Cyber Report #945

E-dition No. 945 • Thursday, March 30, 2017
Editor: Bob Johnson (


Take the First BCM Facebook Survey

We take our coverage of the bowling business seriously and, with that in mind, we’ve posted a survey question on the Facebook page of BJI’s sister publication, Bowling Center Management. We hope you’ll check it out, post a response and, while you’re there, take a second to “Like” the BCM page. Go to:


‘New’ Bayside Bowl Is Ready for PBA’s Visit

In case you were concerned that the expansion of Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, might not be completed in time for the Professional Bowlers Association’s visit April 9-16, you may now breathe a sigh of relief.

It took 10 months, but the expanded facility made its public debut with a ribbon cutting and “first ball ceremony” on March 16. It now boasts eight new lanes (for a total of 20) with a mezzanine overlooking them, an old-school arcade, a rooftop deck and a taco truck. The facility now includes a total of four bars – that’s one bar for each five lanes.

“This is a great day for Bayside Bowl, our staff, and our customers,” said managing partner, Charlie Mitchell, in a media release. “We’ve had tremendous partners in the city, the neighborhood and in the bowling community. There’s no place in the world I’d rather do business than in Bayside and in Portland.”

The Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Classic will kick off the full week of action at Bayside April 9-12. It will be followed by the L.L. Bean Bean PBA League Elias Cup competition April 13-16.


Strikes and Spares Between the Rows of Grapevines

Highway 12 is the highest traffic corridor in California’s Sonoma Valley, and it soon may be home to a new bowling center inside an existing building that’s appropriately named “The Old Bowl Centre.”

According to the Sonoma Index-Tribune, Adam and Jenny Kovacs are planning to transform a 5,000-sq.-ft. space in the center into a bowling center with “four or five lanes” to be called Noma Bowl. They have signed a 15-year lease with a Seattle-based management company that has owned the building for 25 years.

If plans are approved by the city, construction could begin by mid-summer and Noma Bowl could be open by the end of the year.

Presently, area residents must drive to Rohnert Park (about 24 miles away), Santa Rosa (about 23 miles away) or Napa (about 15 miles away) to bowl. The couple says their center will be family-oriented by day, and transition to more of a bar vibe at night.

While Sonoma’s economy is based on wine tourism, the Kovacses say Noma Bowl is being designed “for the locals to enjoy. We want to offer affordable fun for kids here in town.”
Read more here:


Bowlmor AMF: No Plans to Close Portland Center

AMF Pro 300 Lanes in southeast Portland, Ore., may survive beyond May or August, after all.

After MAJ Development Corporation, the new owner of the building that houses the center, announced last week that a “national retailer” would be taking over the space, Bowlmor AMF issued its own statement on Saturday.

“Any rumors that we will close our center this May are absolutely false,” said Colie Edison, a Bowlmor AMF representative. “AMF Pro 300 has served as a local landmark and gathering place for decades.”

The statement said that the company plans to stay for the remainder of its lease and perhaps even longer.

“Local zoning officials have the power to determine whether this land will continue to be used as a safe, fun-filled bowling entertainment center or if it will be zoned for use as yet another big box retail location,” Edison said. “We want to make it perfectly clear that we have no plans to leave this community any time soon. As far as we’re concerned, it’s bowling as usual.”


Business Briefs…

* We think you’re going to love the cover of the April edition of BCM, featuring the 2017 BPAA Hall of Fame inductee, Dick Corley of Bowl New England/Spare Time Entertainment. You can check it out – and get a preview of the April issue – here:

* Pins Mechanical Co. is coming to Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood with a concept that includes “mini duckpin bowling,” lots of pinball machines and a roof-top deck with full-size shuffleboard. As recently as 2009, Over-the-Rhine was considered the most dangerous neighborhood in America, but it has undergone a transformation that you can read about here: Pins Mechanical Co. already has a location in Columbus, Ohio. For an overview, click here:

* The effort to bring bowling to the Market Station building at the Santa Fe Railyard in New Mexico now appears to be dead – even though the bowling capital equipment has been installed. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee managing Market Station has now asked a judge for permission to sell the equipment back to US Bowling Corporation in order to proceed with a new lease for the space with a different tenant. The bowling-based project faced numerous hurdles and never did open. You can read about its history here:

* Janss Marketplace is a busy outdoor shopping mall in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where Jon Coulombe planned to open a retro-themed bowling alley, skate park, arcade, bar and restaurant. He planned to call it DaddyO’s Skater Bowl, and received upwards of half-a-million dollars from investors – mostly local residents – who wanted in on the project. The community had been without a bowling center since Conejo Village Bowl was replaced by a Borders bookstore (which later went out of business). The plan never came to fruition, however, and investors lost all of their money. What happened? The Thousand Oaks Acorn has the story here:

* Business partners Robert Long and Ben Eubanks are planning to bring a bowling-based entertainment center called River City Roll to the Scott’s Addition area of Richmond, Va. A May groundbreaking is anticipated for the project, which would include 20 bowling lanes, a game area with shuffleboard, numerous big-screen TVs for viewing sporting events, and a wood-fired oven for baking pizzas. The partners say they plan to maintain a family-friendly environment until around 5 p.m., and then restrict admission to those 21 or older during the evening. Read more about the project here:

* New Albany, Ind., is losing the Hoosier Strike & Spare bowling center on April 8, but it isn’t losing the center’s lanes. They’ll be moved to a new location in nearby Clarksville, Ind., where the entertainment options will also include laser tag, a roller rink, bumper cars and a laser maze. That facility is scheduled to open on April 28. Read more about the move, and what prompted it, here:

* AMF Waukesha (Wis.) Lanes closed in June 2014, ending a 37-year run. The new owner of the property bulldozed the center and constructed a 116,000-sq.-ft. industrial and office building. Now, a furniture-making company, Kirby Built Products, has signed a lease to move into the building. Kirby specializes in building outdoor recycled plastic furniture, bike racks, picnic tables and trash receptacles. Waukesha Lanes was one of the larger centers in the greater Milwaukee area with 48 lanes.


Other News You Can Use…

* Slow bowling at the USBC Open Championships in Las Vegas has prompted USBC to change the starting times of daily two squads. The 5 p.m. squad is now starting at 5:30 p.m., while the 8:30 p.m. squad has been pushed back to 9:30 p.m. Steps also are being taken to quicken the pace of play for the remainder of the tournament. The full story is here:

* The Chuck Hall and Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow award winners have been selected for 2017. The Hall honoree is Carson Opela of Rio Rancho, N.M., and you can read more about him here: The Crowe winner is Natalie Koprowitz of Girard, Ill., and you can learn about her accomplishments here:

* England’s Dom Barrett ended a three-year PBA Tour title drought Sunday when he defeated Thailand’s Jojoe Yannaphon, 237-221, to win the Brunswick Euro Challenge at Dream-Bowl Palace in Munich. Barrett, 31, won his fifth PBA Tour title and his first since capturing the PBA International-World Bowling Tour Qatar Open in 2014. He got a break in the tightly contested title match when Yannaphon left an 8-10 split in the 10th frame and opened. For more, go to:

* Kelly Kulick, Danielle McEwan, Tommy Jones and Jakob Butturff will be the U.S. representatives in the 2017 World Games, set for July 21-24 in Wroclaw, Poland. The World Games is an international event for sports, disciplines or events within a sport that are not contested in the Olympic Games. Read more here:

* For a preview of the April issue of BJI, featuring Jason Belmonte on the cover, click here:

* Brady Stearns rolled a 900 series Tuesday in the City league at Southway Bowl in St. Cloud, Minn. It’s the third 900 of 2017 and the fourth of the 2016-17 season. More:

* Long-time BJI contributor Lyle Zikes is the guest this week on Phantom Radio. Topics include bowling in the USBC Open Championships with his father, Les, on the occasion of Les’s 65th appearance in the tournament; the new average rules at the Open Championships; the new qualifying guidelines for the U.S. Open, and more. To listen to the conversation, go to:

* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at

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