of FECs to potential supply chain interruptions and shortages of parts and merchandise. While no one can predict the future, I believe that amusement operators and suppliers are an entrepreneurial and innovative group that can adapt. This industry is small; we have to make sure we help each other through this unprecedented time. It will be a team effort and I believe that those who have decency and compassion during this crisis will receive returns; strong companies who can practice conscious capitalism will survive. Because the customer has a need we have a job to do. Because of the customer we exist and we never take that for granted at Intercard. As a CEO I will do what it takes to work with our global family of customers to help them survive. I believe other CEOs in the industry will do the same. We will be stronger together and nothing without each other. The short term outlook is not rosy. Most, if not all, U.S. arcades and FECs, like other entertainment venues, are now closed; the impact has been immediate. “It’s basically turned off cash flow for pretty much everyone, because everyone is closed, right?” says Howard McAuliffe of FEC consultancy Pinnacle Entertainment Group. “Zero cashflow is a major problem, so one big operator has laid off 90% of his staff. Some of the suppliers now are laying off 30% to 60% of their staff. The industry is in full survival mode.” 42

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June 2020

The St. Louis region, where our world headquarters is located, has issued a mandatory Stay At Home rule. That won’t stop us from being there for our customers, and we will continue to provide them with technical support and training

24/7 no matter where they are in the world. As a software company we are very flexible; our technical specialists can work remotely. We are still performing installs and customer training and filling game card and product orders so when our customers’ doors open again, they will be ready for business. Fortunately Intercard makes everything here in America, so we expect no supply chain disruptions. Operators must also be nimble. Todd DeMott, a Continued on page 46...


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BUSINESS OPINION ...continued from page 42

veteran arcade operator from New Jersey and a sales representative for Intercard, just opened a new location for retro games in a prime Shore location. Less than a month after opening, he was forced to close down. To compensate for lack of cash flow, he’s feverishly promoting sales of season passes good for unlimited gaming from Memorial Day to Labor Day. “I immediately set up my online account so [customers] can make purchases straight from the website and I’m just marketing it like crazy,” says DeMott. “Facebook, social media, making sure everybody knows, running an ad on Google.” Customers are not shying away from investing in their summer playtime and the $70 passes are selling well. I recommend keeping up as normal a routine as possible and staying focused on reopening to help shoulder the pain of this shutdown. We aren’t losing sight of our customers’ needs and FEC owners can’t either. Our software makes it easy to stay in touch with your customers and remind them that when this crisis ends you will welcome them back. One of the few benefits of the shutdown is that FEC operators can use the unexpected downtime to catch up on unfinished projects and prepare for the crucial summer season. “In this industry you never really get a chance to catch your breath. It’s always a 365 day race,” says DeMott. “So we’re all just catching up on projects that we haven’t been able to accomplish in a while. Everybody just wants to be ready for that 10 week push and you can’t lose a day.” What will the industry look like when the crisis has passed? McAuliffe believes that a number of FECs, especially newer ones that haven’t experienced an industry downturn, could go out of business. This could include larger operators who are overleveraged and operating on slim Scott Sherrod margins as well as mom-and-pop operations. “A lot of people in the bowling world haven’t been through a recession. I know a lot of these [BEC] concepts have come about since the last downturn since 2008,” says McAuliffe. “Especially ones that expanded quickly. If they did that with borrowing it’s going to be rough.” He expects that those that survive will be back stronger than ever and better positioned for success because there will be less competition. “I think you’re going to have some strong companies that are going to be in a good position,” says McAuliffe. “And I think we have some saturation maybe to the point of a bubble; at least in certain markets that’ll be gone.” The amusement industry relies heavily on trade shows but for the next year I foresee only the bigger “must attend” shows taking place. Until cash flow is in full swing again, I expect that not as many exhibitors and guests will attend as in the recent past. Vendors with supply chains out of China may 46

IBI

June 2020

George McAuliffe, Scott Sherrod, and Howard McAuliffe.

not be around much longer and it might take years to get the industry back to where we were before the virus hit. The big question is will customers come back to play right away? McAuliffe believes there will be enough pent-up demand for social activities that they will return quickly. “When people are able to get out, they’re going to want to get out and congregate and go to FECs.” DeMott also thinks so because people who have been self-isolated at home will be anxious to get out. “I think we’re going to see an instant flux in revenue just from people wanting to get out,” he says. “They’re just going crazy being stuck in a house, being cooped up. People quickly forget, right? Summer’s here. It’s beautiful out.” Our customers’ facilities will be an important part of bringing people back together again when this crisis is over. Our customers create experiences and memories for people all over the world. When this scary ride is over, people will come back to the entertainment centers and we all have to make sure we do our part to help keep those doors open for the customers when the time comes. We have to work together to stay in the game. ❖

Scott Sherrod is a software engineer and the CEO of Intercard, the world leader in cashless technology for the amusement and attractions industries


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SHOWCASE NOTE: During this unparalleled time of post-COVID-19, bowling centers, BECs, and FECs are starting to reopen across the country. This month’s showcases highlight our devoted advertisers continued support of our industry. They are ready to talk to you about their business-enhancing products.

FREE RESOURCE GUIDE

Just as every company is doing, LAI Games is reaching out to its customers in hopes of helping them through this mindboggling time. The idea is to share ideas to help each other through this and get back to normal business. “Your customers are still out there and will play an important role in kick-starting your business when the time is right. Our latest free guide is full of best practice tips and real content ideas you can use right now.” theteam@laigames.com. Download it today. There is no such thing as too much information.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

Birthday parties can be BIG money! QubicaAMF’s Birthday Party QuickStart Program, the first of its kind, has been proven to boost this business segment by 50% or more and attract new open play customers. Families are willing to pay top dollar for a personalized, positive birthday party experience, so make your center their first choice. Great birthday parties provide valuable word-ofmouth advertising and the perfect opportunity to attract new families and kids to your center. The Birthday Party QuickStart Program includes digital in-center and outside center marketing material, along with a comprehensive digital manager’s guide full of tips, tools, and ideas. Learn more at QubicaAMF.com.

PROGRAMMABLE LED SYSTEM

ZOT offers a truly unique LED lighting and control system that is changing the way the industry thinks and markets its business. ColorSplash provides new and existing businesses with the ability to create custom light shows comprising a myriad of colors for an all new entertainment experience and, at the same time, promoting revenue and profit. ColorSplash is more than a lighting system. It’s a marketing tool that can be tailored for virtually any promotion, ranging from birthday parties, corporate team building events, holidays, and major sporting events. For more information contact Steve Szabina, (405) 503-1710; www.colorsplashlighting.com.

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IBI June 2020

MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION PROGRAM

Brunswick’s Sync One™ is a revolutionary way for centers to update their scoring and management systems by eliminating capital constraints, scoring and hardware obsolescence, increased business complexity, and the financial risks associated with large IT purchases. Sync One is a monthly subscription program that bundles Brunswick’s Cloud marketing system, the OpenLane™ loyalty app and 24/7 technical support, and includes lifetime software upgrades and a lifetime equipment warranty. Sync One delivers all the proven benefits of Sync scoring and management, helping centers increase dwell time, repeat visits, F&B and group sales, guest satisfaction, employee efficiency, lane utilization, and cost control. Sync One also provides frequent updates, with new features rolled out several times each year. Learn more at brunswickbowling.com/SyncOne.


SHOWCASE BRING BOWLERS BACK

Hownd helps local bowling centers reopen to the sights and sounds of customers coming through the doors gain when the time is right. Through an elegant combination of web, social, email, and the MyHownd™ consumer mobile app, Hownd drives the Effortless Foot Traffic® needed so you can get back to business and start filling up your lanes once more. Connecting you to the right customers, at the right place, at the right time, Hownd is a proven, full automated foot traffic platform that generates repeat visitors for local businesses. With Results Delivered Pricing (RDR), you don’t pay until the customers are back. To assist with the economic recovery post COVID-19, get the ball rolling with your first 15 customers free!

KEEPING IT GOING

Creative Works is keeping the education going! The Amusement 360 Event will be taking place on June 23-24 in a virtual format. Best of all? It’s FREE to register. Due to recent circumstances and the entertainment industry being particularly hard hit by COVID-19, the June 360 Event will help operators endure the pandemic and thrive coming out of it. The event will feature a lineup of some of the top operators and experts in the industry who will provide helpful insight on a variety of topics, including industry demographic trends, maximizing food/beverage, the new normal of guest interaction, and how to approach post-pandemic operations. Visit www.amusement360.com to register for free!

SOCIAL DISTANCING FLOOR DECALS

With social distancing being the new norm in America, eBowl.biz wants to make sure your customers are comfortable as soon as they step back in your center. To help you prepare for that day, eBowl.biz has produced a line of floor decals to guide your customers through proper queuing. They can be used at the front counter, bar service window, snack bar, or anywhere customers line up for service. They are also bowling appropriate and fun!!! To use, simply peel and place on the floor with 6-foot spacing. At $69.95 per 5-pack, they are a real bargain! All orders include FREE shipping to U.S.A. destinations. Call (541) 549-0999 or visit www.eBowl.biz to order.

INTERACTIVE LASER TAG

LASERTRON is the only arena designer offering a turnkey, 100% LED, interactive, and programmable arena with new game formats, including its new Battle Royale game. If you haven’t seen LASERTRON’s presentation or visited one of its company-owned LASERTRON arenas in the last six months, then there are a lot of new updates to learn about. Experience firsthand the most advanced arena at the Rochester, NY, venue or see an online presentation. Call Ann at (305) 257-3930 or email akessler@LASERTRON.us to set up a presentation and a time that works for you. You won’t be disappointed. www.laser-tron.com.

CUSTOM BOWLING WEAR

INVERSE was launched in Spain in 1990 and today is known for its high-quality products with innovative materials and original design. The company lives by and for sports, and from the beginning, INVERSE has made clothing with fabrics and patterns specific to each sport—cycling, running, triathlon, swimming, skiing, and most recently bowling. The company offers design, pattern manufacturing, printing, and tailoring departments, which are coordinated and supervised by a rigorous quality control department. Their polo shirts, jackets, and other accessories are becoming increasingly sought after. See the variety of INVERSE products at www.inverseteams.com. 50

IBI June 2020


A UTOMATIC S CORING E SSENTIALS !

(800) 942-5939 Info@SteltronicScoring.com www.SteltronicScoring.com


SHOWCASE MESSAGE FROM: OMEGA PATTERN WORKS

With COVID-19 forcing state governments nationwide to enact shelter-at-home ordinances, Omega Carpet is one of countless industries that has had to take sales and design to home offices. However, our manufacturing facilities are currently fully operational, and we are all doing our part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all areas. Because these are uncertain and unprecedented times, Omega Carpet is attempting to keep the industry connected and the lines of communication open via phone and email. Over the years, centers have utilized the exceptional talents and experience of Omega Pattern Works Carpet to develop and produce some of the industry’s most notable flooring products. We are proud to say that many companies offering printed carpets turn to us for assistance with styling and design. For those choosing to use this time to invest in your future, we hope you turn to Omega Carpets to help with all your flooring needs. We are in this together and will come out stronger and better than ever! We look forward to hearing from you soon. Contact: Kristin Messick at (800) 554-7007; her cell (620) 200-5405; or go to omegapatternworks.com.

BOWLING LOGO SOCKS

Centers are selling BVL (Bowlers to Veterans Link) logo socks to raise extra cash. Available in stock by popular demand. Bowling Logo Socks sizes are available for youth, teens/women, and men. Mix and match Athletic and Glow Socks by the dozen. Call for details on how your center can use Bowling Logo Socks. Expert Hosiery/Funtime Footwear is THE athletic footwear supplier for bowling, skating, and FECs. Call (919) 799-7707; email support@experthosisery.com; or go to funtimefootwear.com.

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USBC APPROVED SYNTHETIC PIN

With its extreme durability, Twister pins have a much longer life than conventional wood pins. Since they don’t compact or compress like wood, there is no need to “rest” or rotate Twister pins or worry about moisture content. Twister pins won’t need to be replaced as often, and additional rotation sets won’t need to be purchased, meaning big savings on your bottom line! Since its shape hardly changes while in play, the flight of Twister pins remains true, even after thousands and thousands of lines of use. Meaning: consistent score-ability and the same pin action from day one! To find out more about Twister and where to find your local distributor, please visit: www.twisterpins.com.

UNITE & HELP

In the effort to keep bowling on people’s minds and to help re-enforce the public effort to combat the COVID-19 disease, US Design Lab LLC has developed a special bowling oriented logo with simple, one word reminders on what all of us can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Gary Smith shared, “We have set up a store where people can purchase t-shirts and other accessory items to help communicate the effort and to help keep bowling ‘top of mind.’ During this campaign, which will run until we all get through this, we will contribute $2 for each t-shirt and $1 for each accessory item sold to The Bowlers To Veterans Link (BVL).” Here is a link to the store: https://teespring.com/stores/us-design-lab “Let’s all help our vets, our industry, and put a smile on our faces. We are in this together.”


STAY STRONG EVEN WHEN HARD TIMES STRIKE. STAY HOME, STAY SAFE


SHOWCASE SHOE COVERS

INSURANCE DURING COVID-19

Kegel had announced a partnership with Bowling Buddies, a manufacturer of a patented, single-use bowling shoe cover. The Bowling Buddies shoe cover has a sole with slide and grip material, allowing customers to wear their own shoes instead of wearing rental shoes. Kegel will take on the sales and distribution of this disposable shoe cover which has already made a name for itself at centers across the country. Kegel has acquired all the inventory which will be available for immediate sale to centers on www.kegel.net/bowling-buddies. Chris Chartrand, Kegel CEO, noted that amid the growing concern over sanitation due to COVID-19, one concern is the use of shared items like rental shoes and bowling balls. He said, “Bowling centers should not risk losing a single customer over the discomfort of using these items, and we feel it’s important that they give customers this new option.”

Western Bowling Proprietors Insurance (WBPI) is the only bowling center insurance program offering limited communicable disease coverage. The sad fact is, nearly every center in the country has an insurance policy that does not help them while they are closed by the government in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Our policies do not cover this exact scenario, however, WBPI does offer a limited communicable disease coverage that would pay for your loss of income and cleaning costs should your facility be closed by the public health authority due to contamination by a customer or employee with COVID-19. As businesses begin to reopen, proprietors worry about being re-closed if someone with COVID-19 visits and contaminates the center. Please call or email us to learn more about this coverage and see if your center qualifies through Western Bowling Proprietors Insurance. (800) 200-9998 or WBPIprogram.com.

PARTS, PARTS, AND MORE PARTS

Redemption Plus is offering a revenue share program through its new Boredom Buster Box concept. These boxes are available for consumer purchase and come filled with toys in varying themes. 10% of all purchases go to support Ronald McDonald House Charities. If you would like to partner with Redemption Plus on promoting Boredom Buster Boxes to your customer base, Redemption Plus will offer free shipping to your customers through the use of a unique coupon code. Based on the number of coupons redeemed, you will then receive a revenue-share back to your business. Some bowling centers are including a $10 game card in the boxes to be used after lockdown measures are lifted. Visit: https://boredombustertoys.com or contact Ann Krull at akrull@redeptionplus.com.

REVENUE SHARE PROGRAM

Throughout the years, technicians and mechanics have relied on ZOT Pinsetter Parts as a valuable resource for problem-solving products and solutions. Founded in 1964, ZOT is a well-established manufacturer and supplier of unique electronic and mechanical parts and assemblies for centers that are equipped with 82-30, 82-70, 82-90, A, A2, and Jetback pinsetters—products that are frequently the preferred choice of technicians worldwide. ZOT has recently expanded its parts offering to include a line of unique Pinnacle and Dynamic parts. These parts stand alone as solid, proven performers. Check ZOT’s new website at www.zotbowlingparts.com or call toll free (877) 236-8505. ZOT Bowling Parts, Get Right to the Good Parts!

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SHOWCASE MESSAGE FROM: ASTRO CARPET MILLS

Astro Carpets wants to assure our valued customers that our manufacturing facilities are currently fully operational, while also doing our part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all areas possible. During this time, our sales and customer service representatives, as well as designers, will work from home offices and continue to be available by both phone and email. For those who are choosing to use this time to invest in your future, we hope you turn to Astro Carpets to help with your renovation or new build flooring needs. This too shall pass, and together we will come out stronger and better than ever! Contact: Stefanie Mantooth at (800) 542-4189 x 836 or visit astrocarpetmills.com.

ARCADE SPECTACULAR!

Betson Enterprises celebrates 20 years of the world’s favorite hunting game with Big Buck Hunter®: RELOADED! This definitive entry in the series features more content than you can shake a stick at, including new hunts, Zombie Deer; new weapons, Bow Hunting: and new story-driven campaigns – including In Case of Monsters: Lost Island and Terminator Salvation: Delta Mission. No matter where your adventure takes you, get there faster with a new player-friendly interface, and enjoy it all in a new, eyecatching cabinet design! Get connected and enjoy the competitive online features that made Big Buck Hunter the first name in arcade Esports. All this and a new money-saving business model! Go to www.betson.com.

CLEAN UP SOLUTION

MESSAGE FROM SHAFFER DISTRIBUTING

As we, Shaffer Distributing, currently live through the COVID-19 pandemic, we reflect on past experiences that have guided us in becoming the company we have been, are, and will be in the future. Throughout our 91 years serving the amusement game industry, we have weathered 15 different recessions and managed to become a stronger version of ourselves. We look at ways to reshape our organization, not our culture, to insure the long-term success of our operations. We are often asked, “How do you do it?” Well, it’s quite simple. We CARE. We are a family business, and we value our relationships with our employees, customers, and partners that embrace a positive and proactive attitude, every day. We are here for YOU!

Kegel has released its new, advanced house ball and multipurpose cleaner, Micro Striker, for shipping in May. Micro Striker comes in a tablet form which mixes up fresh into a cleaning solution. It contains active chlorine for powerful cleaning performance. The tablets are sold in 50-packs and each tablet can be used to make a 24-ounce bottle. In addition, the bottle includes a special, continuous mist sprayer for each application. Micro Striker tablets can also be used in other containers and spraying devices, including electrostatic sprayers. A starter kit, including two bottles and 50 tablets is available. For info: www.kegel.net.

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SHOWCASE STRATEGIES FOR REOPENING

Beth Standlee, founder and CEO of TrainerTainment, has focused on reopening in a grand way! As she said in an email, proprietors have a second change to do all they meant to do. She hosts Peer Talk, a weekly ZOOM meeting to discuss and share ideas, plus other webinars which are helpful in defining core values; new processes; staffing from managers to sales reps to the front line; practice parties; and safety and sanitation procedures. TrainerTainment, Growing People & Businesses, is a coaching company dedicated to guiding centers to the new and better normal. Learn how TrainerTainment can help you. Go to: www.TrainerTainment.net.

SOFTWARE UPDATES FOR NEW NORMAL

TouchDesk III users will be getting an email with a link to information about new software updates available for helping centers cope with the new requirements of operations. According to Glenn Hartshorn at New Center Consulting, one possible requirement already seen in other countries might be "CONTACT TRACING". This may require the center to be able to provide a report of customers with the dates and times they were at the center. Touch Desk will now make that a standard report in our main report menu function. "HANDS FREE CONSOLE" is another one that might cause some centers problems, but TouchDesk III already has customers who opted to have no Consoles, which

is made easy by our interactive Desk Software, and we can help our customers eliminate the need for a keypad altogether. Another good feature is our "Mobile Touch Desk" giving employees the ability to take customers straight to the lane assigned without the need for counter interaction or keypads, a customer service option several of our customers offered pre COVID. We offer these and other solutions to our nearly 300 customers, giving them a more "contactless" customer interaction. If you have TouchDesk III or if you need a new system to help you meet new restrictions, give Glenn a call at (248) 375-2751.

LANE NUMBERS

INVITATION TO STAY CONNECTED

QubicaAMF wants centers to stay connected with Beyond the Frame Facebook Group: While some centers may be powered down, our bowling community is still connected! This new Facebook group is dedicated to supporting our local bowling centers by providing a platform to share our support content, outside-the-bowl marketing tips, and engage with customers. We know bowling centers are the fabric of local communities and are what Makes Bowling Amazing! Staying connected gives you access to the following: FREE Marketing Resources from QubicaAMF experts with over 40 years of practical bowling center operation and marketing experience; industry updates and resources; success stories around the entire entertainment industry; and a platform to engage with other bowling centers and share best practices. We invite you to join our group to help #supportbowling by following the link. www.facebook.com/groups/QubicaAMFbeyondtheframe/

Steltronic has always enhanced the Focus-NEX software and continues to work with bowling center proprietors and employees using the Focus-NEX system. When a proprietor suggested to add lane numbers to the LCD monitors, we did it! And, we installed the update for free! It is just one more example of how our front desk software and the bowler console features are truly the easiest to use. Steltronic continues to offer free software updates and free technical support for the life of your system. For more than 40 years, we are YOUR bowling center management specialists. For more information call (800) 942-5939 or info@steltronic.com.

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MARKETING

BRINGING BACK YOUR BEST CUSTOMERS POST-COVID-19 Intercard’s Jerry Heinz believes planning now will pay off later By Jerry Heinz

A

s international amusement operators, FECs, and BECs prepare to reopen their facilities after the COVID-19 shutdown, Intercard’s Jerry Heinz has some valuable tips on how to bring back their best customers. Heinz has been in the hospitality and amusement industry for over 20 years, having spent the last seven years as Asia-Pacific sales manager for cashless system provider Intercard. His work in these industries has allowed him to visit over 30 different countries, hundreds of FECs, theme parks, and arcades. He’s met some of the most talented industry professionals

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in Asia, India, the Middle East, and North America. His advice to operators around the world is:  Each country is unique, but the current COVID-19 crisis has hit every country hard and everyone has shared the incredible burden. Until now a country or region would have their own specific challenges that had to be overcome, be it weather related, economics, or political, but COVID-19 created a true global event that everyone is experiencing together.  One of the most important questions FEC operators should be asking themselves right now is how are you rewarding your top spenders?   Having travelled 150 hotel nights a year with hundreds of thousands of air miles accumulated, I have become truly knowledgeable on frequent flyer programs, elite status, or memberships and their many benefits.  I am sure many of you are, like me, receiving promotional emails with offers from all the companies that you usually work with. These programs are making sure I am not forgetting about them — and it’s working.  While hotels, airlines, theme parks, and FECs will take a little longer to get back to normal than other industries, those that are staying in touch with their customers will reap the benefits once the crisis lifts. This is a proven tactic used by the biggest brands. The amusement industry is all about guest experience and, by rewarding your customers, you are adding to that positive experience and ensuring their return.  Now is the time to reach out to your guests, keep them engaged, and keep your business part of your customers’ top-of-mind awareness. If you are successful in doing so you will be one of the first activities they do when they can leave the house.  With so many options for people to spend their entertainment dollars, it is important to add value and reward your most loyal customers.  This has worked extremely well for the travel industry. Here are some tested and true ideas to consider: u Offer an invitation-only re-opening night for your top 100 or 1000 customers (based on spend in the last year.) u Set up memberships to reward top spenders, i.e. spend $200 in a year


MARKETING and become Silver Member and receive a free game every day; spend $500 and become a Gold Member and receive two free games a day; spend $1,000 and become a Diamond Member and receive three free games a day.   u Promote sales now with added bonus cash.  Offer customers who

his customers coming back for more. Tony also has two types of incentives: a $35 deal, and a $55 deal. These are the most askedfor deals in all of his locations. The tickets that come with it are a great incentive and all locations will do about 80% of their total revenue with those two deals alone. Tony says his $35 spend  is the best seller; he has found that if you get $35 off 80% of your customers, you’re on a winning streak. I truly believe that the industry will thrive again in the future and remembering your top spenders will help guarantee that. ❖

One of the most important questions FEC operators should be asking themselves right now is: how are you rewarding your top spenders? purchase game cards now a bonus to use when your location opens. Try to get the money now for future play. One of my customers, Tony Argery, owner of FunHouse FECs in Brisbane, Australia, says he tentatively plans on opening up in mid or late June. He will implement the same membership program for his customers that has gotten him great results before. For customers who spend over $1,000 at FunHouse, they will automatically receive a Gold Tap card which gives them one free game per day and 5% off all games. His Platinum Tap card gives away two free games a day and 10% off all games. These incentives keep

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Jerry Heinz is Intercard’s sales manager for the Asia Pacific region. He has been in the hospitality and amusement industry for over 20 years.


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CLASSIFIEDS EQUIPMENT FOR SALE FOR SALE: WOOD LANES, MAPLE & PINE; ANVIL SYNTHETIC LANES; DECKS & FLAT GUTTERS; BRUNSWICK POWER LIFTS; B-2000 HOOD/RACKS; KEGLE ION LANE MACHINE; BRUNSWICK GLO SWING-N-SWIVEL SEATING; STELTRONIC SCORING; PARTS READY FOR PICK UP. EMAIL TODAY! KNOTRITELLC@GMAIL.COM NEW & USED Pro Shop Equipment. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. (800) 255-6436 or jayhawkbowling.com. REPAIR & EXCHANGE. Call for details (248) 375-2751.

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I AM BVL BVL Donates $100,000 to Support New VA Therapy Programs During COVID-19 Pandemic

BVL BVL is donating a $100,000 grant grant tto o the Department of of V Veterans eterans A Affairs ffairs tto o support tw two o ne new w pr programs ograms – Compassionate C ontact Corps therapy. Compassionate Contact Corps and Tele-yoga Teele-yoga therapy. allow vveterans eterans tto o kkeep eep a virtual personal These funds allow connection during the C OVID-19 pandemic with pr connection COVID-19 programs ograms that address address essential ongoing physical physical ther therapy apy and mental health health needs such as depr depression ession and suicide prevention. prevention. BVL BVL began in 1942 when bowlers bowlers across across America America rraised aised funds to to pur purchase chase planes tto o bring w wounded ounded servic servicemen emen and w women omen home. Our ccommitment ommitment ttoday oday is as str strong ong as eever, ver, standing up for for our active-duty active-duty militaryy and veterans an veterans who no now w serv servee on a diff different erent fr front ont line as first rresponders esponders and emergency emergency medical medical staff staff..

We will always be here for those who serve.

WE ARE BVL BVL.ORG PHOTO CREDITS: U.S NATIONAL GUARD, DALE GREER (TOP RIGHT) & MASTER SGT. MICHAEL STEWART (BOTTOM RIGHT); U.S. COAST GUARD, PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS JOHN Q. HIGHTOWER (CENTER RIGHT). NO ENDORSEMENT IS IMPLIED BY USE OF THESE PHOT0S.


REMEMBER WHEN

Remember? We could all use a blanket about now to give us comfort, to hug when we can’t do much else. Soon, we will begin to reopen and reacquaint ourselves with activities, people, and work that gave us more pleasure than we knew. We’re all going to be a bit rusty on the lanes, but if we just take a look at Linus and grab our blanket and practice, I think we’ll do okay!

Charlie Brown & Friends

A Blanket to the Rescue.

harlie Brown and his gang have been around too long to point to a date—1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s. The comic strip is nigh on to immortal. While Charlie and Lucy are predominantly the stars, there is a raft of supporting characters—those go-to-guys that keep the story moving along. So, here we are in the middle of summer. Kids are going to bowling centers to cool off, to enjoy being with their friends, and giving their parents a break. Linus van Pelt, Lucy’s brother, first arrived on the scene in 1952. We all can relate to his affection and need for his blankie. (I still have my daughter’s.) How many times have you bowled and wished that, at that last moment, you could have brought into play Linus’ blanket? Even Franklin is in awe. Enjoy your dog days of summer and for heaven’s sake go bowling! ❖

C

- Patty Heath

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PHONE: 863-734-0200 FAX: 863-734-0204 | 1951 LONGLEAF BLVD. LAKE WALES, FL 33859 | WWW.KEGEL.NET


F Te ree R ch nic eop al eni Su ng pp ort

WE’RE HERE FOR YOU WHEN YOU NEED US tŚŝůĞƚŚŝŶŐƐŵĂLJďĞĐŚĂŶŐŝŶŐĂůůĂƌŽƵŶĚƵƐ͕ǁĞĂƌĞƐƟůůŚĞƌĞ for you when you need us. Our technical support team is available ƚŽĂƐƐŝƐƚLJŽƵĂƐLJŽƵƚƌĂŶƐŝƟŽŶƚŽƌĞŽƉĞŶ͘ /ĨLJŽƵǁŽƵůĚůŝŬĞƚŽƐĐŚĞĚƵůĞĂĨƌĞĞĐĂůů͕ĂƐŬƋƵĞƐƟŽŶƐŽƌŐĞƚĂƐƐŝƐƚĂŶĐĞ during your reopening, contact us at ŚƩƉƐ͗ͬͬǁǁǁ͘ƋƵďŝĐĂĂŵĨ͘ĐŽŵͬƐĐŚĞĚƵůĞƚĞĐŚƐƵƉƉŽƌƚ ĚĚŝƟŽŶĂůůLJ͕ǁĞĞŶĐŽƵƌĂŐĞLJŽƵƚŽƌĞǀŝĞǁŽƵƌReopening Checklist for best ƉƌĂĐƟĐĞƐŽŶŚŽǁƚŽƚƵƌŶLJŽƵƌĞƋƵŝƉŵĞŶƚďĂĐŬŽŶ͘ We are just as eager to get back to bowling as you are. When you are ready to open your doors, we will be available to help you make that happen.

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International Bowling Industry Magazine - June 2020  

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