THE WORLD'S ONLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO THE BUSINESS OF BOWLING
6 ISSUE AT HAND
Are you serious?
Ebonite’s New Venture Crafting pins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
By Scott Frager
By Michael Goldman
PUBLISHER & EDITOR Scott Frager email@example.com Skype: scottfrager
DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Chris Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Gregory Keer email@example.com
OFFICE MANAGER Patty Heath firstname.lastname@example.org
An 8-year-old’s “Strikes for Cancer” 13th Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival The Air Force’s remote controlled bowling balls Bowling and hair salon partner up
36 OFF THE CLOCK Larry Linder His driving passion By Bree Gutierrez
ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Designworks
41 WHAT BOWLING MEANS TO ME From Alaska to San Diego, Chris Leftwich bowls with his heart
UW- Madison Union South’s new lanes
54 REMEMBER WHEN
By Lydia Rypcinski
17 INTERNATIONAL PROFILE
1960 Bowling’s heyday
Australia’s Sugarbowl Lanes E-J Starkey makes his dream come true
44 Datebook 45 Showcase 46 Classifieds
By Paul Lane
24 COVER STORY Shenaniganz
By Joan Taylor 36
www.dzynwrx.com (818) 735-9424
FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)
13245 Riverside Dr., Suite 501 Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (818) 789-2695(BOWL) Fax (818) 789-2812 email@example.com
HOTLINE: 888-424-2695 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, 13245 Riverside Drive, Suite 501, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 USA. If possible, please furnish address mailing label. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright 2010, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.
MEMBER AND/OR SUPPORTER OF:
A barrel of fun in Rockwall, Texas
SPECIAL PROJECTS Jackie Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org
14 CENTER STAGE
CONTRIBUTORS Michael Goldman Bree Gutierrez Patty Heath Paul Lane Lydia Rypcinski Joan Taylor
THE ISSUE AT HAND
Are you serious? Seriously. Are we just too serious? Days at the magazine and the Bowling Centers of Southern California tend to get very serious, quite quickly. In a small office environment with deadlines constantly looming and everyone buzzing around accomplishing the impossible, we often lose sight of how truly fun our business can be. Those who know me, work with me, and even those who love me know that one of my deficits is that I skew a little closer to the serious side of life. Sure, I like to have fun and enjoy myself, but in a quiet kind of way. You won’t find any funny titles listed on my, or my teammates’ business cards. It’s just not how I roll. Thank goodness for my creative staff who keeps the magazine brimming with color, creativity and life. They also help to keep the process of putting the magazine together and managing a bowling trade association FUN! What about the culture of business versus the culture of fun at your
business? Are these two concepts symbiotic or antithetical by nature? For at least two bowling centers the culture of fun begins in their names. Last month, IBI had the pleasure of featuring a bowling center named “Knuckleheads.” It is an amazing facility with an equally amazing history and story, but it also has an untraditional name. You can just tell from its logo that this center’s management is both serious about business and has the self-confidence needed to call itself a knucklehead. This month, we move from “Knuckleheads” to “Shenaniganz.” Shenaniganz has a special story to tell. Anytime a guest calls the bowling center or drives up to the inviting, almost glowing, entrance and steps inside the building, they are treated to a special sort of hospitality– a hospitality worthy of a cover story within the pages of IBI. There was no master plan to feature two centers with self-deprecating names, it just ended up that way. I’m glad that it did too. Doing so gave me a chance to reflect on how I can inject a little more fun in my own business and customer service. It’s given me the confidence to find my own sense of humor and celebrate the fact that I am a part of a business that is nothing if not fun! . – SCOTT FRAGER, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR email@example.com
THIS MONTH AT www.BowlingIndustry.com If a picture is worth a thousand words, what would an album be worth? Find out by posting a new album with your pictures of your center, a remodel project, an event at your center, or a product that your company would like to show off. If IBI picks yours, it will be highlighted for all to see on IBI’s Homepage. IBI online is growing by leaps and bounds with thousands of photos and dozens of albums!! Photos are a great way to “show what ya got” and inspire or be inspired. First, find someone handy with a camera and shoot some fun shots of your facility, inside and out. Then, go to www.bowlingindustry.com and sign in. Third, click the “photos” button on the top banner; last but not least, click the “+ADD” button. The rest is a piece of cake. Looking forward to “seeing” you on IBI Online! 6
CHARITY BEGINS ON THE LANES No matter the cause, be it hunger, cancer, kids, or rare diseases, there is a bowling center donating time and space to organizations and fundraising. Centers are more than businesses; they are neighbors. The month of May saw many events held to raise awareness and money for a variety of causes. The Men’s Auxiliary to Chautauqua Lake Memorial Post 8647 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States held its sixth annual “Don’t Know Your bowling Partner Tournament” at Fountain Bowl Lanes in Jamestown, New York. More than 60 bowlers participated. The$6,100 raised went to support Hospice Chautauqua County. The hospice provides care for patients and families during the end stages of a loved one’s life. Strike Zone in Franklin, Ohio was the venue for a benefit held for Eli Nardi, a fifth-grader suffering from Stage 4 clear cell sarcoma of the kidney, organized by friends to help support the family. Bowling and sand volleyball plus raffles and door prizes were the entertainment. Aiming to raise awareness of and funds for Fanconi Anemia, a rare genetic blood disease that leads to bone marrow failure and certain cancers, a Cosmic Bowl-a-Thon was held at Cave Springs Bowling Lanes in St. Peters, Missouri in honor of 15-year-old Austin Jaros-Riley who suffers from the disease. The goal was $10,000, all of which will go towards Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon and the Parkinson Center of Oregon. Roger Anderson has been battling Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade. He and his wife Karen turned their love for bowling into a fundraiser. Beaverton, Oregon’s Sunset Lanes was the location and every lane was packed and every raffle ticket was sold. “Strike out Hunger,” a bowling fundraiser, was held at Park Lanes in Loves Park, Illinois. All the proceeds were designated for the Rockford Pantry Coalition and its fight against hunger in the community. Ann Van Wagner of Southern Florida in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory in Baltimore, Maryland held a bowling fundraiser, “Bowling for Brains,” at Strikes in Boca Raton, Florida. 72 high students sponsored an event at Thunderbird Lanes in Troy, Michigan to aid the Red Cross Japanese Relief Fund. Laraway Lanes in New Lenox, Illinois held a candlelight bowl fundraiser to promote awareness of suicide and depression. Students volunteered to sell raffle tickets with the proceeds going toward building a website to provide resources and education. Bowling brings people together; people do the rest! Let us know with what charity your center is involved. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 10
FIRE TAKES ITS TOLL River City Lanes owned by John Hohensee in Iron River, Michigan, a small town of approximately 1900, was destroyed by fire early Friday morning, May 20. The adjacent building of the Veterans of Foreign Wars received minor heat and smoke damage as reported by the Iron County Reporter. The cause of the fire as of May 24 was still undetermined and under investigation.
Photo compliments of Iron County Reprter, Iron River, MI.
Both Strasburg and its neighbor Columbia, Pennsylvania lost their fifty-plus year old centers to fire. Garden Spot Bowling Center, a fixture in Strasburg for 55 years, burned to the ground. According to a state police fire marshal, the fire was possibly due to an electrical system or heating outlet. Loss was estimated at approximately $1.5 million. There were a dozen bowlers and employees still in the center when the fire began. Columbia’s fire at 50-year-old Columbia Bowl was not suspicious and occurred a month prior to the Strasburg blaze.
owling is a Varsity Letter Sport!
Florida’s Lee Country School Board has voted to make high school bowling a varsity letter sport when school resumes this August. Bill Hanson, owner of All Star Lanes in North Fort Myers and current president of the Southwest Florida Bowling Proprietors Group, backed the idea and committed the Proprietors Group to fund the sport. Hanson cited Mike Cannington, Director of Operations for Bowland centers of Southwest Florida as one of the prime movers in accomplishing the goal. Six bowling centers will be participating, including North Fort Myers All Star Lanes, Bowland Cape Coral and Friendship Lanes.
PEOPLEWATCHING HOSTS THE PUNKS Mohawks, piercings and studded leather jackets were the dress for the Memorial Day weekend at Sam’s Town, Las Vegas. The accessories were bowling balls and shoes. These two divergent categories merged again for the 13th Annual Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival. The event was organized by the record label BYO, which stands for “Better Youth Organization.” Approximately 50 bands signed up to bowl and play with over 3,000 spectator tickets sold. A temporary Photos by Tyson Zoltan Heder outdoor concert hall hosted some of the sold-out events. While the music took place downtown Las Vegas, the bowling was set at Sam’s Town. The bowling was free for spectators and there was a grip-load of colorful characters to watch. The bowling teams are made up of punk rock musicians and a few members of the public. Some of the groups included Bouncing Souls, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Descendants, Stiff Little Fingers and Dropkick Murphys.
Former owner of AMF, Beverley Armstrong has passed away. Armstrong and his business partner, William Goodwin, Jr., purchased AMF Bowling Companies, Inc. in 1986. In 1996 a new entity, AMF Group, Inc., was formed with Goldman, Sachs & Co. which owned AMF Bowling Centers, Inc., AMF Bowling, Inc., and related businesses. Goldman, Sachs held 65 percent of the company. AMF Bowling’s former owners, William Goodwin, Jr. and Beverley Armstrong, caused a sensation when they distributed $50 million of their profits to 3,400 company employees, giving each the equivalent of 10 percent of his or her salary for every year they had been with the firm.
Fifteen-year marketing veteran Matthew J. Durbin has been named vice president of marketing for Brunswick Bowling – Retail, effective June 13. Durbin comes to Brunswick with an extensive background in the Matthew J. Durbin hospitality industry, most recently serving as vice president of marketing for Fox and Hound Restaurant Group. He is also an avid league bowler, former managing editor of Bowling Center Management magazine and the son of Hall of Fame bowler, Mike Durbin. “Matt’s unique combination of outstanding marketing successes and passion for bowling make him the perfect choice for Brunswick,” said Jim Fox, president, Brunswick Bowling – Retail. Durbin has an undergraduate degree from John Carroll University, Cleveland and an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.
Northeast Records, capturing 10th Place, and Septic Breath, 5th Place, joined forces to chronicle their bowling at Sam’s Town.
Cut Your Hair; Throw a Spare Westgate Bowling Center in Alpine Township, Michigan is no longer just a great place to hang out and have fun: it’s also home to a row of salon suites. Allison Hanks, pictured, will be opening her salon business, Conniptions Studio Salon, in June. There are 14 spa suites, 13 devoted to hair and 1 to a nail studio. Each 12-foot square suite is furnished with a styling chair, cabinet and sink, storage unite, drying chair and floor mat. Subletting extra space in a bowling center is not a new idea. Westgate Bowling Center manager Jennifer Kehoe said, “We were just looking for ways to diversify our business.” The suites will rent for a special, $100 a month for the first year. The licensed stylists were targeted with a direct mailer. 12
SHORTS BOWLING HELPS BUILD SUPPORT FUNDS
LETTER TO THE EDITOR Enjoy your magazine and stories. However, I would like to correct the information regarding Oklahoma. Oklahoma was one of the very first states to clear the air in bowling centers. Restaurants and bars were given an additional three years to comply. We have been smoke free for approximately 10 years. We lost a few customers but found more new ones. I truly enjoy being able to go home from the center odor free. Wayne Bolin Sahoma Lanes, Sapulpa, Okla
Celebrations: Put another candle on the birthday cake “59 years young!” could be the way Co-Owner Ernie Sawyer, Jr. looks at Sawyer’s Bowladrome in Northborough, Massachusetts. It started with pool in 1946 and in 1953 Ernie Jr. and his father Ernie Sr. opened Bowladrome, a candlepin center. As quoted in NorthboroughPatch’s article by Faith Mayer, Ernie Jr. said,“When we first found the spot, it was a crawl space. We came with wheelbarrows and shovels and for five months we moved dirt.” Many of their bowlers have been bowling there since day one. Happy Birthday! Not too far behind is Highland’s Plaza Lanes–50 years in operation! Customer loyalty is the key according to Jim Wojcik who is in charge of daily operations. In 1960 when Plaza Lanes opened, there were 24 lanes with back-in-the-day, state-of-the-art automatic pinsetters; 15 lanes were added in 1965 and then 20 more in 1975. Staying close to its customers and always trying to be innovative helps keep Plaza rolling along.
FOR THE MILITARY
Helping to raise money for Marines, Sailors and their families who may need financial support, Star N’Strikes Bowling Center was the host venue for the NMCRS’(National Marine Corps Relief Services) fund drive. Through golf and bowling tournaments, $4,000 in total donations had been raised through the month of April. Lance Cpl. Andrew R. Richards, a motor transport mechanic with MAC-2 was quoted, “With everything we do for the nation, it is nice to see there are people out there giving back to an organization that helps us as service members.…” Air Force Services Agency officials recently purchased and distributed 85 remote-controlled bowling balls and ramps for installations worldwide. This purchase makes the Air Force the single largest purchaser of the bowling balls and the first service to distribute them. Erin Tindell of the Air Force Personnel, Service and Manpower Public Affairs in San Antonio, Texas wrote that “wounded warriors and those with special needs, including civilians and dependents, have priority to use the balls at bowling centers at no charge. All others can use the ball for a fee.” Photos by Erin Tindell
A close-up shot of the new remote-controlled bowling ball and wireless remote.
The remote-controlled bowling ball looks like a traditional ball but is equipped with a computer chip and motor inside that allows the ball to self propel. A battery-operated remote allows the user to sync control the ball’s speed and direction of movement. It also lights up as it travels down the lane.
OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES Saint City News of St Albert, Alberta, Canada posted a story written by Glenn Cook which deserves repeating. Strikes for Cancer bowling event held at St. Albert Bowling Centre is in its second year and has so far raised more than $20,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Here is the inspiration. The event is the creation of eight-year-old Jaden Babiuk who came up with the idea two years ago! “Jaden has a little foam bowling set that he was playing with in 8
Tim Pope, Randolph Bowling Center head mechanic demonstrates how to use the center’s new remotecontrolled bowling balls.
the kitchen when he was six,” his mother said. “And he said to me, ‘I want to have a bowling tournament for cancer.’ I thought he meant making it up at home. So I said, ‘Yeah, OK.’ But he said, ‘No, I mean for real.’” Two years later, Jaden has not lost his vision. He approaches local businesses for sponsorships and donations with his spiel which works every time.
CENTER STAGE By Lydia Rypcinski orget the Kohl Center, Camp Randall Stadium and even Der Rathskeller pub in Memorial Union. The “in” place on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus right now is the eightlane bowling center in the glamorous new $94.8 million Union South building that opened April 15. The new union replaces its namesake that was demolished in 2009. “I thought we’d have a week of heavy activity and then slow down, but that didn’t happen,” said Bob Wright, recreational services manager for both union buildings. “We’ve been packed every day. I had to double my staffing through exams week. People are really excited about the new place.” The new bowling center is equipped with QubicaAMF lanes, auto scoring, upholstered lounge seating and four full-size TV screens over the pinspotters. It is located on the lower level of “The Sett,” the three-story recreation center in Union South that includes a billiards hall, climbing wall, movie theater, wine and coffee bar and a banquet room that seats 1,500 people. “Sett,” the scientific term for a badger burrow, is a logical name choice for the student hideaway. Wisconsin’s nickname is “The Badger State” and UW-Madison’s athletic mascot is “Bucky Badger.” The center also incorporates a number of “green” features, such as auto shut-off on the pinspotters, concourse tiles made of recycled materials, and countertops made of a dense material that comes from recycled cardboard. “Some of our table tops and a large part of our wall mat were part of the old parquet floor at the Kohl Center, before that was refurbished,” Wright said, adding that the university is seeking LEED (“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”) certification for the building.
CENTER STAGE Bowling has a long history at UW-Madison, dating back to 1894. The old “Red Gym,” Lathrop Hall (the first campus building devoted to women’s recreation) and Memorial Union all contained lanes at one time. “I think the Memorial Union lanes might have been pinboyoperated,” Wright said. “They were gone by the time Union South opened [in 1971].” The center in the first Union South featured then-state-of-theart Brunswick equipment. It was a popular gathering place for the university community, but changing times meant that Wright had to make some changes in the program when he arrived in Madison in 1996. “League business was declining,” Wright said. “We had maybe four active leagues that were running on the old sanctioning model. We dumped that and went to fun/nopressure bowling.” It was the right decision. During the seven years prior to the original Union South closing in 2009, “We averaged between 8,200-9,100 games per lane per year,” Wright said. It helped, he added, that the center had only eight lanes and UW-Madison has 40,000 students - “and Wisconsin has long, cold winters.” Some might find it curious that UW-Madison is celebrating a new bowling center while its sister campus, UW-Stout, mourns the one that closed last December. However, Wright said each branch makes its own decision as to what kind of physical plant it wants. “[The university system doesn’t] run on a straight-forward business model,” he said. “It depends on the willingness of each campus to invest, because bowling equipment is pricey. We [the Madison campus] have invested in bowling continuously over the years.” Now that the new Sett bowling center is up and running, Wright hopes that UW-Madison bowlers will be winning intercollegiate titles again before too long. “We took first in conference for four years running but didn’t even place this year,” Wright said. “It’s hard when you have no access to regular practice for two years. Last year, we had 12 active bowlers total, men and women, and fielded a mixed team. “But I have gotten a lot of calls and e-mails [about bowling for the team] since the new center opened. We expect it will take a year or two to rebuild the program.” It might take less time than that. The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a colder-than normal winter for Madison this year. ❖ A frequent contributor to IBI, Lydia Rypcinski has been writing for and about bowling for more than 30 years. She has won writing and photography awards in and outside the sport for her coverage, which has taken her to six continents and more than 20 countries. She co-authored Revolutions: The Changing Game with Chip Zielke in 1998 and Sports Traveler Chicago with Anbritt Stengele in 2009.
By Paul Lane
ome fifteen-years ago, at the age of twelve, E-J Starkey discovered bowling. He soon learned he had a natural ability for the sport and not long after was bowling competitively. By his mid-teens his love of the sport turned into a dream of being employed in the bowling industry. And, as a late teenager, his dream was to own a bowling center. However what E-J had was a lot more than a dream — he had the drive and initiative to turn his dream into a reality — but the journey to fulfill his dream was certainly a bumpy one. And it’s been no less bumpy since he got there, and although he’d settle for having it a little easier, he would not change what he’s doing for anything. The center E-J acquired was the 12-lane Innisfail Sugarbowl Lanes, which first opened its doors in 1985. Before that, the building had been a shopping complex of small retail pads. Innisfail, with a population of circa 9,000, is a town in the far north of the state of Queensland, Australia and is the major township of the Cassowary Coast renown for its sugar and banana industries and tourism. It is also known as being one of the wettest towns in Australia which is probably not a bad thing when you are in the bowling business. E-J was turned down on his first attempt to purchase the center (too young, 22, at the time) and another buyer purchased the center. However the new owner had no knowledge of the business at all, and while E-J worked for them on a strictly probono basis, the owners gave up trying to make it work after five months. During those five months a couple dozen well-established league bowlers planned to quit the sport completely as the center was so poorly maintained and there was E-J Starkey with wife Mandy and daughters Emily, 3 years, and Hannah, a year old at Innisfail Sugarbowl. Photos courtesy of Lea Guy
nowhere else for them to go. But E-J confided in them that he was trying to take over the center and asked them to stay on. This time he succeeded and was able to retain all of the existing league customers. However, what he had taken over was, for all intents and purposes, a derelict center in serious need of restoration in virtually every department, from the lanes, to the machines, to the furniture, fixtures and fittings, and overall dĂŠcor. The first essential priority was to fix the lanes if he wanted to retain his league bowlers. The year before he took over, the roof blew off the building during a cyclone. The center flooded and the lanes were left underwater. The owner at that time had to settle for drying them out. The insurance company (not understanding the bowling business.) proposed using three or four drying fans (but only one was supplied) plus a resurface and recoat. The same cyclone had E-J earning a lucrative living as a computer technician. Businesses all over Innisfail were destroyed and their computer systems along with it. With insurance companies paying the bills, E-J was kept busy restoring and reinstalling computer systems for businesses all over town. When E-J took over the center he had no choice but to replace the lanes, which he did with synthetics from Switch. In the process he discovered that the subfoundations were infested with termites, and he was faced with $6,000 to repair the damage they had caused. Next, he needed a lane machine, which he purchased from Kegel. If you think a lane machine is a luxury for a 12-lane, owner-operated center, think again. E-J has no staff! Itâ€™s just his wife Mandy and he managing every aspect of the center. E-J takes care of the front desk, leagues, machines and lane maintenance and the facilityâ€™s amenities. He also runs the pro shop, including ball drilling. Meanwhile, Mandy runs their cafeteria/food service plus a trophy and corporate awards business. The Awards and Trophy Store is a newly acquired venture that enjoys
seventy-five percent of the town’s corporate awards business. Mandy has access to the trophy shop through the kitchen, multi-tasking between serving coffee, hot and cold snacks and fries and burgers and engraving plaques and assembling trophies. “On a bad day you may be served with a nicely engraved hamburger,” she jokes. Other improvements E-J has made to the center include new masking units, automatic scoring, automatic bumpers, and an event room, all of which have resulted in a significant increase in revenue and volume of business in all departments. When E-J installed the new automatic scoring (Australian Computer Score —Vantech in the USA), he increased the price of open play by a dollar a game, and 60-cents a game for league play. When he installed the new lanes, he increased open play by another 50-cents and league play by 10-cents. All without a single complaint; just compliments. What’s next? First, there’s the ongoing program to manage a field refurbishment of his pinsetters, some of which are possibly the oldest Brunswick Model ‘A’ machines still operating. In fact, some of them have serial numbers comprising just three-digits. Next is new concourse furniture with tables incorporating ball returns and new seating. But, as we all know, there is a lot more to building a bowling business than making improvements to the facility, with service and marketing being the two most important. We asked E-J about his marketing and why customers keep coming back to his center. “The relaxed, friendly, family atmosphere backed up with dynamite service and food and beverage service on the lanes,” was his reply, and “’Are you ready for another (beer, soft drink etc.)?’ does wonders for an additional sale,” he added. To promote leagues and open play, the most successful marketing program for Sugarbowl Lanes, according to E-J, has been local television. He says, “A twomonth-long, TV advertising flight paid for itself in the first three-weeks.” Email and internet advertising is used extensively and effectively too. The local press is also generous with editorial, and anytime there’s a story about bowling in the local press, E-J enjoys an influx of new customers, which is more effective than paid local press advertising. Learn-to-Bowl classes for beginners have proven to be a successful part of league development. E-J and Mandy and E-J’s mother and father are all Level 1 certified instructors, and so too are a couple of regular customers who also give instruction at the center. There’s no charge for Learn-to-Bowl classes or instruction for beginners, but there’s a nominal charge for ongoing group training instruction that runs weekly for established bowlers. League bowling is vital to the business, and presently, league bowling represents 70-percent of his lineage, and 50-percent of the bowling revenue. A popular and innovative feature of Innisfail Sugarbowl Lanes is they post all the weekly IBI
INTERNATIONAL PROFILE league results and standings on their website. By updating the standings, weekly league bowlers visit the website and, in the process, can read about promotions, tournaments and other activities planned at the center. Posting league results weekly has also proven to be valuable when players travel to other centers to participate in handicap tournaments. The tournament organizers can visit the website to verify averages. Birthday parties and in-school bowling activities are part of the program too — including a weekly in-school bowling activity from a private school which is attended by 70 school children every week, filling all the lanes. Typically he’ll have five or six parties running at the same time, “which adds up to a lot of french fries,” says E-J. Another plus are the automatic bumper systems which have opened the center up to families with kids that were, hitherto, too small to enjoy bowling. E-J also purchased two electronic devices that propel a ball down the lane. They are built to look like a cannon from a pirates galleon and small kids (e.g., for birthday parties) dress in red or blue pirate’s outfits (black eye patches to boot) and the Red Pirates team will play against the Blue Pirates team. The firing mechanism is in the shape of a sword handle. We asked E-J about his price structure. Per person rates are: 1-game (including Shoe Rental) $11.00 AUD ($11.55 USD) 2-games (including Shoe Rental) $18.00 AUD (18.92 USD) 3-games (including Shoe Rental) $24.00 AUD ($25.22 USD) He says his pricing is about the same as other small independent centers in Queensland, but lower than the larger, family entertainment centers, especially those owned by the large chains. E-J says he does not understand why the price in most centers in the USA is so cheap. He tells the story of a group of American visitors to his center asking how much it is to bowl. When he told them, the response was, “For
A Ghostly Experience In the early 80’s, when Innisfail Sugarbowl was still a small strip mall of retail pads, someone was electrocuted in one of the shops. That someone’s name was George, and George’s ghost is rumored to haunt the building. E-J has always been skeptical about this but, never-theless, his skepticism has been put to the test by two unexplained incidences — the first occurring after he closed up and went home for the night (remember home is an apartment right there in the same building). The next morning he went to the back-end to do some maintenance on the pinsetters only to find that all of the pins no were longer in the machines but instead standing in a perfectly straight line in the pinsetter aisle. On another occasion he unplugged all sources of power from the pinsetter on lane one, but the machine kept running and the mask unit lights remained lit. E-J’s still skeptical and asserts confidently that there must be a logical explanation . . . but his skepticism has to be at least somewhat challenged by these two unexplained, seemingly paranormal experiences. 22
all of us?” “No, each,” he informed them. We also asked E-J how his pricing compared to other forms of entertainment or recreation available in the market. Interestingly, cricket, which is a participant sport in Australia, comes with a registration fee of $400 per season plus $10 a week to play, making it more expensive than a season of league bowling. Movies cost about the same as three games of bowling and last about as long, assuming people bowl in groups. Because it’s free, the beach could be serious competition but happily, as we mentioned earlier, Innisfail is rated as the wettest/rainiest town in Australia. Since they have no staff, E-J says that if it were not for Wednesdays, he’d be six-feet under by now. The center is closed on Wednesdays, but it’s not really a day off. It’s about maintenance, book-keeping, and a myriad other chores. Mandy and E-J have two children, Emily who is almost 3 and Hannah a year old. And the Starkey’s live at the center. There was an empty, unfinished space at the side of the center that E-J converted and finished as an apartment, eliminating a commute and gas money, and enabling them to have Emily and Hannah with them all the time. Another dream of E-J’s is to attend the annual BowlExpo in the USA. But he does not see that happening just yet . . . not until all the improvements and renovations are finished and paid for, at which time he plans to hire at least one or two employees and for Mandy and him to take a well earned break. But E-J’s dreams do not end here — doing it all over again with another derelict center may be in the cards in the future too. Obviously E-J is one of those people who thrives on challenges. And why not? He’s up to it, and he’s still only 27-years old! ❖
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.
By Joan Taylor
t is clear that the prime directive of the “Shenaniganz Eater-tainment Center” in Rockwall, Texas is “promoting, promoting, promoting.” From poker tournaments to a Facebook page to free weekly “Kidz Meals,” the owner-operator Ripp family leaves no marketing stone unturned to attract and keep customers. “The biggest challenge,” said Parker Coddington, one of three siblings involved in running the business, “is with five of us in a room making decisions, sometimes each feels the strongest about his/her ideas. But we sort it through.” The Shenaniganz facility, which used to be a cable manufacturing building, is run by family matriarch and patriarch Hazel and Dr. Thomas Ripp and their three oldest children – Parker, Keegan and Justin. Sister Caitlin and twins Zach and Gavin are co-owners but not actively involved in the business. The 75,000 sq.-ft. mega-complex offers bowling, black light minigolf, go-kartz and lazer tag (their spellings), rock climbing, billiards, shuffleboard and an arcade, as well as the Z Lounge, Rozie’s Sports Bar and Rozie’s Grill. Coddington says that Shenaniganz came about because the Ripp family was looking for something to do together. “We’ve all enjoyed being competitive with games and bowling and wanted to build an upscale family entertainment center,” Coddington said. “We needed a goodsized building but were limited in location,” he continued. “This building was for sale. After a feasibility study, we moved forward with the help of the Trifecta Management group, and here we are.” Construction began in July 2008, and the grand opening was December 17, 2008. It took the family almost that long to name the new enterprise. "It did take the five of us eight hours to come up with the name,” Coddington said with a laugh. “We wanted a name that sounded like fun, with a little bit of mischief in it. We must have kicked around a million different names.” The family liked “Shenanigans” but found the name was already owned by Nan of “Nan’s Gifts.” So the family changed one letter and called the new business “Shenaniganz.” The IBI
Z Lounge, Rozie’s Sports Bar, and Rozie’s Grill (the latter two named for Thomas Ripp’s mother, Rosie) all evolved from the last letter of the center’s new name. That playful “Z” embodies what Shenaniganz is all about. “We can’t take ourselves too seriously, because people come here to have fun,” Coddington said. For instance, the voice prompt for incoming calls says you can get “anything else including dancing panda lessons” if you press “5.” Management will also put an open-play customer on the spot by promising that person and everyone else in the center a
$10 game card if he or she can pick up a spare. “We’ll get onto the microphone and say ‘Attention, Shenaniganz, everybody here gets a $10 game card if so-and-so on lane such-and-such picks up his spare,’” Coddington said. “People gather around and start chanting his name. “One time we did this with a guy who left a 7-pin,” he continued. “Well, he barely kissed the pin. It teetered and fell, and the place erupted into madness. There were hugs as he raised his arms in victory.” Bowling generates the most revenue of all the activities. In addition to 16 lanes on the main concourse, eight more are in the Z-Lounge and are available for private parties of up to 250 people. The Z-Lounge is upscale, featuring a martini bar, earth tones and leather furniture. Shenaniganz has hosted corporate holiday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, baby showers, anniversary and adult birthday parties and even a bar mitzvah. “It’s different from a hotel banquet room,” Coddington said, “and features great food with a great atmosphere.” The other 16 lanes host “regular” bowling leagues under direction of league coordinator Randy Harris, a familiar name to bowlers in the Dallas area. The lanes
are set off in such a way that other activities do not interfere with the more serious league player. Open bowlers are given the choice of $4.50 per game or $23.99 per hour lane rental in non-primetime. The lane rental is $29.99 per hour Fridays and Saturdays after 6 p.m., and $39.99 per hour in the private Z Lounge area. In addition to bowling, customers can watch sports events or music videos on the high-definition projection screens hung across the pinsetters, all from the comfort of plush laneside couches. While the owners constantly run promotions (see http://www.shenaniganz.com), they study what their customers, whom they call “guests,” want. The family relies on the expertise of General Manager Victor Zanotti and Director of Sales and Marketing Scott Mullen to help them make Shenaniganz the place to be in suburban Dallas. “There’s something for everybody,” Coddington said. “The restaurants
have steaks, pizza, chicken and even Kraft macaroni and cheese. Dad can drop the kids off at a birthday party and watch a game at our sports bar. On weekends we run a 21-and-older dance party with a DJ.” “We have amateur poker tournaments every Monday and Tuesday,” Coddington continued. “We keep trying different things. If they don’t work, we tweak them. If it still doesn’t work - we tried open mic night on Thursdays and that failed miserably - we stop and go with something else.” One promotion that enjoyed great success in 2009 and 2010 was Shenaniganz’ “12 days of Christmas.” Members of the center’s VIP e-mail club were eligible to enjoy different promotions each day, starting December 13th. On that day, they received e-mail messages that read, “On the first day of Christmas, Shenaniganz gave to me … free loaded cheese fries.” The following days’ e-mails offered premiums such as a free game of bowling or a game of lazer tag. “We knew it worked because people would call in asking for their e-mail announcements,” Coddington said. “This added value to their being members of the VIP e-mail club.” In bad weather there can be up to a two hour wait for bowling and a one hour wait for laser tag, but Coddington said that waiting can be a good thing. “People can play in the arcade, order a drink, or enjoy one of the other games such as miniature golf.” The owners are always looking to upgrade and update what is already there. They recently added a mechanical bull to the activities mix. Menus also undergo continual review
and adjustment at the F&B outlets. “People don’t want to come and keep seeing the same stuff,” Coddington said. “And because 35-40% of our revenue is from food and drink, we look to change it up often by adding new items to the menu. The same goes for what our guests enjoy doing, such as karaoke and trivia games, which have both been very successful.” Looking to Shenaniganz’ future, the Ripp family feels there is always room for improvement. They want their guests to enjoy a five-star experience with a “touchy- feely” warmth for customers. “We want to just keep the standard high,” Coddington said. And that’s no shenanigans! ❖
Joan Taylor is a multi-award winning bowling writer based in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
OPERATIONS By Michael Goldman onsidering it’s been a major player in the bowling world for over 100 years and owns several commercial and consumer product brands, a new acquisition by Ebonite International would not normally be particularly surprising. But the company’s latest addition to its portfolio is, in fact, a surprise, at least in terms of its unorthodox nature. That acquisition made news in late 2010 when Ebonite International announced it had purchased the Diamond Duramid bowling pin brand from IQ Bowling Industries. The deal was designed to address a gap in Ebonite International’s holdings, since the company, best known for its balls, had never been involved in the production and distribution of pins to bowling centers until now. However, the real news wasn’t that Ebonite was entering the pin wars, but rather, how it was planning to go about it. Upon completing the acquisition, the company opted to move the former Diamond Duramid manufacturing operation out of Mexico and into Ebonite International’s hometown headquarters in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. There, in one of the company’s existing facilities, it launched a lean manufacturing operation to produce pins re-branded under the name UStrike for distribution to bowling centers around the world via Ebonite’s Bowling Center Direct distribution arm. Any company bringing manufacturing to the United States in the current economy is a big deal, obviously, but in this case, it was a well planned and organized strategy that Ebonite International officials insist was not only the right thing to do for the local economy, but also a smart business play. “Ebonite International has been in the industry over 100 years and built a major brand by becoming a major producer of bowling balls,” says company CEO Randy Schickert. “Over the years, we acquired additional companies and now have a portfolio of brands serving the industry that includes four major ball and bag companies (Ebonite, Columbia 300, Hammer, Track), the Powerhouse brand of pro shop equipment, a full line of Robby’s wrist supports, accessories, and other equipment. Therefore, the next serviceable product that made sense was bowling pins. We had a pre-existing business relationship with Diamond Duramid and knew they were trying to run the company with management out of Europe, making it a struggle for them in Mexico. It was an apple amongst oranges for them, while it was a perfect fit for us. So we played matchmaker and bought their equipment and assets. During negotiations, we made the strategic decision to shut down in Mexico and move the whole thing to Hopkinsville.” Schickert emphasizes that Ebonite International had the real estate readily available to house the manufacturing facility in Hopkinsville, so it did not need to buy or lease facilities in Mexico or anywhere else. But there were other factors, as well. While, on the surface, one might presume that it would be cheaper labor-wise to run a manufacturing plant in Mexico, Schickert and Pete Moyer, head of Bowling Center Direct, say that, in fact, the opposite was true in this case.
Ebonite International Featured on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Ebonite International’s new Ebonite Bowling Center Direct pin manufacturing facility was featured on June 7th in a series titled “Building Up America,” a recurring segment on Anderson Cooper 360. “We heard what was going on and thought this would be great for this series,” producer Katie Ross said. “The series takes a look at businesses, individuals and communities that are doing well right now despite what’s going on in the economy.” In December, Ebonite International announced that it had purchased the Diamond Duramid pin plant from the IQ Bowling Industries and was planning to relocate the facility to one of their five buildings in Hopkinsville, KY. “When you look at the total costs of doing business,” explained Randy Schickert, CEO, “we were able to save a great deal in transportation and labor costs by moving the company to the U.S. By using the Lean Manufacturing principles we apply in our ball plant, we’re going to be able to produce a great quality product here in the U.S. for the same labor dollars, using a fraction of the manpower. It may not work for everyone, but it definitely made sense for us.” CNN reporter Tim Foreman interviewed both Schickert and Pete Moyer, Director of Ebonite Bowling Center Direct, and toured the pin facility with Operations Manager Ben Rogers. “We’re in the final stages of earning USBC approval for these pins,” said Moyer. “Once approval is granted, we’ll be able to begin making pins full time. Currently we’ve only made pins for testing purposes.” The series aired on June 7, 2011 during the 11pm EST hour, and will re-air periodically across the CNN network. “With all the hard work we’ve done and the rigorous testing these pins have been through, it’s nice to have some recognition that we’re doing the right thing,” said Schickert. “It hasn’t been easy, but in the end, we’re bringing jobs and manufacturing back to America, and that’s what counts.” 34
“We studied their operation and felt we could streamline the productivity and have less people producing pins in a more efficient manner, while paying those workers more,” Schickert explains. “We felt we would have better control here at home, rather than trying to run a satellite far away. With our strict management practices, we felt we could streamline labor and increase productivity in terms of dollars for each pin than what they were doing in Mexico.” Plus, as Moyer points out, the raw material needed to manufacture high quality, USBC-approved bowling pins—No. 2 kiln-dried hard maple—is most definitely a North American product. Reducing the length of the supply chain and freight costs therefore made simple business sense for Ebonite International. “The USBC regulates that, and says approved pins have to be made of that particular wood or ‘an equal substitute,’ but to this point, no one has produced a pin of proper certification to our knowledge that is an equal substitute,” Moyer adds. “So if the raw material is grown here, our factory is closer to where it comes from, and that represented significant savings in our freight situation. Shipping wood to Mexico when we had a facility and a streamlined operation in Kentucky didn’t make sense.” At press time, Ebonite International officials were beta testing the new pins and anticipating USBC approval this summer for the company’s new line of UStrike pins, which were strategically named, branded, and logoed to emphasize the fact that the pins are manufactured in the United States. Ebonite International also is planning “an eventual evolution” of the pin, according to Schickert, and expects more announcements on possible pin technology improvements within the next year or so. Combined with the company’s deal earlier this year to obtain international distribution rights for Twister synthetic bowling pins—the only USBC-approved synthetic pin—Ebonite International has suddenly become a major player in pin production as it has been for decades in the category of bowling balls. Ebonite International officials call the company now the third largest manufacturer and
producer of pins in the world in addition to being producer of about 50 percent of all bowling balls in the world and over 90 percent of balls in the United States. Meanwhile, Ebonite International officials strongly believe the company’s core manufacturing expertise will help build UStrike into an elite brand made efficiently and economically in the United States. Schickert says, as it does with its bowling ball brands, Ebonite International will rely on Lean Six Sigma business management and manufacturing principles to produce the pins in Hopkinsville and distribute them through Bowling Center Direct. (Lean Six Sigma is a variation on the Six Sigma quality-control strategy for manufacturers that essentially focuses an entire manufacturing business on removing errors and standardizing production methods, while strategically tuning all resources exclusively toward value of the end product.) “These principles and methods are in all our products and will be in our pin manufacturing business, as well,” says Schickert. “It’s all about expanding productivity, which is the way it makes the most sense to bring manufacturing into the United States as we have done.” Indeed, Ebonite officials emphasize that while the same philosophy will be in place when it comes to manufacturing pins and bowling balls, the specifics of each are very different—different raw materials and different equipment, among other things. Thus, the company took great time and care to study the pin manufacturing methods that were previously employed by Diamond Duramid in Mexico, as well as the larger pin industry generally. But that said, “the idea of quality control, process enhancement, monitoring the processes, regardless of whether you are working with wood or urethane— these kinds of best practices apply to all manufacturing,” he adds. “They are different processes, but we will have the same high standards for both.” At the end of the day, as Ebonite embarks on this new venture, it does so in, needless to say, a highly uncertain economy and an industry that, like so many others, has been suffering under those conditions. Therefore,
Schickert suggests that the only way to bring major product manufacturing back to the United States in the bowling industry is to be highly strategic about it. “Ebonite International remains a strong company, and we have a fifty percent market share-plus in the bowling ball market, but the industry overall has been in a decline certainly,” he says. “There are lots of projects and initiatives in place to address this, and we are certainly doing our part. But to do something similar to what we have done (with UStrike), companies certainly need to take a look at all sorts of things. We examined full acquisition costs, inventory, leadtime, scrap, freight, customer satisfaction, and many other things. You take all those factors into consideration and come up with what I call the total acquisition cost. It won’t always make sense, but if you are honest with yourself on true acquisition costs, you can sometimes build a case for staying in the United States to manufacture bowling products. And I’m proud we were able to do that here.” ❖ Michael Goldman is a veteran print and online journalist who, over the last 30 years, has covered sports, business, entertainment, technology, and media for a wide range of publications and web sites. For more on his work, visit his web site at www.michael-goldman.com.
OFF THE CLOCK
By Bree Gutierrez
Photography by Thomas Ovalle
f there’s one thing Larry Linder does well, it’s work. As founder and CEO of Western Bowling Proprietors Insurance Program, Linder has a no nonsense approach to life; from his business ethic to be straight forward and honest, to his diehard philosophy of either work or work harder. “My mother and father were salt of the earth type people who believed that if you didn’t work, you weren’t worth a warm bucket of spit,” Linder said. “So when you’re raised that way, you have a sense of urgency about you and you have an attitude that…if you think you can do it, you’ll do it.” While working in the insurance industry for the last 42 years, Linder has remained an active member of the United States Military, currently serving as a Colonel in the Army Guard Reserves in California, as well as the Deputy Director of Selective Service. Linder and his wife also own and operate the Lennox House Bed and Breakfast in Colorado Springs, CO. When Linder isn’t serving his clients or serving his country, he is busy operating his 6,000 square foot family museum.
OFF THE CLOCK
OFF THE CLOCK
Linder explained that the motive behind creating the JRL Tin Lizzie Museum is his family’s deep roots in this country. “My family settled here in the San Joaquin Valley in 1883,” Linder said. “We’re fourth or fifth generation natives of this area.” Linder said his great-great-grandfather not only invented the “Fancy Pack Label” which was a label that was used when shipping produce back in the late 1800s, he also owned the last three stagecoaches that were driven in the San Joaquin Valley. “We have buggies and carriages from the early 1800s through about 1910 (and) automobiles from about 1909 through 1971,” Linder said. “We have 1909 Buick automobiles and Model Ts and Model As, and Packers and all kinds of vintage automobiles.” Linder said his museum even has the kind of coaches that Abraham Lincoln would have ridden to the White House. “We have a 1935 Frigidaire soda fountain, that’s complete and works,” Linder said. Other antique displays include a complete 1935 Sinclaire Gas Station, a 1925 barber shop and an entire 1892 post office from Nevada City, CA. The post office even has all of the granite glass panels and the
OFF THE CLOCK
raised panel of quarter sawn old growth oak that says “Post Master” and “Mail Drop” and “Deeds and Money.” “It’s just a beautiful thing to see,” Linder said. “I also have a print shop with an 1874 Dodge printing press with all of the print type and the oak boxes.” Linder said he is working on adding a 1935 movie theater to his museum. Currently he is awaiting a donation of two vintage movie cameras to put on display. Although not all items in the museum were from his family, Linder admits it’s his family’s interest in history that carried on the collecting. “The carriages and the automobiles, some of them came with the family,” Linder said. “The rest of it is sort of an eclectic mix of things that caught my attention. But my family has been history buffs for many, many years, so there isn’t much we don’t like when it comes to historical artifacts.” ❖
Bree Gutierrez, holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism, is a freelance writer and preschool teacher residing in Southern California with her husband and son.
WHAT BOWLING MEANS TO ME
By Bree Gutierrez
urrounded by dim lights and the clamoring of his team he ties his laces while 15 pounds of spherical resin pounds the oil laced wood resonating through the alley. He steps up on his turn, palms sweaty and eyes focused on his pin of choice, he makes his descent toward the foul line and bowls a strike. For ten years now the same could be said about Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Leftwich, a
IBI July 2011
WHAT BOWLING MEANS TO ME yeoman currently stationed in Juneau, Alaska. Leftwich has been bowling just about as long as he’s been in the Coast Guard. “I’ve been in the Coast Guard for nine years now and have been bowling for just about 10 years,” said Leftwich. “I started bowling when I was 16-years old and as I got better I used that skill to compete in tournaments to earn extra money.” Leftwich’s competitive nature and desire to excel at the game got him an invitation on the Navy’s bowling team during the 2010 Armed Forces Bowling Championship hosted by Naval Base San Diego. Believed by military bowlers as the most prestigious competition to test their skill amongst other servicemen, it lasted a week beginning Dec. 6 and ended Dec. 10.
Prior to officially being part of the Navy team, as the Coast Guard wasn’t represented in the tournament, Leftwich had to try out. He bowled multiple games a day against 22 of the Navy’s elite bowlers to earn his spot on the four-man roster. In the end his hard work paid off as he bowled well enough to make the team and from there went on to the championships. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines each provided eight-person teams comprised of four men and four women who competed in eight games a day on multiple different oil patterns. The oil patterns played a huge part in Leftwich’s performance as he had to constantly change his strategy and style in order to bowl to his optimum ability. “The main thing to focus on is the oil patterns layed on the lanes,” said
WHAT BOWLING MEANS TO ME Leftwich. “Every day after competition we would practice for two hours on the oil patterns that we were going to face the next day.” Of the 100 people that initially tried out, only 32 made it to the championships. Leftwich stood out like a soar thumb and everyone’s eyes were on him and a female shipmate who were representing not only themselves and the Navy but the entire 34,000 plus Coast Guardsmen. The Armed Forces Bowling Championship consisted of 24 games played in seven categories during the course of four days. Playing so many games really adds to the fatigue which means that one must maintain mental and physical toughness throughout the tournament. “It was extremely exhausting and the competition was tough,” said Leftwich. “Playing those 24 games definitely took a toll on me and my body as there were times I had to super glue the cuts on my fingers to help them heal in time for the next match.” Leftwich was relentless, bowling through pain and adversity. Though he wasn’t a part of the Navy, he shared one common goal and that was to win the coveted titles in the team challenge, doubles, mixed doubles and singles events. Leftwich and his team’s perseverance won them the title of top honors in men’s doubles and mixed doubles contests. Not only was Leftwich one of the two Coast Guardsmen bowling in the event, but individually, among the 200 different armed forces personnel who tried out, he placed 7th overall. “My greatest accomplishment was averaging over 200 on the tough
competitive oil patterns and maintaining that consistency during tryouts and through the tournament,” said Leftwich. “I went out there just wanting to play the game I love and left knowing that I did well for not only myself but the Coast Guard.” With a high score of 264 in one of the most challenging and competitive tournaments of his life, Leftwich beat the odds. His performance has secured him a tryout spot for next year’s Navy team and further demonstrated the excellence found in Coast Guard personnel. Through his passion and enthusiasm for the sport, bowling means more to Leftwich than words can even express. Rendering him speechless, the power of his passion has a deep place in his heart. ❖
Bree Gutierrez, holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism, is a freelance writer and preschool teacher residing in Southern California with her husband and son.
JULY 11-12 Iowa BPA Summer Annual Meeting and Trade Show Econolodge, Newton, IA Jenny Duede, 515-255-0808, www.iowabpa.com
25-29 Vector Scorer Maintenance Training Brunswick Training Center Muskegon, MI Email: email@example.com 800-937-2695
13-15 Intl Billiard & Home Recreation Expo Sands Expo & Convention Ctr. Las Vegas, NV www.bcaexpo.com
30-8/6 National Bowling Week Register to participate Ron DeRoxtra, 817-633-2940 Ron@bpaa.com
18-22 GS Series Pinsetter Training Brunswick Training Center Muskegon, MI Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 800-937-2695
21 Montana BPA Annual Board and Membership Meeting Fairmont Hot Springs, MT Tom Brendgord email@example.com 23-24 Oregon Bowling Summit Lincoln City, OR Christy Herman 877-567-6374 24 Illinois State BPA Board of Directors Meeting with Bowling Centers Association of Michigan Convention and Trade Show Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Mt. Pleasant, MI Bill Duff, 847-982-1305, firstname.lastname@example.org 24-27 Bowling Centers Assoc. of Michigan 2011 Convention & Trade Show The Soaring Eagle Resort, Mount Pleasant, MI 248-559-5207 www.mibowl.com 44
16-18 Wyoming Bowling Council Jamboree Hilton Garden Inn, Laramie WY Charlene Abbott email@example.com
IBI 10-12 East Coast Bowling Centers Convention Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, NJ Lee Ann Norton, 800-343-1329 Leeann@bpaa.com
10-14 GS Series Pinsetter Training Brunswick Training Center Muskegon, MI Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 800-937-2695 17-21 Vector Scorer Maintenance Training Brunswick Training Center Muskegon, MI Email: email@example.com 800-937-2695
19-21 Nair 40th Anniversary Fall Meeting Lincolnshire Resort, IL Nairbowling@aol.com
26 Bowling Centers of Southern CA Annual Meeting and Partner Fair Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton CA Scott Frager, 818-789-0900 ScottF@SoCalBowling.com
22 BCA of Ohio Executive Board Meeting Embassy Suites, Columbus, OH Pat Marazzi, 937-433-8363
OCTOBER 2â€“4 West Coast Bowling Centers Convention Silver Legacy Hotel, Reno, NV Sandi Thompson, 925-485-1855 Sandi@norcalbowling.com IBI
4-5 Kansas State BPA Annual Meeting Pittsburg, KS Mary Thurber 913-638-1817
9-10 BCA of Ohio Seminars & Meeting Embassy Suites, Columbus, OH Pat Marazzi, 937-433-8363 6-11 Bowling University School For Bowling Center Management International Bowling Campus Arlington TX Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; 800-343-1329 www.BowlingUniversity.net
Official magazine of the convention
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Manny Velis, owner and inventor of “The Pizza Butler“ wants to introduce his space-saving pizza tray. This stylish Z-shaped invention makes it easier to fit two pizzas on a table, or allows you to sit at a smaller table more comfortably. “The Pizza Butler” is made of 18-gauge stainless steel, and comes in many different sizes. For more information/pictures/videos visit www.thepizzabutler.com or call 718-894-1212.
GKM's Profit Platform was the perfect stage for Emagine Entertainment's Chairman, Paul Glantz to honor Mitch Albom. The awards ceremony took place during a gala-weekend-charity event on the lanes at the company's new 16-lane center in Royal Oak, MI. For more information on how the Profit Platform can make your next special event even more dramatic with on-the-lanes presentations, call GKM at 310-791-7092 or go to www.profitplatform.biz.
Without the worry of ash, smell or secondhand smoke blu Cigs give your bowlers everything they enjoy about smoking and nothing else. With flavors made 100% in the United States, blu Cigs are America’s electronic cigarette. For more information on how to keep your bowlers on the lane and out of the parking lot contact Ryan Coalson 704-559-5222 - Ryan@intermarkbrands.com www.blucigs.com
BowlingShirt.com has been lettering bowling shirts since 1976. Currently the company is offering a “Share the Revenue” program with bowling centers worldwide. This program is simple and we do the work while you earn commission for the shirts sold for a party or league at your center. BowlingShirt.com stocks 25,000 shirts and specializes in custom printing and embroidery for your customer. Add to your Revenue $tream today. Call 800-444-1685 or e-mail tim@BowlingShirt.com.
NEW CARPET DESIGNS
International Play Company installs worldwide. Here is the playground at MIG Alley’s Bowling Center for the OSAN Air Base in Korea. The play structure has a 2-level speed slide, air filled bumpers, no climb netting, ADA access, themed snake pit pendulum walk and a themed alligator pit. Great addition to a bowling center and child-minding areas. View our website for many sample designs. Contact us at email@example.com or visit our website at www.iplayco.com
Brunswick’s Trophy Pins can be used for many special occasions to help your bowlers remember a significant score or event. The trophy pin is made of maple wood and covered in clear coverstock so it can also be used as a signature pin for birthday parties or other special events. Available in sets or individually. For information on Brunswick’s complete line of bowling pins, visit http://www.brunswickbowling.com/products/pins or contact your product specialist today.
Flagship has 20 neon patterns, of which 10 are new. We now offer a complete new line called Cosmopolitan. If you are looking for custom designs look no further! Flagship has over 40 years of experience in manufacturing the highest quality and best valued commercial carpet in the industry. www.neoncarpet.com.
Redemption games are increasingly popular today and are shown to increase key areas of your business. The On-Lane Redemption System by QubicaAMF was designed to integrate with the Bowler Entertainment System and Conqueror Pro Management System, to provide a complete, customizable solution for managing your bowling center redemption activity. Contact a QubicaAMF Sales Representative today or visit our website at www.qubicaamf.com. IBI
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SOUTHERN INDIANA (close to Indianapolis): 18-lane Brunswick center with lounge, liquor license & movie theater on 4+ acres. Turnkey business. Owner retiring. Great investment! (765) 349-1312. ARIZONA, PAYSON: 16 LANES. Assume mortgage. Details @ http://rimcountry lanes.com/4sale.pdf. Bob (602) 377-6657.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: 16-lane center w/ synthetic lanes, 82-70s, 19,000 s/f building w/ lots of parking. Newly remodeled bar & large kitchen. Owner retiring. (530) 598-2133. NEW YORK STATE: Thousand Island region. 8-lane Brunswick center w/ cosmic bowling, auto scoring. Established leagues + many improvements. $309,000. Call Jill @ Lori Gervera Real Estate (315) 771-9302. EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA: 6-lane Brunswick center, bar & grill, drive-thru liquor store in small college town. Also, 3 apartment buildings with 40 units, good rental history. Call (701) 330-7757 or (701) 430-1490. WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA: One of the top five places to move! Remodeled 32-lane center. Good numbers. $3.1m gets it all. Fax qualified inquiries to (828) 253-0362.
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CENTERS FOR SALE
All keys done by code #. No keys necessary.
CENTRAL IDAHO: 8-lane center and restaurant in central Idaho mountains. Small town. Only center within 60-mile radius. Brunswick A-2 machines; Anvilane lane beds; automatic scoring. (208) 879-4448.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org FAX YOUR ORDER TO US AT:
CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-700-4KEY INT’L 530-432-1027 Orange County Security Consultants
For FLORIDA CENTERS Call DAVID DRISCOLL & ASSOCIATES 1-800-444-BOWL P.O. Box 189 Howey-in-the-Hills, FL 34737 AN AFFILIATE OF SANDY HANSELL & ASSOCIATES 48
"Bowling Center Construction Specialists" New Center Construction Family Entertainment Centers Residential Bowling Lanes Modernization Mini Bowling Lanes Automatic Scoring CONTACT
(866) 961-7633 Office: (734) 469-4293
CLASSIFIEDS CENTERS FOR SALE SOUTHWESTERN WYOMING: 12 lanes + café & lounge, 2 acres w/ 5 bedroom home. Full liquor & fireworks licenses. Outside Salt Lake City area. Dennis @ Uinta Realty, Inc. (888) 804-4805 or email@example.com. MICHIGAN, Lake Odessa: 12-lane center with updated AMF scoring, 82-70 pinsetters and full-menu restaurant & bar. Indoor/patio seating across from public beach. R&E. Owner retiring. Call Patti @ Freshwater Properties (616) 260-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: 16-lane center REDUCED to $799,000 for quick sale. Synthetics, 82-70s, 19,000 s/f + parking. Newly remodeled bar, large kitchen. Owner retiring. Will consider selling only equipment or building. www.siskiyoulanes.com. (530) 598-2133. NORTHWEST LOUISIANA: 12-LANE Brunswick center. REDUCED TO SELL NOW! Includes auto scoring, glow bowling, pizza, large dining area & video poker. Good income. Long Lease. Great opportunity. Call Mike (318) 578-0772.
CENTERS FOR SALE
CENTERS FOR SALE
CENTRAL ILLINOIS: PRICED TO SELL!! 8-lane center with AMF 82-70s, full service restaurant, pro shop. Plus pool tables, Karaoke machine, DJ system. Includes RE. (217) 351-5152 or email@example.com. CENTRAL ALABAMA: Recently remodeled, split house w/24 synthetic lanes (16 & 8) in 28,000 s/f building in shopping center; Brunswick A2s & 2000 seating; AccuScore Plus; VIA returns & storage tables; systems for Cosmic; established leagues; snack bar, pro shop & game/pool table area. Nearest competition 28 miles w/ colleges & Honda factory within minutes. Need to sell due to health. Reasonably priced. (435) 705-0420. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: 16-lane center— Brunswick A-2s & JetBacks, snack bar, pro shop & lounge with 1,400 s/f apartment above. On 2.84 acres. Includes business & real estate. Good location! (618) 488-7858 or (618) 606-5053.
GEORGIA: busy 32-lane center, real estate included. Great location in one of fastest growing counties in metro Atlanta. 5 years new with all the amenities. Excellent numbers. Call (770) 356-8751.
NE NEVADA: New 2001. 16 lanes, 19,200 square feet, 1.68 acres paved, sound & lighting, lounge w/ gaming, arcade, full service snack bar & pro shop. Call (775) 934-1539. SOUTHERN NEVADA: Excellent opportunity for qualified person! 8-lane center with AMF 82-70s, Twelve Strike scoring. $60,000 for business and equipment only. Long term lease available. Building being remodeled. Call Steve (702) 293-6072; cell (702) 414-5321; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLASSIFIEDS SERVICES AVAILABLE
CENTERS FOR SALE NE MINNESOTA: Food, Liquor & Bowling. Established 8 lanes between Mpls & Duluth w/ large bar, dining room, banquet area. Two large State employment facilities nearby. High six figure gross. Call Bryan (218) 380-8089. www.majesticpine.com. NORTHERN WISCONSIN: 12-lane Brunswick A-2s, Vector Plus FrameworX scoring, kitchen, & pro shop. PRICED TO SELL. Call Bruce (715) 614-7779. NW INDIANA (Lake Michigan/National Lake Shore area): DRASTICALLY REDUCED— PRICED TO SELL! 32-lane center, family owned & operated since 1997 on 6.6 acres. Also billiards, arcade, pro shop, full-service restaurant, established leagues & MORE! $2,300,000. (219) 921-4999.
FOR LEASE PRO SHOP: National Lake Shore area of NW Indiana. Call (219) 921-4999.
Drill Bit Sharpening and Measuring Ball Repair. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. 800255-6436 or Jayhawkbowling.com. Still sanding after all these years! If you still have wood, trust your lanes to Langlo Bowling Supply Inc. Next year, the Langlo name will be in the business for 100 years. Call Jeff Langlo (727) 919-4475. He has been on every job since 1971. Call for new synthetic. Call for repairs on wood & synthetic. Call for recoats. Will go ANYWHERE!
POSITION WANTED Small Brunswick bowling center manager with option to buy. Good credentials and lots of experience running centers including new league formation and outside sales promotion. Increase the bottom line! Call now. (319) 327-1916.
SELL YOUR CENTER (818) 789-2695
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Michael P. Davies (321) 254-7849
291 Sandy Run, Melbourne, FL 32940 on the web: bowlingscorer.com email: email@example.com
MINIATURE GOLF COURSES Indoor/Outdoor. Immediate Installation. $5,900.00 & up. 2021 Bridge Street Jessup, PA 18434 570-489-8623 www.minigolfinc.com
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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit us on the WEB! http://home.earthlink.net/~wb8yjf/
MARSHALL ELECTRONICS • Foul Units • Electronic Scoring Repair • Chassis Boards • AMF Accuscore Plus • Curtain Wall Chassis - $285 • Brunswick Scoring We repair all types of monitor boards. Call for a complete price list. 593 Loxley Drive, Toms River, NJ 08753
732-240-6554 • 800-782-9494
ack in the day when life was simpler and bowling was booming, Saturday mornings for young people were not spent on soccer fields but in bowling alleys. These young people not only spent time bowling together in leagues but got part-time jobs as they grew and many from there went on to manage centers, buy and build them and develop family businesses passed from one generation to the next. In 1960, YABA (Youth American Bowling Alliance) had approximately 410,112 members. In the January 16, 1960 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, bowling earned a four-page feature. It was business at its best and leisure entertainment for the whole family. Foreshadowing of the FEC can be gleaned from the dramatic, 56-lane Mission Valley Bowlero in San Diego, Calif. which offered a nursery, meeting room, restaurant and shops plus serving as a community center. It was post WWII that helped springboard the popularity of this Rip-Van-Winkle-old sport. Factory workers laboring around the clock during the war helped create the
open-around-the-clock centers. After the war it was the suburban migration and spendable cash that welcomed community sports centers and finally the piece de resistance…automatic pinsetters. What could be better than three games at $0.50 a line? Your own equipment ensemble could be had for about $50 with the ball representing half the total. Today, when proprietors are asked the question, how did you get into the bowling business, the answer often is “When I started bowling as a kid.” That is something to remember and take to heart. The continued growth of bowling might just hinge on a little guy Danny Kelly getting a strike! But take a closer look at our little Danny. He’s focused, determined and proud…two pins! AND NO BUMPERS!!! ❖