Cyber Report #1,007 + #1,008

E-dition Nos. 1,007-1,008 • Thursday, June 14, 2018

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

 

Bowl Expo Is Ready to Roll in Las Vegas

 

The countdown to BPAA’s International Bowl Expo is just about over. Attendees will be arriving in Las Vegas over the next several days, some to attend full-day Boot Camps scheduled on Sunday, others to be well rested for the “Thought Leader” presentation by “Marvelles Mark” Kamp on Monday morning.

 

The Expo will take place at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, with the Trade Show set for next Wednesday and Thursday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bally’s and the historic Flamingo resort also are accommodating Expo attendees.

 

All properties are about four miles and a 10-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport. There is no complimentary airport shuttle. Cab fare to these hotels is approximately $20 plus tip. Be sure to instruct the driver to take the most direct route. Use the words, “No tunnel,” and the driver will understand that you are aware of the scams some drivers use to increase their fare.

 

If you’re renting a car, parking is complimentary to hotel guests.

 

Transportation will be provided to and from the Paris/Bally’s casinos to the LVCC South Hall S-3 for the Trade Show. Limited scheduled transportation will be provided from the South Point hotel to Paris/Bally’s to connect to shuttles to and from the LVCC. Check out the schedules once in Vegas.

 

There is an abundance of educational seminars this year at Bowl Expo, and BPAA has a way for attendees to organize their educational time. A seminar selection tool will be in included in each registration bag, and is designed to fold up for easy placement in a pocket or purse.

 

If you’d like to get a head start on planning your schedule, download a copy of the Seminar Selection Tool here: http://files.constantcontact.com/bc8ec1dd001/36b5e23b-6402-4a0a-a8af-949922ee91b1.pdf.

 

BPAA’s Bowling University Bookstore will be located near registration Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, before moving to the Bowl Expo Trade Show Floor near the education kiosk for Wednesday and Thursday.  There, you’ll be able to pick up books from Author’s Alley seminar presenters, as well as other useful business-focused books.

 

All of us at Luby Publishing Inc. — publishers of Bowlers Journal International, Bowling Center Management, Bowling Entertainment Center, Pro Shop Operator and Billiards Digest — look forward to seeing you next week at Bowl Expo.

 

 

Looking to Impress at Bowl Expo?

 

Many manufacturers and distributors use Bowl Expo week to wine and dine long-time and/or potential customers. Others simply like to take advantage of the multitude of dining options that Las Vegas has to offer.

 

This year, Bowl Expo takes place during the first several days of Las Vegas Restaurant Week. The annual 12-day culinary event runs from next Monday through June 29.

 

Participating restaurants will create prix-fixe menus — some offering breakfast, lunch and/or dinner — at price points ranging from $20 to $80. A fixed portion of the meal’s cost will directly support Three Square Food Bank’s mission of pursuing a hunger-free community.

 

A complete list of menus by participating restaurants is available here: https://www.helpoutdineoutlv.org.

 

 

Ebonite Honors Couch With Entrance Sign

 

Ebonite International wanted to do “something special” to recognize PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch’s 25 years of involvement with the company — as a competitor, coach and regional sales rep.

 

“They don’t come any more loyal than this guy. His passion bleeds through,” said Ebonite’s North American Sales Manager, Mike Judy, before unveiling a sign featuring a silhouette of Couch’s iconic “three-peat” gesture after winning his third consecutive PBA Tournament of Champions title.

 

The “Jason Couch Way” sign will reside at the entrance to Ebonite’s plant in Hopkinsville, Ky.

 

“I don’t know what to say. This is a shock,” Couch said.

 

 

Berry Retires After 40 Years With AMF, QubicaAMF

 

As Bowl Expo neared, executives and staff members of QubicaAMF were wishing their long-time employee, friend and family member, Eric Berry, a happy and well-deserved retirement.

 

Over the last 29 years, Berry has served as the company’s Eastern Regional Sales Manager. His career has spanned 40-plus years in the industry, working first for AMF and then for QubicaAMF.

 

“Eric’s family at QubicaAMF will miss him tremendously,” said Jay Buhl, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the company.  “Eric has invested essentially a lifetime dedicated to the company he represented, the team that he has successfully led, and his customer base that he candidly consulted as the industry has evolved over the decades. I have worked side by side with Eric since 1988. I will miss him, but if anyone deserves a happy retirement, it is ‘The King.’”

 

Eric Weimer will replace Berry, effective July 1. Weimer began his career in 1990 with AMF, then continuing with QubicaAMF.

 

“Eric has delivered stellar sales results in two different sales districts, and has successfully managed key accounts for the company during his impressive career,” Buhl said. “His industry knowledge will aid in customer [support], and his business experience makes him well qualified to lead the East sales team.”

 

 

Cirque du Soleil Enters FEC Business

 

Competition in the family entertainment center industry is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

 

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group announced yesterday it is adding FECs to its portfolio of creative projects. The company has developed an innovative concept of indoor family entertainment experiences, specially designed for retail locations, called CREACTIVE. It said the centers will offer a “new, immersive, creative and participative family experience, where people can stretch their imagination, flex their muscles, explore newfound circus skills, and take a bow on the virtual Cirque du Soleil stage.”

 

“Our fans regularly express their wish to experience Cirque du Soleil from an insider’s perspective, to peek behind the curtain and imagine themselves stepping into our artists’ shoes,” said Marie-Josée Lamy, Cirque du Soleil Producer of CREACTIVE. “With CREACTIVE, we make that possible by inviting families to jump on stage, offering them another way to explore our creativity beyond our live shows.”

 

Building on the success of Club Med CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil, currently offered at Club Med locations in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Opio, France, the new indoor centers will be installed in premium immersive spaces covering approximately 24,000 square feet. CREACTIVE will offer a range of acrobatic, artistic and other Cirque du Soleil-inspired recreational activities such as bungee jumping, aerial parkour, wire and trampolines, mask design, juggling, circus track activities, dance and more.

 

This new venture by the global entertainment company fulfills an opportunity that arises from the transformation of retail around the world, as developers are increasingly looking to offer entertainment experiences that turn malls into holistic destinations. A number of bowling-based enterprises have replaced former big-box stores in malls across America in recent years.

 

The first CREACTIVE indoor center is scheduled to open in September 2019 in the greater Toronto area. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is currently in discussions with Ivanhoé Cambridge for additional locations in Canada, as well as with other partners for markets in other countries.

 

 

South Points Lands 3 World Bowling Events

 

The World Bowling Executive Board has awarded three championship events to South Point Hotel and Casino. The World Singles 2020, the World Youth 2020 and the World Seniors 2021 all will take place at the state-of-the-art facility in Las Vegas.

 

The South Point Tournament Bowling Plaza is a unique competition facility. The spacious, 90,000-sq.-ft. facility boasts 60 lanes, a 360-seat viewing area, and a 720-unit locker room.

 

World Bowling CEO Kevin Dornberger said, “South Point Hotel and Casino hosted an excellent championship event for World Bowling in 2017, and we are very excited to return to the phenomenal bowling venue in 2019, 2020 and 2021. With facilities built for world-class competition, we are certain that our athletes and spectators alike will be elated with the news.”

 

The announcement assists to complete the World Bowling Championship calendar for the next four years:

 

* July 24-Aug. 3, 2018 — World Youth Championships, Detroit.

 

* Nov. 24-Dec. 5, 2018 — World Men’s Championships, Hong Kong.

 

* Aug. 22-30, 2019 — World Women’s Championships, Las Vegas.

 

* Sept. 2-10, 2019 — World Senior Championships, Las Vegas.

 

* Dates and Site to Be Announced — 2019 World Youth Championships.

 

* Dates to Be Announced — 2020 World Singles Championships, Las Vegas.

 

* Dates to Be Announced — 2020 World Youth Championships, Las Vegas.

 

* Dates to Be Announced — 2021 World Championships, Kuwait.

 

* Dates to Be Announced — 2021 World Senior Championships, Las Vegas.

 

 

Entertainment Properties Group to Introduce New Concept

 

Entertainment Properties Group Inc. has announced that it is bringing Strike + Reel, a new entertainment concept for the company, to North Texas. The venue will be located at George Bush Tollway and Holford Road, and will open in 2019.

 

Appropriately named after its roots in bowling and cinema, the 90,000-sq.-ft. venue will feature dine-in movie auditoriums with large-format screens, luxury recliners and full bar service. The entertainment destination also will feature bowling, interactive video games and attractions, as well as a chef-inspired restaurant and bar concept.

 

“Our mission is to create fun and memorable experiences for our guests and team by providing engaging dining and entertainment destinations,” said Mark Moore, CEO of Entertainment Properties Group. “We have been working on this concept for quite some time and we are excited to announce the first location here in our North Texas home.”

 

The company also operates It’z Family Food & Fun locations in the Texas communities of Euless, Pasadena and Houston, as well as Pin Stack locations in Plano, Las Colinas and Allen. It’z Family Food & Fun venues include bowling, arcades, pizza buffets, rock climbing, bumper cars and more. Pin Stack locations include public and VIP bowling areas, full-service restaurants with chef-inspired menus featuring local and regional cuisine, full bars, laser tag arenas and more.

 

Visit http://epgusa.com to learn more about the company and its entertainment center concepts.

 

 

PWBA Returns to Harrisburg for First Time in 15 Years

 

The second swing of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour has seen the circuit return to cities it had not been to since the late 1990s or early 2000s.

 

The trend continues this week when a sold-out field of 110 bowlers will converge on ABC West Lanes in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for the PWBA Greater Harrisburg Open. It’s the first time since 2003 that a PWBA event has been held in the area.

 

The PWBA has helped make dreams come true for many bowlers since its return, and this week’s event will mean just a little bit more for sisters Brooke and Nicole Bower of Camp Hill, Pa., who will compete in a professional event for the first time in their home center Friday and Saturday.

 

Nicole, 27, and Brooke, 25, grew up at ABC West Lanes, the daughters of proprietor and USBC Hall of Famer Gary Bower and his wife, Gina. The family owns three centers in the Greater Harrisburg area, including ABC East Lanes and ABC North Lanes. Nicole and Brooke also are the nieces of Pennsylvania State Bowling Association Hall of Famer Darryl Bower, who recently finished sixth at the 2018 USBC Senior Masters.

 

Read more here: http://www.pwba.com/News/In-the-News/bower-sisters-to-live-out-dream-at-pwba-greater-harrisburg-open.

 

 

Bowler’s Day With the White Sox Set for July 29

 

The 17th annual Bowlers’ Day With the Chicago White Sox is scheduled for Sunday, July 29, when the White Sox will take on the Toronto Blue Jays in an afternoon game.

 

In cooperation with Ebonite International’s Hammer brand, the first 500 individuals who purchase tickets will receive a free White Sox/Bowlers’ Day cap.

 

Each $46 ticket includes a reserved outfield seat and a pre-game patio party at which 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year Matt Sanders, a member of the Track Pro Staff, will be on hand to sign autographs. Sanders also will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

 

The patio party menu includes barbecued ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, Cajun chicken, fried chicken, side salads, beer, wine and soda.

 

Parking is available for only $10 if ordered with the Bowlers’ Day ticket package. An order form is available here: http://files.constantcontact.com/24f12342401/b04571de-ace9-4202-8a3d-ec442c102095.pdf.

 

Industry members are welcome to attend. The Illinois State BPA website has further information: http://bowlillinois.com/Events/Bowlers-Day.

 

 

Ocean5 Continues Grand-Opening Celebration

 

The new Ocean5 entertainment venue has opened in Gig Harbor, Wash., and is conducting a grand-opening celebration through June 30.

 

Here’s a look at what’s in store for guests this week:

 

* Monday-Thursday Bowling Special — $5 per person, per game (includes shoes), 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

 

* Wine Down Wednesday — All-day wine specials and live jazz in the Salish Sea Lounge, 7-10 p.m.

 

* Friday — The Salish Sea Lounge will convert into the “ultimate late-night hangout spot in the South Sound.” Sip craft cocktails, share bites from the lanes menu, sit back with friends or get up and dance, 8 p.m.-midnight.

 

* Father’s Day BBQ — Take care of your best guy this Father’s Day with live music and awesome summer barbecue favorites, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Olson Bros. Band will perform beginning at noon. Patio seating is first come, first served.

 

We’ll have much more on this new venue and the man behind it in the July issue of Bowling Center Management.

 

 

Google, iOS Shine Spotlight on PBA Bowling Challenge

 

More than 25,000 people took on PBA Commissioner Tom Clark’s lineup of PBA stars in the “PBA Bowling Commissioner’s Challenge” in mid-May — and only 1.16 percent beat the odds.

 

The “Challenge” involved the PBA Bowling Challenge for mobile devices by Concrete Software, inviting players to beat a gauntlet of PBA stars, in order; lose a match, and you had to start over. The 24,500 unique players who tried played a total of 879,000 games. Among those players, 23,700 won at least one match, but only 283 “out-bowled” the entire field (#PBA #GoBowling).

 

For the record, the Challenge was successful enough that both Google and iOS featured it on their sites while the friendly competition was taking place.

 

 

Bowling Will Return to Turlock After 21-Year Absence

 

Exterior work is about 90 percent completed and the new Ten Pin Fun Center in Turlock, Calif., is now scheduled to open this September.

 

The entertainment complex will feature 34 lanes of bowling — including an eight-lane “boutique” area that can be reserved for private parties — a two-story “Call of Duty”-like laser tag arena, arcade, virtual-reality roller coaster, outdoor beer garden with two bocce ball courts, banquet rooms and full restaurant.

 

The project began taking shape in 2010, when developer Rod Scott hoped to locate the facility across from California State University Stanislaus. Ultimately, that property was utilized for a student housing development. But Scott now describes the under-construction site as “ten times better than our original location.”

 

The venue’s casual-dining menu will be similar to that of Applebee’s and Chili’s during the week, and will feature specials such as prime rib and osso buco on weekends. Seven banquet rooms will accommodate parties ranging in size from 30 to 100.

 

Ten Pin Fun Center is located in the Monte Vista Crossings shopping center, and is easily visible from Highway 99, the main freeway in the area. It will be Turlock’s first bowling center since Divine Gardens closed in 1997.

 

 

Atkinson to Coordinate Kegel Training Center

 

Nick Atkinson has joined the Kegel team as the company’s new Kegel Training Center Coordinator. Atkinson will manage daily operations of the training facility, including scheduling for individual and group lessons.

 

Atkinson grew up in the bowling industry, as his grandparents own a small bowling center, Sherwood Lanes, in Frostburg, Md. It was there, that Atkinson gained his love of bowling and began to learn the business. Most recently, he was the Assistant General Manager at Superplay USA, a bowling and amusement center in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

 

Atkinson graduated from Vincennes University with an Associate’s Degree in Bowling Industry Management. He then attended William Penn University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

 

Atkinson bowled for both Vincennes and William Penn University, and won the National Junior College Championships with Vincennes. He was named to a National All-American Team for the 2007-08 season.

 

Atkinson said he is excited about joining the Kegel team and is looking forward to learning and helping grow the sport of bowling.

 

 

Georgia Center Damaged by Heavy Rains

 

Junction Lanes in Newnan, Ga., had to be evacuated last Friday evening when a torrential downpour led to a partial roof collapse.

 

“We had just an incredible immense amount of rain in a short period of time,” said owner Ryan Huber.

 

The collapse came over the center’s glow mini golf attraction, which was unoccupied at the time. About 12 of the center’s bowling lanes were in use, and no damage was done to that area.

 

However, the local fire marshal arrived quickly, assessed the damage, and made the call to evacuare the building.

 

According to a Facebook post, the city engineer has allowed power to be restored to the building, and Friday is the most likely day that the center will re-open.

 

 

14 Bronze Coaching Conferences Set for Aug. 11-12

 

The United States Bowling Congress Coaching Certification and Development team will hold 14 USBC Bronze coaching conferences Aug. 11-12.

 

The National Bronze Coaching Certification Weekend will see USBC provide coaching certification classes in 14 cities across the United States. Classes for each conference are expected to run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

 

The USBC Bronze certification class provides intermediate-level training intended to improve coaching skills and professionalism. It covers topics such as fine-tuning the physical game, lane conditions and adjustments, dynamics of ball motion, giving lessons and more. Bronze certification is the next step for coaches who have completed the online USBC Coaching Level I Certification, and is recommended for high school coaches.

 

“We want Level I coaches to have the opportunity to continue their coaching progression,” USBC’s Director of Coaching Development, Stephen Padilla, said. “By having these conferences throughout the country on a weekend, we hope to reach the many coaches who might not have the time or resources to travel to a USBC Bronze conference.”

 

Coaches are required to attend the entire conference and pass an online test to receive USBC Bronze certification. In addition to having completed Level I certification, participants must be at least 16 years old. Anyone 18 or older must go through the Registered Volunteer Program’s background check before they can receive access to the certification test.

 

USBC Coaching is offering a discount to those who register early for the National Bronze Coaching Certification Weekend. The fee for those who sign up by July 2 is $245, a savings of $50 off the regular cost. The deadline is July 30, and those who register after that date will have to pay $325.

 

Each conference will have a maximum class of 25, so early registration is strongly encouraged by USBC. Here’s is a list of host centers:

 

* Albuquerque, N.M. — Silva Lanes.

 

* Fountain Valley, Calif. — Fountain Bowl.

 

* Fresno, Calif. — Fresno State University.

 

* Green Bay, Wis. — Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley.

 

* Lake Wales, Fla. — Kegel Training Center.

 

* Missoula, Mont. — Westside Lanes & Fun Center.

 

* Murfreesboro, Tenn. — Lanes, Trains and Automobile.

 

* Oakland, N.J. — Holiday Bowl.

 

* Payallup, Wash. — Daffodil Bowl.

 

* Rock Hill, S.C. — Strikers Family Sports Center.

 

* San Antonio, Texas — University Bowl

 

* Sioux Falls, S.D. — Sport Bowl.

 

* West Jordan, Utah — All Star Lanes.

 

* Wichita, Kan. — Northrock Lanes.

 

For links to the various conferences, go to: https://bowl.com/NationalBronzeWeekend/.

 

 

Appealing to America’s Obsessed Sports Fans

 

To say that Americans love sports is an understatement. It’s in our blood. We value sports as much for their personal and social benefits as for the thrill and drama of the game.

 

In the U.S., nearly three quarters of all adults claim to be sports fans. And they spend, on average, nearly eight hours per week tuning in to their favorite sport or about 11 hours playing it.

 

But they also cheer on their favorite teams with our wallets. The North American sports industry is expected to rake in about $69.4 billion from ticket and merchandise sales, media rights and sponsorship fees, according to the latest sports outlook from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The firm estimates that figure to reach upwards of $75 billion by 2020. That’s not including the lucrative fantasy-sports market in North America with 59.3 million players, each spending an average of $556 per year, or nearly $33 billion collectively.

 

The increasingly mobile-oriented ways we consume sports and rising premium-seat demand are partly responsible for the significant industry growth. Today, we can digest the latest sports news through our smartphones and ditch the bleachers for ultra hi-def TVs that seem to get bigger every year. That’s why it’s imperative that bowling centers have high-quality screens on which customers can watch sporting events — as they bowl, dine and/or drink.

 

In search of the best sports cities from the fan’s perspective, WalletHub compared more than 420 cities across more than 50 key metrics related to the five largest sports in the U.S.: football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.

 

Following is a list of the top 30 cities — but keep in mind that there are sports fans everywhere, and they love to watch games and matches in comfortable surroundings with good food, good drinks and good friends…

 

  1. Boston
  2. New York
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Pittsburgh
  5. Chicago
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Detroit
  8. Washington, D.C.
  9. Dallas
  10. Atlanta
  11. Oakland
  12. Denver
  13. Cleveland
  14. Minneapolis
  15. Houston
  16. Miami
  17. Kansas City
  18. Indianapolis
  19. Green Bay
  20. Cincinnati
  21. Seattle
  22. Charlotte
  23. Nashville
  24. San Francisco
  25. Baltimore
  26. Buffalo
  27. New Orleans
  28. San Diego
  29. Tampa
  30. San Antonio

 

 

Business Briefs…

 

* A new family entertainment center called The City Forum has opened in Clarksville, Tenn., with automatic scoring and center management system provided by Steltronic. With 10 lanes of bowling, electric high-speed go-karts, laser tag, miniature golf, large video game room and a massive food menu, the FEC is fully loaded for family enjoyment. Global Bowling Entertainment provided and installed the bowling equipment.  Take an online tour of the facility here: https://www.thecityforum.com.

 

* Alan Hand, the CEO of Ten Entertainment Group, has stepped down from the company’s board, citing personal reasons. He will stay on the job until Dec. 14 while a search for his successor is conducted. With a total of 42 sites under the Tenpin brand, the company is the second-largest bowling operator in the United Kingdom.

 

* As part of its mission to protect animals and habitats worldwide, and just in time for World Oceans Day, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. announced that all 12 of its theme parks have removed all single-use plastic drinking straws and single-use plastic shopping bags. SeaWorld Entertainment joins the ranks of other organizations and government entities working to reduce the use of single-use plastics, including Alaska Airlines, Hilton, and Hurtigruten.

 

* Motiv Bowling has announced the addition of two-time PWBA Regional champion and PWBA national tour player, Summer Jasmin, to the Motiv Staff. She is a native of West Virginia. Motiv tour representative Nathan Bohr said, “Summer is an incredible addition to the team. She’s a talented player with all of the skills necessary to be a tour champion.”

 

* James Liess Jr. has joined the H. Betti Industries team as Senior Director of Marketing.  Liess brings more than 10 years of experience in marketing and communications, most recently with the National Basketball Association. Betson’s product line includes amusement games, vending equipment, parts, and billiards.

 

 

Others News You Can Use…

 

* Five-time PBA Tour champion Ryan Shafer averaged 239.5 in the third round to surge into the lead in the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open Presented by Storm Wednesday at the Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas. After today’s fourth and final six-game qualifying round, the field will be cut to the top 40 players for modified round-robin match play, which will begin Friday at 8 a.m. Pacific. After Friday’s second match-play round at noon, the top five players will be determined for the stepladder finals, scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/shafer-surges-into-lead-at-senior-u-s-open/.

 

* Chris Warren defeated the top-seeded Norm Duke twice to win the USBC Senior Masters, which was held at the Sam’s Town Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/chris-warren-wins-2018-senior-masters/.

 

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is perhaps the finest junior bowler in Southern California during the 1970s, Larry Gray. To listen to the interview with the two-time Southern California Bowler of the Year, 10-time Southern California All-Star Team member and Southern California Bowling Hall of Fame member, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2018/6/12/larry-gray-phantom-radio.

 

* We hope you enjoyed this pre-Bowl Expo, double edition of the BJI Cyber Report. We’ll be working the Expo next week, so look for the next Cyber Report on June 28.

 

* 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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