Cyber Report #1003

E-dition No. 1,003 • Thursday, May 17, 2018

Editor: Bob Johnson (


BBIA Honors BVL Chairman John LaSpina


The Billiard and Bowling Institute of America conducted its 76th annual convention at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, which is about a 45-minute drive from Jacksonville, Fla.


In addition to the usual array of individual meetings between manufacturers and distributors, the attendees were treated to a round-table discussion and a lengthy Q&A session with leaders of three major organizations: Frank DeSocio from the BPAA, Tom Clark from the PBA, and Chad Murphy from the USBC.


A highlight of the convention was BBIA’s annual awards banquet, where veteran proprietor John LaSpina, a past President of the BPAA, received the Industry Service Award. PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia introduced his longtime friend. Both are highly involved in raising funds for bowling’s most venerable charity, BVL, and LaSpina serves as Chairman of the BVL Board.


A new slate of officers was elected:
Mike Judy, Ebonite International, President;
Jimmy Land, Classic Products Corp., Vice President and Convention Chairman;
and Gus Falgien, Kegel, Treasurer.


Directors at Large are
Hank Boomershine, Storm Products;
Andy Brenneman, Bowlers Supply Company;
Brian Graham, Brunswick Bowling;
and Skip Nemececk, Tweeten Fiber (billiards).


Next year’s convention will be held at the Omni Tucson National Resort in Tucson, Ariz.



Brunswick to Equip New EVO Cinema-Hybrid in Texas


EVO Entertainment Group has announced the construction of its newest cinema-entertainment center as part of The Wiederstein Ranch shopping center in Schertz, Texas.


The 73,000-sq.-ft. EVO center will include a 10-screen dine-in cinema featuring 100% luxury recliner seating, 16 lanes of bowling with equipment provided by Brunswick, more than 100 video and redemption arcade games, laser tag, a virtual reality experience center, private event spaces, a full restaurant and bar, and more.


Construction on the facility will begin immediately, the company said, with opening planned for February 2019.


“Our company has called Central Texas home since the very beginning, and Schertz has always seemed like a perfect match,” said says EVO Entertainment Group CEO Mitchell Roberts. “When we first developed the cinema-hybrid model, we did so with outstanding guest experience in mind and have since made some truly innovative and impressive improvements to the concept. We couldn’t be any more excited to bring this incredible new entertainment destination to Schertz and the surrounding communities.”


EVO Entertainment Group is a San Marcos, Texas-based out-of-home entertainment operator comprised of a number of brands, including EVO Entertainment, The SPOT Cinema Eatery & Social Haus, EVOVR, and EVO Cinemas. Led by the 23-year-old Roberts, EVO has gained a reputation as a leader in innovation, and is one of the fastest-growing independent cinema circuits in the country.


Since its founding in late 2014, EVO has grown from 11 screens in one location to nearly 50 screens, 22 bowling lanes, two full-service restaurants and bars, and more than 200 video, redemption and classic arcade games across four locations. EVO Entertainment Group currently employs more than 400 team members and entertains nearly 2 million guests annually.



Main Event Hires Red Robin Vet, Reaches Out to Toys R Us Employees


Main Event Entertainment, LP, a subsidiary of Ardent Leisure Group, has hired Les Lehner as Chief Development Officer of the bowling-based entertainment company. Main Event also is reaching out to displaced Toys R Us employees to offer job opportunities.


Lehner brings more than 20 years of professional retail development, procurement and finance experience, with more than 15 years in the family entertainment space. He has been responsible for driving long-term strategic growth in addition to managing and developing numerous high-visibility areas, including corporate real estate development, construction management, architecture and design, real estate, legal, facilities management, supply-chain purchasing and overall procurement strategy.


“Les is a dynamic development executive with extensive leadership experience that will be invaluable as we move forward with our expansion plans,” said Chris Morris, President and CEO of Main Event Entertainment, LP. “We’re thrilled to have him on the team leading such a crucial part of the business.”


Prior to joining Main Event, Lehner served as SVP, Chief Development Officer and Chief Procurement Officer for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, a casual dining restaurant chain with more than 35,000 employees. During his tenure at RRGB, Lehner increased the company’s corporate portfolio by more than 100 restaurant locations through new restaurant growth and acquisitions. He additionally executed a corporate brand transformation program, remodeling more than 350 restaurants in three years.


Before RRGB, Lehner held executive and senior positions with CEC Entertainment, owner of Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza. CEC is a nationally recognized family dining and entertainment concept with more than 700 restaurants. While Lehner was with CEC, he more than doubled its size with new corporate, franchise and international restaurants.


“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work for an extraordinary brand like Main Event,” said Lehner. “I believe the business has tremendous growth potential and I am confident we can build on the company’s established foundation of success.”


Some of that growth may come with the help of former Toys R Us employees.


Main Event Entertainment is hosting a fun “Play & Apply” hiring event from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow, after kicking off the initiative on Monday. Former Toys R Us and Babies R Us team members are invited to visit centers around the country to apply and interview for a position at Main Event.


“Main Event’s vision and talent strategies align with that of Toys R Us — to create uniquely fun experiences for our guests by exceeding expectations, embracing teamwork and having fun,” said Rhonda Merchant, Director of Talent Acquisition at Main Event. “With the recent closures of Toys R Us and Babies R Us, we saw an opportunity to turn a challenging situation into something positive for the retail brand’s talented employees.”


Centers around the country have opportunities for customer-facing and back-of-house team members, operations managers, sales managers, technicians, servers and party hosts. Interested applicants may RSVP for the open houses at


“Main Event team members are expected to give their best on the job, so we do our part in making sure you stay motivated, feel valued and live your best life,” said Merchant. “We offer competitive pay, a tuition reimbursement program, career development paths, comprehensive benefits and fun perks. We’re growing and look forward to having some hard-working individuals join the Main Event family to create serious fun for our guests.”



ARTemis Arts Backing Boomershine and Current on PWBA Tour


ARTemis Arts, a Portland, Ore.-based advocacy group for women in the arts, has announced a year-long sponsorship of two PWBA players, Lindsay Boomershine and Elysia Current. With this partnership, ARTemis is reaching beyond artistic circles and into the world of athletics, where women still seek equity and full inclusion.


As part of the partnership, Boomershine and Current will hold ARTemis gatherings at tour stops across the United States, where they will share the ARTemis mission with fans and discuss their personal journeys as women in a male-dominated sport.


By sponsoring Boomershine and Current, ARTemis is financially and tactically working to improve the bowlers’ careers, advance women in the sport and expand the mission of ARTemis to a national stage.


“I’m elated to bring a different demographic to the sport of professional women’s bowling in conjunction with ARTemis,” said Boomershine. “I think this partnership brings two worlds together that are indirectly connected by strong, powerful and successful women. I look forward to creating a synergy between women’s sports and the arts. The sport of bowling is truly an art in itself. Even if you don’t participate in the sport of bowling, this is a gateway that piques interest at many levels between ARTemis and PWBA.”


Added Current: “I have always thought of bowling as much more than a sport. This partnership with ARTemis is an illustration that bowling, specifically women’s bowling, is an art form as well. Bowling is poetry in motion. Poetry in motion is defined by someone who moves in a way that is very graceful or beautiful. That’s what you’ll see as a spectator in the PWBA touring members.”


The mission of ARTemis Arts is to advance the woman artist through knowledge building, exposure and support. The 501(c)3 non-profit organization serves self-identifying women artists across three artistic sectors: visual arts, performing arts and literature. To learn more, go to:


“Women in sports share many of the same struggles as women in the arts,” said Sam Hull, ARTemis’s founder. “We’re honored to support Lindsay and Elysia throughout their tour, and know that their stories will resonate with fans and further the ARTemis mission to support creative and competitive women everywhere.”



PWBA Unveils Schedule for 2019 Season


The PWBA has just announced its schedule for the 2019 season.


Once again, the stepladder finals of all four PWBA Tour majors, along with three elite-field events, will be televised from the host centers on CBS Sports Network. The PWBA will provide live coverage of all preliminary rounds and the stepladder finals of six standard events via live streaming.


“We’re excited to have the schedule in place for next season and appreciate the support we have received from proprietors throughout the country,” PWBA Director of Operations Tennelle Milligan said. “It seems like we just started this journey, so it’s hard to believe 2019 will be the PWBA Tour’s fifth season. We look forward to taking the PWBA Tour to fans in areas we have yet to visit, and can’t wait to return to the places where fans have shown their support during the first four seasons.”


The schedule:


* April 25-27 — PWBA Greater Cleveland Open, Yorktown Lanes, Cleveland


* May 2-4 — PWBA Twin Cities Open, Cedarvale Lanes, Eagan, Minn.


* May 9-11 — PWBA Lincoln Open, Sun Valley Lanes, Lincoln, Neb.


* May 15-21 — USBC Queens, Northrock Lanes, Wichita, Kan.


* May 30-June 1 — PWBA Sonoma County Open, Double Decker Lanes, Rohnert Park, Calif.


* June 6-8 — PWBA Tucson Open, Golden Pin Lanes, Tucson, Ariz.


* June 13-15 — PWBA Fountain Valley Open, Fountain Bowl, Fountain Valley, Calif.


* June 16-23 — U.S. Women’s Open, Texas Star Lanes, North Las Vegas, Nev.


* July 25-28 — Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles, Copperfield Bowl, Houston


* Aug. 1-3 — PWBA East Hartford Open, Silver Lanes, East Hartford, Conn.


* Aug. 8-10 — PWBA Louisville Open, Executive Strike and Spare, Louisville, Ky.


* Aug. 15-17 — PWBA Orlando Open, Boardwalk Bowl, Orlando, Fla.


* Aug. 21-25 — PWBA Players Championship, Buffaloe Lanes North, Raleigh, N.C.


* Site and dates TBD — PWBA Tour Championship



Hammer Signs 3-Time Collegiate Player of the Year


Hammer Bowling has announced the addition of Jordan Richard to its national PWBA pro staff.


Richard, one of the top collegiate bowlers in the nation, is a current Team USA member and three-time NCAA Collegiate Player of the Year.


“We continue to bolster our pro staff ranks with the best of the best,” said Rob Gotchall, Ebonite International’s Marketing Manager for Players, Promotions and Events. “Our Hammer PWBA pro staff was already exceptionally strong, and now the addition of Richard further solidifies Hammer as one of the premiere destinations for top-level talent on the women’s tour.”


Richard said she chose to sign with Hammer because of the quality of product and commitment to the PWBA Tour.


“I chose Hammer based especially on the success I feel I can have on tour,” Richard said. “I’ve thrown Hammer for the past year and had a lot of success. I am looking forward to continuing that from here on out.”

Richard is from Tecumseh, Mich., and bowled for the Arkansas State Red Wolves.



Business Briefs…


* Investigators have determined that kitchen rags self-ignited to start the fire that engulfed Plaza Lanes in Des Moines, Iowa, late last year, according to the Associated Press. The Des Moines Fire Department said in a news release that more than two dozen people from various agencies were involved in the investigation, which concluded that the Dec. 18 fire was accidental. Fire experts say spontaneous combustion can occur when heat generated through rapid oxidation causes various materials to catch fire. A Consumer Product Safety Commission study found that oil residue as low as 3 percent in fabrics can lead to ignition. The center is owned by BPAA President-Elect Randy Thompson, who appears with his wife, Sheri, on the May cover of Bowling Center Management magazine. Thompson says plans are moving forward to rebuild the center with a larger arcade, laser tag and other amenities. Read more about Thompson’s plans when he succeeds Nancy Schenk as BPAA President in the May issue of BCM.


* The Falzgraf family has purchased Crown Lanes Bowling Center and Sports Bar in Denver not just because of the business opportunity it presented, but also for a noble cause. When the daughter of K.C. and Jackie Falzgraf was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 5, she was given three months to live. Today, Shanna is 24, and gets around with the use of a wheelchair. While she can’t play other sports, she can bowl, and that’s what made purchasing the center appealing to the Falzgrafs. While the business was profitable last year, the family views it as an opportunity to provide jobs to adults with special needs. Read more about this special family’s plans here:


* A farewell event was held on Sunday for Copper City Bowl and Café in Anaconda, Mont., which shut down for good after serving the “Smelter City” for more than 60 years. The center’s manager, Randy Phillips, said he was on vacation when he heard about the decision made by proprietor Kevin Sass. “I’ve enjoyed working with the people who supported our endeavors,” Phillips said. “It’s part of the community. We hate to see it close.” You can read the center’s farewell message and see pictures of patrons during its final days here:


* Pinstripes — the company that marries a bistro, bowling and bocce — is opening a new location in Orange Village’s Pinecrest development in Cleveland, Ohio. While it will have the usual array of upscale amenities as other Pinstripes locations, this one is different for owner Dale Schwartz. It’s located just about one mile from where Schwartz fell in love with bowling as a child: the old Pepper Lanes, where a shopping mall now stands. Cleveland Magazine has a nice article about Schwartz and the new Pinstripes here: Read more about the mixed-use Pinecrest development here:


* It looks like there will be only one more winter season of bowling at Golden Pin Lanes in Tucson, Ariz., as the county plans to purchase the 48-lane facility and use the building to consolidate most of its offices, ultimately saving money by ridding itself of several leases. The owner of the center — which has hosted numerous PBA national and regional tournaments through the years — had remodeled its 11th Frame Bar & Grill only a year ago with the hope of selling the facility to someone who would keep operating it as a bowling center. Now, however, with the county identifying the building’s “highest and best value” as something else, selling it as a bowling center would cost the owner a lot of money. You can read more about the situation here:



Other News You Can Use…


* Yanny or Laurel? Who cares? Much more important is: four-bagger or hambone?


* Limerick Bowl in Limerick, Pa., is constantly coming up with creative promotions. This summer, from June 8 through Aug. 31, Family Bowling Night will be featured each Friday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Guests can bowl while they watch a movie on the center’s 10-ft. screens. Individual and group options are available, and each package includes popcorn and soda. If you’re a center operator looking to light up some dark lanes, you can get some creative ideas here:


* Danielle McEwan gave her mother an early Mother’s Day present Saturday by winning the PWBA Fountain Valley (Calif.) Open at Fountain Bowl. McEwan ran the stepladder and joined the previous week’s Sonoma County Open champion, Shannon O’Keefe, as the only players to win a title in each season since the re-launch of the PWBA Tour in 2015. Full report: After the stepladder round, a Pro-Am was held in which 120 amateurs competed and $600 was raised for BVL.


* Latvia native Diana Zavjalova overcame a year of heartbreak at the 2017 USBC Queens as she collected the second tiara of her promising career. The 26-year-old right-hander considers the event one of her favorites each year on the PWBA Tour, and she’s geared up for her latest title defense, which begins today at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno. Preview:


* The Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters became the first team to capture three OceanView at Falmouth PBA League Elias Cup championships, winning in a dominant performance over the Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine. The two-match, best-of-two-game finals aired Sunday as the PBA Tour’s final telecast — at least for the foreseeable future — on ESPN. Report:


* The 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour returns to CBS Sports Network on Tuesday (May 22) at 10 p.m. Eastern with the first of two positioning rounds of the PBA Tour Finals from Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich. Eight PBA Tour stars and top money earners from 2016, 2017 and the first four months of 2018 — namely, defending champion E.J. Tackett, Jason Belmonte, Dom Barrett, Anthony Simonsen, Sean Rash, Jesper Svensson, Marshall Kent and Tommy Jones — will open the tournament’s first telecast with total-pinfall competition on the PBA’s 36-ft. Johnny Petraglia and 42-ft. Mark Roth lane patterns. Details:


* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is veteran lane installer Lou Trunk. 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, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at



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