Cyber Report #1,020

E-dition No. 1,020 • Friday, September 7, 2018

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

 

New Ownership, Leadership for GameWorks

 

ExWorks Capital has assumed full ownership of GameWorks and appointed new leadership.

 

GameWorks is an entertainment and dining experience for families, with locations in Chesapeake, Va.; Denver, Colo.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Newport, Ky.; Schaumburg, Ill.; Seattle, Wash, and The Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minn. The facilities average between 20,000 and 30,000 square feet in size, and among the attractions are arcade games, laser tag and bowling.

 

ExWorks has been a lender to GameWorks since 2017, and recently restructured its investment, giving it full control of the company. Philip N. Kaplan was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He replaces Greg Stevens, who served as GameWorks’s CEO for six years.

 

Most recently, Kaplan served as managing partner of April Mountain Properties, LLC, a family-owned real estate company that owns and operates residential rental properties. Prior, he was CEO at private equity-held dbtech, a healthcare workflow automation solutions provider.

 

 

NorCal Proprietor Anne Wangeman Passes Away

 

Anne Wangeman, wife of long-time PBA tournament host proprietor Jim Wangeman, passed away on Aug. 27 at the age of 83.

 

The couple built and operated Harvest Park Bowl in Brentwood, Calif., which is approaching its 25th year of operation. In recent years, it has regularly hosted the PBA50 Tour’s Northern California Classic.

 

A celebration of life was held at Harvest Park Bowl on Sept. 2. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Harvest Park Bowl Youth Scholarship Program, Harvest Park Bowl, 5000 Balfour Rd., Brentwood, CA 94513.

 

The Wangemans and Harvest Park Bowl were featured in the July issue of Bowling Center Management magazine.

 

 

PBA’s 2019 Hall of Fame Week Taking Shape

 

The Professional Bowlers Association’s first live telecast under its new agreement with FOX Sports is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 6, as part of a PBA Hall of Fame week that will include the PBA Hall of Fame Classic tournament and the induction of the PBA’s Class of 2019 Hall of Famers.

 

Events will take place at the International Bowling Campus, including the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, in Arlington, Texas.

 

The PBA Hall of Fame Classic, the first event on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule, will include exclusive preliminary round live streaming on PBA Xtra Frame by PBA’s new live-streaming partner, FloBowling.com; live coverage of the PBA Hall of Fame induction dinner at the International Bowling Campus on Saturday, Jan. 5, and live broadcast television coverage of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic finals on FS1 on Sunday, Jan. 6, 11 a.m. Eastern.

 

The PBA Hall of Fame Classic will be contested at the International Bowling Campus’s International Testing and Research Center beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 2. The tournament will be the first qualifying event toward the 2019 PBA Playoffs. Tournament details will be announced later.

 

Also to be announced soon will be the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame candidates in Superior Performance and Meritorious Service categories, along with details regarding tickets for the Hall of Fame dinner.

 

 

Next Wisconsin Vintage Alleys Tour Set for Oct. 14

 

The Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin will host its third Wisconsin Vintage Alleys Tour on Sunday, Oct. 14.

 

BCAW Executive Director Yvonne Bennett has released the following tour schedule:

 

* 8 a.m. — Depart Milwaukee Park & Ride 40-70 (US 41/45 and Good Hope Rd.).

 

* 9 a.m. —  Juneau Lanes, Juneau. This six-lane bowling alley is housed in a building constructed in the 1890s, and features “genuine perfect wooden lanes, old-school overhead projector scoring, above-ground ball returns, and the original Brunswick blue colors and Gold Crown masking units from the ’70s.” Lunch will be provided.

 

* 12:15 p.m. — Bruce’s Bar & Bowl, Valders. The bar was built in 1897, with four lanes added in the 1940s. Their center’s motto is, “We do it better on wood.”

 

* 2:15 p.m. — Baugniet’s Badger Bowl, Mishicot. This alley’s building dates back to 1864. Four lanes were added in the 1940s and the rest, as they say, is history. The vintage feel remains, with a twist of UW Wisconsin. Manual scorekeeping, wood lanes and old AMF equipment complete the vintage look.

 

* 5 p.m. — T & O Lanes, Oshkosh. Opened in 1948, this 16-lane bowling alley with classic wood lanes still has above-lane ball returns, Star Shield masking units and wood benches. “Pizza and good times will follow,” Bennett said.

 

* 8 p.m. — Return to Milwaukee Park & Ride 40-70.

 

By the way, the Wisconsin Vintage Alleys Tour will not be competing with the Green Bay Packers for the attention of Wisconsinites on Oct. 14. The Packers will be playing the following day on “Monday Night Football.”

 

For more on the tour, visit http://www.bowlwi.com/bcaw-events/wisconsin-vintage-alleys-tour/.

 

 

Belmo Continues to Draw Worldwide Attention

 

Although Australia has produced several world-class champions over the past few decades, Aussie bowling never was a top-of-mind sport Down Under until Jason Belmonte began collecting trophies around the world.

 

Even after becoming recognized as arguably the world’s best bowler, it has taken non-stop promotional efforts by Belmo himself, a hands-on effort led by Australia’s Lynne Clay, and the PBA’s constant coverage of Belmonte’s accomplishments to get key media doors opened.

 

After winning PBA Player of the Year honors in four of the past five years, becoming the fastest “millionaire” in PBA history, collecting nine major championships (among his 18 PBA Tour titles) and other unprecedented feats, the sport’s most popular — or most disliked, because of his two-handed style — personality has seen his star rise in his homeland.

 

Earlier this year, the Australia Broadcast Corporation, the country’s version of America’s ABC-TV, profiled Belmonte’s life and bowling career in a segment on its prime-time “7:30” magazine-style program (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/meet-the-world%E2%80%99s-number-one-tenpin-bowler,/9847034).

 

In July, “Inside Sport,” Australia’s version of Sports Illustrated, published an eight-page tribute to Belmonte (https://www.pba.com/content/files/downloads/INSIDE_SPORT_magazine_July_2018.pdf) under the headline, “That’s How He Rolls.”

 

And because Belmonte embraced social media and its global platforms early on, he has cultivated a worldwide fan base. Most recently, working with the “Dude Perfect” YouTube channel for the second time in four years, Belmonte helped orchestrate a series of outrageous trick shots (www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSB9JvsBT4M) that attracted more than 10 million views within the first 24 hours of posting.

 

(“Dude Perfect” is a group of former basketball players and Texas A&M University roommates who created what has become the second-largest YouTube channel in the world. The group teamed up with Belmonte in 2014 to create “Bowling Trick Shots 1,” which has since notched nearly 90 million views, many of them among the highly coveted youth market.)

 

Among the trick shots on the first episode was a “two-handed, 250-yard strike.” When he was approached to do a second version, Belmonte said, “After the success of the first video, I knew we had to up the ante. And after three days of shooting, I told the boys, I’m not sure how we did it, but we just made a better video…”

 

 

Main Event Introduces ‘Friday Night Lights’ Packages

 

First it was a phenomenon, then it was a movie and then it was a television series.

 

“Friday Night Lights,” in general, is a reference to a long-held obsession with high school football in Texas. That obsession has been called “the glue that transcends differences and unites people as fans.”

 

Recognizing that “Friday Night Lights” is still a thing, Main Event Entertainment centers have introduced a new “Friday Night FUN and Games” pass. Beginning last Friday, students 18 and under could visit their local Main Event center after the football game and take part in unlimited activities or play unlimited arcade games for $10.95.

 

“Main Event wanted to offer something special in the tradition of ‘’Friday Night Lights’ with our new ‘Friday FUN and Games’ promotion,” said Chris Morris, CEO and President of Main Event Entertainment. “Every fall, back-to-school and high school football is an American way of life in almost every community. We’re adding some fun to Friday evening entertainment for students. Now, students can have fun with their friends in a safe place to hang out after the game, all for an affordable price that will make parents happy as well.

 

“We’re inviting the student fans, the teams, the band, cheer and even the little brothers and sisters to stop by,” Morris added. “We don’t even care if a few teachers, parents, coaches or even the referees show up to grab a bite and watch the high school football highlights on our big-screen TVs and be part the fun.”

 

Students can take advantage of this offer every Friday from 9 p.m. to close, through Nov. 16.

 

 

PBA Accepting Nominations for Tony Reyes Award

 

The PBA is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Tony Reyes Community Service Award, named in honor of the late PBA Tour player in recognition of his service to the bowling community.

 

The award will be presented in early January to a PBA member in good standing, based upon the extraordinary community service, charitable and/or educational contributions the nominee has made during the 2018 calendar year.

 

The postmark deadline for nominations is Thursday, Nov. 15. Nominees must be current PBA members in good standing. The winner will be selected by a PBA committee and announced during The Clash telecast on FS1 on Sunday, Dec. 23, along with the 2019 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year, Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year and Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner.

 

Reyes Award nominations may be submitted by anyone. Additional information and nomination form may be obtained by visiting https://www.pba.com/Corporate/Awards.

 

 

Business Briefs…

 

* “Imagine” has been announced as the theme for the 2019 F2FEC experience, to be held at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo., March 5-7. “The F2 Experience will explore the premise that ‘Imagine is the path to the ongoing success of today’s family entertainment centers, bowling centers, cinema, trampoline parks, laser, eateries and food-forward bistros, specialty and hybrid entertainment concepts,” organizers said in a release. The Face 2 Face Entertainment Conference is planned and philanthropically produced by the “Three Amigos” — Rick Iceberg, Ben Jones and George Smith — for thought leaders of the entertainment industry. Attendees include manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, media and facility owners. You can apply to be in the room at: www.F2conference.com.

 

* Kittyhawk Lanes at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, east of Dayton, Ohio, has undergone a major modernization, including the installation of masking units that include images of the Wright brothers, donated by Wright State University. Read about the renovation and the ribbon-cutting ceremony here: https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/wright-patt-bowling-center-reopens-following-extensive-renovations/ipXGMSILetiwkqWuKKtPzH/.

 

* The Reading (Pa.) Eagle this week published a conversation with veteran proprietor Al Blough. You can check it out here: http://www.readingeagle.com/business-weekly/article/a-conversation-with–albert-blough-bowling-lane-owner-and-industry-leader. Blough was honored with BPAA’s V.A. Wapensky Award earlier this year, and you can read an in-depth feature on him in the June issue of BCM.

 

* Sempeck’s Bowling & Entertainment in Omaha, Neb., closed its doors on Wednesday, reportedly after failing to keep up with rent payments to the landlord of the building that houses it. The Omaha World-Herald obtained a copy of the email sent by the center’s owners to customers. It read, in part: “The decision [to close] was a difficult one, and we are attempting to notify our customers as quickly as possible. Because there are so many of you, we will not be taking phone calls. We will miss this industry, our beloved company, and the joy it has brought to so many. But most of all, we will miss our wonderful customers. Thank you for being one of them.” Report: https://www.omaha.com/living/sempeck-s-bowling-venue-near-oak-view-mall-abruptly-closes/article_0e3e589c-f94e-5433-bf26-56ab114e0ccd.html.

 

* Intercard has completed a second installation for UltraStar Multi-tainment. The growing chain of UltraStar centers offers one stop, non-stop entertainment for visitors to several casino resorts in Arizona and North Carolina. The newest UltraStar is located at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy, N.C. The 41,000-sq.-ft. center includes 16 lanes of bowling, an arcade, a restaurant, a sports lounge and private party rooms. The 2,000-sq.-ft. arcade features 25 of the latest games and a cashless redemption center serviced by Intercard technology.

 

 

Other News You Can Use…

 

* The PBA passed along the news of the passing of MaryAnn O’Neill, mother of PBA star Bill O’Neill, on Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She was 63. The family has asked that memorial contributions in MaryAnn O’Neill’s name be made to the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, 1001 E. 101st Terrace, Suite 220, Kansas City, MO 64131 or at https://pkdcure.org/.

 

* One of the top players ever to come out of Southern California, Larry Gray, returns to Phantom Radio this week. Topics include Gray averaging better than 240 in league play at age 61, the challenge of helping younger players today because of how much the game has changed, the power of the spiritual mind, and much more. To listen to the conversation, go to:

https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2018/9/5/larry-gray-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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