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

CONTENTS

VOL 20.11

6 ISSUE AT HAND

25 BEYOND BOWLING SPECIAL SECTION

From Generation to Generation By Scott Frager

8 SHORTS

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• BWAA has a new name–IBMA–and a new global mission • Classic Lanes in Michigan and Classic Bowl in Canada stand tall in helping their communities • Park Lanes and M-66, two oldies but goodies, celebrate 50 years

• Laser Tag: A Blast for Business • IAAPA Preview: An insider’s guide to The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ annual trade show

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

DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Chris Holmes holmes@bowlingindustry.com

EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Gregory Keer keer@bowlingindustry.com

OFFICE MANAGER Patty Heath heath@bowlingindustry.com

CONTRIBUTORS Patty Heath Chris Holmes Anna Littles Mark Miller George McAuliffe Robert Sax

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jackie Fisher fisher@bowlingindustry.com

46 OPERATIONS The Royal Treatment The Kings centers rediscover and redefine the Golden Age of Bowling. By Anna Littles

Compiled by Patty Heath

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

FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)

12655 Ventura Boulevard Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 789-2695(BOWL) Fax (818) 789-2812 info@bowlingindustry.com

www.BowlingIndustry.com

HOTLINE: 888-424-2695 14 COVER STORY

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60 REMEMBER WHEN 1957

It’s All in the Family

Schlitz

Bowling is not only a family business, but serves as a legacy as well.

By Patty Heath

By Mark Miller

53 Classifieds 62 Datebook

22 FEATURE Team Maccabi USA When the Maccabiah Games take place next year in Israel, the American bowling team will proudly compete with teams from around the world. By Robert Sax 4

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SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One copy of International Bowling Industry is sent free to every bowling center, independently owned pro shop and collegiate bowling center in the U.S., and every military bowling center and pro shop worldwide. Publisher reserves the right to provide free subscriptions to those individuals who meet publication qualifications. Additional subscriptions may be purchased for delivery in the U.S. for $50 per year. Subscriptions for Canada and Mexico are $65 per year, all other foreign subscriptions are $80 per year. All foreign subscriptions should be paid in U.S. funds using International Money Orders. POSTMASTER: Please send new as well as old address to International Bowling Industry, 12655 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604 USA. If possible, please furnish address mailing label. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright 2012, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.

MEMBER AND/OR SUPPORTER OF:

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THE ISSUE AT HAND

Blood is Thicker than Lane Oil How many proprietor-parents have dreamed that one day their children would take control of the family bowling business? How many children hoped and aspired to learn the family trade and work with mom and dad? It used to be a lot more common than today. Taking over the family bowling business was an almost expected course of action. The plan may have been spoken, or unspoken, but at an early age kids worked everywhere at the center. Their first job may have been as a porter, then behind the counter, perhaps in the restaurant or even as a mechanic. Then, one day Junior grew to be the general manager while ma and pa retired. For many, this was the business plan, entrance and exit strategy all rolled into one. Then, in the 90s a fundamental shift occurred in the industry. Business got a little tougher. Centers were at a precipice in time where major upgrades were coming due not only for

the equipment inside but also for the box itself. There were easier, less capital-intensive ways to make money. Plus, life had changed. The Generation X lifestyle didn’t quite mesh with bowling. Xers didn’t want a career that required 12-hour days, seven days a week. However, this month, we’re excited to feature several successful examples of thriving, multi-generational bowling businesses. Through thick and thin, these families have worked hard to keep their legacy businesses going while maintaining a tight family bond. My three kids are a little young to call their future yet, and I’m not one to really predetermine their destiny. However, I can say for sure that I’ve gently and casually planted the seeds. If they are interested, and I have the good fortune to remain in this fabulous business, I will always make sure there’s space for three extra desks and chairs right by mine. Now, back to the question at hand, would you want your kids to continue your work in the bowling business? – SCOTT FRAGER, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR frager@bowlingindustry.com

THIS MONTH AT www.BowlingIndustry.com Membership number 2,000 is right around the corner! 2,000 online IBI members will be just in time for the 20th Anniversary of the first, trade-only, bowling publication. November is voting month; let’s make it joining month. If you are not yet a member, join now at www.bowlingindustry.com. It is SIMPLE and FREE. Once a member, then invite your industry friends to become members too; just click the INVITE button once you are online and follow the prompts. Being part of IBI’s online family is just one more way to stay in touch, give voice to your ideas, learn from others and energize this wonderful industry BOWLING! Number 2,000 could be yours along with a gift certificate and your photo here! Your center and you, Number 2,000, for all to see!

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SHORTS

GOODWILL CENTRAL

Bowling has always been home to tournaments and events supporting causes, people and communities. Below are some of the centers doing their part to help.

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Meadow Lanes, Wellington, Kansas: The annual Michael Day Benefit helping those afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and their families. Michael Day lost his battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2003. The event was started in 2004 by Michael’s family to act as a memorial to him. Bowland Lehigh, Lehigh Acres, Florida: A charity bowling tournament to benefit Ethan Arbelo, an 11-year-old, recently diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. The family needs a more reliable vehicle and gas money for Ethan’s treatments. Stardust Bowl, Merrillville, Indiana: Homeless Women Veterans Bowling Fundraiser. The event aims to help provide housing in conjunction with The Smith Residences, for female veterans who are homeless. Bowlero Bowling Center, Windsor, Ontario, Canada: The 7th annual Bowling for Bone Marrow in memory of Katelyn Bedard. To date, the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association has registered more than 2,000 potential donors in the OneMatch stem cell and marrow donor network; has also provided financial help to more than 100 bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients; and donated $65,000 to research. Allen Bowl, McKinney, Texas: League of Animal Protectors first annual Strikes for Strays Bowling and Silent Auction. Poelking Woodman Lanes, Kettering, Ohio: Bowl-A-Thon to help raise money to benefit “Hair for Kids”, a group that provides custom wigs for children fighting cancer. HoeBowl, Kingston, New York: “Bowling for Brains” raising money and awareness for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Please email heath@bowlingindustry.com and let us know what your center is doing to promote goodwill and support in your community.

BIRTHDAY

SALUTATIONS! Park Lanes in Loves Park, Illinois, has just celebrated its 50th birthday. The 32-lane house opened on Valentines Day in 1962. In 1985, Jim Smith who first went to work at Park Lanes as a lane maintenance supervisor and bowling instructor before stepping out to pursue a job in sales, returned in 1978 as general manager and purchased the center along with his partners John Sommer and Vince Ingrassia. As quoted in the Rockford Register Star, Park Lanes has had several remodeling updates to insure “a quality entertainment and sports facility.” Some of the major renovations included completely remodeling the bar; installing a Qubica Scoring system; remodeling the building outside (1997) and inside (2001); and adding a beer garden in 2009. Park Lanes is one of several bowling centers in the northern Illinois area which is known as a hotbed for high school bowling. In the last five years, there have been four local high schools that have won state championships. Smith said the center’s success in the past 50 years has been attributed to good customer service and being innovative. “We have always had the thought that if we keep the place clean and updated and that we take care of our customers better, it will be good for everyone.”

It is 50 years and counting for the McClusky family and M66 Bowl in Battle Creek, MI. The 56-lane center is now owned and operated by sisters Julie McClusky and Hall of Famer Lindy Burton who has worked at the center for 29 years and is the current general manager. As quoted in the Battle Creek Enquirer through Will Kowalski, Burton said, “Here at M-66 Bowl, we’ve got a positive news story going on—the same family owning and operating these lanes for the past 50 years, during good economic times and bad. …and our customers, through generations, still love coming out here to bowl.” M-66 Bowl is one of Battle Creek, the Cereal City’s two remaining tenpin centers. “Golden anniversaries are always to be enjoyed. … and we’re proud of our accomplishment and longevity with this business.” Happy Birthday and many more to these quinquagenarians!

November 2012


SHORTS

BWAA is Now Media

WATCH

SHAKE N BOWL During International Bowl Expo in Reno in June, members of the Bowling Writers Association of America (BWAA) unanimously voted to expand the scope of the organization, founded in 1934, to reflect the global marketplace where media and communications have become virtually instant— thus, as of August 1, the new title, International Bowling Media Association (IBMA). “The original mission of the BWAA changed so dramatically over the past few years that in order for the organization to address the realities and remain relevant, the International Bowling Media Association was created,” said new IBMA President Joan Romeo. With the name change to IBMA comes a new slogan— Honoring the past by embracing the future; a new Vision Statement—Communicate Bowling to the world; and a new Mission Statement—To be Bowling’s source of excellence in the gathering and distribution of news and information through multiple media platforms. “We are very excited about the potential of the new IBMA,” said retiring BWAA President Jim Goodwin. “We have worked very hard with others in the industry to make this happen, and we are looking forward to working with everyone to create this new global media organization for our great industry.”

Okay, maybe a little over the top but good for a fun gift. NeatoShop offers the Bowling Salt & Pepper Shakers. You can season your food with the bowling ball (pepper) and the pin (salt). Speechless? Me too! However, Christmas is right around the corner.

SPACE-AGE RETRO Star Wars is alive and well. Want to carry your bowling ball, or anything else for that matter, in a super cool Darth Vader Retro Bowler Handbag? Red? Black? Life is full of choices, and the NeatoShop is here to help again!

EXPANSIONS, OPENINGS & NEW BEGINNINGS After 50 years, Hobart Lanes in Hobart, Indiana, finally gave up its wooden lanes and replaced them with Brunswick Pro Lanes installed by Lane Low of Illinois. In addition to the lanes, new, larger, flat-screen scoring monitors, as well as new flat-screen TVs, were added to the concourse and bar. Rob Tucker, owner for 20 years, said, “We’re hoping this is a new start for us. The bowling industry has been through some tough times in recent years like a lot of other businesses. So hopefully we can now better compete and thrive with the new lanes.” So far so good –four new leagues have been set up for the year.

As announced by partners Nathan Crane II and Ryan Owens, owners of an aviation maintenance company, Gilbert, Arizona will be the new home of a “hybrid-entertainment center,” complete with 28 lanes of bowling plus a six-lane private VIP room, four min-bowling lanes, laser tag and maze, 10

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and a three-level climbing structure full of shooting foam balls. “Basically 50,000 square feet of awesomeness,” said Owens. There will also be a restaurant and coffee shop. It is anticipated that the business could provide between 70 to 120 jobs. Construction began in July; the exact opening date is not yet locked down.

Magic Bowl in Twin Falls, Idaho, will definitely offer magic with its new renovations. “We’re going to give southern Idaho a bowling experience they have never seen before,” said Mike Weems, co-owner of the center with his wife, Ruthie. Mack Lane Service from Green Bay, Wisconsin, installed the new lanes. 42-inch scoring screens, lighted pins, music and glowing lanes for midnight Monte Carlo play added pazazz as well as a series of blue lights down the center of the lanes with red lights on each edge. For the kids-- automatic bumpers and hightech pin spotters.


SHORTS

AL PASSEHL OF CLASSIC LANES STEPS UP Philanthropy is the act of advancing human well-being. It is easy when its focus is disease or poverty, but what about putting it on the line for social injustice? Al Passehl, owner of Classic Lanes in Oak Creek, Michigan did not hesitate when his community was faced with tragedy. In August, six members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek were shot and killed by a white supremacist while two others were injured and two police officers critically shot before the gunman turned the gun on himself. The incident left the community reeling. Passehl shut down his center for two days to help victims’ families and members of the Sikh community. He provided food and drinks and a place to gather following the shootings and stayed open for 37 straight hours. According to Derica Williams of Fox6Now, Passehl said, “I’m glad we were able to do what we could do. What we did was very little. God forbid this ever happens again A vigil stating “Wisconsin Weeps” expressed the community support and sadness over to anybody in our community or any other one.” the incident. As we all know, acts of kindness as a corporate citizen are never “very little.” They are huge and help inspire others to action. Our hats are off to Al Passehl and Classic Lanes.

BO 4 MO – ANOTHER CLASSIC! Classic Bowl –this time in Canada—has once again set the bar for charity campaigns. Ed Sousa, owner of Classic Bowl in Mississauga, Ontario organized and promoted a Knockdown Cancer campaign to combat breast cancer which inspired centers across Canada as well as the U.S. to take part. Now he is setting his sights on prostate cancer research through Bowlvember 4 Movember. Movember was formed to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer through moustache growing charity Apparel available events. What better way than to bowl in November! with proceeds Every Classic Bowl customer will rent customized black going to Movember shoes with 25 cents from every shoe rental donated to Movember. An entire apparel line has been created and Ed Sousa presenting his vision for 100% of all net proceeds will also be donated. another successful charity event. Movember Of course, all males are asked to grow a moustache. rental shoes To launch the month-long event, a shaving party will take place November 3 for all males participating with photographers to take and upload photos to the Movember website. And of course, in typical Classic Bowl fashion, there will be an exotic car show, bowling tournament, silent auction, clowns, face painting, and one of Canada’s rock bands, the Spoons, entertaining. December 1st will be the final shaving party to conclude the campaign. Bravo to Ed Sousa and Classic Bowl!

FIRE DESTROYS 82-YEAR-OLD CENTER Summer was waning and Lakewood Lanes was getting ready for fall leagues. There was an explosion and resulting fire that collapsed the roof and basically destroyed the entire building, leaving only blackened walls. As reported by Tom Greenwood of the Detroit News, the 82-year-old center with 14 lanes, considered small and intimate in comparison to modern centers, was a fixture in Waterford Township, Michigan. Investigators were leaning to a gas explosion as a possible cause but an investigation is still underway. 12

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COVER STORY

By Mark Miller

D

espite a bowling culture increasingly controlled by corporations, partnerships and large organizations and with momand-pop-owned centers continually closing, it's good to know some families remain. We're not talking about the many fathers who have passed the torch to their children, only to see the chain end there. This is about the far fewer families with at least three generations directly involved in the business. How many such clans exist, you ask? Let's just say they likely can be counted on two hands. Although some children of longtime owners find more pay and less hours in other fields, others still find the allure of the bowling business to be attractive. And while most original owners have passed on, their knowledge and work ethic have remained with those who followed. International Bowling Industry has traced down a number of families where bowling has been so ingrained. Their stories naturally feature affection for their loved ones yet also depict a passion for bowling that is truly rare today.

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COVER STORY

Meet the LaSpinas The most high-profile, three-generation family may be the LaSpinas who currently own five centers in New York City and on Long Island. Their story began with Peter LaSpina Sr., originally a custom house builder after World War II. “He built a home for a neighbor's brother who was in the bowling business and suggested to my dad that they go into a partnership,” said John, the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America president in 1992-94. So Peter and three business associates built Maple Lanes, which opened in Brooklyn on Sept. 7, 1960, the elder LaSpina's 52nd birthday. Rolling out the first ball was 11-year-old John who continued helping in ensuing years. “My Dad told me to get involved and John, Peter Sr., and Peter La Spina, Jr., involved I did,” John said. “As a teenager I spent every day after school in earlier days. cleaning the lanes.” John's older brother Peter Jr. also became involved but in a different role. “Peter wasn't a bowler and I was,” John said. “He was in college when this [Maple Lanes] was bought. He brought in the intellectual angle. I put the bowling spin on it. We had a lot of crazy promotions.” John’s son, Joe, was just 3½ when his grandfather died in 1982, so he only has vague recollections of the man who started it all. “I remember hanging out in the living room with him and some other little tidbits,” said Joe, 34, chair of the BPAA Technology Committee and a member of the BPAA Executive Committee. Today, Joe oversees the family's five center managers and has brought some modern thoughts to the business. “His insights as a younger person are good,” said John, whose family also owns Corum Country Lanes, Farmingdale Lanes, Jib Lanes and Rockville Centre Lanes. “I wouldn't think of making the center wireless or including computers. He's taken it to the next level, and it's natural for him to be involved in BPAA.” Neither John nor Joe originally thought they'd follow the elder LaSpina in the bowling industry. John worked a year selling insurance after college while Joe spent three years as a publishing project manager. But something brought them back. “I loved every minute I was there and I still do,” John said. “Back in the day it was a dynamic operation. It was open 24 hours. It was in a great area.” John called his father the perfect host and someone who taught him how to treat customers. Dad was into “learn to bowl and I applied all my telephone skills from Mutual of Omaha to help build that,” John said. “Once we had three centers in Brooklyn and had a room with 12 telephone operators offering free games. We had baby sitters. We built the business one customer at a time. “I'm really about what my Dad told me–if you want to get ahead, learn all you can, assimilate and get ahead.” Joe has learned that and more from his father. “I've always worked at Maple part-time since forever,” he said, and, “I learned from my Dad everything, I guess. Mainly about dealing with managers, being inclusive but trying to motivate them. Setting policy in motion and getting out of the way. That's hard for me. I would rather do it myself, but we have a good group of managers.” He also learned why he has maintained his bowling blood. “It's unique to me,” he said. “It's what's in my blood.” His father certainly can relate. “We have an uncanny understanding of what we do that we e clan. pina joins th can't explain to my neighbors, but my family knows it,” John said. Another LaS IBI

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COVER STORY

Meet the Habetlers Rudy Habetler opened Habetler Bowl in Chicago in 1957, and today it's still going strong with son Bob and grandsons Bill, Dave and Jimmy. “What it means is we have enough of us to have a Habetler on the premises at all times to do things the way we would like to have them done,” said Bob. “If a decision has to be made, one of us is here to make it. We don't have to ask anyone else.” “We rarely take days off when we're in town,” said Dave. “One thing we tell our customers is if we're open, a Habetler will be here. It's not like 'we'll get back to you.' That doesn't happen. We'll get you an answer right away.” The 32-lane center was a palace when it opened with automatic pinsetters, recessed lighting, wallto-wall concourse carpeting and free parking.

ily. Habetler fam The extended

Until the early 1980s, it even had a rotating 30foot, multi-colored pin that could easily be seen from the nearby Kennedy Expressway. Rudy, who died in 1971 at age 61, was by far the family's best bowler having won the 1953 American Bowling Congress Masters and co-authoring a book “Strike-On” in 1959. The others have bowled sporadically, at best, primarily because they've been busy working. “It's hard to do it at your Rudy Habetler, the family place,” Bob said. “It's like eating at your patriarch, in the 1950s. own restaurant. Everyone is telling you about the steak.” Now age 69, Bob still remembers when he was younger helping Rudy. “We did everything, whatever we had to do,” he said. “We mostly did the crappy jobs. Dad always told me it was a learning experience. When he died I kind of took over. Today my boys pretty much are running it. I make coffee and help with the kids who come every day in the summer. We have about 3,000 kids through the Chicago Park District. It's a great business for us that time of year.” According to their father, Bill, 42, is the league guy while Dave, 43, is the repair guru. Youngest son Jimmy, 28, helps part-time doing whatever it takes since he's a full-time history teacher and a hockey coach. “Billy is personable. He gets along with the league bowlers,” Bob said. “Dave amazes me. He can fix anything and is not afraid to tackle anything. It's rare when we have to call a repair guy.” As the tie between both generations, Bob has seen many changes through the years. Among them are the advent of synthetic lanes, glow-inthe-dark and cosmic activities, rock and roll bowling and high-average competitors toting as many as eight bowling balls. “We're all too lazy to get any other work,” Bob said. “Plus bowling has been very good to our family. I hope it continues. I don't know if there will be a fourth generation.”

Meet the Millers Ernie Miller was a pinsetter in the 1940s who reportedly set a world record when he set pins over 200 games in multiple centers on the same day. By the early 1950s, he was buying and selling centers in northwest Washington, primarily those in trouble. “He took over when they went belly up, and he'd turn them around,” said son Steve, 58. “But he never owned more than two at a time.” His first was Broadway Bowl in Everett which he later sold and bought again. “It was converted from a Safeway grocery store,” Steve said. “I remember the 16

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Toni and Larry Mille r

of Glacier Lanes in

Everett, WA.


COVER STORY old wooden chairs. I would sit in the chairs where he laid down some towels and I'd be curled up sleeping.” Ernie later bought Rainbow Lanes in Lake City. He opened Glacier Bowl in Everett in 1956 and Broadway Bowling and Billiards in Seattle in late 1950s, centers Steve and brother Larry, 60, remember well. “Most of my youth was spent at Broadway Bowling and Billiards in Seattle,” Steve said. “Most of my early memories are from there.” Broadway originally had eight lanes s. la on the ground floor and eight lanes Dal lds his grandson Larry Miller ho on the second floor. The downstairs was later converted to a pool hall. “I ran the counter in the pool hall and also did some pin chasing,” Larry said. “There was a ladder in the back that I climbed up to get to the lanes. There was a buzzer and a light bulb which would tell you which pair had a problem. I would climb up the ladder and fix it then go back downstairs.” “I emptied ashtrays, swept the floor and used mini-vacuums to clean the pool tables,” Steve said. “I worked for a nickel a night. That was big doings back then. Sometimes I would find some cash under the Tel-E-Scores.” Both Steve and Larry Miller later owned their own establishments with their father as silent partner. Larry owned Arden Lanes for five years until 1975 while Steve operated Twin City Lanes in Stanwood for 14 years through 1988. Both ended up back at Glacier where they worked with their father until he died at his desk of an aneurism at age 71 in 1999. “My dad died at what he did,” Steve said. “We found comfort in the fact it was quick, painless and doing what he liked to do.” As they grew older, both Steve and Larry brought the next generation to Glacier. Larry's son Tuffy, 34, works full-time specializing in marketing and computers. Steve's son Jay, 33, more mechanical than the others, helps on

Saturdays as he has a full-time job as a drafter. “I remember coming down and spending most of my summers here,” Tuffy said. “I was 9 or 10 years old. By age 12, I was working the back end, the machines and cleaning. Since I spent most days bowling 30 to 40 games, my Dad said if I was going to be here I might as well work.” Tuffy, with his experience on the job, now has some new business advice for his dad. “One thing I told my dad was I learned not to hesitate on pulling the trigger on changing things. He has a hard time with some of the new technology.” Tuffy Miller remembers his grandfather well. “He and I were quite close,” Tuffy said. “I learned hard work from him. With three generations in this business you have to be patient. It's a tough business. Of the 32 centers that used to be in the Seattle area, there are just five left.” Tuffy took some time away from bowling, working for nearly five years as an automobile sales manager. But like so many others, he decided to return. “Even when I was away, I had the pull back to the business,” he said. It's a another example of once you enter the bowling zone, you can never leave. “It's not so much the amount of money you make, it's if you enjoy what you are doing,” Steve said. “The money is not great where I'm at, but I enjoy what I'm doing. I like what I do. I like being around customers. It's not always fun. No job is. But it's such a small community where everybody helps you out. We've had friends who are happy to help lend a hand. You work on their bowling balls and they help you with something.”

Meet the Johanneses It was 1957 and Ben Johannes and two partners converted an old movie theater into Ranch Bowl in Kansas City, Kansas. Grandson Jason still can remember helping him three decades later. “I grew up working at the center at age 11,” said Jason, now 36. “He was always there. It was my first working part of the business. “When you've been in the business all your life, you pick up everything from the machines to the pin decks to the front desk. Twenty-five years later, I'm still doing it.” So is Jason's father Bob, now age 61. Bob also worked for Ben at a young age and continued when his father opened Ranch West in 1977 and when Bob and wife Becky bought Park Lanes in 1999. “He taught me to keep the place well maintained and clean,” Bob said of his father, who died in 2004. “That's been our claim to fame, a clean, family-oriented facility.” That trait has stuck with Jason too. 18

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Ben Johan nes.


COVER STORY

Grandson Jason an d son Bob Johannes carry on the family tradition.

“Cleanliness is a big thing,” he said. “If you see trash, pick it up. That's what's been pounded into my head.” Jason also learned another major factor. “Take care of your customers,” he said. “Make your customers happy, treat them good and they will come back.” Today the family only owns Park Lanes after selling Ranch Bowl in 1985 and Ranch Bowl West in 2010. Like his father, Bob Johannes has been backing away from the daily operations, leaving the management duties to Jason. “I have no schedule per say,” Bob said. “I'll offer ideas and guidance when needed, but I let Jason take the reigns.“ Bob doesn't miss the long hours required when your family owns the center. “Monday through Friday, I was here noon to midnight,” he said. “There were many weeks over

the years I saw the 100-hour mark. That got to be a grind after awhile. You have to move on.” Now that he's fully in charge, Jason Johannes truly has grown to love his job. “It's just the personal level of it for me,” he said. But it's not just Bob and Jason who work at the center. Becky handles the payroll and pays the bills. Jason's 22-yearold sister Kara is the assistant manager. And his children, age 8 and 10, help wherever they can. “It's a true family business,” Jason said. “The customers probably see one of us at least seven days a week.” “Continuity plays a big part from the customer standpoint,” Bob said. “They like to be involved in a family business where everyone has a vested interest in things running right and taken care of. I've learned over the last 40 years that you have to react quickly to what's happening around you. You have to adjust and adapt quickly. The advantage of a family-owned business is you can do that. Many times you come up with an idea and can make it happen the next day. Hopefully we'll keep it going. We are in a unique business. There's something about this business that lends itself to family ownership, and I hope it continues.”

Meet the Hartmans No family in America can likely beat the Hartmans of Collinsville, Illinois, for in 2012 they are celebrated 100 years in the business. It all started when Frank Hartman opened Hartman Recreation, a two-lane establishment in the old Fisher Plumbing Building. Frank was followed by son Charles, grandson Arthur, great grandson Artie and great-great grandsons Robb and Brent. For those counting at home, that's five generations of bowling proprietors. Frank operated Hartman Recreation until the mid-1920s when he and son Charles moved the business to the famed downtown Fairmont Hotel where they opened the 10-lane Fairmont Bowl. “It was in the basement of what was a big, luxury hotel,” Artie said. “It was a three-story building with a nice restaurant. It was the place the rich horsemen would stay. That was the place. I was about 8 or 10 years old when [grandfather] IBI

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COVER STORY Charles would take me with him to work in the mornings handle it and in the summer and I'd help clean up the lanes. That's wanted me to where I learned the business. I was stocking, cleaning, take over and be down on my hands and knees.” the man,” Artie Charles suffered a heart attack in 1952 and had to said. “I told her I'd lease the business outside the family because his son do it for one or Arthur originally had other plans. “After Dad [Arthur] two years, get came back from World War II, he was in construction and everything settled didn't want to take over the business,” Artie said. “The Fi down, find a buyer ve generations of the Hartman people who leased it weren't good business people so and Char and continue my les. Standing, from family. Sitting, from the left, Frank the left, Artie, Bren Grandpa took it back about 10 years later. He was back education. I'm still t and Arthur. in the business and didn't want to be in the business. Then here.” Artie did his construction took a downturn and my dad and a partner bought family proud by earning his associates degree in computer Charles out in 1964.” sciences. “I'm not a quitter,” he said. “I told my grandfather I would By 1968, Arthur thought it was time for something bigger but go through college. I promised and I kept my promise.” his partner wasn't in the same position, so he went out on his own But he also followed the typical family ownership trait of with the 20-lane Camelot Bowl. Artie began helping right away. working long hours at the center. That didn't leave much time to “I worked for my Dad as the center mechanic,” Artie said. “That's watch Brent and Robb play soccer at McKendree College and when we used spray guns and drag mops.” Things went fine until Eastern Illinois University, respectively. “I encouraged them to get Arthur and Artie had a major disagreement and Artie left the jobs outside the family business,” Artie said. “They did, but both business to go to college.“I was young and married and Dad came back here.” Brent, 47, is the head mechanic and pro shop wanted to give me a chance to move forward,” Artie said. owner. Robb, 44, manages the bar, control desk and bookkeeping. Unfortunately, Arthur died in 1977 and at the urging of his Their mother Dianne [Artie’s wife] serves as the general manager. mother, Artie came back to take over at age 30. “She couldn't “I started working there when I was 14 or 15 cleaning up stuff, picking up trash, busing tables, helping wherever I could,” said Brent, who after two years of college attended a Brunswick school to learn mechanics. “I've been full-time since about age 22 or 23. “Robb basically did the same thing. He was a mail carrier for a couple of years, then came back. Our business really is looking pretty good. We work hard on our league base. We keep the place clean and put money back into preventative maintenance.” With his family's help, Artie has been able to cut back. “Between the two of them and Dianne, I'm starting to slide away,” Artie said. “They need the chance to fly on their own wings, make their own mistakes. It gives them the opportunity to do what they want to do, but I'm close enough to keep an eye on it too. I know the boys have the traits to take and move the business forward in the changing times we face. I have no reluctance turning it over and letting them go ahead and do their own thing.” “It's our way. We've been accustomed to it. It's not a millionaire's life but we do all right,” Brent said. “I like it when it slows down in the summers and you can take a few weeks off. You don't have to answer to anyone but yourself. You don't have to answer to another person. If something happens, you know who to blame.” ❖

Mark Miller is a freelance writer from Flower Mound, Texas. He is the national and Dallas-Fort Worth bowling writer for Examiner.com and a columnist for the Bowling News Network.

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FEATURE

By Robert Sax

I

n summer 2013, teams from more than 50 countries will compete in the third largest international sporting competition in the world. Bowling will be a part of it, and the host nation has a national team. But it’s not the Olympics. It’s the World Maccabiah Games, held in Israel, and all the bowlers (and other athletes) will be Jews. The Maccabiah Games, also known as the “Jewish Olympics,” are held every four years. The Maccabi World Union, an organization devoted to furthering Jewish identity through international athletic competition, stages the games. The first games were held in Tel Aviv in 1932 with 390 athletes from 14 countries. More than 7,000 worldclass athletes are expected to participate in the 19th Maccabiah in 2013. Although bowling was a demonstration sport in the 1988 Olympics, it has not found a permanent home there. In contrast, men’s open ten-pin bowling debuted in the Maccabiah Games in 1989 and has been included ever since. Women’s competition began in 2001. The countries that compete in bowling include Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden and the United States. American bowlers first got their chance to compete in 1993, thanks largely to the efforts of bowling industry veteran Marvin Cotler. In 1990 he read a brief account in “Bowler’s Journal” of the 1989 Maccabiah debut of bowling and was troubled that there had been no American team. The national office of the U.S. Maccabiah was in his hometown of Philadelphia, so he went to find out why American bowlers hadn’t participated. 22

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The organizers told him that they hadn’t found anyone suitable for the task of building the team, someone with bowling industry contacts who could do outreach on a national basis. “I asked the wrong question of the wrong person at the wrong time,” said Cotler, “and I ended up the chairman of bowling.” Cotler hustled to organize a team in time for the 1993 games and is still involved; it’s a labor of love that has brought him great satisfaction. “Aside from watching my children and grandchildren being born, I think it was one of the biggest thrills marching in on opening day [of the games]” Cotler says. To date, Maccabi USA bowlers have won seven gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals in the games, says U.S. team co-chair Matthew Halpern. The team to beat has been the elite Israeli national team. The U.S. is perhaps the best of the second-tier teams, which include Australia and Mexico. “Some of our applicants for the 2013 men’s team did very well in the 2011 European Maccabi Games in Vienna, so we expect our World Maccabiah Games team to be extremely competitive,” says Meryl Romeu, the other co-chair of the U.S. team. “Our women’s team has potential as well, but we don’t know [how competitive] as the team hasn’t been chosen yet.”

Matthew Halpern and James Lewis, doubles bronze medalists


FEATURE

Matthew Halpern and Meryl Romeu, co-chairs, Maccabi USA Open Ten-Pi Bowling.

Halpern and Romeu are veteran competitive bowlers who have bowled in the Maccabiah Games. Halpern, director of administration for a synagogue in Teaneck, New Jersey, has competed at all amateur levels from local to international and has bowled six 300 games. Romeu, a software development manager in Atlanta, has an average of “around 200” and has won three silver medals and one bronze at the Maccabiah Games. The co-chairs share a lifelong love of bowling and a desire to elevate the American team to the elite level. Fielding a competitive team presents several challenges for the Americans. Chief among them is identifying top-flight competitive Jewish bowlers. While American Jews have excelled in bowling, including Hall of Famers Fran Deken, Marshall Holman, Sylvia Wene Martin and Mark Roth, there is no national JewishAmerican bowling organization or team to draw from. Team officials rely heavily on networking and personal research to recruit applicants, including poring over competition lists looking for names that sound Jewish. Availability for competition is another challenge. There are more adult competitors in bowling than in James Lewis, Matthew Halpern, Uri Peled, trios silver medalists.

the other Maccabiah sports, where the average age is 18-24 years. Most adult bowlers, especially women, have jobs and family responsibilities that can make it difficult to get away for two weeks of competition abroad, even though the games are held in the summer. Another factor is the sheer size of the United States and the wide geographic distribution of players, making team practice virtually impossible until the team has gathered in Israel a week before the games. This of course, leaves little time for a team to bond into a competitive unit. It’s a testament to the quality and commitment of the U.S. team that it has been competitive despite these handicaps. Jim Lewis of San Diego was a member of the 2009 U.S. team and expects to compete again in 2013. A professional bowler for seven years including a stint on the national tour, Jim has bowled eleven 300 games

Eric Mansky, James Lewis, Andrew Silverman, Jara Cohen, Meryl Romeu, Robert Wunsch, Matthew Halpern, Uri Peled, Team USA 2009.

and was the PBA Western Region rookie of the year in 1989. He became involved in the Maccabiah Games while volunteering with the 2008 Junior Maccabiah, in which his daughter was playing soccer. A financial consultant, Jim also owns three bowling pro shops in the San Diego area. He believes that high level amateur competition like the Maccabiah Games is a tremendous opportunity for the bowling industry to develop more serious bowlers who will bowl more often than casual players. When he’s getting ready for a competition, Lewis bowls three to four times a week. “If you play at the Maccabiah Games, or something like it, it’s sport. You get to compete against people who are serious and skilled,” says Lewis, “If you have a goal like that to strive for you will play more, you will buy more equipment, you will go to the bowling center more often.” American equipment manufacturers see the marketing potential and have been very supportive, with Brunswick, Columbia, Dexter and Ebonite among those that have supplied the team. “We are fortunate that we get quite a bit of equipment IBI

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FEATURE

Lisa Abush of Canada, Meryl Romeu, Jara Cohen, Yonit Cohen-Ganon of Israel, team bronze medalists.

Matthew Halpern

[donations,] but financial support would be welcome also,” says Romeu. “Aside from travel, we don’t have a lot of expenses in terms of our particular competition. If we could raise $60,000 to $70,000 dollars, we would have enough to send our entire team and the bowlers wouldn’t be required to do individual fundraising.” They are also working hard to build greater awareness of the Maccabiah Games and other international competitions. “Many bowlers don’t know about these opportunities to compete at a high level,” says Halpern. “The industry should tap into this to promote bowling more. It inspires people to raise the level of their game.” Organizers also plan to increase their outreach to college bowlers. “It’s also an opportunity for bowlers to 24

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travel, which can boost the appeal of the sport,” adds Romeu. “The Israeli national team, for example, goes to Europe and Asia to compete.” She would like to see more international events closer to the U.S. as well. “We need more events in North and South America,” she says, to bring bowlers from Canada, the U.S., and Latin America together more often. As with other international games, it’s the potent mix of competition and patriotism that inspires the deep feelings so often expressed by athletes who get to represent their country. As Cotler says, “Marching in and seeing on the huge scoreboard in the stadium the American flag, and hearing “The Star Spangled Banner” being played, if that doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re missing something somewhere.” That may be the best reason of all to support American bowlers who want to roll on the world stage. ❖

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


INTRO

According To George ne thing for sure about the family entertainment and out-of-home entertainment industries is that change is a constant; it really should be part of the business plan. Our friends from the bowling world who have expanded their centers into Bowling Entertainment Centers have learned that they have to change and experiment to stay relevant to the BEC audience. We launched the first edition of Beyond Bowling, this section of Bowling Industry Magazine, back in March. The name reflects our intention to bring focus to the various disciplines that comprise BECs. Beyond Bowling covers games, redemption, laser tag, food and beverage, and all the other possibilities. With each quarterly edition, we hope to bring you relevant and up-to-the-minute information by profiling leading BEC centers, letting you hear straight from the owners and managers, and by adding a little bit of “how to” and “how not to.” We’ve also created a Beyond Bowling group at Bowling Industry Online. You can join the group at bowlingindustry.com/groups/BeyondBowling. In this our third edition, we feature the sport of laser tag. In the BEC, laser tag has proven itself a worthy and complementary attraction. It stands on its own in paid admissions while helping to drive party and group sales over a wide age group. We also provide a preview of games and attractions that will be featured at IAAPA 2012, being held in Orlando November 12-16. This is the entertainment industry trade show of the year, with over 1,000 exhibitors and nine miles of aisles. If you’re in the family entertainment business or contemplating a modernization to a BEC, this show should be on your radar. This will be my 25th consecutive IAAPA. Stop by our Pinnacle/Redemption Plus booth 1021 and say hello!

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George McAuliffe President, Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors

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Chris’ Corner o you remember back in your youth when your imagination was the only limit to what kind of fun reality you wanted to experience? Whether it was a hundred foot tall roller coaster or fighting a fire breathing dragon, anything was possible. Over my time here at IBI, I have heard of this event called IAAPA that takes place every year in Orlando that just might be the closest thing to the imaginary wonderland of our childhood. As the bowling world continues to evolve, this trade show that caters to the broader amusement and family entertainment industry is becoming more important to bowling proprietors. While Bowl Expo will remain the marquee event of the bowling world, learning more about what IAAPA has to offer can only help you more in every aspect of your business, including bowling. In this edition of Beyond Bowling, we wanted to give just a taste of what to expect from this show. We hope it will inspire you to dig deeper into what is possible. When going down that road, I encourage you to bring the imagination of your youth. You never know what you will discover.

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Chris Holmes Director of Advertising, International Bowling Industry


By Robert Sax

FOCUS

A Blast for Building Business Adding a laser tag feature to a bowling center is a large undertaking that has proven to be very profitable for many centers. nyone who has thrilled to Han Solo dispatching Imperial stormtroopers with his blaster in “Star Wars” will understand the appeal of laser tag. With more than 800 laser tag arenas in the U.S., it’s one of the most popular recreational attractions around. There are more than 420 laser tag attractions in bowling and family entertainment centers, and it is the #2 attraction in our industry in terms of revenue and return on investment. So, if you are considering expanding your center, laser tag may be your best choice for bringing in new customers and boosting your revenues. When Max Bowl in Port Arthur, Texas, planned to renovate its 40-lane FEC, the owners considered a variety of new attractions including indoor golf and car rides before settling on a 4,000 square foot, two-story Lasertron system. “After talking to other people in the business, they said that out of all the things you could do, laser tag is your best bet and the most profitable,” says general manager Doug Davidson. The picture is bright so far, with weekend revenue for laser

A

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tag running as high as $3,000 after just 60 days in operation. Since the first “Photon” game center opened in 1984, people around the world have enjoyed this exciting high-tech game where hand-held infra-red-emitting “phasers” are used to “tag” the sensor vests of other players. A computer keeps track of hits and generates a score card for each player or team at the end of the match. Laser tag is popular with male and female players in all age groups. The two biggest demographics are children aged 7–13, especially for birthday parties; and young adults aged 16–25, who spend the most on the game. These groups are probably a big part of your customer base already, and the game is also popular with corporate and adult social groups.

PLANNING FOR SUCCESS There is an outdoor version of the game, but “arena” or indoor laser tag is the one for BECs and FECs. Within the arena format there are three levels: attraction, standard and pro. Attraction-level systems are the least expensive to build and operate, but the entry-level game experience they offer may not generate enough repeat play to really boost sales. Standard level systems offer more features and a level of game play that should appeal to all but the most hard-core laser tag players. A BEC will be better-served by a standard-level system that can grow with the customers’ needs. Regardless of which level chosen, a laser tag attraction usually consists of three areas: the arena, the briefing room and the vesting room. The arena is the enclosed space in which the game takes place, and it is the


largest of the three areas. The briefing room is the place where staff explain the games and rules to the players. The vesting room is where players suit up with their vests and weapons. Arena designs vary, but the basic layout is a single room with a maze of obstacles, doorways and windows through which players stalk and fire at each other. More sophisticated arenas add ramps and multiple floors plus “themed” elements that transform the area into a rich fantasy environment such as a medieval castle, a jungle or a spaceship. The average laser tag arena at a BEC or FEC is between 2,000-3,000 square feet and the average startup cost is $80,000 to $120,000. The amount of space needed for the attraction will depend on how many players are to be accommodated. An average size laser tag arena in a BEC or FEC accommodates 24 players. According to Lathan Gareiss, founder of Budget Arenas, that’s a number that will accommodate two average size birthday parties at one time, which is important to maximize the best source of laser tag revenue. Prime Time Family Entertainment Center of Abilene, Texas, opened in 2007 with bowling, laser tag and other attractions in a new facility. The original one-story Lazer Runner arena cost approximately $150,000. Several years later they renovated the arena to add a second story at a cost of $75,000. It was money well spent says general manager Scottie Squyres. “A two-story arena is ten times better for players, and our laser tag revenue went up 100% after we added it.”

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As with building or renovating a bowling center, setting up a laser tag attraction is a sophisticated project with many variables. There are many equipment vendors, systems, contractors and other elements to choose from, which can be intimidating for a first-timer. “There really is no such thing as a full turnkey operation,” says Ryan McQuillen, executive director of the International Laser Tag Association, the laser tag industry association. “I consider [a laser tag attraction] three different pieces. There is the laser tag system, the arena and the theming company that creates the environment,” McQuillen adds BEC owners should enlist experienced help in order to get the project done with a minimum of headaches. One option is to hire a consultant who specializes in laser tag. Be aware, however, that a consultant may work with only one laser tag system vendor. A general contractor, who has built laser tag attractions and who can refer a buyer to several system vendors and other providers that are needed to complete the project, is also a choice. Another option is to join the ILTA as a developer member. They will help a buyer navigate the many choices of systems and contractors, and will offer valuable guides and checklists to help budget and plan the project. For additional fees, they will consult on-site. On average it will take two to four weeks to design and plan an arena and six to eight weeks to build it out. If a fancy theme is chosen, it will take three to five days for painting and installation of props. It will take an additional two to three days to set up and test the game system and get ready for players. Budgeting time and money for the training of staff about the laser tag system is of utmost importance. It is best to retain a trainer experienced in laser tag. Figure on a few days


for basic training on the game and the game system plus one to two weeks for center staff to get up to speed running the attraction.

INTEGRATING LASER TAG INTO YOUR CENTER McQuillen notes that too many operators treat laser tag like bowling or an arcade, expecting it to run with minimal supervision. But laser tag involves multiple players with varying skill levels, often playing at the same time. Experienced players will have high expectations of game play, while newbies will be unhappy if their game ends too soon due to their lack of skills. It’s important to meet the needs of all players so that everyone has fun. It’s best to have a separate desk to service laser tag players because checking them in takes time and has many details. If a separate desk can not be provided, be sure to have several staff members dedicated to the laser tag attraction. It takes more time and staff involvement to ensure that all the laser tag customers have a good experience, but it is crucial to generate the repeat play that is so important to its success. Marketing a laser tag attraction takes fore thought and planning. Start building anticipation through wordof-mouth among the existing center customers as soon as construction starts on the arena. Outdoor and inhouse signage and flyers as well as posts on your website and social media platforms. Be sure that the special event planners know about the new offering, and develop some special party packages that incorporate laser tag. Don’t overlook the value of a public relations campaign to generate media coverage of a new laser tag attraction. The game is exciting and offers lots of the great visuals that media outlets love. Try inviting local TV news anchors to play a game, or team up with a charity for a celebrity-fueled fundraising event. Keep local bloggers and websites that cover family activities in mind as well. Crazy Pinz of Fort Wayne, Indiana, combined several marketing tactics for the successful launch of its $250,000, Delta Strikepowered, pirate-themed “Piratez Cove” laser attraction earlier this year. First they held an upscale VIP party to woo local companies for corporate events. They also offered free laser tag on opening day, drawing 1,000 people in just twelve hours. Social media initiatives included email blasts and promotion of laser tag on their existing Facebook page, which has a strong base of 9,000 friends. The 32

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marketing campaign has sparked strong initial business. “Dollars per square foot is already producing about what we averaged on the bowling lanes for the year, and we’re not into our busy season,” says Dave Kerschner, a partner in Crazy Pinz. “I anticipate our revenue per square foot to be double what we created with bowling.”

TAKE AIM AT THE BOTTOM LINE Han Solo didn’t have to worry about return on investment, but it’s important in our universe. The good news is that over the last few years laser tag operators have enjoyed annual sales growth of 8%, according to the ILTA. In summer 2012, Spare Time Family Entertainment Center in Lansing, Michigan, added a Laserforce arena as part of the major renovation of its 40-year-old, 40-lane center. The 2600 square foot arena has two levels, is equipped for 20 players and cost approximately $200,000. Operations manager Bill Assande expects it to pay for itself in a year and estimates that laser tag has already added 3-4% to the center’s revenues. Assande recommends that BEC and FEC

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owners considering a laser tag attraction pay close attention to their market when developing a budget and projecting revenues. “It’s easy to get carried away,” he says about all the systems and options that are available. “Stick to your budget and remember that it’s easy to upgrade later.” Being strategic with the theming budget is essential. Gareiss recommends using those dollars to make the entrance, vesting and briefing areas enticing and to get players excited about the game. Many laser tag attractions feature expensive paintings and props in the arena, where players often don’t notice them due to the black light, fog, loud sound effects and the demands of the game. “I played an arena that had a $10,000 mural on the


wall,” says Gareiss, “and I didn’t notice it the first five times I played.” In general, center owners who have added laser tag have been very happy with the results. “Any time you can bring more bodies into your center is good,” says Prime Time’s Squyres. “Even if they don’t bowl, [laser tag players] are going to buy food and drink and play in the arcade.” Laser tag represents about 16% of Prime Time’s business, and some months it outpaces bowling. The Clubhouse, an FEC in Statesboro, Georgia that opened in October 2010, included laser tag from the beginning. The Zone Laser Tag-equipped arena has been so successful that it paid for itself in less than a year. “Laser tag is by far the number one revenue generator in our arcade,” says owner Tony Ross. “I would tell [other owners] to do it. It’s a great attraction to have as part of your attraction mix.” Laser tag’s high compatibility with your existing customer base can also pull in customers who don’t bowl. Jay Patel of Frames N’ Games in Pooler, Georgia operates a Laser Blast system and has seen nice ancillary sales in other parts of his facility that. “Grandparents will bring their grandkids in to play laser tag and end up eating lunch at our restaurant while the kids are busy,” said Patel. If you want to add another profit center to your business, you should give serious consideration to laser tag. It’s hard to beat laser tag’s combination of exciting game play, high public awareness and potential to generate repeat business. It may be more complicated to set up than an arcade or boutique lanes, but the strong revenue potential makes it worth, well, taking a shot. May the force be with you. ❖

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

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Hats off to ECM’s first graduating management class! The BPAA announced the first graduating class from the School of Entertainment Center Management (ECM). Twentynine students representing 11 states and Canada attended the curriculum-rich, 6-day program packed with 30-plus hours of classroom and handson instruction, individual and group projects. Students worked on real-life problems, learning real-life ideas and solutions they will be able to take back and implement in their centers. “The School for Entertainment Center Management is the only certification program of its kind in the bowling industry,” said Steve Johnson, BPAA executive director. “Students attending the course receive

valuable one-on-one time with some of the best bowling and entertainment center, business people the industry has to offer. If anyone aspires to further their career in a bowling-anchored entertainment center, this school should be the destination of choice on their career path.” Students covered all the complexities in operating centers that also offer a unique combination of attractions, food & beverage service and event hosting, and visited multiple sites where they were able to question the managers, operators and owners. The professional faculty included executives from Namco, TrainerTainment, Brunswick Bowling, Trifecta Management Group, Cornerstone Consulting and Stars & Strikes among others.


IAAPA PREVIEW

By George McAuliffe

Insider’s Guide to IAAPA 2012 his will be my 25th IAAPA. I can’t tell you where the first one was- it moved around quite a bit in those years- but I was there, at the “park show” as we arcade operators called it, to scour for attractions to combine into our new large format family entertainment center. For Bowling Entertainment Center (BEC) operators who are bowling proprietors first, with a developing FEC expertise, IAAPA can provide much more than a place to see rides and attractions. It offers a tremendous amount of information on business in general and on the attractions business in particular. An extensive seminar program provides targeted educational opportunities. Beyond formal seminars there are roundtables, field trips, networking, and social events where some of the best work gets done. Check the daily schedules. Most of your time and focus will be on the trade show floor. In the early days show management didn’t group exhibitors by type of attraction or product. Today’s show floor is much easier to navigate. BEC operators will want to spend considerable time in “The Coin Op Pavillion,” located in the lower left hand quadrant if you look at the Expo floor plan, available at: http://www.iaapa.org/expos/attractions/2012/exhibitor/BookBooth.a sp. All of the game manufacturers and distributors are in this area, as are related attraction providers for FEC’s. I’ll be in the Redemption Plus booth #1021 throughout the show. Please stop by, say hello, and we’ll take you through some of our innovative redemption, crane and merchandiser products. We have called all of our friends who are exhibiting and have put together the following quick preview, exclusively for Beyond Bowling readers, of what “must see” new product will be on display.

T

Product Preview

LAI Games, Booth 1031 LAI Games’ will be in the house with several proven products to show. Their newest might be Balloon Buster. Although it debuted last year at IAAPA, this is the new and improved production model that is reportedly earning well on tests right now. LAI believes it will be a very successful piece for them which, given 38

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their track record for great games, makes me want to stop by. Balloon Buster is a merchandiser where the player must pop a balloon with a dart to win his chosen prize. Payout for the prize arms can be set globally, or individually for a mix of prize values. Speed of Light, an interactive music game (think Dance, Dance with hands) debuted last year and was a Best in Show winner from several industry observers. Since then LAI has refined the piece with positive changes in appearance and game play. It recently placed #1 novelty game in the latest RePlay Players’ Choice Poll, receiving a 9 out of 10 score from operators, which corresponds to a rating of “Excellent.” LAI reports that Speed of Light is developing a large player following, as evidenced by the number of playerposted videos popping up on YouTube. In addition LAI tells us they will show Mega Stacker Lite, the all tickets version of Mega Stacker, which features a progressive ticket jackpot. Both it and Mega Stacker, are an affordably priced “extreme” version of the classic Stacker. We’ve had success with the merchandiser version, in our higher volume client locations in particular, and I want to put the ticket version through the paces. I’m also planning to see, feel, and touch LAI’s three new children’s redemption games: Pirate Battle, Princess Castle, and Choo Choo Train. Like others LAI has produced over the years, the cabinets are a work of art, and I like the ball toss format. Children’s games are usually not the highest ranking games in the arcade, but it’s important to recognize that they are largely incremental sales–sales we wouldn’t have if we didn’t have something for the younger kids.

All American Chicken, Booth 3681 I’m fascinated by the possibilities this 21st century version of a classic concept has for bowling centers. The


machine incorporates sports, cute characters, motion/animation, sound and lights to create a true attraction. The egg format allows for vending a wide variety of prizes, the machine can vend at various price points, and it is a low cost piece. We will be experimenting in the coming months to best locate: either on the concourse or in the arcade “kiddie corner.”

Baytek Games, Booth 1024 Baytek will be leading with their hit attraction game, Connect Four which has extremely solid, Top 5 numbers in the locations we work with. It’s big, interactive, eye catchingand fun! We expect to see the usual solid lineup from Baytek, makers of Big Bass Wheel, Crank It, Road Trip merchandiser, and many others. Look for a surprise as well!

Benchmark Games,

Booth 515

The Benchmark booth will feature several new products which Benchmark’s Rich Long, while not prepared to announce as we went to press, tells us are “guaranteed to raise a smile.” Long did tell us that they will feature Monster Drop in Extreme and Standard versions, their Super Hoops Basketball, and a “new style” Tickets to Prizes automated redemption center.

Betson/Raw Thrills, Booth 2015

It appears that Raw Thrills has broken new ground once again with the introduction of Sno Cross, which will be seen for the first time at the show. Sno Cross is reported to offer “next generation true HD graphics” on a 42” monitor. Players, utilizing QR codes, will be able to share high scores on Facebook and Twitter. The game play features six racers and seven tracks based on the x games venues throughout the world. This will be an attention getter.

Brady Distributing Company, Booth 404 Brady Distributing Company will be present as always. This year’s Brady booth will have their Sales Representatives and FEC NRG Advisory Team to assist attendees with their amusement equipment needs. They also provide professional guidance and layout assistance for development of new FECs and BECs, conversions of existing facilities, and upgrading of underperforming facilities. On the game side, Brady will feature two of the latest and hottest HD Video Games.

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Coastal, Booth 1324 Coastal is aggressively developing product and will be showing three new titles: The Simpsons Soccer, Super Sea Wolf and Temple Run. The Simpsons Soccer combines one of the most widely known characters worldwide with the world's most popular sport. Super Sea Wolf is the latest version of what has been a solid, steady earner. It features a 55" LCD with other updates like attacking planes and machine guns. Temple Run is Coastal’s move into applying a licensed smart phone application (Temple Run has had 100 million downloads) and can be run as either redemption or straight video–we will be testing to determine the best use.

games–that’s been tried before without much success. Rather, “videmption” games are designed as redemption skill games, but utilize touchscreen, HD and other video features as part of the play. Bejeweled plays much like the app game from which it was inspired. It has a few features not present on the app game to enhance its suitability for redemption. It is a beautiful attraction in terms of cabinet design, shaped like a giant translucent gem that changes colors. It’s a four player game. Sega will also be showing Super Monkey Ball Ticket Blitz. Whether it’s the challenging, multi faceted game play or attractive cabinet design–or most likely, both–we are seeing nice numbers on this piece.

Ice, Booth 1408

Redemption Plus, Booth 1021

ICE is no stranger to good licenses and is out front on the trend to arcade versions of game apps. Their booth will lead with Doodle Jump Arcade, based on the app which has sold tens of millions of copies worldwide. Joe Coppola told me “Raw Thrills did an incredible job in identifying the elegant game play of Doodle Jump. It’s got a sleek cabinet and unique leader board element to this game to make it that much more competitive among the players, adding excitement to locations that don’t have redemption but wish to add Doodle Jump to their game offerings. ICE will also be showing Milk Jug Toss which is a redemption twist on the timeless hit carnival game. Cut the Rope, the company’s latest merchandiser, will round out the offerings. Cut the Rope is a merchandiser that is a true skill game, which gives it a unique place in the market.

Redemption Plus has a lot of new things in store this year that you won’t want to miss. We've expanded our booth size, allowing us to feature twice as many items as in previous years. We’ll be showing a wide selection of our redemption merchandise, the latest and greatest from our line of HIP Crane & Merchandiser Kits, as well as our amusement park line of Emerald Toy plush. Our Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors team, Jim Kipper and I, will be there and available to discuss how we can help you improve your FEC profitability. This year we are introducing a little more fun to the booth through our Spin to Win game where you can win some great prizes like free product, a percentage off your next order, or a free redemption profitability check from Pinnacle, among other things. Just look for the big purple Redemption Plus sign hanging from the ceiling, and you won’t be able to miss us!

Sega, Booth 815 Sega, coming off of last year’s IAAPA success with Keymaster, arguably the hit of the show, promises an aggressive lineup of new releases this year. Keymaster will still be an important piece in the booth; Sega is now offering the piece in six different colors. This is great for route operators who can rotate colors between locations but also for arcades which can use multiple colors to distinguish prize mixes or just find a color complimentary to their décor. Sega recently began shipping two new “videmption” pieces, Bejeweled and Super Monkey Ball. “Videmption” is the term for the growing trend to develop redemption games with a video screen component. It is not simply adding ticket dispensers to redemption 42

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Intercard, Booth 1015 Debit card systems are integral to the success of today’s modern day FEC. Intercard will be featuring their iEvent online scheduling system, an online solution to booking facility resources for parties, group sales, and special events. The program is controlled online with the system architecture provided by Intercard's available Cloud technology. Based on security permissions, all users (admin to customer) will use the same software to book reservations, block dates, administer payments, and set up routing sheets and itineraries to manage the facility resources daily.


Intercard will also be showcasing a new style of automated payments kiosk called The iScan. This sleek, more compact kiosk will join its big brother The iTeller in offering Intercard clients highly versatile and reliable payment stations. Both utilize an optional marketing scanner that allows guests to bring in a single use QR code email blast for redemption at the terminal. Also new is the "Points for Play" e-Ticket payment option (Patent Pending). When activated, customers can use the points (or e-Tickets) they were awarded for playing redemption games as tender on arcade readers and elsewhere throughout the facility. Items at your Redemption Counter are no longer the only way to provide incentive to keep people playing.

Embed, Booth 1034 Embed is showing several product enhancements at IAAPA including the company’s new Facebook plug-in for the Embed Self-Service Debit Card Kiosk. This social media interface will allow guests to quickly register or update their play card account by using their profile information from their Facebook page, making it easier

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than ever for location operators to capture important marketing data. They will also show their existing systems which together provide a total operating solution for any entertainment facility. So there’s a preview for you that will hopefully help with advanced planning and save you some steps. Again, please come by our booth 1021 and say hello. We will be continuing to improve Beyond Bowling in the coming year and would love to hear your thoughts on what you find useful. ❖

George McAuliffe is a 30 year family entertainment center operator and president of Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors by Redemption Plus. Pinnacle is an industry consulting firm www.grouppinnacle.com. George has operated entertainment centers from 2,000 to 150,000 square feet including redemption and merchandise games since 1983 and has assisted numerous Bowling Entertainment Center owners develop their FEC side. He is a regular speaker at industry conventions worldwide and writes for RePlay and International Bowling Industry Magazine. He can be reached at 913-563-4370 or email at gmcauliffe@redemptionplus.com.


OPERATIONS

By Anna M. Littles ings bowling centers are the brain child of Patrick Lyons. His company, the Lyons Group, owns properties in Boston. Lyons set out on a mission to recapture bowling’s glory days when automation gave the sport its mass appeal; he also wanted to create an environment that would be exemplary of the 1950s, America’s golden age. That mission began in 2003 when the Lyons Group opened the first Kings, a 24,000 square foot bowling center located in the heart of Boston. Due to the first location's great success, the

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OPERATIONS Lyons Group opened a Kings in Dedham, Massachusetts, in 2009. That facility is 26,000 square feet and is located in an upscale suburban shopping center. Most recently, they’ve branched out into the Midwest by opening up their third Kings bowling center in Chicago. It is the largest center so far at 27,000 square feet. It is located in Rosemont, a suburb

The restaurant in the Boston location carries on the tradition of the classic 50s nightclub.

Skee-Ball, air hockey tables and much more await in the Royal Room in the Boston location.

five minutes from O’Hare Airport. As Doug Warner, the director of marketing, puts it, “This has turned out to be an unbelievable location in an entertainment park surrounded by hotels and right next to a convention center. The Rosemont Center is a true megaplex of entertainment. In the near future they will be opening a Kings in Orlando and two more in Massachusetts.” This success has propelled the Lyons Group to continue to examine different locations for expansion. One thing Warner wanted to make clear, “Kings is not a chain of bowling centers.” In fact, Warner does not even like the word “chain,” as it removes the centers from their communities. “They are not some The concourse in the Boston location is designed to recall “The Golden Age of Bowling” while adding contemporary elements.

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OPERATIONS

The exterior of the newest Kings location in Rosemount, Illinois.

fast food place popping up randomly. A lot of planning goes into each center. They are not a cookie cutter concept!” And when you look at the outstanding design elements, it becomes clear that Kings rule. Walking through their doors, you feel like you’re in Vegas. Rich, strong colors overtake you. You approach the front desk; it’s as if you’ve stepped into the spot light. A brilliant use of lighting tells the story of a time in America when Fedora’s graced the heads of meticulously groomed men, and curvaceous women did their best to dress like Marilyn Monroe. If you blink, you might see the spirit of Frank Sinatra strolling through the bar where the neon sign reads the “Royal Room.” The design theme synergy is sleek and is consistently carried out at each Kings bowling

center. Rich, saturated colors, texture and lighting flow in perfect harmony and merit awards. The word is out; everyone who walks through their doors is treated like royalty. What goes into designing a megaplex of entertainment? It's really a long-term collaboration between the client (i.e.. Lyons

The curtains, which separate the lanes at the Rosemont location, are a unique design twist, adding depth, dimension and sophistication to the space.

The King Pin Room at the Rosemont location has six private lanes, designed to recall that 50s nightclub ambiance. 48

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Group/Kings) and a knowledgable manufacturer. Brent Dyer, senior VP at US Bowling explained, “We worked with Kings' architects for months prior to installation. It all starts with the equipment.” And that is the domain of US Bowling who handled all the lighting, sound and bowling equipment, which included all the lanes, pinsetters and automatic scoring. US Bowling’s equipment is all remanufactured AMF 8290 XL


OPERATIONS standard as well. Kings wanted state-of-the-art audio/visual in each location, which is a tall order. Dyer says, “Part of the visual process in lighting is integrating the black lights, strobe lights and laser lights into the sound. Basically it all looks like it is in sync together – part of it also is that there are sub units throughout the center, such as powerful ceiling speaker systems that are 1000 watt strong." All of the 47" monitors throughout

In Rosemont, the Lounge Bar’s sophisticated interior is the perfect place to take a break from the lanes.

pinsetters. They remanufacture more pinsetters than anyone in the world. Dyer ran down how each pinsetter “goes through a rigorous process, by the time the equipment is delivered, the product is better than anything out there and comes with a two year warranty." US Bowling also provided the media masking system. In fact, US Bowling is the first company to provide a fully integrated video component into the masking unit systems they use, which makes them the first to make this an industry

The Billiards Room at the Rosemont location.

the facility are tied to the a/v system. John Lyons, brother to Patrick, is an expert in sound, so this was an important part of the business to the owners. While the facilities at each location are up-to-the-minute, their

Left to right top to bottom: Joshua Rossmeisl, Managing Director; Aaron Sagendorf, Head Mechanic; Mario D'Alelio, Assistant General Manager, Kings Dedham; Doug Warner, Director of Marketing; Andre Bautista, Executive Chef; Christopher Barrows, Assistant General Manager, Kings Boston; Erin Callahan, General Manager, Kings Boston; Jacqui Getz, Director of Group and Corporate Sales. 50

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OPERATIONS

The concourse at the Dedham location again recalls the glory days of bowling with the wooden benches, the accent lighting and the geometric designed carpet.

service philosophy is what puts them over the top. Warner boldly states that “Our level of service, especially our execution of corporate events is second to none!” They constantly receive responses from guests thanking their excellent staff. Warner is excited at how they see an incredible amount of repeat business. And they take nothing for granted. They are very proactive in engaging their guests with surveys inquiring

weekends. During the week, they see a lot of corporate and team building events. The dining at Kings is a special treat. Warner confesses that it can be difficult to overcome people’s preconceived notion that bowling food is bad. Each Kings offers a full service restaurant in their location. They flipped it upside down with an executive chef who designed an eclectic menu. From coconut shrimp to cheeseburger spring rolls, Kings has a wide selection to choose from. Their hip cocktail list is innovative and fun, too, from the "Kingstini," to an "Electric Margarita." The most important thing to Warner and the corporate team is Kings’ commitment to giving back to the community. Warner stressed, “We seek to be fully integrated into each community we build in.” This means that they do a lot of fundraisers, many with celebrities. And they do major charity events yearly, making Kings a beacon in their communities.

The Royal Room in the Dedham location is the perfect spot to host a private party or corporate event.

The King Pin room at the Dedham location recalls the early days of disco with a spinning glitter ball.

if they would both share and refer Kings to their friends and family based on experience; and it’s a 100% yes each time. They are very proud of this. Warner goes on to explain that they deliver a premium product at affordable prices. On week nights they offer different promotions like “Wild Wednesdays,” and all you can bowl after 9 p.m. for $10. Their core business is bachelor, bachelorette and adult birthday parties primarily on 52

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From all design elements, to the food, to the community commitment, Patrick Lyons has surpassed his mission to recapture bowling’s glory days. At Kings, they have entered a new golden age for the sport we all love. ❖

Anna M. Littles, a screenplay and freelance writer and producer originally from the Bronx, New York, now resides in Santa Monica, California. You can see her work on YouTube, IMDB, or on her website at www.alittleLA.com.


CLASSIFIEDS

EQUIPMENT FOR SALE REPAIR & EXCHANGE. Call for details (248) 375-2751. NEW & USED Pro Shop Equipment. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. 800-2556436 or jayhawkbowling.com.

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BOWLINGFAN

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CLASSIFIEDS

AMF • BRUNSWICK EQUIPMENT COMPLETE PACKAGES WORLDʼS LARGEST NEW – USED SPARE PARTS INVENTORY ALL AMF BUMPER PARTS, XS Q-BUMP, DURABOWL AND GEN II IN STOCK

SEL L

BUY

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

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

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

www.tuckerbowling.com


CLASSIFIEDS EQUIPMENT FOR SALE FOR SALE: 11 ea. 28” Fenice monitor boards for Qubica automatic scoring. In working order when removed. $250.00 ea. Call Hillcrest Lanes (419) 675-6214. HARD TO FIND PARTS: AMF Automatic Scoring. (712) 253-8730. EVERYTHING MUST GO! 16 lanes: 82-30s; Qubica Bowland Scoring; air-powered aluminum gutters, QBump system; 8 AMF Sur-Pic (13) ball returns; 82-8 original AMF Radar Ray foul lines; wood lanes & approaches; spare parts. Everything works GREAT! Contact Bob (845) 292-6450.

CENTER FOR SALE

SELL YOUR

CENTER OR EQPT.

FAST!

(818) 789-2695

NW KANSAS: 12-lane center, AS-80s, Lane Shield, snack bar, pro shop, game & pool rooms. See pics and info @ www.visitcolby.com or contact Charles (785) 443-3477. SOUTHWEST KANSAS: well-maintained 8-lane center, A-2s, full-service restaurant. Includes business and real estate. Nice, smaller community. Owner retiring. $212,000. Leave message (620) 397-5828.

SERVICE CALLS WORLDWIDE • PRE-SHIPS • WE SELL

AS80/90 • BOARD REPAIR • Frameworx NEW KEYPADS • FRONT DESK LCD MONITORS

Michael P. Davies (321) 254-7849

291 Sandy Run, Melbourne, FL 32940 on the web: bowlingscorer.com email: mike@bowlingscorer.com

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BOWLINGFAN

For FLORIDA CENTERS Call DAVID DRISCOLL & ASSOCIATES 1-800-444-BOWL 3800 Lake Center Loop, Suite B1, Mount Dora, FL 32757-2208 AN AFFILIATE OF SANDY HANSELL & ASSOCIATES IBI

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CLASSIFIEDS CENTER FOR SALE 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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CLASSIFIEDS CENTERS FOR SALE

CENTERS FOR SALE

TEXAS, LUBBOCK: 32-lane center close to university. A-2s, AMF scoring, synthetic lanes. Includes bar, grill, arcade & additional income producing RE. Strong adult/youth leagues, college classes & open-play traffic. Seller motivated. Contact: bowlingcntr4sale@aol.com.

16-lane center in Southern Colorado mountains. Great condition. 18,000 s/f building w/ restaurant & lounge. Paved parking 100 + vehicles. Established leagues & tournaments. $950,000 or make offer. Kipp (719) 852-0155.

GEORGIA, Vadalia: 16-lane center. Low down payment; assume a SBA 4.75% interest loan. Will carry 2nd note on half of down payment. For additional info fax qualified inquiries to (912) 537-4973 or email lmfastfoods@yahoo.com.

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.

NEBRASKA (Scottsbluff): 16-lane center in 16,500 s/f building on 2.39 acres. Includes bar & kitchen. Turnkey operation. $250,000 with RE. Call (308) 641-5740.

CENTRAL ILLINOIS: PRICED TO SELL!! 8-lane center with AMF 82-70s, full service restaurant, pro shop. Plus pool tables, karaoke machine & DJ system. Asking $125,000.00 with RE. (217) 3515152 or toms-uvl@sbcglobal.net. SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN: medium/large center in excellent physical condition. Strong revenue. Due to unique situation, priced at only $469,000. Perfect turnkey opportunity. Email: bowlingcentersales@gmail.com or Contact (248) 252-1427.

SELL YOUR CENTER OR EQUIPMENT

(818) 789-2695

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CLASSIFIEDS

"Bowling Center Construction Specialists" New Center Construction Family Entertainment Centers Residential Bowling Lanes Modernization Mini Bowling Lanes Automatic Scoring CONTACT

BRIAN ESTES

(866) 961-7633 Office: (734) 469-4293

Toll Free:

Email: build@capitalbowlingservice.com

www.CapitalBowlingService.com

SELL YOUR CENTER

(818) 789-2695 MINIATURE GOLF COURSES Indoor/Outdoor. Immediate Installation. $5,900.00 & up. 2021 Bridge Street Jessup, PA 18434 570-489-8623 www.minigolfinc.com

LOCKER KEYS FAST! •Keys & Combo Locks for all Types of Lockers. •One week turnaround on most orders. •New locks All types •Used locks 1/2 price of new

All keys done by code #. No keys necessary.

E-mail: huff@inreach.com FAX YOUR ORDER TO US AT:

530-432-2933

CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-700-4KEY INT’L 530-432-1027 Orange County Security Consultants

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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: wb8yjf@earthlink.net Visit us on the WEB! http://home.earthlink.net/~wb8yjf/


CLASSIFIEDS MANAGER WANTED Don't miss your chance to grow with an Industry Leader! Looking for Experienced, Service-Oriented General Managers for our U.S. bowling retail center locations. Please check us out at www.brunswickcareers.apply2jobs.c om for more details on our current openings. Act Now! Apply Today!

POSITION WANTED SALES POSITION WANTED: 25 years experience; specializing in open bowling. References available. May work on commission. Kevin Malick (863) 602-4850. Seeking General Manager position— West Coast, Nevada, New Mexico and/or Southern region. 40 years in the industry—owner, GM & District Manager. Familiar with F&B, marketing, special events and youth programs. Has served on the Indiana BPA Board of Directors for 4 years. Resume and references available. Rudy Hinojosa (317) 590-5499 or email: rhbowl@yahoo.com.

SERVICES AVAILABLE Drill Bit Sharpening and Measuring Ball Repair. Jayhawk Bowling Supply. 800255-6436 or Jayhawkbowling.com. See a list that will help centers fill lanes w/ 1200+New Bowlers, Birthday Parties & Corporate Outings that generate $15,800— a 600% ROI from 4 payments starting at $378. Visit mcprs.bmamkt.com or call (888) 243-0685. AMF 5850 & 6525 CHASSIS. PRICES REDUCED! Exchange your tired or damaged chassis for an upgraded, rewired, cleaned, painted & ready-to-run chassis. Fast turnaround. Lifetime guarantee. References available. $210 + shpg. CHASSIS DOCTORS (330) 314-8951.

AccuScore XL & AccuScore BOSS component exchange. (712) 253-8730.

ARE YOU A FAN OF BOWLING?

www.Facebook.com/BowlingFan

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REMEMBER WHEN

1957 60

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n 1957, bowling was gaining fans. Centers were no longer considered a smokey, male hangout for beer swilling bowlers. There were 131,253 members of YABA, the youth organization; ABC membership was 2,225,000 and steadily climbing and 868,603 ladies joined the WIBC. The “Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous� wanted a promotion vehicle that was equal in popularity. Bowling was a perfect match. Just look at the cross section of the working world gathered together to bowl, schmooze, relax, compete, flirt and generally have a pleasant evening out. There are so many aspects to this ad; it is a multilayered, eye-catching, product promoting piece. Every character tells a story! Beer was just one facet of the scene; bowling was the prime mover around which all else


REMEMBER WHEN The Swiss Family Fraunfelder was a unique ethnic yodeling and singing group whose family tradition dated back to the 1600s in Zurich. In the 1940s, they were under contract to Schlitz Brewing Company of Milwaukee. They performed in more than 600 events including television, radio and personal appearances. Walt Disney employed Papa Fraunfelder and his Swiss Family to sing and yodel for ”Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” It is reported son Rheiny was the voice of “Dopey.” Now the reason that Siebel’s Swiss couple mingles with the bowlers in the Schlitz ad is more understandable and not just a misdirect.  Frederick “Fritz” Siebel was a prolific illustrator during the 40s and 50s. One wouldn’t have to go far to find one of his ads within the pages of the top magazines of the time. IBI used one of his illustrations for Ballentines in the Remember When segment in May of 2010.

happened. Filling the fashion scene, you have league bowlers in team shirts, business men in overcoats and hats, women dressed casually in skirts and pants, and men in slacks and sport shirts in all colors. One could spend more time than would be wise developing stories for each character and group. And, who are those people dressed in lederhosen? Hmmmm. They peak the imagination. Why are they there? Yodeling. Beer. Bavaria. Not all “Schlitzers” come from an alpine environment, and so, the search begins. It didn’t take long to realize that the illustrator Frederick “Fritz” Siebel was not just sprinkling his ad with nonsequiturs. He was, in fact, creating an homage to the Fraunfelder family who were one of the first spokespersons for Schlitz. So now our expansive ad takes on more import. Bowling, beer and a tip of the hat to yodelers combined to highlight Schlitz. ❖ IBI

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DATEBOOK

NOVEMBER Oct 29–Nov 9 A-2 Pinsetter Maintenance School QC Family Entertainment Center Moline, IL For info call Frank Miroballi 540-325-7684 or email Frankm1441@aol.com

4–9 Center Management School BPAA’s Bowling University 800-343-1329 www.bowlinguniversity.net

12–16 IAAPA Attractions Expo Orange County Convention Center Orlando, FL www.iaapa.org/expo

14–15 BCA of Ohio Fall Seminar & Meeting Embassy Suites, Columbus 2700 Corporate Exchange Dr. Pat Marazzi, 937-433-8363

Red Rock Resort & Casino, Las Vegas Joan Romeo, (310) 749-1345 romeotmt@me.com 3–7 Brunswick GS Pinsetter Maintenance School GS Pinsetter Muskegon, MI 800-937-2695 or schools@brunbowl.com

10–14 Brunswick Training Classes Vector Scorer Muskegon, MI 800-937-2695 or schools@brunbowl.com

JANUARY 2013 27–30 BPAA 2013 Bowling Summit Mid-Winter Conference for Proprietors, Managers & Industry Leaders Hyatt Regency at Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX www.bpaa.com/Summit

APRIL 24–Dec 2 48th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup Sky Bowling Centre Wroclaw, Poland Anne-Marie Board, amboard@qubicaamf.com

DECEMBER 2–8 2012 International Senior Open 62

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21–23 71ST Annual BBIA Convention Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Biloxi, MS Info: 800-343-1329

JUNE 23–28 Bowl Expo 2013 Las Vegas Hdqtr hotel: Paris Las Vegas www.bowlexpo.com



International Bowling Industry Magazine November 2012