Cyber Report #1,009

E-dition No. 1,009 • Friday, June 29, 2018

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

 

Former NAIR Secretary, Nancy Surprenant, Passes Away

 

When most bowling lanes were made of maple and pine wood, rather than synthetic materials, one of the industry’s most important organizations was the National Association of Independent Resurfacers.

 

NAIR represented the men (and a few women) tasked with keeping America’s lanes level, attractive and playable. For more than 30 years, Nancy Surprenant served as NAIR’s secretary.

 

Among her many duties was staffing the NAIR booth at BPAA’s International Bowl Expo, formerly known as the BPAA Convention. Just as Bowl Expo 2018 was getting under way in Las Vegas on June 18, Surprenant passed away.

 

“She loved her secretarial position, and enjoyed working with the different board members,” said her daughter, Barbara Nelson. “Each year, she printed [NAIR’s] annual program as well as setting up the activities for the ladies on trips [for association meetings]. She had fond memories of these and loved sharing her stories about them.”

 

On one of those trips, a cruise, Surprenant and her husband, Ken, renewed their wedding vows.

 

George Bradner, the long-time President of lane and chemical products supplier, Perry-Austen International, described Surprenant as “the backbone of the NAIR organization. While Ken ran the conventions, she did everything else — all without pay.”

 

Added Bradner: Nancy was everyone’s friend. No matter who was president, she held NAIR together as the industry changed and resurfacing began to [fade away] due to the impact of synthetic lanes. Nancy stayed in the background and just did her job.”

 

Nelson described her mother as “a very special person. She loved her family, and she touched the hearts of the many friends she made. She will sadly be missed.”

 

Nelson added that if anyone would like to contact her father, they may do so through her. Nelson’s address is 1038 190th St., Waverly, IA 50677, and her email address is barbiesapplecart@hotmail.com.

 

If you’d like to share personal remembrances of Nancy Surprenant for possible inclusion in Bowlers Journal International and/or Bowling Center Management, please write to: bjibob@aol.com.

 

 

Turbo Now an Official Part of Ebonite Demo Days

 

Ebonite International has announced that Turbo Grips is now “The Official Grip of Demo Days.”

 

Demo Day events give bowlers an opportunity to try the latest products from Columbia 300, Ebonite, Hammer and Track before making a purchase. Moving forward, Demo Day balls will feature Turbo Switch Grip products.

 

“Any time you have two industry leaders come to an agreement of this magnitude, it’s a win for the bowlers,” said David Wodka, Global Marketing Manager for Ebonite International. Wodka added that the new alliance would deliver “exceptional performance and consistency from event to event.”

 

“Creating a defined partnership with the brands of Ebonite International was an easy decision,” said Lori Mraz, President of Turbo. “The EBI demo program allows us to showcase our line of insert products, including the Switch Grip.”

 

Wodka said bowlers who may not be familiar with the Turbo Switch Grip will benefit from being able to test-drive it while trying EBI’s latest products.

 

“The EBI team puts a lot of effort into their demo program, and we’re delighted to help support it,” said Mraz. “These events continue to be a great tool for retail professionals to use to promote new ball sales and services for their stores.”

 

As part of the agreement, Turbo will be able to display advertising and marketing materials for finger and thumb grip products at all EBI Demo Days, including the one to be held in conjunction with the upcoming Junior Gold Championships, as well as pro shop seminars.

 

 

Lawrence Tech Student Receives Pezzano Scholarship

 

The International Bowling Media Association has announced the winner of its 2018 IBMA Chuck Pezzano Media Scholarship: Chase Kaufman, of Swartz Creek, Mich. The recipient’s identity was revealed during the awards luncheon at Bowl Expo.

 

Selected from among a long list of candidates, the Lawrence Technological University sophomore was selected for the $5,000 scholarship based on his qualifications and essay.

 

Kaufman holds a 3.95 GPA, and is studying Media Communications. He also is a member of the Lawrence Tech men’s bowling team. He also finds time to produce and provide commentary for live streaming videos covering local bowling tournaments.

 

“I am honored and thrilled to receive such a meaningful scholarship,” said Kaufman when contacted with the news.

 

The scholarship is available to high school or collegiate bowlers (of any skill level) who express a desire to pursue a career in bowling journalism. Presented by the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America, it is intended to help identify tomorrow’s bowling writers among today’s youth.

 

“In addition to providing the scholarship to a deserving student, the critically important message is designed to emphasize that a full or part-time career in the bowling industry is entirely possible,” said IBMA President Keith Hamilton.

 

Through the scholarship, the IBMA is working to ensure that the industry will continue to receive quality media coverage from a dedicated group of journalists, both now and well into the future.

 

The deadline to submit applications for the 2019 scholarship is next April 30. Applications may be submitted after Jan. 1. To register or obtain more information, www.bowlingmedia.org/scholarships.

 

 

New Strategic Alliance for Switch and Bandai Namco

 

Switch International and Bandai Namco Amusement Europe (BNAE) have announced a strategic alliance for the design and development of themed family entertainment centers worldwide.

 

BNAE and its design partner, Operatorland Ltd., are currently developing a number of venues around the globe. The collaborative projects will include everything from bowling and children’s bowling (including Switch Mini Series) to simulators, virtual reality, food-and-beverage areas, VIP lounges and much more.

 

Arcade games and entertainment will be provided by a number of leading brands, including Bandai Namco, Raw Thrills, Adrenaline, Andamiro, Embed, Apple and Triotech.

 

“We are all working hard to make this project a reality as soon as possible to locations all around the globe,” said Darius Kaskelis, Business Development Manager at Bandai Namco Amusement Europe Ltd.

 

 

‘America’s Got Talent’ Group to Light Up Opening Ceremonies

 

Light Balance, the light-up dance team that was a 2017 finalist “America’s Got Talent,” will headline the opening ceremony of the 2018 Junior Gold Championships Presented by the Brands of Ebonite International next month in Dallas.

 

The opening ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 15, at the American Airlines Center, home of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

 

The day’s festivities will start at 3 p.m. Central with Ebonite International Game Day at Victory Plaza, located outside the American Airlines Center. Junior Gold participants and their families will have the opportunity to hang out with members of the Ebonite International team during the event that will include games, food, prizes and much more.

 

“Game Day is just a great way for the Ebonite International team to interact with Junior Gold bowlers and their families in a fun and casual environment before the competition gets under way,” said Ebonite International’s Global Marketing Director. “We had a lot of fun with the event last year, and we’re excited to bring it back as we continue our partnership with the Junior Gold Championships.”

 

The city of Dallas and the Dallas Sports Commission are hosting the 2018 Junior Gold Championships. CBS Sports Network will televise the finals of each division (U12, U15 and U20), as well as the title matches of the U15 and U12 divisions of the USA Bowling National Championships Presented by Sixlets.

 

The finals, which will take place at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, will air over a five-week period starting July 24. Visit BOWL.com/BowlingOnCBSSN for the schedule.

 

 

Elite Silver Level Status for PBA’s YouTube Channel

 

The PBA’s YouTube channel is the first bowling channel to achieve YouTube’s elite Silver Level status, surpassing the 100,000 subscriber milestone last week.

 

By reaching Silver Level status on the YouTube.com ranking system, the PBAbowling channel will receive a Silver Creator Award, which will include a silver play button and other perks that will help the channel grow even more. Silver Level status also means the number of fans following PBA on YouTube has continued to grow, achieving the fourth milestone on the video streaming website’s popularity scale.

 

One reason the PBA has achieved the Silver Level milestone is its archive of more than 1,300 videos residing on its YouTube channel, including complete tournament telecasts, Xtra Frame highlights, full coverage of big events such as past World Series of Bowling and PBA League competition, player highlights, the “60 greatest moments in PBA’s 60-year history” countdown, original content, and more. The PBAbowling home page (youtube.com/pba) includes a comprehensive list of playlists that feature the PBA’s most relevant content.

 

”PBAbowling on YouTube is one of the key aspects of the PBA Network,” said PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark. “It’s the perfect complement to our broadcast and cable television coverage, our comprehensive schedule of programming on FloBowling.com, our social media network and our ongoing mainstream media outreach.”

 

The best news for bowling fans is that subscriptions to PBAbowling on YouTube.com are free. By simply signing on and clicking a button, subscribers are notified every time the PBA adds new content.

 

 

Dream-Bowl Palace Upgrades to Brunswick’s Sync System

 

Dream-Bowl Palace in suburban Munich, Germany, covers more than 59,000 square feet and has 52 lanes, making it the largest bowling center in Europe.

 

The center, which opened in late 2009, features Brunswick Bowling Pro Lane lanes, GS-X pinsetters, and Frameworx furniture. After using Brunswick’s Vector Plus scoring for almost nine years, Dream-Bowl Palace is now updating to Brunswick’s Sync scoring and management system.

 

Dream-Bowl Palace has hosted the Brunswick Euro Challenge since 2013, and Brunswick recently renewed the center’s contract through 2021.

 

“Most of the participants in the BEC are competing in tournaments all over the world,” said Knöbl. “They’re used to the most modern bowling centers. We want to keep up with the latest and best in the industry, so it is a ‘must-do’ to install Sync.

 

“We built our bowling center to accommodate European and world championship events,” added Knöbl. “We live bowling and are committed to growing the sport of bowling in Germany.”

 

The 2018 Brunswick Euro Challenge broke its tour record for the second year in a row with 1,279 entries. It is one of only one of two European Bowling Tour Platinum tournaments this year.

 

 

Cool News: Main Event Teams Up With ICEE

 

Main Event Entertainment has announced a system-wide launch of one of America’s favorite frozen beverages: ICEE.

 

All 41 Main Event centers are now offering a premier lineup of the most popular ICEE flavors, including Cherry, Blue Raspberry and Sour Grape.

 

“We are extremely excited to partner with ICEE and start serving these iconic beverages to our guests,” said Donna Ruch, Director of Brand Marketing at Main Event Entertainment. “ICEE drinks are the perfect way for guests of all ages to cool off while enjoying a variety of activities this summer.”

 

Main Event will sell ICEE drinks in two sizes, priced at $3.65 and $3.95.

 

“Our summer launch of this product is perfect to ensure that kids can amp up their summer fun while out of school, and we know that ICEE will also be a guest favorite all year long,” Ruch added.

 

ICEE’s Senior Director of Marketing, Natalie Peterson, said, “The ICEE company is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring exciting new flavors and promotions to such a fun dining and entertainment channel. ICEE is a great fit for Main Event’s ‘Eat. Bowl. Play.’ experience, and we have no doubt that this flavor lineup will be a hit.”

 

 

QubicaAMF Launches HyperBowling in Las Vegas

 

QubicaAMF Worldwide officially launched HyperBowling at Bowl Expo after previewing it at the IAAPA show last November.

 

At the heart of HyperBowling is an all-new bumper system built for everyone and meant to be used as part of the game. In the game, every shot counts every time, and any player, no matter their skill level, can play and win.

 

HyperBowling includes a set of four new bowling games designed around the bumper system. The lights on the bumpers create moving targets that players aim to hit or avoid. Fully integrated with the BES X Bowler Entertainment System, each game has its own unique set of challenges and levels, and includes video-game elements such as progressive levels, increasing difficulty, real risk/reward decisions, high score and accomplishments.

 

Since its preview in Orlando, QubicaAMF has hosted several seminars around the country, sharing its mission of “making bowling amazing.” The company awarded one seminar attendee, Al Messier of Brookmont Bowl in Kankakee, Ill., the opportunity to attend Bowl Expo, all expenses paid.

 

Attending his first Bowl Expo, Messier said, “I was very excited to see BES X and HyperBowling first-hand. It motivates me to know what I can grow my center into and provide an enhanced experience for my customers to keep them coming back. Attending Bowl Expo for the first time was a great learning experience.”

 

 

PBA Xtra Frame on Flobowling.com Debuts Saturday

 

PBA’s exclusive Xtra Frame live-streaming coverage of the preliminary rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open from Orlando, Fla., on xtraframe.tv wraps up today, with PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling.com making its debut Saturday from Aurora, Ill., with the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open.

 

That means current Xtra Frame subscribers who want to watch this weekend’s tournament need to activate their FloBowling accounts as soon as possible. If you are a current subscriber and didn’t get an email from FloSports regarding the simple step to activate your new account, the first place to go is: https://www.flobowling.com/claim-account. If you can’t find your email, send an email to: support@flosports.tv (don’t forget to check your “spam” folder first to see if the email was filtered into that folder).

 

As the transition to FloBowling continues, PBA fans can also follow FloBowling on Facebook and @FloBowling on Twitter and Instagram, which also is free and where features and conversation about the PBA is growing daily for everyone — not just paid subscribers.

 

The PBA50 Tour will make its PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling debut July 17-20 with coverage of the PBA50 River City Extreme Open, presented by Ebonite, from River City Extreme in Monticello, Minn.

 

 

Hong to Present Talk on ‘Golden Age’ of Bowling

 

On July 24, documentary photographer Kevin Hong, based in Seattle, Wash., will present photographs from a cross-country journey to document an increasingly rare slice of Americana: the small-town bowling alley.

 

Hong’s talk — titled “Bowling’s Hallowed Halls: The Golden Age of an American Pastime” — will chronicle the post-World War II rise of bowling to become the nation’s No. 1 participation sport, and will include a discussion on why, in the age of digital entertainment and other technology-based forms of recreation, bowling still matters and why we need small-town bowling centers to survive.

 

The appearance will be presented by the Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin, and will take place at the Fort Atkinson Club in Fort Atkinson, Wis. It will be open to the public and free of charge.

 

For more information, contact BCAW Executive Director Yvonne Bennett (yvonne.bennett@bowlwi.com).

 

 

Stars and Strikes to Open Location No. 12 in Smyrna

 

Georgia-based Stars and Strikes has announced plans to open a new family entertainment center in Smyrna, Tenn., during the third quarter of 2018, marking their company’s 12th location and the first in the Volunteer State.

 

The 55,000-sq.-ft. facility, convenient to Interstates 24 and 640, will house 24 bowling lanes, eight of which will VIP lanes in the signature Main Street Lounge.

 

The Smyrna location will offer fun and unique bowling leagues for all ages and skill levels.

 

In addition to bowling, Stars and Strikes will feature a 7,300-sq.-ft. arcade and prize store, a multi-story laser tag arena, bumper cars, the 7/10 Grille restaurant and a large, full-service bar surrounded by big-screen TVs for sports viewing.

 

There also will be several private party rooms for events, highlighted by an upscale corporate event room that will seat 150-plus with a full private bar.

 

The Main Street Lounge will feature VIP bowling lanes in an upscale setting that’s ideal for corporate and group events of all sizes.

 

“We are aware of the demand for our unique brand of entertainment from the families and residents of Smyrna, Rutherford County and the greater Nashville area,” said Jack Canouse, managing partner and co-founder of Stars and Strikes. “With these families in mind, we are excited to bring a quality brand of family-focused entertainment to the Smyrna area that guests of any age can enjoy.”

 

 

Business Briefs…

 

* Enix Brewing Company is coming to Homestead, Pa., in the greater Pittsburgh area. Scheduled to open this summer, the venue will offer craft beer made onsite, contemporary Spanish cuisine, live music and bowling. “This is one of the [best] kept secrets in Homestead; most people don’t know about it,” Enix co-founder Victor Rodriguez told the Pittsburgh City Paper. “It’s icing on the cake. Who has a brewery and a bowling alley?” Read more about the project here: https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/enix-brewpub-to-bring-beer-bowling-and-spanish-flavor-to-homestead/Content?oid=9095751.

 

* The future of the only bowling center in Las Cruces, N.M., 10 Pin Alley, is up in the after proprietor Randy Najar confirmed that the center will close on Saturday, citing “a lot of family tragedy this past year.” Najar said that the bowling equipment, which some customers have said is in need to upgrading, will remain in place, and his hope is that the business will remain a bowling center. Najar told local ABC-TV affiliate, KVIA, “There’s a lot of rumors going around and a lot of issues, and we’re just trying to do this as quietly as possible.” Full story: http://www.kvia.com/news/new-mexico/lc-bowling-alley-owner-confirms-he-is-voluntarily-shutting-down/760394925.

 

* ColorSplash LED lighting installations have recently been completed at Ingersoll Lanes in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada; 8-10 @ Market Common in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Heritage Lanes in Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Metro Fun Center in Atlanta, Ga. Ingersoll Lanes became the first center in Canada to utilize ColorSplash products, which are part of the ZOT family of products.

 

* Duckpin bowling is coming soon to Five Points South, the premier culinary and entertainment district in Birmingham, Ala. The eight-lane entertainment venue also will offer ping-pong, Foosball, bumper pool, darts and other attractions. There will be a 50-seat dining room (featuring Mediterranean-inspired cuisine), along with three bars (two inside and one on the roof). An August opening is anticipated. Read more here: https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2018/06/birmingham_this_is_not_your_fa.html.

 

* The California Central Coast community of San Luis Obispo will not get a new bowling-based entertainment destination called Discovery. After years of planning, the owners of Discovery — who operate a similar venue down the coast in Ventura — have pulled out of the project, citing unforeseen needed seismic upgrades and a restriction on allowable hours of operation. Part of the business plan for Discovery involved hosting live music, which meant being open late. For the full story, go to: https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article213965239.html. For a look at the Discovery operation in Ventura, go to: http://www.discoveryventura.com.

 

* Following two shootings on the property in a span of two months, Bowl-Inn in Buffalo, N.Y., was ordered closed by the Buffalo Police Department. Proprietor Mark Williamson said the shootings — one that took place in proximity to the business, the other in the center’s parking lot after hours — have been improperly associated with his business. Of the after-hours parking lot incident, in which a person sitting in a cab was shot, Williamson said, “How can I control that?” Read more here: https://buffalonews.com/2018/06/22/owner-protests-buffalos-closure-of-bowling-alley-after-fatal-shooting-in-parking-lot/.

 

* With the door being opened for states to join Nevada in offering legal sports betting, Morgan Stanley expects more than $5 billion in new revenue to become available to public companies by 2025 — something that may prompt some adjustments to retirement accounts. For a comprehensive look at how widespread sports betting figures to shake out, see Alex Nichols’s Legislation column in the July issue of Bowling Center Management.

 

* The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has announced that John Hallenbeck has joined the association’s team as Vice President of North American Operations. Hallenbeck will lead the IAAPA North American office, based in Orlando, and oversee membership engagement, growth and service of the association’s largest region, representing more than 3,500 members. With more than 25 years of themed entertainment experience, Hallenbeck most recently served as Managing Director of Project Development at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

 

*Proprietors Lance Murray and Anne Roman have decided to put Victory Lanes Bowling and Entertainment Center in Kankakee, Ill., up for sale. “Lance is simply ready to retire,” Roman told the Daily Journal newspaper. “Running a business like this requires a lot of time. He’s looking to move on to another venture.” The just-under 17,000-sq.-ft. venue includes 16 lanes.

 

* IAAPA has commenced construction on its planned 22,000-sq.-ft. global headquarters, located on seven acres in Orlando, Fla. Completion of the $14 million site is scheduled for summer 2019.

 

* Ventola Projects, a firm specializing in bespoke LED design and installation, has announced its official U.S. distributor following its recent expansion to the States. The lighting business will be partnering with Kool Amusements, an arcade, pool table and bowling lane provider that operates in Las Vegas. “We’ve spent the past several months preparing for our expansion to the U.S., and now we’ve extended our partnership with Kool Amusements, who will supply our branded products as our official distributor for this region,” said Mick Ventola, Managing Director at Ventola Projects U.S.

 

 

Other News You Can Use…

 

* PBA and ABC/USBC Hall of Famer Johnny Guenther of Edmonds, Wash., died Wednesday after a short illness. He was 82. Among Guenther’s PBA 11 titles was the 1972 PBA National Championship, his lone major. But he was probably best remembered for his performance in the 1969 San Jose Open, in which he bowled only the second 300 game ever seen on live television. On ABC’s “Pro Bowlers Tour” telecast, Guenther, the No. 4 qualifier, beat Buzz Fazio, 203-195, in the first match, and then went on to defeat Don Johnson, 300-189. He then defeated Billy Hardwick, 233-214, in the semifinal, and finally the top-seeded Wayne Zahn, 268-194, for the title. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/pba-great-johnny-guenther-dead-at-age-82/.

 

* Erin McCarthy, who captured her first Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour title two weeks ago, seemingly always finds a way to work her way into contention, having made the stepladder finals in two majors. At the U.S. Women’s Open this week, McCarthy has quietly worked her way up the standings and Thursday night posted a 6-2 record in the opening round of match play to snag the lead. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/erin-mccarthy-takes-lead-in-u-s-womens-open/.

 

* Bryanna Coté nudged her way into the four-player field for the Go Bowling PWBA Challenge, taking the final spot with a fourth-place finish at last week’s PWBA event. She then proceeded to take full advantage of the opportunity in the special event. Coté defeated Josie Barnes, 248-233, in the title match to pocket the $5,000 top prize. Go Bowling, the consumer-facing brand of the bowling industry, sponsored the special competition for PWBA Tour competitors. The finalists were determined based on PWBA points earned in the first six PWBA standard events. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/cote-claims-go-bowling-pwba-challenge-title/.

 

* When Ryan Ciminelli of Clarence, N.Y., returns to Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Ill., Saturday to defend the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open title he won in 2016, he and the rest of the field will find a few changes in place, including the debut of PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling.com, and a new format that will bring a new dimension to the qualifying portion of the event. To read about the unique format and associated events, go to: https://www.pba.com/articles/Unique-Format-in-Place-as-FloBowling-Makes-Its-Debut-with-PBA-Xtra-Frame-Parkside-Lanes-Open.

 

* For the latest edition of The Bowlers Journal Podcast, BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione caught up with Luby Publishing President Keith Hamilton during the trade show portion of Bowl Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center last week. Hamilton happened to have just received the 2018 BPAA Media Award during the awards ceremony at Bowl Expo, and he also had just presided over the International Bowling Media Association’s Board Meeting and its Annual Membership meeting during Bowl Expo as well. Manzione spoke with him about the IBMA’s Chuck Pezzano Media Scholarship, the 2018 Media Award that Hamilton received, and how important it is for bowling media to identify tomorrow’s bowling writers among today’s youth. You can listen to the conversation here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/the-bowlers-journal-podcast-keith-hamilton/.

 

* Reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte, 2017 U.S. Open champion Rhino Page, 2018 Barbasol PBA Players Championship titlist Tom Smallwood and Sweden’s two-handed powerhouse, Jesper Svensson, are ESPN’s candidates for the 2018 “Best Bowler ESPY.” More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/belmonte-page-smallwood-svensson-earn-espy-best-bowler-nominations/.

 

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is hall-of-fame bowling writer Joan Taylor. To listen to the interview, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2018/6/27/joan-taylor-phantom-radio.

 

* 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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