Cyber Report #953

E-dition No. 953 • Thursday, May 25, 2017
Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)
We had a “nice problem” in putting together the cover for BJI’s sister publication, Bowling Center Management, this month: We had two outstanding photos of John Losito, who is being honored as BPAA’s 2017 Proprietor of the Year.

We ended up putting it to a vote of the Luby Publishing Inc. staff, and the tally was 4-3. I decided to abstain in order to prevent a 4-4 tie.

We’d love to know how you would have voted. Check out both covers at https://www.facebook.com/Bowling-Center-Management-Magazine-150505303501/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel.

Then write a comment indicating whether you prefer the one on the left or the one on the right.

You’ll be able to check out the “winner” on the BCM website — bcmmag.com — on June 1. Or simply wait until your jam-packed June issue arrives in the mail.

By the way, both pictures ultimately got used. The picture that did not make the cover was utilized as lead art for the feature story on Losito.

P.S.: While you’re on the BCM Facebook page, if you haven’t done so already, take a moment to “Like” it. Then you’ll get notices when new posts go up. We promise that you won’t be inundated with notices. Thanks.

Now let’s get to this week’s industry news…

 

Jensen to Succeed Clapsaddle at Dexter Bowling

Tyler Jensen will become Dexter Bowling’s new Vice President, effective June 1. The company’s South Central sales representative since 2012, Jensen was named to the role by current Vice President, Bud Clapsaddle, who will be retiring at the end of this year.

“The most difficult responsibility for any leader is to find the appropriate replacement when the time comes to step down,” said Clapsaddle. “I am confident that I am turning over the leadership of Dexter Bowling to the right man. Tyler may be young in years, but he has been involved with the bowling industry for a long time. He understands our goals and challenges, and I believe he will do a great job leading Dexter Bowling into the future.”

Jensen, a bowler on the PBA Tour with 15 regional titles since 2002, has been passionate about the game since childhood. He brings a wealth of experience from an early age, beginning with opening a pro shop at the age of 16. Over the past five years, he specialized in Dexter’s South Central and Hawaii territories, working with pro shops and distributors, as well as helping consumers to find the right fit, slide and Dexter shoe for their game.

Jensen will be working alongside Clapsaddle at the company’s Andover, Mass., headquarters until Clapsaddle retires in December.

“I’ll be lucky enough to have Bud by my side for my first six months as VP,” said Jensen. “During this time, I’ll be eager to learn as much as I can from him and the team. I believe I have an amazing team in Andover and I can’t wait to start working with them on a daily basis.”

 

DeVaney Signs With Storm Products

Mike DeVaney has joined the Storm Tour Team as a tour representative, it was announced yesterday in the Storm Products website.

“I am truly honored to be given this responsibility,” DeVaney said on the website post. “To say that I am excited would be an understatement. I am fired up. I can’t wait to visit Storm Headquarters in Brigham City, meet my co-workers, and get on the lanes and work with all the players. Most of all, I can’t wait for the chance to absorb some of the vast knowledge the entire team at Storm possesses.”

In his new position, DeVaney will be responsible for assisting the PBA, PWBA and all amateur staff players with bowling equipment during competition, coaching their physical games, as well as collaborating with the Storm Tour Team. He also will represent Storm at events and clinics throughout the bowling season. In addition, he will assist with communication and promotion of the Team Storm players.

Read more here: http://news.stormbowling.com/2017/05/24/mike-devaney-joins-the-storm-tour-team/.

Macpherson, Moore and Vergos Sign Turbo Contracts

PBA player B.J. Moore and amateur bowler Pete Vergos join hall of famer Wendy Macpherson as the most recent players to sign staff contracts with Turbo brand bowling accessories.

Macpherson is a USBC Hall of Fame member who owns five USBC crowns. In her legendary career, she claimed 20 PWBA titles, including six majors. She was named PWBA Player of the Year four times (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000), and was selected as the Bowler of the Decade for the 1990s.

“I am thrilled to be part of Turbo,” said Macpherson. “Joining Turbo feels like a natural partnership. I’ve seen firsthand how Turbo equipment has helped players of all skill levels, and I’m looking forward to being part of the team.”

As a part of signing with Turbo, Macpherson will be participating in Turbo’s Driven to Bowl Clinics. The clinics are set up through Turbo Xtreme Dealer locations, and help bowlers gain a better understanding of mechanics, lane play and ball motion.

“I do a lot of coaching and I’ve seen Driven to Bowl Clinics for many years,” said Macpherson, a USBC Silver-certified instructor. “I admire how they make the game fun and accessible to fans. It’s going to be great working with Carolyn Dorin-Ballard and the entire Turbo family.”

Moore is a rising star on the PBA Tour. He made two telecasts at the 2016 World Series of Bowling, his highest finish being second in the Scorpion Championship to go along with a fourth-place finish in the Cheetah Championship.

Vergos is a member of Junior Team USA 2017, and has 76 perfect games to his credit. The 19-year-old was featured on NBC’s “Today” program in 2014 for his bowling skills.

“We’re delighted to welcome Wendy, B.J. and Pete to our team this year,” said Lori Mraz, President of Turbo Bowling Accessories. “Turbo has long been known for signing many of the best amateur talent that have gone on to achieve greatness in the professional as well as world ranks. We also continue to sign proven champions who are not only competitive, but also are working within the industry to promote the sport.”

For comments from Moore and Vergos, click here: https://bcmmag.com/2017/05/23/macpherson-moore-vergos-sign-with-turbo/.

 

Bowl Expo Preview: A Night on the Town

If you’re planning to head out at least one night during Bowl Expo to experience the Nashville music scene, Afar magazine would recommend going to Tootsies Orchid Bar and Lounge.

The publication recently selected Tootsies as one of top 10 “Iconic American Bars,” and described it like this:

“It’s not a classic Nashville bar without some honky-tonk, and honky-tonk is what Tootsies does best. Hattie Louie “Tootsie” Bess opened the bar’s doors in 1960. The place quickly became popular for its proprietor’s generous spirit and its reputation for nurturing some of Nashville’s hottest talent. Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Patsy Cline were among Tootsies’ early performers. These days, locals and tourists alike still flock to the place for its infamous Apple Pie Shine and three floors of live music.”

You can check out Afar’s complete list and slide show here: https://www.afar.com/slideshows/10-iconic-american-bars?email=bobwino@aol.com&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=10%20Iconic%20American%20Bars&utm_term=Daily%20Wander%20Newsletter&slide=1.

 

Wild Island Park to Add 6 Lanes, Other Attractions

The owners of Wild Island Family Adventure Park in Sparks, Nev., have announced expansions at both Coconut Bowl and Wild Island Water Park.

“We’re really excited to be in a position to grow,” said Wild Island Vice President Gary Nelson. “We’ve listened to our guests and decided to go to the next level of family-friendly entertainment.”

Construction is beginning on a 50,000-sq.-ft. expansion of Coconut Bowl. The expansion will include six additional bowling lanes, private party rooms, an outdoor patio and seating area, and a two-story laser tag arena.

A new-to-the-area black-light go-kart course also will be built indoors, utilizing battery-powered go-karts. The current kiddie track will be moved inside as well for year-round enjoyment. The redemption and video arcade will be expanded with new games and technology.

Construction is expected to be completed next summer and Coconut Bowl will remain open during construction.

“The expansion is something we’ve talked about for some time,” said Craig Buster, Coconut Bowl’s General Manager. “We’re doing some things that are totally unique and we hope our guests will be as excited as we are.”

Also for this summer, the Calypso Café will be upgraded, redesigned and renamed the Island Bistro, offering new selections such as paninis and specialty fries. Guests also will be able to order some of Aruba Café’s most popular items at the new Island Bistro.

To read more about the waterpark upgrades, go to: https://bcmmag.com/2017/05/25/wild-island-to-add-6-lanes-other-attractions/.

Wild Island Family Adventure Park is located about six-and-a-half miles from the National Bowling Stadium in downtown Reno, Nev.

 

Museum Membership Program Enhanced for 2017

The 2017 membership program of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame has been enhanced from 2016 to feature more benefits and greater value, including an annual collector’s bowling pin celebrating this year’s PBA, USBC and BPAA Hall of Fame inductees.

The five levels of membership offered by the IBMHF have made donating simple and more affordable to a broader range of people and organizations.

“Fundraising efforts like our membership program allow the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame to continue its endeavors to collect, preserve and showcase the rich history of our sport,” said Lori Mraz, Membership Chairperson and IBMHF Secretary. “We want to make the sport’s history more accessible and continue to tell bowling’s story.”

The Sustaining Membership Program is broken down to Individual, Professional, Bronze, Gold and Platinum levels. Membership starts as low at $29 per year and may be tax deductible.

“Donations through the program help the IBMHF acquire and preserve collections that bring bowling to life,” said Mraz. “Each piece tells a story and, with your help, those stories will be told.”

A major effort that the IBMHF is focusing on is the “Frame4Frame” project. More than 500,000 feet of film is waiting to be converted to digital format. The project is proving to be expensive, and one that will take years to complete.

“The undertaking is one of the largest since the museum moved to Texas,” said Tracy Ebarb, Business Development Director for the IMBHF. “The conversion of the film to digital formal is going to cost approximately $130,000 because we have years and years of film.”

Additionally, the IBMHF invests considerable resources in updating its museums, which includes the National Bowling Stadium satellite location. The satellite museum is open for public viewing during regular NBS hours.

For additional information on the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and its Sustaining Membership Program, visit bowlingmuseum.com.

 

Vela Family to Expand Bowling Operations With New FEC

The owners of Jett Bowl North in Laredo, Texas, have announced plans to open a new bowling-based entertainment center in northeast Laredo.

The Vela family, which received the Minority-Owned Business of the Year award for the San Antonio District from the Small Business Administration, has announced plans to build PLA-MOR Family Entertainment Center.

Plans call for the 45,000-sq.-ft. facility to include 24 bowling lanes, a restaurant, a bar, private party rooms, conference rooms, an arcade, laser tag, an elevated ropes course, a rock-climbing attraction and a zip line.

In addition to Jett Bowl Lanes North (which is undergoing less-ambitious improvements), the Vela family operates Jett Bowl Lanes in Del Rio, Texas, as well as a ranching operation.

“We are honored to collaborate with the SBA and Falcon Bank to invest $10 million in the community to make this top-notch facility possible,” Roque Vela Jr. told the Laredo Morning Times. A spring 2018 opening is anticipated for PLA-MOR.

Read more here: http://www.lmtonline.com/local/article/New-family-attraction-coming-soon-11067269.php.

 

Ohio ‘Alley’ Gets New Life and New Identity

It may have a new name and a few new amenities, but State Street Bowling and Billiards in Struthers, Ohio, will always be a bowling alley — embodying everything good that phrase entails.

Originally known as Bowladrome Lanes, the alley opened in 1946, and had been run for most of its history by Thomas and Marge Janosik. It was a classic “ma-and-pa” facility, a place where the owners knew the name of all their customers.

But what differentiated Bowladrome from all other bowling alleys was something that happened not quite 40 years ago, in July of 1977. That’s when a film crew took over the alley and shot scenes for “The Deer Hunter” — a movie that later would be ranked the 53rd greatest of all time by the American Film Institute.

The couple got to meet the film’s star, Robert De Niro, during filming. Meryl Streep bowled on lanes 3-4. Marge Janosik even had a speaking part, giving a drink to De Niro’s character and saying, “Michael, it’s on the house.”

In succeeding years, countless tourists visited the center just to see one of the places where “The Deer Hunter” was filmed. “It was nice that the business was brought here,” Marge told The Vindicator in a 2014 story.

That’s the year the Janosiks decided to retire, and put the center up for sale. The closing of local steel mills had finally taken their toll on the business, robbing it of its once-dependable league-bowler base.

Even then, Marge was upbeat — which probably had something to do with being 70 years old. “It has been a fun time,” she said.

Now, Dallas Bigley is hoping to bring the fun times back to the venerable downtown Struthers business. The neighborhood had lost the South Bridge Billiards hall, so he decided to take out a few lanes and add billiard tables to the rechristened State Street Billiards and Bowling.

The challenge was to incorporate a modern vibe without totally abandoning Bowladrome’s heritage. So, black-and-white photos of Bowladrome have been hung on the walls, and dining tables are made, in part, from the original wood lanes.

To attract younger generations, the bar has been updated, and new televisions, along with sound and lighting equipment, have been installed. There’s also an arcade. And plans are in the works to add live music, as well as an outdoor patio.

“I’m hoping to take downtown Struthers a little further into more of an entertainment district and bring more business down here,” Bigley told The Vindicator. “I hope this contributes to that.”

 

Blue Oil ‘With a Twist’ on PBA Main Event Telecasts

The inaugural Main Event PBA Tour Finals, hosted by Main Event Entertainment in Orlando, Fla., will introduce CBS Sports Network viewers to blue oil with a twist when the new event begins its five-week run on Tuesday, May 30, at 9:30 p.m. Eastern.

Not only will fans be able to see the 42-ft. “PBA Tour Finals” oiling pattern because of a blue dye added to the conditioner, but the pattern is more easily seen because the synthetic lanes at Main Event Orlando are white, with black striping to indicate the “boards” across each lane.

The PBA introduced the blue-dyed oil during the 2014 PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas as a way to illustrate the differences in the applications of oil for the PBA’s animal patterns, and the visual aid has been used in a variety of televised PBA events ever since.

The coloring — which has no effect on the oil itself — not only allows fans to see how the oil is applied to the lanes, but also makes it much easier to see how oil is moved around and depleted during competition. The depletion and movement of oil is what creates the transitions on the playing surface, requiring bowlers to make adjustments based upon how their bowling balls react to the constantly changing conditions.

The question of the day was: Did the white lane surface in combination with the blue oil have any impact on the PBA Tour Finals competitors?

“Nah,” said Sean Rash. “You learn to do what your ball tells you to do.”

“It didn’t bother me at all,” said Jesper Svensson. “You get used to it. Besides, it’s the same for everyone.”

Added E.J. Tackett: “The white surface is a little brighter than a wood surface, but the blue oil kind of mutes the brightness, so it isn’t much different.”

 

Business Briefs…

* Derek DeGroff and Shelly Dryden have purchased Frontier Bowl, a 12-lane center in Cushing, Okla. The seller was the Cummins family. The buyers, who previously managed the center, are first-time proprietors. Ken Mischel, an associate of Sandy Hansell and Associates, Inc., served as the broker in the transaction.

* Florida’s city of Sebastian and north Indian River County had been without a bowling center since 2013, when a center that had been in business for more than 50 years was replaced by a pawn shop. But with the opening of Strike Zone Entertainment Center, bowling is back in Sebastian, with President and General Manager Tom Burke at the helm. The Strike Zone includes 14 bowling lanes, a conference room, two pool tables, a golf simulator, a laser tag arena, close to four dozen arcade games, a sports bar, a snack bar and a restaurant.

* Newly-inducted PBA Hall of Famer and former PBA Commissioner, Mark Gerberich, will become the new President and CEO of the International Soap Box Derby Inc. on June 12. Gerberich succeeds Joe Mazur, who resigned in March to become President of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

* The Three Amigos — Rick Iceberg, President, C.J. Barrymore’s; Ben Jones, General Manager and FEC specialist at Live Oak Bank; and George Smith, President, Family Entertainment Group — have announced that The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., will host the 4th annual F2FEC gathering of entertainment center industry professionals. More than 200 thought leaders and influencers from the family entertainment sector will gather Feb. 20-22, 2018 to share in a three-day conference experience dedicated to fostering relationships, stimulating collaboration and sparking opportunities among owners, operators, manufacturers and suppliers who are passionate about the entertainment industry and willing to share financial results, challenges, what has worked, their strategy for success and their outlook for the future. Info: rick@f2conference.com, ben@jonesdetroit.com, or geosmith4756@gmail.com.

 

Other News You Can Use…

* Latvia’s Diana Zavjalova claimed her second USBC Queens title Tuesday, defeating USBC Hall of Famer Liz Johnson in the title match, 247-216. Zavjalova, the 2013 Queens champion, is the 10th player to capture multiple wins at the event. The stepladder finals aired late on CBS Sports Network due to another telecast running late, but is scheduled to re-air this evening at 7 o’clock Eastern. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/diana-zavjalova-collects-second-tiara-with-2017-queens-win/.

* The PBA will return to FireLake Bowling Center and the Grand Casino Event Center in Shawnee, Okla., this summer with a unique two-day, nine-player stepladder finals live on ESPN and a $30,000 first prize, culminating the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open. Back-to-back live telecasts on Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2, will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern, starting with the No. 9 qualifier meeting No. 8 in the opening match. The 32-game qualifying leader, who will pick the lane pattern used for all of the TV matches, will bowl whomever survives the stepladder in Sunday’s final match.

* The PBA’s Xtra Frame Storm Cup Tour will make its first visit to Wilmington, N.C., over Memorial Day weekend when a sold-out field of bowlers compete in the PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open at Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center. A capacity field of 96 players is will take part in the second event of the seven-tournament XF Storm Cup series that will pay $50,000 in bonus prize money. All of the XF Storm Cup tournaments will be covered live, from first ball to last, by PBA’s Xtra Frame live streaming service. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/sold-out-field-set-for-pba-xtra-frame-tour-stop-in-wilmington/.

* After a one-week break, the PBA50 Tour heads west for the PBA50 Northern California Classic presented by MOTIV, May 28-31 at Harvest Park Bowl in Brentwood, Calif. The sixth stop of the season will be covered live from start to finish on Xtra Frame. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/2017-pba50-tour-western-swing-begins-with-northern-california-classic-may-28-31/.

• The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Diandra Asbaty, the youngest-ever inductee into the World Bowling Writers (international) Bowling Hall of Fame. To listen to the interview, go to: https://www.kegel.net/phantomblog/2017/5/24/diandra-asbaty-phantom-radio.

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

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