Cyber Report #969

E-dition No. 969 • Thursday, September 14, 2017

Editor: Bob Johnson (


Keegan to Step Down as Head of Main Event


Main Event Entertainment has announced that Charlie Keegan has resigned as President & Chief Executive Officer of the company. Keegan will step away from his day-to-day duties on Nov. 24, and has agreed to remain available in a consulting capacity for an 12 months after that.


Keegan has led Main Event since October 2006, when the company was sold to Macquarie Leisure Trust Group. During his tenure, the business concept was completely re-engineered and put on a steady growth track. Main Event is now the nation’s fastest-growing bowling-anchored dining and entertainment destination, with 38 centers in 14 states, serving more than 20 million guests annually.


It has not been a good year for the Australia-based parent company, however, as it continues to feel the impact of an accident at its Dreamworld theme park in Queensland last October that saw four people killed on the Thunder River Rapids ride.


The performance of Main Event centers helped bolster Ardent Leisure’s overall numbers for the year, but Business News Australia said future growth plans for Main Event may be slowed to some degree.


Keegan sent a heart-felt message to Main Event employees across the system that read, in part:


“Main Event Entertainment has been one of the greatest sources of pride in my life. What we have accomplished together is nothing short of amazing. We have gone from being a locally known bowling alley in Texas to a nationally recognized entertainment brand with industry admiration and global appeal. Our compound annual growth rate the last five years alone is over 30%. And we have built an impressive leadership team, with a proven track record of success, to lead Main Event Entertainment into the future.


“It is important to me that I share with all of you what I believe makes Main Event Entertainment such a compelling story. It is our reputation as a place with noticeably better people and a noticeably distinctive culture. It is people like you that our guests identify with, and people like you that make our experience so special. We are unique in the industry because of all the work you do to create compelling offerings, signature branding, excellent service and amazing properties.


“People want to be us, companies want to be like us, but there is nothing like the original. I’m so proud of the work you have done and it’s been an honor working with you. There is more amazing left in Main Event Entertainment, and I look forward to watching it unfold.”


The company said that a leading global search firm has been engaged to find a suitable successor to lead the business through its next phase of development.



PBA Will Celebrate 60th Anniversary in Style


The Professional Bowlers Association is making plans for a festive anniversary season in 2018 — 60 years after a group of 33 of the most famous bowlers in a bygone era met with Akron, Ohio, lawyer Eddie Elias and agreed to support a new professional bowling organization.


As the PBA prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary with a variety of special tributes — including a new Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic tournament and a 60th Anniversary celebration dinner — the highlight of the 2018 season will be the unveiling of the “60 Most Memorable Moments in PBA History” as a part of the PBA’s ESPN television schedule beginning on Feb. 4 and concluding on May 13.


In preparation for the season, a panel of PBA historians, veteran bowling writers and long-time PBA Tour competitors are reviewing a list of more than 100 of the PBA’s most memorable victories, defeats, triumphs and disappointments, record-setting achievements and headline news stories to come up with a list of the top 60 moments.


The list is formidable, including such moments as:


  • The inaugural meeting when the PBA was born.


  • The PBA’s first national telecast.


  • Don Johnson’s historic 299 in the Tournament of Champions.


  • Jack Biondolillo’s first nationally-televised 300 game.


  • Mark Roth’s unmatched season when he won eight PBA Tour titles.


  • Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli becoming PBA’s first international hall of famer.


  • Earl Anthony breaking the million-dollar barrier in career earnings.


  • Walter Ray Williams Jr. breaking Earl Anthony’s career titles record.


  • Kelly Kulick becoming the first and only woman to win a PBA Tour title.


  • Pete Weber winning the U.S. Open for the fifth time.


How would you rank these and more than 100 additional moments over a span of 60 years? That’s the task many of our sport’s most experienced observers have been asked to answer, and fans will be invited to make their selections as well.


There will be a special line of PBA 60th Anniversary merchandise, and video highlights of PBA’s most memorable moments shared on PBA’s YouTube channel and Xtra Frame.


The PBA 60th Anniversary Dinner and hall of fame ceremonies will air live on Xtra Frame, and components of the historical moments will be built into Concrete Software’s PBA Challenge Mobile Game.


A special logo also  has been created to also commemorate the special year in PBA history.


Throughout the season, the 60th Anniversary celebration will be featured on the PBA Network’s comprehensive mass media and social media outlets, as well as on PBA’s exclusive online video streaming service, Xtra Frame (visit for subscription information).


To enlist in all PBA Network outlets, visit and click on the PBA Network link for easy access to sign up for PBA’s exclusive email list, links to PBA’s Facebook page (Professional Bowlers Association), YouTube channel (PBABowling), Twitter feeds (@PBATOUR) and Instagram (@pbatour).



BVL Goes Over $1 Million Mark in Donations


For the first time since 2001, bowling’s own, oldest and most successful charity, the Bowlers to Veterans Link, has cleared the million-dollar mark, raising $1,069,779.75 going into the organization’s 75th Anniversary year.


“We’re absolutely delighted that we have broken that million-dollar mark,” said BVL Executive Director Mary Harrar. “These monies were raised in small towns and big cities across America by hard-working volunteers that understand the importance of the BVL mission to ‘Brighten Veterans’ Lives.’ They know that their efforts will truly have an important impact on our veterans.”


The majority of the contributions — more than $630,000 — was derived from approximately 300 USBC associations and leagues across the country, up from $594,000 in the 2015-16 season. The second largest group of donations was from bowling centers — more than $210,000, a substantial increase from the $139,000 raised in the previous year.


BVL Board Chairman John LaSpina said, “We called upon bowling proprietors for help, and they certainly have responded.  Last year, we received donations from 130 centers. We believe, however, that this is just the beginning. Already, 550 centers have signed up for our ‘Care-Commit-Contribute’ campaign, and we continue to hear from new centers each week. We are truly humbled by the support of our bowling community.”


The remainder of the contributions were the result of corporate support, personal contributions and dollars donated in honor of members of the bowling community and military veterans. Harrar added, “From our corporate partners to youth league fund-raisers, our cause is being embraced by all segments of the sport.”


A complete list of the 2016-17 contributors can be found at


BVL funds are used to provide recreational and therapeutic programs and activities to help brighten the days of veterans, encouraging them to become active in sports and the arts to help speed recuperation and boost morale.


Founded in 1942, BVL has been recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs for its commitment to America’s veterans. Noted V.A. Secretary Dr.. David Shulkin, “Our country’s sacred obligation to fully honor our commitments to our veterans is deeply personal to me, and I’m particularly grateful to Bowlers to Veterans Link for joining us in their own enduring commitment and noble work for veterans. My deep thanks to BVL for steadfastly honoring veterans’ sacrifices.”


Added Harrar: “While we thank each and every BVL volunteer and contributor for their efforts, we want to redouble our commitment as we enter this new season. There is plenty of room for more associations and centers to get involved. Contact me at to get your free fund-raising kit.  Let’s work together to make our next year better than ever.”



H5G Aligns With Elite Youth Tour, Signs Asbaty


H5G has been named the official jersey of the Elite Youth Tour and has signed EYT co-founder Diandra Asbaty as a spokesperson and member of the company’s high-profile staff of champions, H5G President Todd Molbeck has announced.


The Elite Youth Tour, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2012 by Asbaty and Jason Belmonte. The organization, which focuses on youth development and leadership skills in addition to scholarship tournaments, was born out of love and passion for the sport of bowling.


“The Elite Youth Tour is focused on positive youth development,” Asbaty said. “We align ourselves with companies that are interested in investing in the lives of future leaders. The partnership between H5G and the Elite Youth Tour goes beyond the bowling lanes. We both realize that influencing bowlers off the lanes will have a much bigger impact than just on the lanes.”


Asbaty, a 15-time member of Team USA and winner of the 2012 USBC Queens title, and Belmonte, a three-time PBA Player of the Year and winner of eight major titles, joined forces to fill a void with the EYT. In its brief existence, EYT has helped four young bowlers earn berths on Junior Team USA and has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships. In addition to group-coaching sessions that focus on technique and game strategy, Asbaty offers one-on-one coaching.


Beyond bowling, Asbaty also believes a person’s appearance plays a role in expressing the individual’s personality. That’s another reason why she aligned herself with H5G.


“Anyone that knows me knows that I have a love for design and fashion,” she said. “I believe that expressing yourself through your clothing helps to define your character. Being on the H5G team allows me the freedom to show who I really am.


“Besides, it’s the first thing people see when they look at me,” she added. “The H5G designs are a complete reflection of who I am. My first coach ever once gave me pretty great advice: ‘It doesn’t matter how you bowl as long as you look good.’”


Said Molbeck: “The Elite Youth Tour and Diandra Asbaty are perfect fits for H5G’s mission. Diandra leads by example, in both how she acts and what she wears. It’s a privilege to have her on our team.”


To learn more about the Elite Youth Tour, visit: For more information about H5G, visit, High 5 Gear on Facebook or @high5gear on Twitter.



ColorSplash Lighting Up More Centers


A number of centers have recently added ColorSplash LED lighting products from ZOT. They include:


  • Starlight Lanes in Flagstaff, Ariz., which installed ColorSplash LED VersaLamp over the lanes and LED Pindeck lights.


  • Victory Bowl in Mankato, Minn., and Quinnz Pinz in Middletown N.Y., which updated with ColorSplash LED Pindeck lighting.


*Flatbread Company, an operator of 14 restaurants in the Northeast, which added four candlepin lanes to its Salem location and utilized ColorSplash VersaLamp LED lights over the lanes.



Business Briefs…


  • BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione was forced to flee his home in South Florida due to Hurricane Irma, and had to hunker down with relatives in two other locations to the north as the storm seemed to follow him and his family. Even without electricity for hours at a time, he still managed to continue working on the October issue of BJI, which will include reports on both that storm and Hurricane Harvey, and their impact on the local bowling communities. Also look for a bowling business-focused report on the hurricanes in the October issue of BCM.


  • You can still go back in time at several places in Wisconsin, where vintage bowling installations can be found in bars, taverns, supper clubs and even pizzerias. In the town of Rib Lake, Wis. (population: 910), located about an hour northwest of Wausau, residents and visitors can enjoy the usual array of Wisconsin activities (fishing, canoeing, hiking, snowmobiling), and also knock down pins at Hanke’s Little Bohemia Lanes, which consists of just four lanes. Next month, the Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin’s Executive Director, Yvonne Bennett. will lead what is believed to be the first-ever motor coach tour of four historic Wisconsin centers, including one with manual pinsetters.



Other News You Can Use…


  • BJI’s “No Holes Barred” columnist, Vernon Peterson, not only won the recent New Mexico Open at Tenpins and More in Rio Rancho, N.M., but was nominated for Rio Rancho Athlete of the Month honors by proprietor Steve Mackie. The city’s Sports Advisory Council considered the nomination and, by a vote of 5-3, selected Peterson for the award over a high school athlete. “It is quite an honor to be nominated, let alone win in a city of about 100,000,” Mackie said.


  • The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Sam Baca, renowned lane man, coach and bowler. Among other topics, Baca talks about how accuracy in bowling comes from the feet. To listen to the interview, go to:


* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at


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