International Bowling Industry Magazine November 2013

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VOL 21.11


31 BEYOND BOWLING Skype: scottfrager

• IAAPA Preview • Renovations and Innovations Series Part II • Spare Time • Interesting Interview: Tim Corley


Crossing Paths By Scott Frager

8 SHORTS • President George W. Bush to be Bowl Expo 2014 keynote speaker. • Joan Romeo from IBMA president to TV commercial star! • Natalie Savant’s Striking Summer is inspirational. • Ideal Software Systems celebrates 30 years in business.

33 SPECIAL INSERT Laser Tag Buyers Guide


The Woman of the Hour 24

The veterans’ support group, Folds of Honor, enlists Laurie Romano of Next Level Bowling to co-organize a major event for vets and their families. By Anna Littles

By Paul Lane

70 REMEMBER WHEN 1958 Freshen Up with 7 Up!


By Patty Heath

A Warm Welcome QubicaAMF’s 49th Bowling World Cup, hosted in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, heats up the bowling world.



FOUNDER Allen Crown (1933-2002)

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

HOTLINE: 888-424-2695 SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One copy of International Bowling Industry is sent free to every bowling center, independently owned pro shop and collegiate bowling center in the U.S., and every military bowling center and pro shop worldwide. Publisher reserves the right to provide free subscriptions to those individuals who meet publication qualifications. Additional subscriptions may be purchased for delivery in the U.S. for $50 per year. Subscriptions for Canada and Mexico are $65 per year, all other foreign subscriptions are $80 per year. All foreign subscriptions should be paid in U.S. funds using International Money Orders. POSTMASTER: Please send new as well as old address to International Bowling Industry, 12655 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604 USA. If possible, please furnish address mailing label. Printed in U.S.A. Copyright 2013, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.


60 Showcase 62 Datebook

By Paul Lane 31

November 2013 (818) 735-9424





Bowling: A Hero’s Game


Fred Groh Patty Heath Paul Lane Anna Littles George McAuliffe


Compiled by Patty Heath

Anne-Marie Board has been at the helm of QubicaAMF’s World Cup for the past 20 years, overseeing its growth and success.


63 Classifieds


Crossing Paths There’s nothing like a long flight to help free the mind of the day-to-day earthly bonds and allow for the slightly self-indulgent opportunity to daydream. Such was the case as I jetted off to Atlantic City, breathing in the rarified air, to participate in the 2013 East Coast Bowling Convention. I thought and reminisced about my two decades in the business of bowling, the amazing adventures my work family and I have had over the years and the incredible friends I’ve made in the business. To me, the bowling business became my own almost as soon as I was welcomed into the trade. I knew from the get-go that my future was going to be inextricably tied to bowling and that knowledge gave me a sense of comfort and confidence allowing me to be the best I could be at the business of bowling. I have similar hopes and dreams that all of my staff and teammates become as infatuated with the bowling business. None more so than Chris Holmes, my right-hand man these past three years. Without being too sappy, I knew Chris was the right guy when I met him about five years ago representing LA’s indoor arena football team. There was something special about him that made me want to steal him away from the company for which he was working. And so I did. And, is it turns out, they missed him so much they stole him back! Chris’ work and efforts over the past three years on behalf of International Bowling Industry magazine and the Bowling Centers of Southern CA have been nothing but stellar. From the moment he arrived, Chris has been a true class act. It is truly bittersweet to lose a long-time and valued staff member: while it’s sad to see someone leave, one can’t help but be glad that they’re moving on to something that makes them feel passionate. Chris, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you’ve done for International Bowling Industry magazine and the Bowling Centers of Southern CA. I am grateful that our paths crossed and hope that they will again in the future.


THIS MONTH AT IBI online would like to single out online member Rob McNaughton, a neighbor from the north. Burlington, Ontario, Canada, to be exact. Rob belongs to the Beyond Bowling group. His company,, actualizes the latest in marketing concepts aimed to help centers fill lanes at slow times by selling deals online. Rob believes in being connected as you can see by his responses to posts and discussions. Seek him out. He is just one of the many interesting business people that keep bowling moving with the times.



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BOWLING DOWN UNDER Angelina Jolie takes a break from her directorial work on a new movie, “Unbroken,” to take her brood bowling. Strike Bowling Centre in the Entertainment Quarter of Moore Park, Australia, was the destination of Maddox, 12; Pax, 9; Zahara, 8; Shiloh, 7; and twins Vivienne and Knox, 5. Bowling has often been an activity the Jolie-Pitt household enjoys.

LOOK WHO’S IN THE KITCHEN! Bowling’s own Joan Romeo, IBMA president, was featured in a TV commercial for Bongiovi Pasta Sauce. Does the product name sound familiar? It’s the correct spelling of rock star Jon Bon Jovi’s family name. The singer recently began marketing his father’s recipe and needed a perfect Italian mother to stir the gravy. See the commercial on

Ideal Software Systems of Meridian, MS, is celebrating 30 years of developing business management software for bowling centers and FECs. As the industry reinvents the bowling experience for a new generation—with the buzz of arcade games, roaring go-karts and even fullservice snack bars becoming permanent fixtures— Ideal continues to evolve to serve modern bowling centers with the amusement industry’s most comprehensive management system. “As we celebrate our 30th year in business, we are continuing to grow and strengthen our commitment to the bowling market,” said David Goldman, founder and president. “Ideal gives bowling centers a streamlined, native approach with full integration of all components, allowing them to finally untangle the web of systems they use and benefiting the bottom line in every area of their facilities.” Congratulations! [See Ideal Software Systems at IAAPA, Booths 238 & 5663]

LIFE AFTER LIFE: THE STORY OF RECLAIMED LANES Imagine eating at a long counter made from a bowling lane from the 1930s. Imagine the stories those pieces of pine could tell--strikes, spares, gutter balls, tears, screams, fun and frustration. Imagine putting that into your restaurant or diner or your home for that matter. That is what Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack in New York, did. When he saw CounterEvolution’s tables, he said, “This is a table you’re going to want to sit at and stay at. It has a story. It had a life before it came here.” Jim Malone, owner of CounterEvolution in Brooklyn, came to New York to be a singersongwriter. He then reinvented himself as a voice director for the English-dubbed version of “Pokemon” and other Japanese anime shows. In 2006, his longtime hobby of woodworking and 8


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construction brought him to a reclaimed-wood shop and the rest is history. He now has clients such as Sweetgreen salad-chain, Starbucks, and Shake Shack restaurants. As Ben Fox Rubin wrote in a Wall Street Journal article dated September 23, “The front showroom Jim Malone, right, views a tabletop built for is like something dreamed up by the Shake Shack in Grand Central Terminal. bowling-loving, main character in the Photo credit: Adrian Fussell for The Wall Street film The Big Lebowski. The walls are Journal covered with slabs of old lanes, and nearly every bit of furniture is made of old alleys. Mr. Malone works from a cherry-stained, alley-wood desk.” Dave Mitcheltree, proprietor of a 32-lane center in South Chicago Heights, IL, sent 1,300 square feet of the heart pine to Malone. He told Rubin that it made him feel good to know that the wood was going to be used in furniture.


EXPANSIONS, OPENINGS & NEW BEGINNINGS Bowling alleys don’t fade away; they reopen!!!! It seems like every month brings exciting, new venues and renovated spaces to keep bowling in the hearts of bowlers everywhere and capture new fans.

Grand Junction, CO, has a “new” old bowling center –Spin City--which will now include an indoor roller rink, laser tag, six boutique lanes, a game area and a restaurant. The bowling area with comfy couches can be closed off for private parties.

The third business is the charm. At least that is what Nate Cook hopes. Cook, 35, operates Positive Progressions, a mental health agency with offices in Powell and Cody, WY, and Northern, Inc. which works with people with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries. Classic Lanes, an 8-lane center in Powell, will be his third business, and he feels it fits right in with his background as a clinical social worker helping people transition into the community. Oh, in his spare time, Cook coaches the Powell High School freshmen boys’ basketball team and referees football!

Community Lanes in Moberly, MO, is now Memory Lanes. A community fixture since 1957, Rich and Meg Morenz plan to update the equipment within the next few years. Prior to his stint in the Air Force for 23 years, Rich lived in Moberly and had, at one time, worked at Memory Lanes.

Ribaut Lanes in Beaufort, SC, closed its doors in 2012. The Love House Ministries purchased the 26,000 square-foot building on 2.2 acres. After much deliberation, Pastor Randy Roberts and Love House decided to reopen the lanes as Love House Ministries’ Community Bowling Pastor Randy Roberts in the new Center. “We first looked at it Community Lanes exclusively to establish it as a church, but we prayed on it and this is what happened,” Roberts said. Mayor Billy Keyserling said the idea of the bowling center was appealing and he felt it would be a boon to the young people all over the community.

Las Cruces, NM, has one bowling center, 10-Pin Alley. Since March, 10-Pin has been going through a major renovation. The 32 lanes have been resurfaced, new flat-screen automatic scorers, floor tiles, seating, renovated bathrooms and a reworked air conditioning system are now installed. There is one more addition that owner Randy Najar made and that was Rudy Hinojosa as GM. “They got me out of retirement to come here and help them out,” Hinojosa said. “I’ve been in the business for over 40 years and have owned two bowling centers, in California and Iowa. I’ve opened four new centers from the ground up.” The majority of the work is completed. Now it is up to Hinojosa to grow the business. This last summer he started Kids Bowl Free which he said was a huge success. With fundraisers, birthday parties and league play, he is on his way!

International Graduating Class! Word spreads quickly, and with that, the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, TX, became just that— international! The second installment of The School of Entertainment Center Management graduated an international group comprised of participants from not only the U.S. but Great Britain, the Ukraine and Puerto Rico. This 6-day program of 30-plus hours of classroom training is headed by a professional faculty comprised of successful executives from Namco, Trainertainment, Brunswick Bowling, Cornerstone Consulting and Stars & Strikes, among others. Created at the request of BPAA members, The School of Entertainment Center Management is directed to those who are, or could become, high level operation managers in bowling-anchored entertainment centers.



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The curriculum includes multiple site visits to some of the best entertainment centers in the U.S., where students have the opportunity to question the operators and owners about their respective operating best practices.

Graduates of Bowling University School of Bowling Center Entertainment included participants from Great Britain, Ukraine, Puerto Rico and the U.S.A.


Bowling’s Young Ambassador Natalie Savant’s Striking Summer highlights youth bowling. 9-year-old Natalie Savant of San Antonio, TX, won’t be caught off guard by the ever-recurring, back to school writing assignment, “What did you do over summer vacation?” Her quest, now tagged as Natalie’s Striking Summer, was/is to bowl in every state. Started in April and buoyed by the mantra “less dashes, more slashes,” Savant has, up to this point, bowled in 22 states. “Bowling is my favorite sport and I wanted to do something fun – bowl in every single state—while raising awareness for youth bowling as well as trying to raise scholarship money,” said Natalie begins a quest that could Being on the Savant. road is rough! change her life. This goal coincides with BPAA’s “National Learn to Bowl” month which was launched this October. “Natalie serves as an inspiration to all of us,” said Steve Johnson, executive director of the BPAA. With a Facebook page (Natalie’s Striking Summer) full of photos and videos, over 3,700 followers have caught the excitement. Ginger Savant, Natalie’s mother, feels this shows just how supportive the bowling community is.


Taxes, Taxes and More Taxes?

Lucky Strike Entertainment has announced that Romy Mehlman will be the new vice president of Marketing. This is a newly created position and will conceptualize and implement business and market strategies to further build Lucky Strike Entertainment’s growing domestic and international brand. Mehlman has previously held positions as vice president of Worldwide Theatrical Research for Disney Live Action and Marvel at The Walt Disney studios and director of marketing for the Western Region at Hard Rock Romy Mehlman International.

Associations can have an impact on legislation

Bowling This Month ends publication The magazine Bowling This Month has published its last edition. From the magazine’s Facebook page: “Bowling This Month regrets that due to the economic downturn we have all experienced, we are having to cease operations, effective immediately. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused you. Be assured that we have investigated all avenues for avoiding having to take this action.”

Vending Times recently reported on a law taxing purchases of digital goods enacted in Tennessee and several other states. As a result, the leading digital jukebox music supplier, Touch Tunes, found itself paying a 9.25% tax on gross receipts generated in the state by its network. The tax was also applied to operators’ 20% subscription fee. With the two-year effort by the Tennessee Coin Machine Association and members Gary and Jim Brewer of Brewer Amusements LLC of McMinnville, TN, lawmakers were convinced that an existing state law prohibits levying a sales tax on jukeboxes because the equipment is already taxed by the collection of licensing fees. Gary Brewer, a past-president of the AMOA said that this was an example of how important a state association’s involvement with government issues is. He is quoted by Vending Times, “If you’re not proactive, you could be legislated out of business while you’re sleeping.” Associations in any business arena can have a major impact on getting the word out.


November 2013



Bowl Expo Update A Toast to 100 Years and Counting! Lincoln, Nebraska’s bowling centers are celebrating the kickoff of the 101st consecutive season of leagues. While the present focus seems to be on by-passing leagues for up-scale open bowling, Lincoln proudly touts a tradition that started, per Eric Jensen of the Star City Sports, in the fall of 1913 in the Lincoln Y.M.C.A. Leagues had appeared earlier but it was the 1913-14 season that started the trend. It can’t be over emphasized that while “new” is glitzy, it was and is the leagues that have generated the talent that is seen in pro-bowling competitors today. Jensen points out that activity, moderate exercise, friendships, and social interaction are some of the side benefits to regular league play. So, raise your bowling ball to Nebraska’s centennial celebration. May this be just the start to a really good idea!

As posted by BPAA: It has been confirmed that former President George W. Bush will be the keynote speaker at International Bowl Expo 2014 to be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, FL, June 2227. Executive Director Steve Johnson said, “Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, President Bush is one of the most influential individuals in the world, and we are delighted he will be with us in Orlando.” Referring to President Bush’s background as president, governor and successful business and sports President George Bush team owner, BPAA President Cathy DeSocio added, “President Bush brings tremendous perspective on the qualities and attributes that make a great leader, which can be applied to everyday business owners. Attendees at Bowl Expo 2014 will have an opportunity to gain valuable insights from a man who personifies leadership at the highest level.”

BPAA Executive Director Steve Johnson Resigns

BOWLING BOOK CORNER THE SPORTING STINGS David Heeren, a 48-year writing veteran, has a new book entitled The Sporting Stings which features examples of the art of sports hustling refined during the 30s and through the 80s. With all the money now made in professional sports, “hustling” has become virtually extinct. Heeren looks at crafty hustlers in pro golf and tennis as well as baseball, football, basketball and boxing. Also, he includes a good section on bowling which he says has the longest and shadiest hustling history. “These days, at bowling centers, you find lanes instead of alleys, channels instead of gutters and automatic pin-spotters instead of wily pin-boys.” Highlighted is the heart-attack hustle by legendary Iggy Russo among others. This who’s who of American sports hustles can be purchased either in paperback or Kindle e-book from



November 2013

As offered in a BPAA press release: Steve Johnson has resigned as the executive director, effective immediately. The announcement was made during a board of directors meeting at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, TX. “After my years of service and undergoing the challenge of leading and implementing a number of initiatives for the association, it is time for new leadership,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of the progress and accomplishments Steve Johnson we’ve made at the BPAA, and this is an appropriate time for me to pursue another opportunity outside of bowling and for the BPAA to select an individual to build on what we have all accomplished.” In accepting his resignation, BPAA President Cathy DeSocio said, “We all thank Steve for his leadership, marketing acumen and his dedicated years of service.” DeSocio said a national search for a successor will begin. In the meantime, the officers of the board, consisting of DeSocio, President-elect Tom Martino, Secretary Alan Nordman and Treasurer Nancy Schenk, will assume interim executive director responsibilities until a replacement is chosen.






“Way back in 1992 we pitched for the 1993 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup (BWC) tournament and managed to snag the event during the Bowling World Cup in France. As I recall at the time Anne-Marie Board served as Bent Petersen’s personal assistant and the next thing she knew she was on her way to darkest Africa to manage her very first Bowling World Cup. In true explorers tradition, she came, conquered and left an indelible impression, not only in South Africa, but also the world bowling fraternity. Since then she has grown in stature and her meticulous method of working has seen the event grow. Her ability to communicate and attention to detail has helped her master the art of staging events of this magnitude. This year’s event, being her 20th, will be a fitting tribute to a lady that has given her all in uniting folks from so many different cultures. She has in her subtle way blended a perfect mix of nationalities for a perfect game. A great and very talented lady!” Gerald Paluzzi, CEO, Let’s Go Bowling, South Africa 16


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his well-deserved tribute from Gerald Paluzzi was just one of several received from key industry leaders from around the world and sets the stage for a story about a remarkable lady who manages what is widely recognized as the largest annual sporting event in the world in terms of participating countries. In its 49-year history, the tournament has been managed by just four people: Victor Kalman (who created and managed the first five events between 1965 and 1969), followed by yours truly (this writer), then Alison Driscoll and, for the past 20 years, Anne-Marie Board. Growth was slow during the first 29 tournaments going from 24 to circa 50 nations. Since the day Anne-Marie took over the reins, the tournament has grown by leaps and bounds to 60, 70 and 80 nations, reaching the dizzying height of 95 countries at the tournament’s 40th anniversary event in Singapore in 2004. This story is a journey through Anne-Marie’s career and an inside look at what makes her tick. The first thing I asked Anne-Marie was when and how she joined QubicaAMF and how she came to take over the tournament. Prior to her professional career, AnneMarie raised her three children. When her children were somewhat independent, she started as a temp at QubicaAMF’s international headquarters in Hemel Hempstead in England in 1990, fillng in for a secretary on vacation. During her tenure as a temp, Anne-Marie’s efforts got the attention of Bent Petersen, QAMF’s former executive vice president, who offered her a job as his personal assistant. Peterson recognized Anne-Marie’s potential and when the position became available to manage the World Cup in 1993, Bent threw Anne-Marie in the deep-end. The next thing she knew she was on her way to South Africa to run her first tournament. Anne-Marie rose to the challenge. And, challenges are certainly what this job is all about. In Anne-Marie’s words, “Once we have determined our venue, the first thing I do is to meet with the local host committee and determine our strategy for all the bowling and non-bowling events. I suppose the most challenging task is to ensure that everyone gets into the host country. For some, obtaining visas can be difficult, but in most cases, we have been successful. I also have a terrific team that comes Anne-Marie Board poses with her family.



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Bent Petersen

every year: tournament director Bernard Gibbons, assistant director Cliff Adair, scoring and results manager Laurie Pearce, lane manager Gerry Barrett, World Cup assistant Tina Quirke, international media coordinator Judy Howlett, and official photographer Hero Noda. We are all very close and as a team are able to think on our feet which has made finding solutions to any challenges that come our way fairly easy to resolve.” There are, of course, mega-challenges that have to be solved immediately. For example, Anne-Marie had to scramble to find 200 hotel rooms a week before a tournament, as the official hotel had double booked events and had neglected to inform Anne-Marie until her arrival. A terrorism attack in a host country created its share of problems. However, Anne-Marie’s confident and reassuring demeanor soon rubbed off on all parties concerned and calm was restored to a nervous group of competitors, international journalists and other visiting dignitaries. When asked what part luck played in her career, she responded, “Being in the right place at the right time played a part, but also my dedication and commitment have certainly helped, too.” Anne-Marie’s proudest achievement

PROFILE was having 95 countries participating in the 2004 event in Singapore. She would like to host over 100 countries at the World Cup. “I’d like to think we can achieve that next year for the 50th anniversary of the tournament,” she responded. “But, it’s a huge challenge as some of the smaller countries [countries with just one or two centers], can only participate twice without being a member of the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA). And forming and funding a national bowler’s association and acquiring membership to the WTBA can be quite a stumbling block for countries that only have a few lanes.” Anne-Marie considers herself lucky in terms of people who have been a mentor or influential in her career. She recounted, “In the beginning, it had to be Bent Petersen, who was our executive vice president until he retired in 1998. Bent believed in me and gave me the chance for the career that has changed

Bowling near the Sphinx and the Pyramids in Egypt, 1997.

my life. Gerald Paluzzi, QubicaAMF’s distributor in South Africa and host of my first World Cup in 1993, spent many hours coaching me with his vision of the tournament. In fact, many

Here’s what people say about Anne-Marie: “The QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup is about competition at the highest level in a friendly and fun environment. The entire tone of this event is set by Anne-Marie Board who, for the past 20 years, has managed every detail of the tournament. From selecting future locations for the event, to helping people with visas, to assigning bowlers compatible roommates, to arranging sightseeing outings and dinners, she does it all. And she does it with a smile. As a result, Anne-Marie has become one of the most beloved and influential people in the international bowling community. She is a great representative of our company, and we are very lucky to have her on our team.” John Walker, CEO, QubicaAMF

“The name Anne-Marie Board is [inextricably] connected to the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup. A World Cup without Anne-Marie is not possible. I learned to know Anne-Marie when she took over the World Cup already 20 years ago. She is not only the spider in the web, but much more: she is a charming, warm and lovely lady and I am proud to be able to call her my friend.”

Addie Ophelders, President, European Tenpin Bowling Federation

”Anne-Marie Board, from the moment she got herself involved in the Bowling World Cup, it was like her own baby. She took control of it and had the vision and confidence to grow the numbers of participating countries to what we have today. [She is] always looking to have new countries enter and making sure that all details are taken care of including visas for those who require them. I can recall her calling me saying, ‘I have to go into London to get visas.’ These were for countries that were having problems getting them. Now, what other person would go to that much effort to help out? Anne-Marie is highly regarded by all those who actually participate in the World Cup, by all the guests, media, coaches and federation officials around the world who travel to each event. I have yet to come across a local organizing committee who has not the highest respect for her knowledge of putting together a World Cup. From my point as the tournament director and in the [famous] words of Tina Turner, Anne-Marie Board is ‘simply the best.’“

Bernard Gibbons, Tournament Director and host of the 1st and 25th Bowling World Cup in Dublin, Ireland. 20


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PROFILE Anne-Marie flanked by Gerald Paluzzi [L] and Bernard Gibbons [R].

of the ideas we developed that year, I still use today. And of course, QubicaAMF’s CEO John Walker, who is probably the most positive and inspirational person I know.” Anne-Marie considers the most important lesson she’s learned during her career in bowling is to listen. She says, “I have learned more from listening to others’ experiences and ideas – bowling is full of people dedicated to not only the business but also to the sport, and their



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experiences are not to be ignored.” Another of Anne-Marie’s responsibilities is site selection for future tournaments. It’s a lengthy process with strict center qualifications. Anne-Marie elaborates, “Firstly, we need a new QubicaAMF equipped center with a minimum of 24 lanes. Secondly, the prospective host accepts the ‘all local’ requirements to ensure the smooth running of the tournament. And, of course, the host country must have a bowlers’ association

PROFILE that’s a member in good standing Marcelo Dhers, Anne-Marie, John Walker and T.Quirke. with the WTBA. This sounds simple enough but there’s more to it than that. For example, the host must not only accept responsibility for all local requirements but must demonstrate that they have the ability to fulfill that obligation.” In a typical year, Anne-Marie makes anywhere from three planning visits to a host country, to one a month, depending on whether the venue is fairly local or if the local host and organizing committee need more support. Anne-Marie quickly turned the question around when asked how she’d like to be remembered, “I think the question should be, what will I remember? Meeting people from all walks of life and having friends all over the world is one of the most precious experiences of my life. Every year I meet the most incredibly good people, and it has been a sheer privilege to work with them. This year will be no exception!” When Anne-Marie is not travelling and working, life is all about her husband Alan Ball and her five grown children: Fiona, Sara and Robert, and two lovely daughters, Kate and Jenny, she gained when she married Alan in 1997. Anne-Marie is a remarkable lady doing a remarkable job in sustaining and growing the prestigious QubicaAMF Bowling World

Cup, and there is no doubt that she’ll reach that lofty goal of 100 competing countries in the very near future. ❖

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


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By Paul Lane

owlers from upwards of eighty countries will be making their way to Krasnoyarsk, the capital city of the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia in Russia, to compete in the 2013 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup. The 49th annual event in the series takes place from the 17th to 24th of November. John Walker, the CEO of QubicaAMF says, “Each year over a half million bowlers around the world compete in qualifying tournaments with just one goal: to represent their country in the Bowling World Cup. That is one of the things that makes this event so special.” Walker added, “Each of the bowlers participating in this event is the champion of their own country. And, with only one man and one woman from each, the bowlers from different countries and cultures spend time together and form friendships which last a lifetime.” This year competitors, coaches, officials, international journalists and guests are in for a special treat, starting with the brand new host facility. The 32-lane Sharovaya Molniya (translation: Lightning Ball or Fireball, after the meteor that struck the area last February) bowling center, is part of a world class fitness center and Hilton Hotel complex owned by the Sibiryak company. The ground floor contains three restaurants, the second floor features a magnificent leisure center, and the bowling center is located on the third floor with the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel on the next 11 floors. QubicaAMF will take all 250 rooms in the hotel to house the

Mr. Alexe iS Company hiryaev, head of Q and host A center Sh MF representativ eo arovaya M olniya; R ffice in Russia; M r. on Wood , vice pre Vladimir Egorov, sident of o QubicaAM wner of Sibriyak F Worldw ide. IBI

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Nataliya Nikitina, marketing manager, QAMF Worldwide Moscow representative office, gives the official thumbs up for the Bowling World Cup.

Bowling World Cup participants. The Sharovaya Molniya bowling center officially opened on September 20, 2013 and, in addition to housing 32 lanes equipped by QubicaAMF, the center features billiards, a full-service pro-shop, a karaoke bar, a lounge bar, a snack bar (serving pizza and burgers) and a 250-seat restaurant, Solo. The restaurant features an extensive Japanese, Italian and Russian menu, plus a selection of 30 fine red and white wines. Typically, customers who visit the center to bowl also stay for lunch or dinner. The restaurant enjoys a cliental from the local business community, local residents and executives on expense accounts. On average, a meal ordered from the daily lunch menu will cost 300 rubles (about $10.00 U.S.) and between 1,000 and 1,500 rubles ($31.00 to $47.00 U.S.) for dinner. The hourly price for bowling averages 400 rubles ($12.00 U.S.) during off-peak times and up to 1,500 rubles ($47.00 U.S.) during prime times. These prices are about average compared to other centers in the region. However, the Sharovaya Molniya center is the newest center in the marketplace and has more attractive amenities to offer, making the facility as a whole more appealing to local customers. The center is open 24-hours a day. QubicaAMF’s Bowling World Cup tournament manager, Anne-Marie Board, remarked, “The facilities really are amazing and all those involved in the local organizing committee are doing a superb job to ensure that this will be one of the most memorable events ever. During my visits, I have been very impressed with the level of expertise, enthusiasm and kindness of the local organizing team, headed by CEO/owner Vladimir 28


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Egorov (who is also a bowler), bowling center director Victor Ushkac, and Victor Egorov, the deputy general development manager. I am sure all players and guests will really enjoy their trip to Krasnoyarsk.” The organizers and sponsors for this year’s tournament are pulling out all the stops to ensure that this will be a wonderful experience for their visitors from around the world. The main sponsor is Sibiryak, the owner of Sharovaya Molniya and the hotel complex, along with international sponsors Pepsi, Carlsberg and S7 Siberian Airlines, the official carrier for the tournament. S7 Siberian Airlines is offering very favorable rates for all of the participants and providing a free baggage allowance of 45 kilos (99 lbs) for sportsmen and guests on all their flights into Krasnoyarsk. S7 Siberian Airlines belongs to the One World Program and members of the program also honor the special excess baggage arrangement on their flights. Participating members of One World are: American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines,

The building which houses the Sharovaya Molniya Bowling Center and the host hotel, The Hilton Garden Inn.


The bar area and the billiard tables in the Sharovaya Molniya Bowling Center.

Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 and Mexicana. In addition to the bowling activity, a welcome reception and a victory banquet, the organizers have scheduled shuttle buses to local shopping areas, sightseeing tours of the city of Krasnoyarsk, and an optional addon visit to the Beaver Ravine Park. The park is in the Kuysumsky Mountains and offers spectacular views of the Stolby Nature Reserve from a cable car. Krasnoyarsk is the largest industrial and cultural center of Eastern Siberia and is the capital of Krasnoyarsk Territory, the second largest region in Russia by area. It is situated in the center of Russia at the confluence of the small river Kacha and the mighty Yenisei, one of the biggest rivers in all of Russia. The city has been described by author Anton Chekov as “the most beautiful city in Siberia,” and is distinguished by its unique landscapes, mountain views, majestic Siberian forest and the well-known Stolby Nature Reserve. The Grand Opening of the 49th Annual Bowling World Cup will be attended by a number of local dignitaries, including Edkham Akbulatov, the mayor of Krasnoyarsk, Alexander Ous, the president of the Legislative Assembly, and Sergey Alexeev, the Minister of Sport for the Krasnoyarsk region. Guests and competitors will enjoy traditional folk dancing, live classic 30


November 2013

music and festive entertainment during the Grand Opening in the Sharovaya Molniya center, including the colorful Parade of Nations, and the Oath to Sportsmanship on behalf of the competitors and tournament officials and the declaration that the tournament is “Officially Open.” The local media are already on board and the most well-known TV channel, Yenisei Region, will broadcast a one and a half hour long special program about the Bowling World Cup. There will also be on-line streaming on the internet throughout the tournament. Local newspapers and news channels will provide pretournament coverage in addition to the Grand Opening, Men’s and Women’s Finals, Awards Ceremony and the tournament Closing Ceremony. There’s no question that the host organizers, headed by Egorov, have left no stone unturned in planning and hosting the 49th annual QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup. The competitors, coaches, officials, international bowling media, attending bowling proprietors from around the world, and guests will go home having experienced the very best in terms of hospitality and accommodation, bowling, and the beautiful city and region of Krasnoyarsk, and all will have fond memories and hopefully will have established new, lifelong friends from around the globe. ❖

We wish to thank the following for their contribution to this story: Nataliya Nikitina, Marketing Manager, Moscow Representative Office of QubicaAMF Worldwide; Viktor Ushkac, Bowling Director, Sharovaya Molniya Bowling Center; Katherine Gromova, Marketing Manager, Sharovaya Molniya Bowling Center; John Walker, CEO, QubicaAMF; Anne-Marie Board, Bowling World Cup Manager, QubicaAMF.

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





Located in Jackson, TN, this 18year-old family fun center offers a wide array of activities including bowling, skating, mini golf, bumper cards, Go Karts and an arcade. One of its outstanding activities is a 3,000 s/f laser tag arena designed and equipped by Lazer Runner of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. While laser tag had always been a part of the center, it was in 2006 that they reintroduced it with the very popular Lazer Runner Battle Station Package. It is a fantastic complement to birthday and corporate parties. Management shared that it just made sense to upgrade to this popular product.

Opened in May, Rigby’s Entertainment Complex located in Warner Robins, GA, has combined the best of interactive entertainment. The busiest attraction is the 6,000 s/f laser tag arena equipped by Lasertron which offers two levels of lasertag excitement. Rigby’s found Lasertron a perfect fit for its entertainment model. Flexible with sales and permitting Rigby’s to purchase materials and plans for assembling the arena much like a puzzle using its own construction crew made Lasertron a great fit. Due to its success, Rigby’s is currently working on forming laser tag teams and running a competitive league. The lasertag arena also works well with corporate events and party packages.





November is the month for NRV Superbowl in Christiansburg, VA, to introduce its new attractions. The center took eight bowling lanes out and created a laser tag area and a brand new game room. Laserforce was selected to install the equipment and help with teaching the staff how to run it. The anticipation and excitement have already helped book birthday parties and corporate Christmas parties.

Bowl New England’s recent upgrade of Spare Time in Greensboro, NC, wouldn’t have been complete without adding laser tag into the mix. BNE chose Zone Laser Tag’s RIFT model, which is the latest product from the Zone which is perfect for the small FEC. RIFT is a real-time radio system which includes all of Zone’s amazing ability to deliver player interactivity, feedback, visibility, comfort and ease of operation. BNE took its attraction a step further and upgraded with a Creative Works-designed Earth Quest theme, creating a mystical environment filled with bold, colorful trees and intense visuals.


FRAMES-N-GAMES With the opening of Frames-NGames four years ago, life got much more exciting for the people of Pooler, GA. 24 lanes of bowling, laser tag and an arcade became the hub of entertainment. To make sure that the excitement would last, Laser Blast, the innovative and versatile laser tag company, was brought in to design and build a two-story laser tag arena. According to the general manager, Jay Patel, it has been, without a doubt, a huge success and captures the imagination of all ages who dare to enter the themed lost Mayan city. With no need to reload and the sturdy, easy-to-use equipment, it is a sure winner for birthday and corporate parties.



According To George osing league bowlers and doubling sales? Removing lane capacity to drive sales? Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But it is typical of the BEC. Much more than just adding or upgrading to a 21st century redemption game room, or adding a laser tag attraction, or upgrading the food and beverage offerings, the most successful BECs recognize that they are transforming the entire business. With bowling as a centerpiece attraction, when the enhancements are integrated into a whole package, a more powerful attraction is created. That philosophy is driving growth in the BEC. And the momentum continues, both for the expansion of the BEC concept and for Beyond Bowling with IBI’s quarterly focused look at the marriage of bowling, family entertainment attractions and enhanced bar/restaurant offerings. In this edition we feature Bowl New England’s corporate transformation with an Anna Littles’ article detailing the acquisition and remodeling of its Spare Time BEC in Greensboro, North Carolina. Complementing the article is my interview with Tim Corley, BNE’s president who offers insights into how they approached the transformation. Moving to the Midwest, Fred Groh covers the development of Phil Huffman’s Century Lanes in Holland, MI, the second of our three part series on this transformation, covering the financing phase. And it’s IAAPA time. Check out our IAAPA preview article to help you navigate the show and seminars. The IAAPA show is rivaling Bowl Expo as a must-attend trade show, as bowling and family entertainment continue to come together as industries. Laser tag is a huge contributor in the BEC and the major providers are featured in our special pull out section. Enjoy!


Chris’ Corner e all know that the bowling world is not what it was thirty years ago. That was a time when the industry was a heavy hitter in the business world. The sheer mass of centers made our facilities a force to be reckoned with. While the market has spoken as to the demand of traditional bowling centers in today’s domain, there is still a place where companies see bowling with HUGE growth potential – the family entertainment center world. Vendors that serve FECs see bowling as the next great boom market. With our centers already well-equipped for the day-to-day operations, many FEC-oriented companies want to talk to you on how to improve your businesses in the 21st century. Of course, the Mecca for the family entertainment business is the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) trade show in Orlando this month. With new projects on a slow-pace due to the economic downturn, vendors are excited to talk to existing facilities. Bowling centers continue to be one of the fast growing segments of attendees to IAAPA. Bowling is becoming a big hitter once again. Not in the sense it was decades ago, but as a part of the adjustment every business must make. Bowling will always be the main draw, but by diversifying, you cast a much wider net. So hold your head high if you make the trip to Orlando this month. Remember, bowling is a hot commodity once again. Take advantage of it and make your business grow.


Chris Holmes

Director of Advertising, International Bowling Industry

George McAuliffe

President, Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors

P.S. This will be my last issue working for IBI. It was wonderful getting to know so many of you. Thank you for all the support over the years. It was an honor to work for Scott Frager and serve the industry. All the best!


November 2013


By George McAuliffe


Getting Your Game On! IAAPA is upon us, and it’s a great educational opportunity for BEC operators and centers planning to expand.

AAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, is holding its 2013 Expo in Orlando November 17-22. As the articles in this edition of Beyond Bowling covering the transformation of the Bowl New England chain and of Century Lanes in Holland, MI, show, the BEC is an Attraction (Capital A intended). There is no better venue to see the latest in family entertainment attractions and to learn the fine points of operating and marketing attractions, than this trade show and seminar program. For those new to the BEC or in the planning stage, The Rookies and Newcomers seminar is a terrific introduction to the issues. Veteran operators George Smith of Family Entertainment Group, Dorothy Lewis of Fun Station Entertainment Group, and Richard Sanfilippo of Sam’s Fun City, all past presidents of IALEI, the FEC association now merged with IAAPA, lead the program. They are joined by a strong cast of others covering every aspect of FEC development, operations and marketing. This program has been operated at a high level for many years and will be time well spent for BEC operators. It kicks off on Sunday the 17th. The full FEC track seminar schedule can be found online at but here are some highlights. I’ll be moderating the seminar 21st Century Redemption on Monday at 10:30 a.m. I’ll be joined by Lisa Price of Family Entertainment Group and Bryn Netz of SureShot Redemption for a broad discussion of successful operations and best practices for the 21st century game room. Also on Monday will be seminars on customer service, marketing, and sponsorship. Further through the week, Tuesday brings sessions on bowling and laser tag, school programs, and adult and corporate parties. Wednesday classes cover mobile marketing and apps as well as birthday parties, concluding the day with the Brass Ring Awards, IAAPA’s recognition of the year’s best in live entertainment, marketing, retail, human resources, family entertainment centers, new products, trade show




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displays, and food and beverage excellence. The Thursday seminar lineup wraps up the program with sessions on creative marketing using online videos and a two-part session on the ins and outs of group sales led by experts Beth Standlee and Dorothy Lewis. Thursday also features the roundtable constituency lunch for FECs, where members of the FEC committee lead discussion on the hot topics facing today’s FEC industry. Attendees should come prepared to discuss strategies that are working in their businesses and to learn proven tactics that will help make more money. Note that a separate ticket and Expo registration is required. The trade show floor opens on Tuesday at 10 a.m. and runs through Friday at 4 p.m. IAAPA is the place where all the major suppliers launch their new products for the coming year and this year will be no exception. Check out our special section in this issue for the booth numbers of the major players in laser tag and laser-related attractions. Laser tag has become mainstream entertainment, not just for kids but for adults, and provides a great draw for groups and parties as well as an attraction to drive casual visits to your facility. Please note that all of the major debit card providers will exhibit the newest and most exciting technology to date. The Coin Op Pavilion is the special section of the trade show floor where all game and merchandise related manufacturers and suppliers are located, allowing attendees to see the latest games and merchandise in one place. I’ll be in our Redemption Plus booth #1300 where we will be showcasing great new products, including our innovative new birthday party attraction Toobers & Zots, a much needed innovation to drive party sales. I hope to see you there! ❖ George McAuliffe is a 30-year FEC operator and president of Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors at Redemption Plus.


By Fred Groh

Renovations and Innovations In Part II of our series on center upgrades, Phil Huffman secures financing and narrows his vision for the final product.

Part 2: Firing Up an FEC ll the way on the drive to Traverse City, four hours from his home base in Holland, MI, Phil Huffman talked FECs with Craig Oosterhouse—FEC the animal, and Huffman’s plans to convert his Century Lanes into one. Oosterhouse is not a bowling man but a loan officer at a local JPMorgan Chase branch. He had made several loans to Huffman since Huffman had bought Century Lanes in Holland in 2005. The loans had paid for upgrades almost yearly, including a restaurant, big-screen video on the lanes, and a boutique module. The improvements kept Century Lanes up-to-date but it remained a traditionally-oriented center. Now Huffman wanted to turn his building and his business into an FEC. He and Oosterhouse were making a day of the trip north to call on Mike Mohrhardt, a friend of Huffman’s. Mohrhardt owns Lucky Jack’s, an impressive FEC he created out of a traditional center in Traverse City. Huffman wanted to show Oosterhouse what he had in mind. “I could see the passion he had behind [the idea]. It was definitely something to look into,” Oosterhouse says. As they drove he was thinking, “What out of all this is going to be bank-financed, what is going to be purchased on his own, and how are we going to structure this? Some of the equipment depreciates very quickly and doesn’t make sense to do a 5or 7-year note for [that]. But other stuff, it does.” Mohrhardt met them inside the building. “It’s very large,” was Oosterhouse’s first impression. There was nothing on the same scale—two levels, 53,000 square feet—back home. “It’s an entertainment facility. Yes, you see the bowling lanes, which looked very nice, but what you see right away is everything is crispy clean, it’s inviting, it doesn’t have that old-school-bowling feel, it wasn’t smoky. It was something I’d definitely take my family to. That’s always a kind of gut-check for myself: is this something I would take my family to? And ‘yes’ was the immediate answer.” They spent a couple of hours touring Lucky Jack’s, an hour of it in a sit-down with Mohrhardt about how his business was doing, why he decided to go FEC, “just to get the flavor of [his] project rolling into what Phil is looking to do.” Upstairs they saw the bowling, kitchen, redemption games, and party rooms. After the talk, they adjourned to downstairs where they looked at laser tag, a laser maze, bumper cars. Their host “gave us the good and bad on all that: which ones he would definitely do again and which ones maybe he’ll modify in the near future—just [don’t] quite get




November 2013

Phil Huffman, proprietor of Century Lanes.

Craig Oosterhouse, loan officer at JPMorgan Chase in Holland, MI.

the bang for the buck he’s hoping for,” Oosterhouse sums up. “It was interesting for both Phil and I to see and get our own take [on it]: ‘Yeah, I really like the laser tag. The bumper cars? There wasn’t enough space. It was really just a small room and the cars can barely move. Not sure people would have that enjoyment if they were going to do that.’ That’s why [bumper cars are] not in [Phil’s] project. “The laser maze is something [Phil] liked as well. It’s something you can change up very, very quickly just with the computer programs Howard Ellman of Dynamic Designs and that are available. It’s lower cost Associates, Inc., Birmingham, MI. [than laser tag], it can be different every time a customer comes by— you can always keep it fresh.” (Huffman decided on two-story laser tag as well as a laser maze.) The three also compared markets. Traverse City is a tourist town summer and winter (Holland attracts summer tourists) and a larger market than Holland. For business the rest of the year, Mohrhardt has a strong league base that keeps the locals coming in and spreads word of his facility around the area.



November 2013

“[Mohrhardt] pretty much rules up there, I’ll put it that way,” says Oosterhouse. “I believe he recently has some competition but it’s on the other side of town. [The competition is] not nearly the facility he has at Lucky Jack’s.” Similarly, Huffman would have a competitive advantage in Holland, Oosterhouse judged. The talk driving back to Holland was non-stop. Exploring the viability of the different attractions: initial cost, return, expected patronage and the like. Going back and forth between what they’d seen, the plans taking shape in Huffman’s mind, and the real facility he would have to fit everything into. In February of this year, a fire at Huffman’s wiped out the bowling center’s kitchen. Since he had to rebuild the kitchen, Huffman began thinking even bigger than his original concept for an FEC. His revised thinking was reinforced when he got together with Howard Ellman of Dynamic Designs and Associates, Inc. (Birmingham, MI) about the architectural remodeling of the center. Ellman had done the design for Mohrhardt’s conversion from traditional center to FEC. Ellman made “a gutsy decision” about the job, Huffman says. Unless Huffman moved a wall of the

Dynamic Designs’ plans for the concourse.

center outward 50 feet instead of the 25 he had planned, Ellman didn’t want the job “because he didn’t want his name saddled with a loss, and the FEC would lose if it wasn’t made that big.” “By going with 50 feet we were able to create really good flow,” Ellman says. “It created a much more dynamic space. “Good flow,” he explains, “creates good views to all the attractions in the facility. Somebody [walks] in and [sees] all the attractions when they walk in. It creates a sense of place and a sense of excitement.” The principal dynamic in a design is to achieve visibility and excitement; the flow is the principal means for doing that. Impressed by Ellman’s record and the work Ellman had done for Mohrhardt, Huffman agreed to the additional 25 feet. The original concept would have added 8,500 square feet to the FEC footprint. Now that will be 10,500.

For Oosterhouse, the fire created an unusual challenge. Huffman had planned to remain open during the renovation, but now had to close. The closure accelerated some elements of the project and forced shifts in the time frames for others. Oosterhouse found himself having to track two undertakings, the fire damage remodeling and the new FEC construction. Two other challenges in the Huffman project go with a lender’s territory. “The useful life of the equipment. You’re talking arcade games, laser maze, laser tag—items I’m not as familiar with. Is the useful life of this piece of equipment two years or is it seven or 10?” To find out, Oosterhouse consulted his bank’s specialty finance officer for equipment. Oosterhouse brings him in on any project with equipment involved “to make sure it’s structured correctly, that we’re looking to do the right thing. “‘This is what we’re looking at. What do you see out there? What are you seeing being liquidated? How long does this stuff last if we need to replace it?’ Most banks probably have this


November 2013


Dynamic Designs’ plans for the redemption area.

[expertise in-house].” The second familiar problem for a loan officer is that a bowling building is “specialpurpose.” “It’s not a building that you can easily convert to something else. We have bowling lanes that would all have to be removed. Multiple levels because you have the little step-downs. It would take a large scale remodel to convert it to something non-bowling-related the way it sits. Usually we can’t lend as much as if it were just an office building.” As against the challenges posed by equipment longevity and the special-purpose nature of the building, the amount that Chase could lend would be resolved in appraising the FEC as it would be completed. One note would be given on the building as evaluated by an outside firm. A second loan would be made on equipment not fastened to the building, for which actual invoices would be sufficient for evaluation by the bank. “What we have going for us in this project,” says Oosterhouse, “is he’s been involved in paying down his existing notes for his facility for quite a while now. It’s been I think eight years. Considering that he has equity rolling into it, we’re pretty confident that we’re going to be fine. “I say ‘pretty confident’ because I’ve seen some crazy appraisals in the last couple of years based on the current economic conditions. Sometimes people buy a building for a million today and get it re-appraised next month and its worth 500 grand. Kind

of an extreme example, but we’ve seen a few of those.” Fortunately for Huffman, the rumors of Michigan’s economic demise are greatly exaggerated—at least in the western part of the state, and especially in Holland, according to Oosterhouse. “Thriving community,” he says about his home town. “Home sales are up. Job market is hot.” Unemployment is about 6%. One large employer in Holland is Gentex, developer and manufacturer serving the automotive, aerospace, and commercial fire protection industries. Another is Johnson Controls, an international developer of products for the automotive, HVAC and buildingefficiency industries, whose Holland campus houses 1,000 engineers in a building a quarter of a mile long, Neither company can find enough engineers to fill vacancies. In addition, Johnson and Korean chemical giant LG Chem are each building a batterymanufacturing plant in town. “We call Holland a diamond in the rough,” Oosterhouse says. “It definitely leads the nation in a lot of ways.” As definitely as Phil Huffman’s new FEC was leading the local bowling market after its grand opening last month. In the next “Beyond Bowling” in February, we talk to Huffman and his experts about the promotional buildup to the grand opening and the festivities on opening day. Part 1 in this series appeared in August. ❖

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



November 2013

By Anna M. Littles


Headed South With the new Spare Time in Greensboro, it looks like Bowl New England is experiencing a warming trend.

hen you think of New England, maple syrup, great seafood and vibrant fall colors come to mind. However, this story is about a company, Bowl New England (BNE), that has embraced the South with innovation while positioning itself as an industry leader. Bowl New England recently premiered a state-of-the-art bowling center in North Carolina. The industry buzz drew IBI's attention. Tim Corley, president of Bowl New England, Inc., spoke about the company's expansion with the opening of Spare Time, a newly renovated facility in Greensboro. Corley made it clear that venturing into America's southland is nothing new to them. Bowl New England owns two bowling centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They wanted to expand their footprint in the Southeast, so they sent out letters to centers in various areas and Greensboro responded. When BNE checked out the facility, Greensboro turned out to be a good fit for their strategy. According to Corley, "We took it over in June of 2012 and started construction immediately. They [Spare Time] remained open the whole time while under reno. It was daunting over the summer with leagues but thankfully people were patient. They officially opened mid


November and it has been fantastic! The community has been thrilled and overwhelmingly positive. Greensboro was ready for a new venue of entertainment - it has been a win/win for everyone." So, what exactly is their strategy? Corley broke it down as a bi-level approach, "First, to continue to provide customers with a clean and friendly entertainment experience so awesome that they will want to come back; second, we want to be leaders in the industry - diversifying products and services to supply a broader customer base." And, BNE is offering this new experience under the name "Spare Time," which is being used for their chain of bowling centers. It captures and serves their vision of re-imagining and re-branding Bowl New England as they move away from traditional bowling lanes. Spare Time has proven to offer a fresh concept that is broad enough to represent a wider range of family entertainment such as laser tag, arcades and VIP lanes. Corley referred to the Greensboro facility as a hybrid FEC. That opened up the conversation about the dramatic changes sweeping across the country. Bowling, a family sport, is in a state of transformation. As Corley sees it, "For

The Spare Time team, from the left: Jack Freysinger, general manager, Spare Time; Tim Corley, president, Bowl New England; David Posternak, regional manager, Bowl New England; David Ely, food and beverage director, Bowl New England; Jon Erdman, director of IT, games and laser tag; Mike Zuber, assistant manager, Spare Time.



November 2013

The entrance to Spare Time is an open and clean space to accommodate arriving customers.

The deep couches provide comfortable seating.

the last 15 years, slowly but surely the bowling alleys of yesteryear, that are league dependent, are struggling. This is a very capital dependent business; traditional leagues are declining at a steady pace which forces you to change your services, cast a broader net and bring more people in, while stabilizing your business... if you don't change, you'll coast down hill." Spare Time gives them the ability to cast that broad net as they continue to look for opportunities to expand their company. And they are all about sharing their success stories in MUBIG (multi-unit bowling information groups), an open forum of business owners committed to making the industry stronger. Corley agrees on what a wonderful business bowling can be. "Anybody can pick up a ball and roll it down the lane and have a great time and that's what’s amazing about this industry. Anybody can do it!" For Corley, it makes it all worth while. "All we are doing is changing the box to make it more relevant; all we are doing is changing it around." The big changes that took place in Greensboro's Spare Time facility is an outcome of working with Creative Works, an attractions supplier and theme specialist. Jeff Schilling, owner/Chif Architect of Experiences of Creative Works, described how brings to life popular movie themes. The big hit that they offer is called Earth Quest, a laser

tag game that is based on the movie "Avatar." Just like the film, they have created an environment that is mystical, filled with bold, colorful trees and foliage. They've even added androids for intensity. The visuals are fantastic and appeal to adults just as well as appealing to kids and teens. Earth Quest was a great fit for Spare Time in Greensboro. Creative Works was able to give them a multi-level play structure in one arena. They built in a piece that extends up to the ceiling creating a lot of dimension. Schilling explains, "We feel it's important to create immersive environments that families can enjoy together." And that's just the tip of the iceberg of what Creative Works offers. Other themes include indoor black light miniature golf, along with their ever so popular Laser Maze and Atomic Rush. Schilling goes on to say, "Regardless of how tight or generous the space they are working with, Creative Works can scale our systems to fit." Basically, they take their themes from the gaming industry and implement them into the entertainment industry. By bringing in this element of multiple attractions, bowling centers create greater revenue. For its arcade, Spare Time retained Pinnacle Entertainment Advisors by Redemption Plus. Together, they created a high-energy 41 piece game layout, appealing to the whole spectrum of new customers Spare Time will attract. Pinnacle also brought to life the Corleys vision of a state of the art redemption store,


November 2013


The newly refurbished lanes.

The state-of-the-art new arcade has a mix of games to appeal to a spectrum of customers.

where players enjoy a retail experience as they redeem tickets for prizes. For furniture design elements, BNE and Corley worked with Chuck Courter, president of Venue Furniture. Venue Furniture’s expertise is in designing custom furniture for the bowling and FEC industry. According to Courter, the custom design furniture for Spare Time varied, from plush sofas for the VIP area, to traditional seating for the main area open to the public. Courter stated that, "Bowling centers are unique facilities due to the limitations of space. The width is always the same based on the length of the lanes, but the depth is different from facility to facility. Spare Time was a good example of a center that was upgraded to a family entertainment facility; a good example of a mixture of both traditional and new."



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Corley and BNE took a tired bowling alley and transformed it into a hybrid family entertainment center. As for expanding BNE’s foot print in the South, when it's all said and done, no one will think of them in the same way. In Greensboro, North Carolina, traditional bowling meets 21st Century fun, all to be had at and in your "Spare Time." ❖

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

By George McAuliffe


Tim Corley Bowl New England's president shares his thoughts on how to stay relevant in the bowling business.

1. How did you get involved and what are your responsibilities today? My father, Dick Corley, started the business in 1968 by acquiring a bowling center in our hometown of Burlington VT. I worked the front desk all through high school, and became an assistant manager after college. Today as president, I’m responsible for the day to day operations and I am heavily involved in strategic planning, acquisitions and cap ex investments. 2. How does the father-son dynamic work for you? I’ve always aspired to follow in my father’s footsteps. We share the understanding that major decisions are based on what is best for the business. We work well together and have tremendous respect for one another. 3. What’s the secret to the company’s success? Our philosophy is simple; provide the best facilities in every market, reinvest in the latest systems, and do so cost effectively. Most importantly, we seize opportunities and approach every challenge with a sense of adventure. 4. How do you see the BEC as an opportunity? We will ultimately convert the majority of our centers into BECs. We are pleased with the cash flow and return of the new BEC business model. We are rebranding those converted centers to Spare Time, removing the word “lanes” and “bowl” to reflect our position as a place for leisure. 5. Forgive the pun, but you’re taking your company “beyond bowling.” Tell us more about Spare Time Greensboro. First, the market demographics met our criteria, and second, the box was big enough to convert to a BEC. Our research gave us high confidence in the success of the game room, laser tag, and the private VIP lanes. We transformed

a large meeting space and removed eight lanes to implement these changes, and expanded the kitchen to handle upgraded food and beverage offerings of the City Sports Grille.

Tim Corley

6. What are your “go to” FEC attractions, in order of importance? In Greensboro we added a 40 piece redemption game room, with a walk-in redemption store, and a highly themed multi-story laser tag attraction. We are extremely happy with the performance. 7. How important is the Food & Beverage piece? We have branded the City Sports Grille concept in ten locations and plan to include it in future centers. We offer a more diverse menu, including healthy choices and higher-end offerings like steaks. We also focus on presentation. Food and beverage is a significant part of the Spare Time experience. 8. How do group and party sales fit into BNE? It’s a critical part of the program. At the time of acquisition, Greensboro hosted 10-15 birthday parties per week; today it’s 35 to 40. All birthday parties include a dedicated hostess, prize bags, game cards, and a signed bowling pin. The perceived value is fantastic. We also promote corporate-wide 8 For 8 programs ($8/week for 8 weeks of bowling, and all participants receive a free ball). 9. Any other wisdom you care to share with our readers? If they’re looking to stay in this business, the biggest danger is in becoming complacent. My father always says, “There is only one way to coast, and that’s downhill.” Figure out what you need to do to appeal to your changing customer base, and do it. We all subscribe to that philosophy here at Bowl New England. IBI

November 2013



By Anna M. Littles

n a golf course in Mrytle Beach, Laurie Romano of Next Level Bowling was enjoying the game with a friend, Dale Niemela. Many in the bowling industry know Dale for his work with USBC and Storm Products. By design, Romano and Niemela's conversation centered on the nation’s veterans, specifically, disabled vets and an organization committed to helping them get their lives back, Folds of Honor. Romano and Niemela began to examine how the bowling industry and community could step up their game in honor of wounded warriors. Soon, they had a revelation that the sport of bowling was the perfect fit for disabled veterans. Niemela introduced Romano to Major Ed Pulido, director of Folds of Honor, and a two-day event was set into motion. The event would take place in Myrtle Beach and would present the sport of bowling as an ideal activity for vets with disabilities to enjoy with their families. Romano acknowledged that even though Next Level Bowling is known for hosting events that benefit military servicemen and women, the challenges of coaching and working with the disabled was a game changer. Romano relied on Major Pulido for guidance for the best way to make it work. Major Pulido's passion and commitment to veterans are fierce. A decorated hero, Bronze Star and Purple Heart to name a few, he has degrees in military science, marketing, criminal justice, and a Masters in logistics management and human relations. More importantly, he understands the challenges first hand that disabled veterans contend with on a daily basis. On August 17th, 2004, while serving in Iraq, he was hit by a roadside bomb which lead to the amputation of his left leg. In spite of his loss, Major Pulido believed that he was given a second chance at life, and that second chance was driven by a strong need to help all vets and their families. Major Pulido began his non-profit career with the United Way until he heard the call to work with Major Dan Rooney, founder and president of Folds of Honor. It all began back in 2005, when on his travels across the U.S., Major Rooney observed a growing indifference in American culture for respect and honor of fallen heroes and their families. Determined to change that, he launched Folds of Honor as a non-profit




November 2013

Major Ed Pulido and Next Level Bowling president and CEO Laurie Romano.

organization. Its mission: to honor those veterans who have paid the ultimate price for our nation's freedom, the loss of life and limb. It is also part of that mission to remember the families devastated by such loss by awarding educational scholarships to their children. It was here that Major Pulido knew he belonged. Since he's been with Folds of Honor (six years and counting), they have been able to raise $25 million and have awarded over five thousand educational scholarships. However, he is quick to state that it is not just about the fundraising. It's about giving back to those who have paid the price for freedom. It is at the core of the commitment to provide support to those in need and make sure no family is left behind. Folds of


Mike Luongo, sales consultant for Storm/Roto Grip gets bowlers fitted with a MatchMaker ball.

Laurie Romano and Dale Niemela. Niemela was the lead coach for the event.

Honor started in the golf industry because Major Rooney is a professional golfer. Promoting patriotism and getting people to play golf all over the country, on behalf of the troops, was part of the original goal. However, Major Pulido feels strongly that the bowling community has a lot to give as well and can also participate in the promotion of patriotism. Folds of Honor decided to utilize the bowling community as a vehicle to promote all the services they provide. "Bowling is a great avenue to encourage our heroes who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, and/or amputation." The beauty of it all is that, "Bowling is the only sport that veterans and their families can [do to] get out, have a great time and do together as a family! At the end of the day, it is all about fun! And it's a wonderful way for the bowling industry and community to embrace patriotism and give back."

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November 2013

On August 30th and 31st, the nation's warriors came out in force, and the bowling community was there to embrace them. It was a very humbling experience for Laurie Romano. For her, it was not just the event, it was witnessing the community embrace the whole foundation. There were many volunteers and industry coaches including Dale Niemela, Mike Luongo and Ralph Solan (Storm/Roto Grip), Brett Caramagno (Brunswick staffer), Alan Pomatto (DV8 staffer and Army veteran) and honorable mention goes out to Joseph Gethers, a disabled vet who has won two gold medals and one silver in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Tampa. All of these volunteers and coaches flew in from all parts of the country to freely give of their resources, time and expertise to the vets. Romano was moved and overwhelmed with the amazing generosity displayed by the bowling industry and community. Additional shout-outs go to William Pearson, coordinator of the two-day event along with Tony Todd, manager of Little River Lanes, and Larry Nowak, proprietor of Waccamaw Lanes, who generously donated the use of their bowling centers. Approximately 50 vets participated with hundreds of people offering support, while nearly $49,000 was raised. According to Romano, they were able to develop "a new infra-structure that would enable professional bowlers to


A moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the Folds of Honor event, paying tribute to our military service men and women.

come out and teach our warriors how to bowl, balance themselves on their approaches with or without prosthetics, and coach their families as well." Now everyone can play. Major Pulido emphasized that all of the bowling coaches were exemplary in their demonstration of strength with honor. It was a beautiful way for patriots who don't serve in the military to connect with patriots who do. Inspired? It's not so much about raising money as it is about providing an opportunity for disabled vets to come out, with their families, learn the game and have a great time. It’s a way to remember the sacrifices of these brave men and women and to support their families. Vets and members of Rolling Thunder, a motorcycle club composed of veterans and their families.

Laurie Romano, president and CEO of Next Level Bowling, in front of the camera to promote Folds of Honor.

To learn more about Bowling for Our Heroes, contact Major Ed Pulido at Folds of Honor, (405) 8339092, or www.MajorEdEPulido@foldsofhonor. â?–

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



November 2013



Ideal Software Systems will allow amusement facilities to tap into the multi-billion dollar mobile consumer market. Ideal N-Site empowers facilities with a universal system that includes a cashless debit card. Having all sales points in the facility part of the same Ideal POS system enables the operator to access all functions from any station in the facility. Please visit for more information.

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Brunswick offers the most advanced and extensive series of training programs available in the industry today, training thousands of mechanics, lane technicians, and proprietors. Brunswick provides real-life training and instruction in every aspect of bowling center operation, including lane and pinsetter maintenance and center network systems. For a complete list of Vector Plus online webinars, go to

Use this double sofa to save space and achieve a high end look. Whether you are remodeling an older center, converting a center into an FEC or building a new FEC, Venue Furniture has the products and industry expertise to tailor a furniture package for your facility and budget. Download our full catalog at or contact us at 855-55VENUE,



QubicaAMF introduces the brand new Performance Red Pit Belt. This belt is 25% thicker than other PVC belts for a long life. With a softer surface for faster pin movement and less jams. It requires less cleaning and less oil transfer. The belt comes with a 2 year guarantee. QubicaAMF stands by its standard of higher quality, improved performance, less maintenance and unbeatable lower prices! Visit for more info.

AMF's 300 Shady Grove in Gaithersburg, MD, recently purchased a Profit Platform that covers five lanes. As Shady Grove 300's Alicia Dinwiddle states, "Any tool that can turn a 5-6k event into a 15-20k event is very amazing!" To learn more about the Profit Platform contact GKM International at 310-791-7092 or visit



November 2013

Struggling to maintain a consistent, high-scoring lane condition that keeps your bowlers happy? Brunswick is offering its complimentary “Great Shot” service. A Product Specialist will come to your center to evaluate your lane conditions, including pulling tapes, to get the shot your center needs. All at no charge! THE KEY TO KEEPING BOWLERS — AND LEAGUES — COMING BACK IS A GOOD SHOT! Call 1-800-YES-BOWL, option 1, 1, for more information.

Buy an ATM and now you’re stuck with higher fees? There is an answer. Credit Card Industry can help you reprogram your ATM. With just a few quick keystrokes, you can save money and receive CCI’s amazing service. Just ask Pismo Bowl in Pismo Beach, California! Call Sargon Givargis and have him walk you through it. CCI has been helping bowling centers for over 15 years. Let them help you today. Call (800) 528-1782.


NOVEMBER IBI 3–5 West Coast Bowling Convention Silver Legacy Resort & Casino, Reno Sandi Thompson 925-485-1855

4-8 Brunswick Pinsetter School Pinsetter factory Szekesfehervar, Hungary Siggi Hill

6-7 BCA of Ohio Fall Seminar and Meeting Embassy Suites, Columbus Pat Marazzi, 937-433-8363

10-11 ISBPA Fall Meeting Hotel Arista, Naperville, IL Bill Duff, 847-982-1305

17 Wisconsin Fall Meeting & Tradeshow Site TBA For info: Gary Hartel 262-783-4292;

19 – 22 IAAPA Attractions Expo Orlando Convention Center

JANUARY 2014 19-23 BPAA Bowling Summit Omni Hotel, San Diego, CA

APRIL 22-25 USBC Convention and Annual Meeting Silver Legacy Resort & Casino, Reno

MAY 29 – June 1 3rd Annual Hall of Fame Xtravaganza Red Rock Lanes, Las Vegas ganza.aspx

JUNE 22-27 Bowl Expo 2014 Rosen Shingle Creek Resort & Orange County Convention Center Orlando, Florida

JULY 24-26 BCA Carolinas/Georgia Annual Convention Sea Trail Resort Sunset Beach, NC Howard Baum, 910-484-5178




November 2013

Official magazine of the convention


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


November 2013




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FOR SALE: (1) 6-lane package & (1) 8lane package: synthetic panels, Steltronic scoring, bumper/gutter, Brunswick seating, reconditioned A-2s, new—used. Perfect for nightclub entertainment. With installation. or (970) 946-9933.




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November 2013

FOR SALE: 16 lanes & 8 lanes (combined 24 lanes) Steltronic auto scoring Super Helix with flat screens; 24 lanes AMF SPL synthetic panels; 24 lanes Pro Anvil, full lane; ZOT reconditioned Gloss Boss; 24 lanes XL scoroing. Installation available. or (970) 946-9933.

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




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CENTER FOR SALE ALABAMA: 30-lane, well-established, profitable center with kitchen, lounge & pro shop. Real estate included. Located in thriving Huntsville. Russ Russell Commercial Real Estate (256) 536-7777.

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 MINNESOTA: 6-lane center. Owner retiring. $99,900. (320) 760-3377.

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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. NW KANSAS: 12-lane center, AS-80s, Lane Shield, snack bar, pro shop, game & pool rooms. See pics and info @ 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. 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.


November 2013




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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. 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 MICHIGAN-SOUTH CENTRAL: Large center with late model equipment. Strong league base plus high-volume franchise. RE included. Sandy Hansell (800) 222-9131.

EASTERN OKLAHOMA: Newly remodeled & upgraded 20-lane center with laser tag, large game room and thriving lounge. Option to purchase shopping center available. Owner financing possible. (719) 251-1616.

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November 2013

CENTERS FOR SALE NW NEVADA: Retiring Owner-Financed. 12-Lanes + Leased Café + Large Bar/Lounge + Arcade. Established Bowling Leagues + Pool Leagues/Tournaments + Slots. A-2s, Synthetic Lanes, Auto-Scoring, 13,000 s/f Building, 2 Acres, All Equipment. $950K; $50K Down; 5% Interest. (775) 867-5551 or Email: 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.



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POSITION WANTED Accomplished District Manager with unique Operational, Team Building/Leadership and Marketing skills seeking comparable position. Very organized, self-motivated, multi-task master with a “can do� attitude. Open to relocation. or (201) 657-4684. MANAGEMENT POSITION: strong, allaround center experience, including operating and maintaining equipment, leagues, tournaments & specialty events, and YBA coaching. Also a background in business and communications. Resume available. Kim Manley (910) 918-9832 or


November 2013




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November 2013

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November 2013





pudnik, Ford Edsel, chess champion Bobby Fisher, Hula Hoop and Soviet Premier Nikta Khrushchev were becoming household words. The term “aerospace” was coined and The Beatles, known then as The Quarrymen, cut their first record. The world was beginning to spin a little faster, but you could still go to Harvard for $1250 per year and mail a letter for 4 cents.



November 2013

Through all this, teenagers were doing what teenagers do best…having fun. 7-Up and bowling were a team to that end. In 1958 there were 8,609 certified centers and growing rapidly and 3,000,000 ABC members. The Professional Bowlers Tour was established with the guidance of Eddie Elias. Bowling was on a roll! ❖