Cyber Report #982

E-dition No. 982 • Thursday, December 28, 2017

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

 

Thompsons’ Plaza Lanes Destroyed in Fire

 

Plaza Lanes, a center in Des Moines, Iowa, that is owned by BPAA President-Elect Randy Thompson and his wife, Sheri, was destroyed in a fire that broke out around 5 a.m. on Dec. 18.

 

According to the Des Moines Register, a passerby called in the fire at 5:08 a.m., and at that point only small flames and smoke were visible. When firefighters arrived on the scene and opened up part of the roof, the blaze reportedly developed rapidly, and within about 30 minutes, the roof collapsed.

 

Brian O’Keefe, a spokesman for the Des Moines Fire Department, said he believed the fire started in the north end of the facility, where the restrooms were located. After completing an investigation with federal authorities, the City of Des Moines said in a press release that the fire had been ruled accidental.

 

Plaza Lanes had been part of the Des Moines community since 1957, when it was opened by Thompson’s father, Darrell. Thompson said the building was insured and that damage amounted to an estimated $7.5 million. He added that he plans to rebuild, most likely at the same site.

 

There were no injuries in the fire, although an iconic neon sign that depicted a bowler in motion was destroyed. So was a plaque that Thompson held dear; it had been presented to his father, who passed away in 1980, by a group of bowlers.

 

You can read the Thompson family’s Facebook post on the fire and future plans here: https://www.facebook.com/PlazaLanesSportsComplex/.

 

 

‘Mr. 900’ Recovering in California Hospital

 

Glenn Allison, the bowler who rolled the first 900 series in sanctioned league play back in 1982, was involved in an automobile accident on Christmas Eve while on the way to La Habra “300” Bowl, where he works the desk parttime.

 

Family members say Allison, 87, fractured his sternum and has two fractures in his back. He was transported to Pomona Valley Hospital for treatment, and yesterday was moved to a rehabilitation center.

 

According to his daughter, Suzanne, Allison “is in really good spirits… but is having trouble with his left leg, which is likely due to the crushed vertebrae. He’s determined to heal and get back to bowling… He will have to work hard to get better and get out, [but] he will do it. He’s the strongest 87-year-old I’ve met.”

 

On Christmas Day, Suzanne had posted this update on Facebook: “He is ornery and stubborn. This means he is feeling better.” That sentiment quickly was echoed by Suzanne’s brother, Ron.

 

Allison made bowling history by rolling three consecutive 300 games on July 1, 1982 in the Anchor Girl Trio league La Habra “300” Bowl. The American Bowling Congress ultimately denied official recognition, citing non-complying lane conditions — even as the league as a whole averaged below its season-to-date average for the session.

 

In 1997, the ABC approved a 900 series for the first time. Since then, 33 additional perfect series have been approved by the ABC and the United States Bowling Congress, but only Allison is widely known as “Mr. 900.”

 

 

Deadline for USBC Award Nominations Looms

 

The United States Bowling Congress honors outstanding bowling leaders each year during the national convention through the USBC National Recognition Awards. The deadline to submit applications for the awards is Jan. 1, so if you know of a deserving candidate, time is running out to nominate them.

 

Here’s a look at the awards:

 

* The USBC Proprietor of the Year Award recognizes a proprietor for his/her outstanding support of USBC local, state and/or national programs.

 

* The USBC Helen Baker Award for Outstanding Association Service recognizes an outstanding bowling leader who has made invaluable contributions to the local and state associations.

 

* The USBC Joyce Deitch Unity Award recognizes organizations and individuals who have made important contributions to the overall sport of bowling.

 

To learn more and access application forms, visit bowl.com/scholarshipsawards.

 

 

Acquisition Creates Major Australasia FEC Company

 

The Entertainment and Education Group (TEEG) has purchased Ardent Leisure’s Bowling and Entertainment Division.

 

Last November, the Steinberg family sold approximately half of its Timezone family entertainment centers to a private equity company with the goal of expanding rapidly throughout Asia. TEEG was formed for that purpose, and the deal with Ardent marks the new company’s first acquisition.

 

Now under the TEEG umbrella are Timezone, AMF, Kingpin and Playtime brands with 250 locations in six countries.

 

TEEG said that its strategy was to “invest significant growth capital across Australia and Asia to capitalize on the rapid growth seen in the entertainment and early education sectors that are benefiting from the emerging middle markets and growing consumer spending habits.”

 

A major focus of the plan is to expand the Kingpin and Playtime brands across Southeast Asia.

 

Scott Blume, Managing Director of TEEG, said: “The acquisition complements our existing Timezone business and gives us access to new brands and leisure experiences for our customers across Australasia. The FEC sector continues to experience positive tailwinds and the business continues to deliver double-digit growth in revenues and EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization], as we continue to invest to deliver on organic growth, new sites and opportunistic acquisitions.”

 

 

14-Event Schedule Unveiled for PBA50 Tour

 

The Professional Bowlers Association has announced a 14-event PBA50 Tour schedule for 2018 that includes four major championships and three new venues.

 

Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla., will once again kick off the season with the PBA50 Florida Open, April 21-23, which will be followed by the season’s first major, the PBA50 National Championship Presented by Spanish Springs Lanes and Radical, April 24-28 in The Villages, Fla.

 

Las Vegas once again will host two of the PBA50 Tour’s majors. The USBC Senior Masters will be held at Sam’s Town, June 4-10, followed by the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open Presented by Storm at the Suncoast Bowling Center, June 10-15.

 

New to the schedule in 2018 will be first-time stops in Monticello, Minn., for the PBA50 River City Extreme Open Presented by Ebonite; in Kokomo, Ind., for the PBA50 Security Federal Savings Bank Championship Presented by Track; and in Wyoming, Mich., for the PBA50 Cup Presented by DV8 — the season’s fourth major.

 

The season will also include two PBA60 tournaments for players 60 and over.

 

The full schedule:

 

* April 21-23 — PBA50 Florida Open, Lane Glo Bowl, New Port Richey, Fla.

 

* April 24-28 — PBA50 National Championship Presented by Spanish Springs Lanes and Radical, Spanish Springs Lanes, The Villages, Fla.

 

* April 29-May 2 — PBA50 Mooresville Ford Open Presented by Columbia 300, George Pappas Victory Lanes, Mooresville, N.C.

 

* May 5-8 — PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open Presented by Brunswick, Farmingdale Lanes, Farmingdale, N.Y.

 

* May 27-30 — PBA50 Northern California Classic Presented by MOTIV, Harvest Park Bowl, Brentwood, Calif.

 

* May 31-June 3 — USBC Super Senior Classic (for those 60 and over), Sam’s Town, Las Vegas.

 

* June 4-10 — USBC Senior Masters, Sam’s Town, Las Vegas.

 

* June 10-15 — Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open Presented by Storm, Suncoast Bowling Center, Las Vegas.

 

* July 17-20 — PBA50 River City Extreme Open Presented by Ebonite, River City Extreme, Monticello, Minn.

 

* July 23-26 — PBA50 South Shore Open Presented by Hammer, Olympia Lanes, Hammond, Ind.

 

* July 28-31 — PBA50 Security Federal Savings Bank Championship Presented by Track, Dave Small’s Heritage Lanes, Kokomo, Ind.

 

* Aug.  4-7 — PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic Presented by Roto Grip, Dave Small’s Championship Lanes, Anderson, Ind.

 

* Aug.  9-12 — PBA50 Cup Presented by DV8, Spectrum Lanes, Wyoming, Mich.

 

* Aug.  14-16 — PBA60 Dick Weber Championship Presented by 900 Global, Pro Bowl West, Fort Wayne, Ind.

 

 

Junior College Sports Leader, Killian, Passes Away

 

George E. Killian, who served as the first Executive Director of the National Junior College Athletic Association, died on Dec. 6. He was 93.

 

The NJCAA conducts national championships for numerous sports, including men’s bowling and women’s bowling.

 

Killian is regarded as one of the most influential leaders in the NJCAA’s history, and leaves behind an impressive legacy of service.

 

Killian began his career as the athletic director and head men’s basketball coach at Erie Community College (N.Y.) in 1954. He was elected President of the NJCAA in 1967, and two years later was tabbed as the organization’s first Executive Director — a post he held until 2004.

 

Killian’s vision, dedication and leadership helped establish the NJCAA as the second-largest national collegiate athletic organization in the United States. He was instrumental in fostering the organization’s unique role in providing athletic and academic opportunities to student-athletes, and lifted the NJCAA’s men’s basketball championship tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., to national prominence.

 

Under his leadership and vision, the NJCAA became the first national collegiate athletic organization to add women’s athletics in 1975. The NAIA and NCAA would follow the NJCAA’s lead in adding women’s athletics in 1980 and 1981, respectively.

 

 

PBA World Championship Telecast Airs Sunday

 

In the final major championship of the PBA’s 2017 season, one of the tour’s most talented young stars and one of its most decorated established stars will join a trio of rising stars in the finals of the PBA World Championship. ESPN’s coverage begins Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern, and all bowling  center operators are encouraged to devote some of their video screens to the telecast.

 

At the top of Sunday’s field is a budding young star on the brink of making PBA history: 22-year-old top qualifier Jesper Svensson of Sweden, who averaged 241 over six days of competition and 60 games on four different lane patterns. Svensson, a left-handed, two-handed player, needs to win one more major (in addition to his seven conventional PBA Tour titles) to become the youngest player in PBA history to become title-eligible for the PBA Hall of Fame.

 

In the final major of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX Presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties (and of the 2017 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season), the 34-year-old Australian two-handed star, Jason Belmonte, will be trying for the ninth major of his career to move into sole possession of third place on the PBA’s list of all-time major title winners. So far this year, Belmonte has won the 2017 Barbasol PBA Players Championship and become the first four-time USBC Masters champion.

 

Hoping to spoil a victory party by Svensson or Belmonte are PBA champions Ryan Ciminelli and Kyle Troup, and rookie Matt Sanders.

 

World Series IX coverage on ESPN concludes with the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals Presented by PBA on Sunday on Jan. 7 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

 

 

Business Briefs…

 

* Bowling is coming to the Union Square neighborhood of San Francisco as part of an entertainment complex that will include a concert venue for up to 1,000 people.

The street-level spot for live music and comedy performances will be called August Hall, named after the architect of the 1890 building, August Headman. The downstairs bar — which will include tabletop games and three bowling lanes — will be called Fifth Arrow. A spring opening is planned after the two spaces are revamped.

 

* StrikeOuts Bowling and Entertainment Center, located inside the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, Fla., has closed. It’s another casualty in a mall that has seen the departure of numerous stores, including a Sears, in recent years. However, according to reports, a bowling-based business could re-emerge at the property under new ownership and once a “de-malling” strategy is implemented. Read more here: https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/12/27/with-the-bowling-alley-now-closed-fashion-square-mall-is-hurting-more-than-ever.

 

* In space formerly occupied by a Piggly Wiggly supermarket at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach, S.C., a new entertainment venue called 810 Billiards & Bowling is scheduled to open late next spring or early next summer. The venue is owned by Michael Sinishcalchi, who opened 710 North Myrtle Beach in 2015. The name of the new facility is a nod to 8-ball pool and 10-pin bowling. The Market Common is home to 40 shops, 10 restaurants, a 14-screen theater complex and 195 apartments.

 

* Easton, Pa., is the Lehigh Valley’s smallest city, located on the eastern edge of the valley at the convergence of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers along the New Jersey state border. Downtown Easton is home to shops, trendy restaurants, art galleries and antique stores, and many of the business owners belong to the Pomfret Club, which recently restored its four-lane basement bowling center thanks to a $5,000 “sponsorship donation” by the local Unity Bank. Club members see the bowling alley as a way of attracting younger members. Read more and view pictures of the restored center here: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2017/12/bowling_is_back_as_easton_club.html.

 

* Chester “Gene” Mady, who operated Mady’s Bowling Center (later re-named Mady’s Bowl and Lounge) in Columbia Heights, Minn., from 1964 until passing the business along to his sons, died on Dec. 7. He was 84. Mady and his father purchased the bowling center, located in the basement of a strip mall, and transformed it into a Twin Cities landmark. He converted the center’s small snack bar into a full restaurant, which became known for its pork tenderloin dinners. Mady’s sons took over the business in 1997, and operated it until 2011. Read more here: http://www.startribune.com/gene-mady-owner-of-landmark-bowling-alley-in-twin-cities-dies-at-84/465784383/.

 

* What could have turned into a major brawl was diffused by support staff and on-site members of the Florida Highway Patrol at the Splitsville location in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday. A shouting match between members of the South Carolina and Michigan football teams, in town for this coming Monday’s Outback Bowl game, broke out after the Gamecocks won the “friendly” bowling competition between the teams that had been scheduled in conjunction with the football game. Ultimately, no punches were thrown, and the center sustained no damage.

 

* One person was shot in the leg during a party for a local rapper at Homestead Bowl and the X Bar in Cupertino, Calif., last Friday night. Initially a fight broke out, and then gunshots were fired. Police found two guns at the scene and arrested a suspect. They’re asking anyone with video of the incident or other information to contact local authorities.

 

* Another center conversion has been completed by Bowlmor AMF, as the former Town & Country Lanes in Shrewsbury, Mass., is now known as Bowlero Shrewsbury. The center remained open during the transformation, which was executed at a cost of around $1.5 million. You can read about the changes that were made here: http://www.telegram.com/news/20171216/chain-turns-shrewsbury-bowling-alley-into-bowlero.

 

 

Other News You Can Use…

 

* The Junior Gold Championships will have a stepladder format for its nationally televised finals starting in 2018, and next season will add a 17-and-under division that will have its first finals at the 2019 event. Each division of the 2018 Junior Gold Championships Presented by the Brands of Ebonite International, which will take place in the Dallas area, will conclude with a three-person stepladder final. The tournament will follow the schedule it has used for several years, with four days of qualifying followed by an advancers round and double-elimination match-play bracket. The decision to add a U17 division starting with the 2018-19 season, which starts May 1, 2018, was to ensure youth competitors are bowling against their peers. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/junior-gold-to-add-stepladder-finals-new-division/.

 

* Feather bowling lives on at the Cadieux Café on Detroit’s far east side. The café also is a great place to sip a Belgian beer while noshing on beer stew. You can read about this fun destination, and see feather bowling in action, here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2017/12/16/this-detroit-cafe-keeps-feather-bowling-rolling/IrGLlFAsKnQgsa83ubwTfI/story.html.

 

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione, who reviews the fourth quarter of 2017 in the world of bowling. Few people are as passionate about bowling as Gianmarc, and you can hear that passion in this interview. You can listen to the conversation here: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2017/12/26/gianmarc-manzione-phantom-radio.

 

* All of us at Luby Publishing Inc., Bowlers Journal International, Bowling Center Management, Bowling Entertainment Center, Pro Shop Operator and Billiards Digest wish you and yours a healthy and prosperous 2018. We appreciate your ongoing support of our company, magazines, websites and social media platforms.

 

* 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, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at bcmmag.com.

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