Cyber Report #973

E-dition No. 973 • Thursday, October 12, 2017

Editor: Bob Johnson (


Stadium Backer Don Carano Dies at 85


A celebration of life for Donald Louis Carano was held on Oct. 11 at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nev. Carano passed away on Oct. 3, two weeks shy of his 86th birthday.


To say that Carano lived an accomplished life would be an understatement. He had been a partner at one of Nevada’s most powerful law firms, revolutionized Reno’s gaming and resort industry, and built one of California’s most successful family-owned wineries.


But to the bowling community, he will be remembered as one of the driving forces behind the development of the National Bowling Stadium.


When Carano left his law practice in 1973 to build the Eldorado resort, many Reno insiders thought he was crazy because the property was located “north of the tracks,” a reference to the train tracks that served as an artificial barrier between the town’s long-established casino core and a patchwork of small motels, souvenir shops and other businesses. It was a new freeway exit off Interstate-80, less than a mile north of the Eldorado property, that had caught Carano’s eye and convinced him that a resort in that area could work.


It did. The Circus Circus resort followed a few years later, and in 1992 Carano partnered with Circus Circus Enterprises and Mandalay Resorts/MGM to build the Silver Legacy Resort Casino.


With rooms to fill at three large resorts, the “north of the tracks” gaming community — which came to be known as the Tri-Properties — came together and sealed a deal with the American Bowling Congress and Women’s International Bowling Congress to build the National Bowling Stadium, which would bring tens of thousands of bowlers to Reno two out of each three years.


Wine-loving bowlers who sat down at an Eldorado bar to play video poker couldn’t help but notice that the “house wine” there was far superior to the cheap jug wine served at most casino bars. That’s because Eldorado served wine from Ferrari-Carano, the Sonoma County winery that Carano founded with his wife, Rhonda, in 1981.


(As of this morning, Ferrari-Carano’s winery and vineyards had escaped the fires that have been ravaging California’s North Coast wine country this week.)


In this post ( on its website, Storm Bowling noted that Carano not only backed the building of the National Bowling Stadium, but also “was dedicated to the funding of the tournaments that took place in Reno.”


“I bet Reno would look a lot different without Don,” former Reno Mayor Bob Cashell said. “It was his leadership that helped create and redevelop downtown. He kept drawing things to that area. Without his leadership, a lot of things wouldn’t have happened.”


Including, many believe, the National Bowling Stadium.



‘The BettPlex’ to Include a 32-Lane FEC


One of the largest indoor/outdoor sports and entertainment complexes in the Midwest, The BettPlex, is being built in Bettendorf, Iowa.


Original plans called for an array of sports facilities The indoor amenities would include an indoor turf field that could be used for soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball, wrestling and volleyball; eight regulation wood-floor basketball courts; four sand volleyball courts; a physical therapy room; a fitness center; a Tiki bar; concessions; office space, and conference rooms.


Outdoors, The BettPlex would include four lighted soccer fields (two turf and two grass); six lighted baseball/softball fields, positioned to create four additional soccer fields; five sand volleyball courts; concession stands, and 1,571 parking spaces.


Now, plans have been announced to add a family entertainment center to the project. The FEC would include 32 bowling lanes, 65 arcade games, a two-story laser tag arena, a sports bar/restaurant, and banquet/meeting space.


The FEC will be named High 5 Lanes and operate as a separate business, although still under the ownership of The BettPlex. The operators will be Scott and Jenny Emley, who currently own a High 5 location in Lakeway, Texas, and have another under construction in the Lone Star State.


At the groundbreaking for The BettPlex’s FEC, Scott Emley said the facility “has the same footprint that we have down in Lakeway, so you’re able to enjoy family downstairs but have a boutique look and feel up top.” He added that plans call for each level to house 16 lanes.



Golf Region to Get ‘Bowling Alley of All Bowling Alleys’


The Myrtle Beach, S.C., area is known for golf.


Not just regulation golf courses, but miniature golf complexes as well.


And lots of both.


Soon, the Myrtle Beach metro area also will be home to what the Conway Chamber of Commerce Vice President, Gary Lee, is calling “the bowling alley of all bowling alleys.”


The developer is Mike Siniscalchi, who already owns a bowling and entertainment facility in North Myrtle Beach. For that project, Siniscalchi bought an existing center and remodeled it. For the new center, he’ll have room for greater creativity because it’s being built from the ground up. He says he plans to take full advantage of that.


“You can come bowl with us, but really we’re a lot more than that,” Siniscalchi told WMBF News. “We’re there to be a food and beverage night-out destination whether you’re bowling or not.”


Other planned amenities include bocce, ping-pong, darts, shuffleboard, Skeeball, basketball, Air Hockey and board games. Also planned is an indoor/outdoor bar, taking advantage of the region’s temperate climate.


The name that Siniscalchi has selected for the new facility is 810. His center in North Myrtle Beach is called 710.


Although those monikers evoke visions of nearly impossible-to-convert splits, the 810 name actually a take on 8-ball pool and 10-pin bowling.



Ebonite Names Gaylord Hotels Alum Creative Director


Shannon Hester has been named the new Creative Director of Ebonite International. Hester comes to Ebonite with an extensive background in graphic design, video and photography.


Prior to joining Ebonite, Hester served as the Creative Director for Gaylord Hotels, based in Nashville, Tenn. In that role, she was in charge of design and advertising projects.


As a freelance graphic designer, she has been involved in multiple branding and logo development projects, and she honed her photography skills while working with the Tennessee Titans.


“We are very excited to have Shannon join our team,” said Dave Wodka, Ebonite’s Global Marketing Manager. “Shannon’s creative experience and fresh eyes will help catalyze our marketing projects and push them to even higher levels of storytelling and visual excellence.”


Hester said she is very excited to join the marketing team at Ebonite International and looks forward to helping guide the creative process as new products are brought to market.


She said one of her favorite African proverbs, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,” summarizes her team-oriented philosophy.


In her new role, Hester will work at Ebonite International’s Worldwide Headquarters in Hopkinsville, Ky. She will report directly to Wodka, and her direct reports will be Danny Vowell and Beth Rates.



20-Year-Old Is New Owner of Minnesota Center


Unless we hear differently, we’d like to introduce you to the youngest bowling proprietor in the country… perhaps even the world: Taya DeRycke, age 20.


DeRycke began working at Bole-Mor Lanes in Pipestone, Minn., when she was a sophomore in high school. When the proprietor of the center, Stan Sabie, passed away in late September of 2016, DeRycke created a GoFundMe page in hopes of buying the center, which was for sale at the time of Sabie’s passing.


At that point a local businessman, Preston Stahl, purchased the building and made a deal with DeRycke: He would own the building, and she would own the business and pay him rent.


After being closed for just under a year, undergoing refurbishment, Pipestone Lanes reopened last month. DeRycke already is taking a different approach to the business than Sabie, complementing the league program at the eight-lane facility with birthday party packages and an upgraded food program.


“Even if you aren’t a big bowler it’s a great place for families to get together and hang out,” DeRycke told the Pipestone Star. “I have a lot of birthday parties where not the entire party bowls. There’s just not a lot of places in Pipestone where you can hang out with a large group of people.”


Located in the southwest corner of Minnesota, Pipestone is home to 4,317 people (as of the 2010 census) and the Pipestone National Monument, where American Indians have quarried red pipestone for generations.


Now, it’s also home to the youngest bowling center proprietor… as far as we know.



Main Event Sponsoring Marine’s Month of Marathons


Rob Jones, a retired Marine Corps Sergeant who lost both legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, has never been one to shy away from a challenge.


Today, he begins his most extraordinary mission to date: running 31 marathons in 31 major cities over 31 consecutive days. Main Event Entertainment will be a sponsor of his endeavor.


Jones had a bronze medal-winning performance in the 2012 Paralympics. In 2014, he became the first (and still only) double-above-the-knee amputee to ride a normal bicycle 5,180 miles across America.


Beginning in London today, and continuing in the United States and Canada, Jones will run 26.2 miles in each selected city on his own, travel to the next city and repeat, ending on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) in Washington, D.C. For his full itinerary, visit Rob Jones Journey here:


“When we heard what Rob was planning to do, we were so amazed, and we immediately asked how we could help,” said Becky Johnson, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer of Main Event Entertainment (and proud daughter of a World War II veteran). “We are proud to sponsor Rob through a donation to the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. We also look forward to welcoming him to three of our centers along his route, to get him fed and recharged for the rest of his incredible journey.”


Jones will be stopping at these Main Event locations during his Month of Marathons:


* Thursday, Oct. 19 — 12500 Sycamore Station Place, Louisville, Ky., at approximately 3 p.m.


* Friday, Nov. 3 — 19441 I-45 South, Shenandoah, Texas, at approximately 3 p.m.


* Saturday, Nov. 4 — 2070 S. Stemmons Fwy, Lewisville, Texas, at approximately 3 p.m.


Why is Jones taking on such a daunting and formidable challenge? Because he lives by his motto: “Survive. Recover. Live.” And because he realizes that being a double amputee, and retired from military service, doesn’t mean he is incapable of continuing to serve his country.


“I want to be an example for others to follow,” Jones said. “I hope that I will inspire others to follow in my footsteps, and make sacrifices of both time and effort toward a cause in which they believe. And with support from generous sponsors like Main Event, I intend to complete this journey and get the word out to even more people who would benefit from hearing my story.”


On Veterans Day, as Jones runs his final marathon on the National Mall, Main Event will honor America’s veterans and active-duty military by inviting them to their nearest center to play games and eat for free from opening until 5 p.m. All military personnel receive a complimentary $10 FUNcard that can be used on all Main Event games, and can choose a free entrée from the special Veterans Day menu.


Rob Jones’ Month of Marathons is dedicated to raising funds for three military charities: The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the Semper Fi Fund, and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.



Business Briefs…


* The Planning Commission in the California Central Valley community of Lodi has approved permits and plans for a bowling and entertainment center that would encompass 42,650 square feet on two levels. The main bowling area, a bar, kitchen, restaurant and outdoor seating would be part of the facility’s first floor, while a private bowling area, restrooms and banquet rooms would occupy the second floor, according to preliminary plans. Joseph Haddad is the project’s applicant and general contractor.


* As reported in Cyber Report No. 966, the 12 lanes at the Hilltop Recreation Center on the University of Eau Claire campus in Wisconsin have been earmarked for removal, and four of the lanes have been taken out thus far. Those lanes won’t disappear completely, however. Plans now call for portions to be repurposed as countertops and decorative items in the center’s billiards space. “We want to celebrate that history and really try to find a unique way to display it throughout the facility,” Andrew Jepsen, Director of University Recreation and Sport Facilities, told the Leader-Telegram newspaper. Read more, and view a photo of the lane dismantling, here:



Other News You Can Use…


* PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. celebrated his 58th birthday six days after defeating amateur Robert Crain, 257-174, for his 105th career PBA title Sunday in Spartanburg, S.C. Williams, the PBA’s all-time leading title winner, rolled to victory in the PBA50 J&L Sports Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes. Over his 37-year PBA career, he has won 47 PBA Tour, 32 PBA Regional, 11 PBA50 Tour and now 15 PBA50 Regional titles. More:


* Yannaphon Larpapharat became the first bowler from Thailand to win a PBA Tour title when he threw two strikes in the 10th frame to defeat Swedish two-handed star Jesper Svensson, 212-202, in the championship match of the PBA International-WBT Thailand at Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl Paragon in his home city of Bangkok. Larpapharat, a 34-year-old right-hander and a third-year PBA member, was the top qualifier heading into the eight-player stepladder finals, and won the equivalent of $32,255 over a world-class field of American and international PBA competitors. Full story:


* Many sports enjoy an abundance of instructional books; bowling tends not to be one of them. Enter three-time PBA Tour champion Josh Blanchard and Dr. Debbie Crews Ketterling, who together have written an engaging, insightful and instructive exploration of the mental game for bowlers. BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione’s review of their new book, “Bowling: Energy in Motion,” can he found here:


* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is bowler, coach and disc jockey C.J. Layton. To listen to the interview, click here:


* 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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