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

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

DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Chris Holmes holmes@bowlingindustry.com

EDITORIAL CONSULTANT Gregory Keer

CONTENTS

VOL 20.9

8 ISSUE AT HAND

40 PHOTO ESSAY

When Bowling Ruled the Sunday L.A. Times

Bowl Expo One last look at the people, the place and the products that made the 2012 trade show so memorable

By Scott Frager

keer@bowlingindustry.com

OFFICE MANAGER Patty Heath

Photos courtesy of Hero Noda

heath@bowlingindustry.com

CONTRIBUTORS Patty Heath Fred Groh Anna M. Littles Mark Miller Hero Noda Joan Taylor

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jackie Fisher

10 SHORTS • Bowl Canada • Joan Romeo • Bowling and theatre • In-School bowling

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43 OPERATIONS Fire and Ice

Compiled by Patty Heath

fisher@bowlingindustry.com

Icel and Tom Haynes keep things hot (and cool!) on the lanes in Colorado

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

By Joan Taylor

18 FEATURE Form and Function = Beauty

45 OFF THE CLOCK

Old and new blend together in four ultra-modern centers

Order Up! A father/son duo serve up a tasty treat in their Michigan hometown

By Anna M. Littles

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 2012, B2B Media, Inc. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the publisher’s permission.

MEMBER AND/OR SUPPORTER OF:

By Anna M. Littles

26 COVER STORY

26

Bringing in the Big Haul

56 REMEMBER WHEN

Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops talks business and bowling

1959 Ladies Take Over

By Fred Groh

34 PROFILE

38 Showcase

Weaving History

47 Datebook

The carpet in your center is much more than fun patterns and bright colors. By Mark Miller

48 Classifieds 45

IBI

September 2012

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THE ISSUE AT HAND

When Bowling Ruled the Sunday L.A. Times Back in July, as Bowl Expo exhibitors were crating up their booths, aviators were transporting attendees home to all corners of the planet, and BPAA staff were taking well-earned breaths of fresh air, bowling was in the news. I recall waking up on Sunday, July 15th, and sleepily walking, coffee cup in hand, to collect the L.A. Times that always patiently waits for me on the family driveway. It’s a long-time tradition that I’m sure many of you still cherish. While there seemed nothing extraspecial about this bright and sunny Sunday, news-wise, my eyes perked up when I noticed a story on the front page, under the fold, with a headline pointing to Reno’s relevance in the upcoming presidential election. “Hey,” I thought to myself, “I was just in Reno.” So I read on and turned the page to discover a rather large photo of Bowling’s U.S. Women’s Open held outside on the famed Virginia Street in downtown Reno. More sips of the fresh hot java and I discovered another story that mentioned bowling. This time it was a story about the convention business in Las Vegas giving props to the many large-scale conventions that are held in the “conference capital of the

world.” But, it also gave mention to some of the smaller events that are Vegas’ “bedfellows.” Among the Psychology of Eating Disorders conference, a pecan shellers’ association, and some locksmiths was our very own Washington State Bowling Proprietors Association. Are you kidding me? All of these bowling references in one issue of the Sunday L.A. Times? Was this a message from above? I didn’t really think so until I made it to the very end of the paper and started upon the daily “Jumble” word game. And, lo and behold, there were two more bowling references including the main “Jumble” clue! The first is obvious; the second a little more clever. Can you find them? Okay, maybe there really was no divine intervention when it came to that morning’s newspaper. Maybe it was just random circumstance. But, I couldn’t help but feel that bowling was in the news not because of chance, but because we are something special! I consider these signs a reminder that we should never lose sight of our own presence and relevance in this world.

– SCOTT FRAGER, PUBLISHER AND EDITOR frager@bowlingindustry.com

THIS MONTH AT www.BowlingIndustry.com Blog! Throughout the month the gauntlet is thrown to IBI’s online membership. Fred Kaplowitz doesn’t mince words. In his latest look at Washington state’s declining numbers, both youth and adult, he stated, “WE HAVE BEEN ON A SLIPPERY SLOPE FOR 34 YEARS OF DECLINING LEAGUE LINEAGE and all we can do is go to meetings. C’mon man!” Equal to that was his musings on the “wow” factor. The challenge is ratcheting up the element of “entertainment” in bowling…or not. IBI puts ideas in front of its membership each and every day through its Blogs and Forums. It’s time to be heard. C’mon man! Wouldn’t it be interesting if each and every one of the 1940 members gave Mr. Kaplowitz a piece of their mind? 8

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SHORTS

FEC TRAINING GROUND Want to run a successful entertainment center? Twenty-eight individuals from across the U.S. and Canada met in Chicago to hear six entertainment industry presenters share their expertise and experience at the Foundations Entertainment University class # 26. It was an 18-hour course of instruction for entrepreneurs looking to get into a highly lucrative and expanding field of FEC entertainment. Among those speaking were Randy White, CEO of White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning; Joe Camarota, COO, and Jerry Merola, CFO, of Alpha-Omega Amusements and Partner of Amusement Entertainment Management; Alan Fluke, President of AEA consulting Group; Peter F. Olesen, President of Entertainment

PEOPLEWATCHING Bowl Canada had its Annual General Meeting in Ottawa, Ontario and elected officer positions for the

From left to right are Rod Hennessey, treasurer; Gary Schmaltz, vice president; Kyle Harre, president; Mariano Meconi, past president; Colleen Haider, secretary.

next two years. Of import was that the Executive Committee now has its first female board member with Colleen Haider taking on the role of Secretary.

26th graduating class of Foundations Entertainment University.

Concepts, Inc. Also included was Kevin Williams from the UK and publisher of Stinger Report. Foundations Entertainment University has been recognized worldwide as the platinum standard of education in family entertainment and bowling industries. The 27th class will be held September 18-20. Visit www.foundationsuniversity.com for more information.

Intercard Inc., an international company since 1979 involved in gaming technology and cashless debit card systems for family entertainment centers and bowling entertainment facilities, has announced the redesign of its website, www.intercardinc.com. As stated by the press release, “the fresh navigation and design make it simple to learn about the products and services that Intercard offers to clients in the amusement industry and beyond, including opportunities for casinos and retailers offering gift card or loyalty programs.” 10

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The Bowling Writers Association of America (BWAA) elected Joan Romeo, Van Nuys, CA, its 68th President and the first elected to the new, expanded international group. Romeo has a background in Public Relations and serves on numerous industry committees. She recently chaired the BWAA Pezzano Youth Scholarship and Joan Romeo Expo committees. She is a member of the BPAA International Relations Committee and serves on the Event Committee for the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. John Lenna, Director of Product Development for U.S. Polychem was recently elected into the RCUSBC Hall of Fame for Outstanding Performance and Dedication in the bowling industry. A right-handed bowler since 8, Lenna has twenty-two 300 John Lenna games as well as an 800 series. Besides his duties at Polychem, he is the lane man at New City Bowl, New York. “I have enjoyed lane maintenance since I was in my teens. After years of experience, I’ve learned what proper lane maintenance is all about. My goal is to give the bowler the fairest and most consistent conditions possible. I pride myself on it.”


SHORTS

Illinois Embraces In-School Bowling

Illinois State Bowling Proprietors’ Association with support from the Illinois State USBC Women’s Bowling Association and the Illinois State USBC Youth has been cultivating school programs on the elementary and secondary level since 2004. Local bowling proprietors and organizations have invested more than $50,000 in subsidy funding to help bowling centers and local USBC associations purchase nearly 500 carpet-lane instructional kits and peripheral marketing materials that are provided to schools at no cost. Further to this, the Highland Community College Board of Trustees voted in May to approve men’s and women’s bowling teams, making the college the first in the state and region to field National Junior College Athletic Association bowling teams. Student bowlers will have a chance to receive a $500 Highland Community College bowling scholarship, funded by the Northern Illinois Bowling Proprietor Association Foundation, which will partner with the college to promote the new athletic program.

A Big Strike for

Kentucky’s Lebowski Fest Executive Strike & Spare in Louisville, KY, hosted the 11th Annual Lebowski Fest. The Fest was separated into three events. The Movie Party was held on Friday, July 20 where the evening’s entertainment focused on Mucca Passa, a 30-piece marching band, prior to the screening of the Coen Brothers’ classic film. The Garden Party took place on Saturday afternoon with music and a Lebowski improv set. Lawn games were hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana. The topper was the evening’s The Bowling Party, which included bowling, costumes, trivia and games. 12

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EXPANSIONS, OPENINGS & NEW BEGINNINGS An old Wal-Mart building will be taking on new life in Gonzales, LA. A 26-lane bowling and family entertainment center will be filling the aisles. Malco Theatres Inc. of Memphis, TN, expects to have the new center open by the end of the year. Included will be a six-lane party center and a children’s area with bumper cars, a laser maze, an arcade and four projection screens to watch LSU or New Orleans Saints football games.

Since 1976, Airborne Lanes has been the bowling spot for Fort Bragg. It was time for an “updo” and after a year of renovations “all the way to the door,” Airborne reopened its doors. There is new décor including carpet, paint and furniture plus a new strike zone-themed concession area and new bowling balls. There are also new party rooms which can accommodate different sized groups.

John Higgins Jr. has purchased Brongo Bowl in Honeoye Falls, NY. The seller was Mrs. Donna Brongo. Marcel Fournier of Sandy Hansell and Associates, Inc. served as the broker in the transaction.

It’s hard to get away. Just ask Dave Branigan of River Falls, WI, who along with his family ran Bud’s Lanes for 40 years, moving it from downtown to the city’s north side in the mid-1980s. In 2007 the center was sold. Now Branigan has bought it back, renamed it St Croix Lanes and is in the process of reopening. “I will basically be the property owner this time,” Branigan said. A twoman management team will run the center.

According to YumaSun.com and writer Joyce Lobeck, Inca Lanes, an AMF leased center, closed the first of July as the center’s business license had expired. That left Jerry and Nancy Thomas, owners of the property, with a vacant building. Prior to AMF, the Thomas family had first opened the center nearly three decades ago and continued to own the property after turning the reigns over to AMF in 1997. Faced with no tenant, the Thomases announced that Inca Lanes would reopen under their management after extensive renovation to both the interior and exterior has been completed. Included will be a new scoring system, computer software, arcade games, furniture and kitchen equipment plus fresh paint, new landscaping and a spiffed up parking lot to welcome families. “It just makes sense to open the bowling center up again,” said Nancy Thomas. “Inca Lanes was once a great family place where the Yuma community could get together.”

Rice Bowling Center is now under new ownership. Don and Kathy Boggs sold the center to Danny and Debbie Story after eight years of ownership. “We’re a big bowling family,” Debbie Story said, adding that changes could occur once they settle in and get some customer feedback. The Boggs had purchased the center in 2004 after working for Boeing in Washington State for nearly 26 years. For the Boggs? They plan “to get reacquainted with the family, travel a lot and work as little as possible.”


GOODWILL CENTRAL

SHORTS

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It’s the dog days of summer and no end to the benefits, gatherings and tournaments being held at bowling centers across the U.S. Pro bowling champions Aleta Sills and Michelle Mullen organized the 7th Annual Bowl-4-Animal Rescue at Country Lanes, Farmington Hills, MI. The monies raised will be used for the Michigan Animal Adoption Network and the Friends for the Dearborn Animal shelter. In Florida, Senior Dog Bowling Event was held at St. Lucie Lanes. The proceeds will go to benefit All Pet Rescue, a no-kill animal shelter presently housing 65 dogs and 32 cats. Rosa Harding, owner, said, “it is very hard for the no-kill shelters. If we bring an animal in, we keep that animal until we find it a forever home. It can be very expensive and we rely strictly on donations.” Another animal benefit was the 18th Annual Bowling for Rhinos hosted by the Oklahoma City Zoo’s chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers held at Boulevard Lanes in Edmond, OK. According to NewsOK.com, the event raises funds for rhino conservation in Asia and Africa. Out of 100 species that have roamed the Earth, only five exist today, and all are considered endangered. Classic Lanes in Cleveland, OH, was the venue for Oakland University’s Figure Skating Club’s fundraiser to help pay for its skating season. This is the second year that the club has had a bowling fundraiser at the center. The 3rd Annual Strike A Pin was held at Showplace Entertainment Center, Staten Island, NY. It was in honor of Regina Whalen who died in 2004 of complications from diabetes. The event raised money for the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Whalen had been a community force, forging relationships with all she encountered. Bowling was one of the activities she did with family so having a bowling fundraiser just worked. Fontana Veterans Resource Center organized a fundraiser which was held at Fontana Bowling Lanes, Fontana, CA. The goal was to help the resource center which offers employment and housing support, workshops and outreach programs for veterans in the area. The American Cancer Society in Waukesha, WI, held its first Bowling for More Birthdays at Sunset Bowl. There was glow in the dark bowling, prizes, raffles, food and FUN! It was designed to help raise money for lifesaving cancer research and services for cancer patients. Goal? Create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

September 2012

The USBC Open Championship held at Baton Rouge River Center finished its 151-day run this past July. With the conclusion, cleanup began in earnest with tons of lanes and other structures being dismantled. Volunteers with the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge packed flatbed trucks with plywood and two-by-fours gathered from the dismantling. According to Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Lynn Clark, the lumber will be sold at the Baton Rouge ReStore yielding about $25,000. Greg Moore of USBC said the Baton Rouge community made a significant investment to get the tournament to come to the city. “It’s extremely important that we try and return that investment that the city has [made] and make sure that both parties end in a nice happy state.”

Another Big Al’s Debut Meridian, ID, can now boast a stateof-the-art 42-lane bowling center. Big Al’s, Inc. opened its newest location at The Village in Meridian which is an expansive retail, restaurant and entertainment center. Besides the bowling, the venue includes a 7,000square-foot, 200-player arcade and a stadium-like sports bar and grill featuring a 21-and-older lounge with a golf simulator, pool tables, shuffleboard, classic darts and arcade games. Daniel Kirkwood, CEO of Big Al’s, Inc. stated in a press release, “We’re excited to be able to provide new jobs in the area and to provide a fun environment for our employees, our corporate partners, and our local community.”


SHORTS

BOWLING TAKES CENTER STAGE Bring your own socks and enjoy an evening at the theatre! OnSite Theatre Company, an ensemble group in St. Louis, MO, stages plays in locations throughout the city. According to its website, “actors, audience and location play active roles in an interactive environment for a fresh, unconventional experience.” Co-founders, Ann Marie Mohr and Kristen Edler, remounted their first production, “Bowling Epiphany—The Revival” under the directorship of Joe Hanrahan as an anniversary celebration. The event, which was held the last three weeks of June, revolved around bowling and was

Media

WATCH

STEP INSIDE THE BALL It is hard to imagine a childsized ball and inflatable lanes to match but that is what Hammacher Schlemmer offers with its Human Bowling Ball at a smacking $4,500. Designed for children ages 5-12, the set consists of one giant, inflatable hamster ball and one inflated bowling lanes. You insert one plucky little kid into the ball and entice them to run quickly down the lane. The sides act as bumpers and the kid-ball caroms off the sides to the amusement of onlookers and attempts to knock over six 5-foot tall foam pins. Any takers?

HOME SWEET RENTAL HOME

The play’s the thing on the lanes with (left to right) Antonio Rodriguez, Elizabeth Birkenmeier nad Donna Weinsting in “What would Jesus Bowl?”

held at one of the last remaining church bowling alleys in St. Louis, Epiphany Lanes. The lanes on the grounds of Epiphany of Our Lord Church was an ideal setting for three short plays written expressly for OnSite and the location. Dan Rubin wrote two of the pieces, “Just Bowl” and “What Would Jesus Bowl?” Carter Lewis penned the third, “Anarchy of a Pin Boy.” According to Judith Newmark, PostDispatch Theater Critic, “the plays cover a lot of territory with warmth, intelligence and a suddenly apt metaphor.” Where do the socks come in? During the evening, it is not just the actors who get to bowl. Theatergoers take turns during intermission. Epiphany Lanes has bowling shoes for everyone, but audience members must arrive with a ticket and socks. 16

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Looking for a nice little get-away near the Eastern shore? For a paltry $48,000 a month you might consider Shawn Carter’s 31,000-square-foot cottage in the Hamptons on the eastern side of Long Island. There’s lots of room plus amenities such as a rockclimbing wall, recording studio, virtual golf and skateboard halfpipe. But, I forgot the pièce de résistance, a two-lane custom bowling theatre created and installed by US Bowling! Jay-Z, Beyonce and their daughter 6-month old Blue Ivy have it booked for August. But who knows, maybe you can spend a month in the fall. I hope they keep the door to the rock wall closed. Blue Ivy is really too young!

BETTER THAN BIKINI BEACH BINGO Frames, located in Midtown Manhattan, hosted an end of summer bash with “No Strings Attached.” The dress code was, not surprisingly, bathing suits and board shorts! What could be better than bikini bowling at one of the most luxurious entertainment spots in New York.


FEATURE

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FEATURE

By Anna M. Littles

T

he Alsace-Lorraine region is a dream that sits in splendor between the Rhine River on its east, and the Vosges mountains in the west. It’s an area of France that shares its borders with Germany. Alsace is known for its vineyards, monasteries and old castles. It is also known for its dual Franco-Germanic cultures. Many of the towns have German names and the village architecture clearly features a strong Germanic influence. You might ask, “what on earth does this have to do with the bowling industry?” Everything! In this beautiful, picturesque region are four of the most ultra modern Bo wlin bowling centers in the world. And they are to rig g is a Meyer fa mily tra ht: dition. owned by one family. Brice Wohlgemuth, Wohlg Arnaud Meyer, From le Laure M emuth ft (R eyer, Pie ichard's who is the only family member involved in and Bric rrette sister), e Wohlg R ichard emuth the chain of centers who speaks fluent Meyer, (Pierett e's son). English, is young, but don't let his age fool you into thinking he doesn't know about the bowling business. Brice IBI

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FEATURE

Cristal Bowling

ran down the story behind his family’s foray into the world of bowling. It began in 2003 when his uncle and aunt, Richard and Laure Meyer, opened their first bowling center, Cristal Bowling, the largest of the family owned centers at 36 lanes. The Meyers worked with Switch Bowling when they built Cristal. Switch Bowling is a company that designs and builds both bowling equipment and centers. Switch's corporate partnership between Pinifarina (designers of Ferrari and Porche), Toshiba (tech giant) and Abet Laminate (famous for laminate surfaces including interior and exterior walls and floorings) was the perfect choice for the Meyers forwardthinking design. The Meyers were so thrilled with the outcome that they went on to design and build 3 more centers; and Brice was so impressed with the company that in 2007 he took on distribution of the Switch brand in France and Europe. As distributor, the core of Brice’s business is putting together teams that can design and build a bowling center from scratch. He has consulted in centers that are opening up outside of Paris and a new one which has recently opened in Dubai. There is no detail too small or too big for him to handle. The family’s bowling centers are located in different areas of Alsace. Cristal Bowling is located in Wittelsheim, a town in the area known as the Haut-Rhine. They have a strong league business as well as birthday parties for kids. It is very contemporary in design, family friendly and offers catering for parties and a bar for refreshments. The design of the other three family centers has taken leisure and fun to whole new level. The family bowling center in Strasbourg, 20

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historically known as the crossroads and Parliamentary seat of Europe, is Bowling de l’Orangerie. It is hip and trendy, has 24 lanes and a great pro shop. It is located in a beautiful setting by a lake in the Jardin de L’Orangerie . Their restaurant includes a summer terrace that looks out onto the lake. Meanwhile, the lake is part of the Parc de l’Orangerie (get the theme?). The Bowling des Quatres Vents is also in the city of Strasbourg but in a town called Phalsbourg. The Bowling des Quatres Vents translates in English as “Bowling for the Four Winds.” It’s the smallest of the centers at 18 lanes and also has a beautiful outdoor café designed around a lovely pond with a water spout feature. In addition to his distribution business, Brice has another day job which is managing Bowling de Trèfle with his cousins, Arnaud Meyer, 24, and David Leppert, 23. Brice’s mother, Pierrette handles business administration for all of the centers. Bowling de Trèfle is the newest jewel to the family business. Bowling de Trèfle translates to “The Bowling of Clover,” and it is located in Dorlisheim, a town


FEATURE surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. Le Bowling de Trèfle offers 28 lanes. What makes these family bowling centers unique is their sexy design, hi-tech equipment, combined with the latest sound and light technology. In other words, they got swagger. It is the design vision of Switch to create "a whole new environment of style, sport and speed." According to Brice, "There is nothing like it." Brice went on to describe the whole bowling scene in Alsace. The love of bowling is alive and well in France. Brice states that children four years old to 87

years young enjoy the game. On weekends, the teens and singles show up in masses and the bowling centers turn into a hybrid dance club meets theme park with 40-42 games per lane. Going bowling in France is the equivalent of going out to a major event. And why not! All the centers can accommodate large banquets and birthday parties. The newer centers offer fabulous gourmet restaurants that serve fine food and alcohol. When was the last time you went out bowling and duck foie gras and pâte were on the menu? Their menus have seasonal specialties. At Bowling de l’Orangerie, for instance, their menu features young boar from fall till early spring. In between seasons their menu includes “Presskopf de Gibier frais de nos chasses,” which translates to "terrine of fresh game of our hunts." Doesn’t everything sound better in French? The popular dishes at Bowling des Quatres Vents are warm goat cheese salad with roasted honey, beef tartare, and beef carpaccio, to name a few. Le Bowling de Trèfle takes the cake with herb crusted lamb, salmon carpaccio with fig chutney and toasted brioche... really!

Bowling des Quatres Vents

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FEATURE

Bowling de Trèfle

And honorable mention goes to deserts like strawberry rhubarb sorbet, crème brulee and chocolate mousse. If that were not enough, each center contains an ultra chic billiard club which is deliberately designed to be a small, private setting that has about 10 -13 tables for upscale clientele. However, it is the bowling centers that dominate with lane upon lane of high-tech fun. Brice attributes the centers success to the fact that bowling is more than a sport in Europe. It is a happening. In fact, bowling has exploded into a show. The centers are designed with awesome light effects, lasers and video projectors providing a non-stop "wow" factor. In essence, it is a laser/light show and music pumping with a driving beat every night. Clients consider these centers their night club, theme bar and sports events all rolled up into one. And people are willing to pay top Euro to come out and play. Voila! Beautiful scenic landscapes with lush green rolling hills in the richest region of France; a calm, peaceful and idyllic setting. A lovely description 24

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of Alsace-Lorraine, yet it does not capture the region's complexity and contradictions. Basically, the place is jumping! That my friend translates into bowling centers that groove to a different beat, with mobs of people stepping out for a great time. The designers of this new and exciting night life are a tight knit family working hard to make bowling the biggest show in town. And don’t forget those menus! Ca va? ❖

Anna 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 Anna@alittleLA.com.


COVER STORY

By Fred Groh

A

t noon on a hot day in the arid stretch east of Los Angeles, the acres of parking at the Bass Pro Shop in the upscale town of Rancho Cucamonga are already hosting a crowd of four-wheeled guests, mostly SUVs and pickups. Close to the main entrance a statuesque, friendly fish stands with rod and reel bragging about the camera-toting tourist who hangs upside down on a fish scale. Words over the door spell out a welcome to “fishermen, hunters, and other liars.” Customers inside can heed the call of nature in the Casa de Pipi. The store is nothing if not a good-humored place to shop, but there is a lot more—an upstairs and downstairs with square footage to rival a Walmart Supercenter, packed snout to tail with everything for the outdoorsman and -woman and -kid. Like to go camping, fishing, canoeing, hunting, hiking, climbing? You can buy a speed boat, a package of biscuit mix, a bow and arrow, a depth finder or a sweater. You can have dinner in the restaurant (alligator appetizers), take a hunting safety course (yes, they sell safes for your gun collection), or pick out a sofa for your home or cabin. Company stats are as outsized as the inventory. The 58 Bass Pro Shops in 26 states and Canada (two stores) draw 100 million visitors a year, six times the number who go to Disney World, putting the stores among the top five tourist attractions in 12 Southeast and heartland

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

states from Iowa to Mississippi, according to the company. It mails more than 150 million catalogs and sales circulars yearly, operates nine in-house restaurant brands, wholesales through 7,000 local sporting goods stores, is the nation’s biggest retailer of fishing boats, owns and operates an 850-acre resort near Branson, MO, and a 2,200-acre nature park, Dogwood Canyon in the Missouri Ozarks. It produces television programming and sponsors a NASCAR team, And in three of the Bass Pro Shop stores—soon to be more—you can go bowling and think you’re under the sea. Next year, the company will open its first freestanding bowling center. t t t “I guess this business started because I didn’t want a real job. I just wanted to fish and be close to fishing,” Johnny Morris says in a soft Southern drawl. “I was probably about 21 or 22, somewhere in there.” He had already been fishing Ozarks waters for years with his dad and his mother’s brother, Uncle Buck, aka John Willey, drifting down the rivers and going for small-mouth bass and blue gill or perch. When the U.S. Corps of Engineers built a dam on the White River in the ’50s, about 40 miles from home in Springfield, MO, it created Tablerock Lake. Morris entered the first national bass tournament there in 1970. “Bass fishing was an emerging sport, I would say. I met fishermen from all over the country, and they had different types of lures and techniques and I was fascinated by it. I was a good customer of a local sporting goods department in a Gibson’s discount store, kind of an early-day Walmart. I kept taking [the manager] a list of items that I had found at the tournament and finally after a few weeks, he said ‘Johnny I’m sorry, but I can’t get permission from the home office to carry these things.’” Morris’s father was more pliable when Johnny proposed putting some fishing gear in the liquor store his dad owned just outside Springfield on the way to Tablerock. John A. co-signed a note from the bank and Johnny hired a friend to join him on a U-Haul trip to Tulsa, where they loaded up on fishing tackle and returned to Springfield. The fishing gear took over about a third of the liquor store’s 1500 square feet to start, but “We just kept pushing his beer over as time went on. 28

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“We named the store—or our fishing department—Bass Pro Shop because it was very descriptive of who we were, what we wanted to be, and that was a specialist for bass fishing gear. Timing in any venture is real important. I think our timing was good, to be providing special equipment and service to a rapidly growing segment of the fishing tackle industry.” But as he celebrates Bass Pro’s fortieth birthday this year, Morris does not recommend to fledgling entrepreneurs that they begin the way he did. “We didn’t really have a long-term plan at all. I think there are a lot of [startup] endeavors that don’t make it because they have the passion and enthusiasm but you have to have a definite plan that you’re keeping a visual eye on, to make money. You have to have that balance. How much inventory can you justify? Start off at one level and work your way up. Make sure you’re operating within your financial capacity.” In Morris’s case, his father supplied some of the balance. “My dad was really my hero. He was big on working hard, big on delivering value. He was relentless on ‘John, it’s not worth any more on your shelf than on your competitor’s shelf,’ [on] taking care of people, whether it’s your customers or people in the company.” He taught what a healthy margin is and how to make it. Today, Morris condenses his lifetime of learning about retailing—whether it’s sporting goods or bowling games—when he says, “Follow your


COVER STORY passions. Listen to your customers carefully and your people on your team. Don’t be afraid to shop in competitors’ stores. Keep abreast of what’s going on in the market. Always keep your eye open. Is there a void, is there a need that isn’t being met that we can fill?” Back then, the younger Morris felt like he was putting together “a jigsaw puzzle.” t t t Bass Pro did all its retail business in the liquor store for 13 years before the building that had been home to the old Gibson’s—the store that wouldn’t stock the items Morris wanted to buy—came on the market. At 80,000 square feet, he didn’t know what he would ever do with so much space. He put the retailing into a quarter of the building—and had to double that the following year. Then the epiphany. At the urging of friends of his parents who lived in Maine, Morris went up to Freeport to take a look at the headquarters of L.L. Bean. “A huge inspiration. They were attracting millions of people. We said, ‘If they can attract all these people to this small town, we can attract a lot of people to our headquarters in Springfield.’” Morris spent the next two years traveling “to every sporting goods store I could hear of in the States and then I traveled overseas.” He picked up ideas all over. “Like in Europe it was very common to have indoor shooting facilities so customers could sight-in their rifles before hunting season. It was virtually unheard of here in the States.” When he settled back in at Springfield again, he set to work creating what he called a “daydream store” on the premises for his customers. “We could have aquariums—that’s about fish and fishing. So we built some aquariums. We wanted to have a restaurant in the store; got permission from Ernest Hemingway’s son Jack to name our restaurant Hemingway’s. We put in the Tall Tales Barber Shop, where guys could get their hair cut sitting in biggame salt-water fish-fighting chairs. “We built a lot of things in that store to enable our people to give our customers a higher level of service than they’d ever encountered—indoor archery range, indoor rifle range, indoor pistol range. We built a seminar room—I named it after my Uncle Buck— so we could 30

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have lectures there on conservation and hunting and fishing, certification classes for hunters for safety education in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Conservation, and on and on. We tried to make it a really fun place for customers—trophy wildlife displays, trophy fish displays—but also we put in a reel repair studio, a taxidermy studio so we could mount the customer’s fish—kind of one shop to find everything.” That store is where Bass Pro national headquarters sits today, three miles down the road from where his father ran the liquor store. t t t “Daydream” ideas have never stopped pouring out of Morris, these days abetted by a department in the company devoted to design and an Imagery Team that features in customizing each Bass Pro store to the local area. In the Rancho Cucamonga store, the fishing department is reached via a short bridge over a wishing-well stream stocked with fish. Two anglers—so intense on their work they have never been seen to move a muscle—stand on the rocks near the bridge. The ceiling over the ranks of shelves and display cases looks a translucent blue, like the surface of water seen from below. Life-size marlins hang from it, and a mural of seals and a shark by team artist Daniel Lee Melendez runs around the walls above the merchandise. Bass Pro has its own woodworking and metal fabrication shops for chandeliers or other fixtures the decor may require. “We send people out—sometimes I go myself—but we always have a team that are [studying the local] history. We ask our customers, ‘Did your uncle or grandpa have like a big fish photo or a trophy of a deer, maybe, or maybe you got one yourself last week?’ “We try to reach out to our conservation partners like Ducks Unlimited or Wild Turkey Federation. We visit any hunting or fishing lodges or clubs in an area, the conservation groups, historical societies. We try to


COVER STORY make our stores a little bit of a local museum and a natural history museum. So the murals [will] be things that are indigenous to [local] nature.” Nor is the Rancho design all broad brushstrokes. Everything in the store seems to have been carefully thought through. In the shoe department, the tops of the cases are laid out as habitat scenes using the local flora and fauna (an armadillo and squirrels). The fishing department and its undersea motif are on the ground floor; the hunting department, where the quarry live on plains or mountains or in the sky, is upstairs. The customer’s ideal first impression is “a sense of discovery,” Morris reflects. “Hopefully, the image people leave with besides an exciting store overall is that we have absolutely high-quality gear in every category and exceptional value and friendly, expert service.” Judging by Clay in the hunting department, they do. He has wavy salt-andpepper hair and an immaculately groomed handlebar mustache and carefully explains to us how hunters use the deer mockups to improve their aim. The stores look for people like Clay, with “passion and knowledge for the categories,” when they hire staff who will be interacting with the public, says Morris. “That’s what we need. Somebody that doesn’t have to stop and look up in a book about a rod or lure. They know because they’re out in their time off fishing themselves. It’s that knowledge, passion, enthusiasm. People seek us out for that; we seek people out for that.” t t t What to put in and what to take out of the stores is partly intuitive, he says. “Our customer’s enjoyment. Like an aquarium. What’s the payback on an aquarium? People love it, it creates traffic and excitement and enjoyment. [And] just like every retailer, we monitor our ROI in a category. It’s a cross, on some of these features, between the financial return and the excitement level.” Morris has no divided thoughts about proprietary products. At the Rancho store, bigsip drink cups, fish batter, gravy mix (goes with the biscuit mix, for camping) and Dogwood Canyon fly rods are among the items carrying the company name or logo. Their value to the business is “absolutely critical,” Morris says, thinking about how bowling proprietors could find them useful. “[Our industry is] very, very competitive—shotguns, rifles, shotgun shells, fishing reels, electronics. We go head to head and try to be very aggressive on pricing. On a lot of name brands, it’s very low-margin. With our brands, which include our Tracker boats, our Bass Pro label on fishing rods, lures, a lot of our apparel, we can offer the customer a better value. Many times unique features, but also we make a healthier margin in profit. “My dad used to sell his own brand of whiskey in his store, and that kind of inspired me IBI

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COVER STORY [about] the need to have our own brands to differentiate us. One, you can make a healthy margin and second, you’re building your brand. In our case, if people get it and they like it, they can only find it in the store or the catalog. For people in bowling centers, I can’t tell you how many caps we’ve sold to people with our Bass Pro emblem on [them], or shirts or t-shirts.” t t t Half a dozen Tracker boats are on display inside the Rancho store, next to the fishing department. The outboards are powered by Mercury engines, made by “our biggest vendor to Bass Pro Shops,” Brunswick. In fall 2005, Morris’s call to Brunswick about exploring the possibility of putting bowling into the stores was answered by the bowling division’s current vice president of North America sales, Kurt Harz. “A great guy,” Morris says. “I was going to the Florida Keys fishing—and still do, some. Years ago, I remember going by this place called The Fish Bowl, a bowling center down around Islamorada. I think eventually it closed. I was thinking and talking to Kurt. He said they had new technology for lanes and they could make the lanes kind of any color, and something just occurred to me about the old Fish Bowl in the Keys. I thought, ‘Man, maybe we should come out [with it] for a restaurant theme. We’ll have some bowling, not like leagues, but just fun for kids, and guys coming in, and gals. Why don’t we make this almost like an undersea adventure?’” Brunswick had started doing custom lane designs only three or four months before, most of it internationally, Harz recalls. Into the talks with Morris, he introduced the idea of “a lane that could look like you’re bowling in an aquarium. That led to bowling underneath the sea.” Once the concept was set, Bass Pro’s design and development department, headed by Tom Jowett, became heavily involved, Harz reports. Says Morris, “One of our creative team members, Tom, came up with a sharkhead idea and a big crocodile-head idea for the ball returns.” The final graphic design for the lanes was produced by Jowett’s team. Everything came together. A fun place for customers that “ties in with fishing for a fishing store and a more unique restaurant.” He named the concept for the man he fished with as a kid: Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill. The bowling and the restaurant are adjacent, visible from the checkout lanes, with an exterior entrance of their own and extended hours so people can dine and bowl after the store closes. When the first Uncle Buck’s opened in Altoona, IA, Harz says, “I watched people standing on the approaches thinking there was actually an aquarium out on the lanes. It changes the entire bowling experience, and it’s such a great match for the store venue itself.” “John Morris is the greatest visionary I have ever met,” he continues. “His drive to create the ultimate customer experience is one-of-a-kind,” and Harz 32

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isn’t the only one at Brunswick who thinks so. Brunswick Bowling Products president Brent Perrier calls Uncle Buck’s “a breath of fresh air for the bowling industry,” and Brunswick CEO and chairman Dusty McCoy sees Uncle Buck’s as a concept “where all traditional thinking about the activity of bowling has been recast.” Morris pronounces himself “tickled to death” with the profitability and customer reaction to Uncle Buck’s—the original at Altoona and those that have followed in East Peoria, IL, and Harlingen, TX. So happy, he is building an Uncle Buck’s in four more stores, including a retro-fit at national headquarters in Springfield. Uncle Buck’s is also headed for the company’s resort at Branson and for “most of our new construction in major markets.” He has already decided on the next—in Morris’s case, probably inevitable—step. In 2013 he will open the first freestanding Uncle Buck’s, in Destin, FL, about 50 miles east of Pensacola. ❖

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


PROFILE

By Mark Miller

A

bout an hour northwest of Atlanta is a part of Georgia few people initially would associate with bowling. Upon further review, however, the connection becomes clear. It turns out this area is known as the “Carpet Capital of the World” and carpet is among the most visible aspects of any entertainment-focused business. The vast majority of the brightly-colored flooring found in bowling centers is manufactured by three companies located there. Flagship Carpet, Omega Pattern Works and Astro Carpet Mills share more than just innovation and location. Their histories also are intertwined.

BEDSPREADS AND BOWLING Northwest Georgia is a prime location due to its proximity to cotton fields and steel manufacturing plants and its penchant to attract independent, self-sufficient people. It also is home to Chantilly bedspreads, originally made by individual women in the early 1900s.

“The first bedspreads were handmade with single needle machines. It was a big cottage industry back then,” said Mitchell Brumlow, the third-generation owner of Flagship Carpet's parent company, Brumlow Mills. “The ladies would stay home with their kids and make the bedspreads with one machine at home.” By the 1930s, factory machines replaced people in tufting or weaving the cotton together to make the bedspreads and within a decade, nearly all were machine made. Later, ways to create wide carpets and add wild colors and designs eventually helped expand the market again. Today, carpets, rugs and bedspreads made in northwest Georgia are a $9 billion world-wide industry with about 70 percent of the world’s and more than 80 percent of the U.S. market. Bowling makes up between 20 and 40 percent of the industry.

Tommy Brumlow, Mitchell Brumlow, Chad Brumlow, Jake Brumlow and Weston Brumlow

FLAGSHIP CARPET Brumlow's grandfather C.H. began making bedspreads at age 16 for an area company. Then in the 1940s he started his own business called Brumlow Manufacturing in Calhoun. By the early 1950s, his son Tommy, who worked on single needle machines as a teenager, came aboard. Tommy Brumlow later joined his father in owning the business until C.H. died in 1988 at age 87. That's when Mitchell became a partowner with his father who remains active at age 73. To round out the family affair are Mitchell’s sons 34

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PROFILE

Weston and Jake and his brother Chad. While making much of their living selling rugs and carpets to places like Walmart and J.C. Penney, the Brumlows have been involved in bowling since adding flatbed printing and creating Flagship about 15 years ago. In recent years a special printer Mitchell says is among only two worldwide was added; the Invista continuous filament machine allows only one type of fiber to be meshed together. Today Flagship serves hundreds of centers. “I've always been in carpet and rugs,” Mitchell said. “My sons always say 'why couldn't you be in something easier.' I say to be successful you have to do something complicated and be good at it. They will be partners with me one day like I was with my father.”

OMEGA PATTERN WORKS With a population of less than 4,000 people, Chatsworth still is big enough to serve as the tufting location for Omega Pattern Works and its parent company Marquis Industries. In 1978, a local family opened Omega as a plant that supplied dye to other textile manufacturers. After adding a tufting machine and a flatbed printer, it began making everything itself with dye operations at a plant in Calhoun and yarn and printing done in Dalton. “We've been involved in bowling since Day 1,” said Omega President of Operations and Marquis Vice President Chet Graham whose company has carpet in about 50 bowling centers. Like his competitors, clients also include places like game arcades, theaters, skating centers, casinos, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. As the entertainment and hospitality industries like bowling began moving away from basic colors and toward floral prints, companies like Omega did too. “People were tired of the same old look,” Graham said. “The style changes were influenced by clothing designs and interior designs to give a different look. Like so much else, it started as a West Coast look.” Around 2004, when Omega was bought by Marquis, it began making its own yarn after years of buying from manufacturers elsewhere in the country. Then in 2010, Omega added jet printing which saved time and money and allowed for more creative designs.

ASTRO CARPET MILLS Like the Brumlows, Astro Carpet Mills owner Ed Hurney has a family history in the floor covering industry as his father Frank started in sales and marketing in Chicago in 1946. “I've been in the business since I was able to walk with my father,” said Hurney, 67. 36

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From Chicago, the family moved to Green Bay, WI, where after graduating college, Ed followed his father in sales. He started his own carpet brokering business in 1971 which he sold seven years later. In 1979 he moved to Dalton and by 1991 he formed Astro where he bypassed retailers and sold synthetic turf directly to thousands of miniature golf courses, indoor party and game facilities and bowling centers. “We have a strong reputation for quality and we're honored to be a BPAApreferred (Smart Buy Partner) carpet maker,” Hurney said. Astro began making its own yarn and became partners with Brunswick Corporation on a custom carpet line about three years ago. “Business is pretty good,” said Hurney, who estimates his carpets are in more than 1,000 centers. “There's enough in it for everybody. It's really a niche market. We go where the big boys don't go.” Now when you walk into your center of choice, take a moment to look where you’re walking. Family, tradition and Georgia’s regional character have all blended together to create that bright, flamboyant sea of color carpet that sets the stage for fun! ❖

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.


SHOWCASE LANE CONDITIONER

BAR SUPPLIES

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POWERFUL PARTNERSHIP

CUSTOMDESIGNED LANES

RENTAL SHOE ALTERNATIVE

At last! A lane conditioner that will work as well in the northeast during the winter as it will in the southwest during the same time of year. U.S. Polychem introduces Four Seasons Lane Conditioner. Formulated to be forgiving to the environment, it is being used in and designed for the sole purpose of consistency and continuity. Contact Gregg Pasdiora at (515) 537-3702 or greggp@uspoly.com.

McCain Foods USA announces the launch of its newest Anchor Poppers flavor, Fire-Roasted Poblano and Jalapeño Popper Bites. Sure to be loved by Poppers fans everywhere, this fun new treat is sized to fit multiple menu price points, which makes it perfect for today’s profitable menu applications like small plates and bar menus. Operators can request a sample by visiting www.AnchorPoppers.com or calling 1-800-POPPERS.

Forty Frame Game and New Center Consulting, Inc. have teamed up to offer 40 frame, 20 frame, and 10 frame formats on a standalone laptop program capable of running 4 lanes at a time. The new system can be hooked up to any LCD display and will keep score and record the winnings of each round played. For more information contact Glenn Hartshorn at (248) 375-2751.

For the first time ever, you can create an out-of-this-world themed environment with Ultimate custom-designed lanes by Brunswick. Pro Lane™ and Anvilane synthetic lanes can now be designed using photographic images, logos and any design imaginable, in both glow and non-glow graphics. For more information, contact your Brunswick Representative, or visit www.brunswickbowling.com/products/lanes/lane-types/. 38

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StockTheBar.com – The Bar Store With So Much More! Shop for thousands of bar accessories and equipment at deeply discounted prices. You’ll find a huge selection of bottle openers, pour spouts, garnish trays, bar stools, management books, training DVD’s, neon signs, floor mats and just about anything you could possibly want for your bar. We’re the guys for your bar supplies! Please visit www.StockTheBar.com.

Along with text blast, raffles & drawings, eBowl.biz has added a birthday club to its text messaging service. In addition to reaching customers on their cell phones with offers and coupons, birthday reminders can be sent prior to and on their special day. All of these features are part of the affordable, easy to use Mobile Marketing service. Go to www.BowlingWebDoctor.com for details & pricing.

Embed recently partnered with Revention as a POS provider for their growing base of pizza and restaurant anchored entertainment locations. Embed Systems are used to manage the cashless operation of arcade games and attractions as well as the extensive prize redemption counters in many entertainment locations. The new partnership introduces an interface between Revention’s leading POS solution and the Embed System which greatly streamlines the sales process for users. Visit www.embedcard.com for more information.

Bowling Buddy Shoe Covers are disposable covers for street shoes designed to enhance the bowling customer’s experience and reduce cost for the bowling center proprietor. Time and money will be saved by eliminating the need to restock and maintain the traditional rental shoe. The covers are individually wrapped in pairs and come in three sizes to fit an extensive variety of shoes. For more information, email us at skdoyle67@gmail.com.


PHOTO ESSAY

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PHOTO ESSAY

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PHOTO ESSAY

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OPERATIONS youth programs and promotions are great,” Icel said. “We went to our first Bowl Expo in 1997 and were so impressed with the seminars and meeting other proprietors from across the country, that we make it a point to go every year.” Tom joined the Colorado USBC Board and serves on the youth committee. He puts time into the youth tournaments, sometimes over four weekends. The pair also hosts tournaments, local youth tournaments, a Thanksgiving Scotch Doubles tournament, and birthday and corporate parties. This past year they also ran a Qubica AMF doubles tournament and a Senior tournament in August. Icel has to keep track of any youths winning

Icel and Tom Haynes are consumed by the business, sport and recreation of bowling. And, it’s all a family affair. By Joan Taylor

T

his is the story about a couple of people who jumped into bowling center management and ownership which led to learning construction and renovation in addition to the day-to-day business of operating and maintaining a total of 26 lanes over two locations, and did we mention they are also active…very active….in their state and national BPAA? Tom and Icel Haynes met in a mixed bowling league and married in 1994. Icel’s brothers, Jack, John, Leroy and Dale urged them to take on proprietorship of an 18 lane center, Sunset Lanes, in Sterling Colorado, so they took over the place and renamed it “Ice Lanes.” It was a play on words with Icel’s first name, but as Tom says, “Bowling is cool.” To learn more from their peers, they joined the Colorado State BPA where Icel quickly became vice president. Suddenly, Icel and the sergeantof-arms were the only officers the organization had. While Icel had no time to become Executive Director of the organization, she “agreed to do the things that needed to be done. I called up the national BPAA in Arlington for input, and they said to put the organization on hiatus for a couple of years. But I still do the work of an ED to keep the organization going, especially for youth tournaments in the summer. I am hoping that other proprietors will start coming to meetings so we can elect an ED and officers and get the state BPAA going again.” The couple is active in the national BPAA as well, serving on Member Benefits and Small Center committees. Using BPAA resources has been a real boon for the formerly inexperienced couple. “The Bowlopolis

Tom and Icel Haynes, the proud owners of Ice Lanes and Fire Lanes, juggle proprietorship and family.

money from the Grand Prix youth scholarship program. In her spare time she is the local association manager, and once the winter leagues end, she will provide year-end averages for the association. After the opening and success of Ice Lanes, the Haynes’ wanted to expand their business. They heard of a woman who had taken over her son’s eightlane bowling center and converted it into a second-hand furniture store. She kept the pinsetting machinery but took out

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OPERATIONS the scorers and used the lanes as flooring, putting plywood where the gutters had been. Tom and Icel decided to take over the building to convert it back into a “nice little ‘Mom and Pop’ bowling center.” They quickly learned that extensive renovations The Hayne’s labor of love, the concourse at Ice Lanes. would have to be done: putting in a concession stand, basically gutting the place, and rebuilding the front area, office and restrooms. The project cost around $90,000, even with Tom, Icel and her brothers doing all the work themselves. They aptly named the center “Fire Lanes” so they could bill the company as “Fire and Ice.” Throughout the years Icel’s large family has worked at the buisness: brothers John and Leroy and sisterin-law Bernie have worked for the couple; brothers Jack and Dale and Icel’s younger sister Linda run Fire Lanes; and Dale runs the pro shops Tom, operating the jackhammer, completed the refurbishment of Fire Lanes. at both centers. Icel has with both feet,” Icel said, “we close brought her grandson, Anthony Mendez, down for two weeks mid-May to give the into the business as a pin chaser and employees and Tom a break. It worked sent him to school in the summer of the first year, so we’ve made it an annual 2010 to become a B mechanic. “We event, staying open only for birthday couldn’t have done this without my parties or open bowling.” family,” Icel said. Perhaps Anthony will While their lives are consumed with one day join the BPAA’s Young Guns— the business, sport, and recreation of the young and would-be proprietors’ bowling, Tom and Icel agree it can only organization. be called a labor of love. ❖ Tom and Icel still find, or rather make, the time to bowl themselves, “but not together,” Icel jokes. Tom carries a 220 average and Icel is in the high 170s. Joan Taylor is a multi-award Both enjoy their respective tournaments, winning bowling writer based in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. the USBC Open and Women’s Nationals. “While we jumped into this business 44

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OFF THE CLOCK

It’s Always Sundae for the Jacksons The father and son duo breathe new life into a beloved ice cream shack in their hometown of Charlotte, Michigan. The newly revitalized Tasty Twist Ice Cream stand has a retro design.

By Anna Littles

D

ave Jackson Jr. is a new breed of entrepreneur. For 33 years his family has made its mark on the city of Charlotte, Michigan. Well known for its bowling center, Char-lanes, the Jackson family has served the community for nearly 30 years. Last year Dave set his sights on a city landmark which had seen better days. It was the old Tasty Twist ice cream parlor. In 2010, the old Tasty Twist was tired and spent. When Dave took it on, he turned it into the trendiest soft serve ice cream parlor in town, breathing new life into an old business. How? Dave gutted the entire building and took the design to a whole new level. When the dust settled and the renovation was complete, Dave had added a drive through section and a landscaped mini garden with tables outside. Dave made sure people who have not been able to enjoy the pleasures of ice cream

can now do so with lactose-free and sugar-free options. The addition of the drive through makes those ice cream cravings easily satisfied all year round. And with toppings that include brownie, cookie dough, fruit loops and coco puffs, how could you not scream for ice cream, even in winter! The renovations and new design had several (excuse the pun) twists and turns Three generations of the Jackson family.

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OFF THE CLOCK

The outdoor tables provide ample seating.

when dealing with the city of Charlotte. The old Tasty Twist was built in the 1950s when the town was young. Back in the day, businesses were conveniently located right on the town road which is Lansing Street. Over the decades, as the city grew and expanded around the landmark, Lansing Street turned into a

major thoroughfare. So, unlike new businesses of today that are positioned back from the road, Tasty Twist sits right on it at a mere five feet from the flow of traffic. During the renovation, Dave had to take into account that building codes have changed. And there was concern that the City Council would require the landmark to be moved to accommodate those changes. Fortunately, the city knew a good thing when they saw it. The Council respected the landmark and the history on which it was built, and left well enough alone. Thanks to that decision, the new Tasty Twist shines bright in the 21st Century, inspiring Charlotte and reminding them that its past can be beautifully integrated with its future. Today, Tasty Twist may be the trendiest ice cream parlor in

Third generation Jackson, Khyan Alward, enjoys a tasty treat.

town; it also continues to be a friendly, family affair. Dave’s sister Nicole is the general manager. And though the building is in a yummy style, its topping will not be the brownie or cookie dough, but is a rooftop sign that reads Tasty Twist in bright neon colors. No doubt it will shine for decades to come as it continues to serve up the scoop after scoop. �

Anna 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 Anna@alittleLA.com.

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DATEBOOK

SEPTEMBER 18 – 20 Foundations Entertainment University Class #27 Kansas City, MO Visit www.foundationsuniversity.com

OCTOBER 4 BCA of Ohio Executive Board Meeting Embassy Suites, Columbus 2700 Corporate Exchange Dr. Pat Marazzi, 937-433-8363 7-9 Mid-South Show Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama Sam’s Town, Tunica MS For info: Dwayne Hippensteel 501-580-1452

22 – 24 Southwest Bowling Proprietors Ideas Share Crowne Plaza hotel, Arlington TX k.miller@texasbowlingcenters.org 28-30 West Coast Bowling Convention Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa Las Vegas Sandi Thompson, NorCal Bowling 925-485-1855 IBI

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

NOVEMBER

8--12 Brunswick Training Classes GS Pinsetter Muskegon, MI 800-937-2695 or schools@brunbowl.com

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

IBI 14-17 East Coast Bowling Centers Convention Revel (www.revelresorts.com) Atlantic City, NJ For info: www.eastcoastbowl.com 800-343-1329 ext. 8451

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

15 -19 Brunswick Training Classes Vector Scorer Muskegon, MI 800-937-2695 or schools@brunbowl.com 15-19 Brunswick European Pinsetter Training Sessions GS Series & Vector Scoring Hungary. For info email: Siggi.Hill@brunbowl.com www.brunswick.com

DECEMBER 3–7 Brunswick Training Classes GS Pinsetter Muskegon, MI 800-937-2695 or schools@brunbowl.com

IBI

Official magazine of the convention IBI

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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

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

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

www.tuckerbowling.com

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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CLASSIFIEDS EQUIPMENT FOR SALE

CENTER FOR SALE

EVERYTHING MUST GO! 16 LANES: 8230s; 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.

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.

32+ lanes Brunswick AS-80 scoring. Complete package +extra parts. Excellent condition. Will sell by lane or individual parts. Make offer. Bill Henderson @ Clearview Lanes (717) 653-1818.

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.

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. FOR SALE: Brunswick converted A-2s @ $750.00 each. Great for parts. Ready to load on your trailer. Also 32 lanes Franeworx scoring with Vector Plus front desk and back office; 32 lanes Frameworx hoods and racks, 22 lanes Frameworx tier masking units. Call Jim T. (810) 736-4880.

SELL YOUR CENTER

(818) 789-2695

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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. 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.

CENTERS FOR SALE 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. 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 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 MINIATURE GOLF COURSES Indoor/Outdoor. Immediate Installation. $5,900.00 & up. 2021 Bridge Street Jessup, PA 18434 570-489-8623 www.minigolfinc.com

"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

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

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CLASSIFIEDS CENTERS FOR SALE NE MINNESOTA: Food, Liquor & Bowling. Established 8 lanes between Mpls & Duluth w/ large bar, dining room, banquet area. Two large State employment facilities nearby. High six figure gross. Call Bryan (218) 380-8089. www.majesticpine.com. 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. CENTRAL MINNESOTA: 8-lane Brunswick center, 18,000 s/f with restaurant, game room & banquet facility for 400. REDUCED TO $225,000. Turnkey operation averaging $250,000+ last five years. Call Dave or Cindy (320) 843-4040; cell (320) 808-6521.

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CLASSIFIEDS CENTERS FOR SALE 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.

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/

INDIANA METRO: Well-established large center with late-model equipment. Strong location, recently remods. Real estate incl. Sandy Hansell (800) 222-9131. 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.

CENTER FOR LEASE FOR LEASE: 16-LANE Brunswick center. Includes snack bar, game room, pro shop. Great potential窶馬eeds some TLC. Willing to work with leasee. Call Bill @ (870) 523-3638.

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BOWLINGFAN IBI

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CLASSIFIEDS 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. Could your center use an influx of new league bowlers who spend a lot at the bar, and open bowl too? I bring them in. Contact Scott at 856-321-0878 or bowlingleagueguy@aol.com.

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 Seeking managerial position: EXPERIENCED manager/district manager of single & multiple unit centers; specializing in turn around centers; great customer service skills, inventory and payroll controls and P & L controls. References and resume available upon request. Email: schronce.tony@yahoo.com or leave message @ (817) 232-2219.

SELL YOUR CENTER OR EQUIPMENT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BOWLINGFAN

(818) 789-2695

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CLASSIFIEDS

POSITION WANTED Former center owner with 15 years all around experience as GM, league promoter, A-level Brunswick mechanic, scoring system installer and lane technician. Well suited for many positions. Call Mitch at (808) 443-3868. SALES POSITION WANTED: 25 years experience; specializing in open bowling. References available. May work on commission. Kevin Malick (863) 602-4850.

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

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.

SELL YOUR CENTER

(818) 789-2695 LOCKER KEYS FAST!

MECHANIC WANTED

•Keys & Combo Locks for all Types of Lockers.

Brunswick mechanic wanted—full time position. Minimum 10 years experience on Brunswick A-2 machines. 32-lane center in the Los Angeles area. (818) 340-5190.

•One week turnaround on most orders.

SELL YOUR CENTER OR EQUIPMENT

FAST! (818) 789-2695

•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:

ARE YOU A FAN OF BOWLING?

www.Facebook.com/BowlingFan

530-432-2933

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

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REMEMBER WHEN

1959

A

s the callout on the cover notes, in 1959 there was a bowling boom. One major factor for this was women. During this decade many women still stayed home honing the craft of wife and mother. For leisure, they bowled. They bowled with their husbands in the evenings and with their friends during the day. Centers estimated that women bowlers were 80% of their business during the day and 40% during the evening. In 1959 the WIBC 56

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boasted 1,231,529 members almost twice as many as in 1950. League bowling was at the helm of this bowling boom. In Long Beach, CA, Java Lanes hosted the Housewives League with 32 fourwoman teams competing every Wednesday. To make it easy, centers added cozy, toy-stocked nurseries to help with babysitting. Irv Noren’s Lanes, Pasadena, CA, filled every lane with ladies during the Housewive’s League. In 1959, pleasing the ladies definitely had its advantages when it came to bowling’s bottom line. ❖


Profile for International Bowling Industry Magazine

International Bowling Industry September 2012  

The World's Only Magazine Devoted Exclusively to the Business of Bowling

International Bowling Industry September 2012  

The World's Only Magazine Devoted Exclusively to the Business of Bowling

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