Cyber Report #1,024


E-dition No. 1,024 • Friday, October 5, 2018

Editor: Bob Johnson (


Proprietor Killed in Pinsetting Machine Accident


Even though it happens every few years, the news never becomes less gruesome to hear about or painful to report.


This past Sunday afternoon at Fremont Lanes in Florence, Colo., Ector Rodriguez was killed while working on the pinsetting machine of lane six. Rodriguez was 65.


“When officers arrived, they found him trapped in the… machinery,” Florence Police Chief Mike DeLaurentis told The Pueblo Chieftain. “They could not find a pulse and he was not breathing.”


Rodriguez was declared dead at the scene.


Added DeLaurentis: “It appears he was attempting to dislodge something and the machinery may have malfunctioned. It was just an unfortunate industrial accident.”


Today’s pinsetting machines are built with layers of safety features, but the procedures are not always adhered to by those who work on the machines. This type of incident is a sober reminder that accidents to happen, and can be minimized when the safety guidelines are followed.


The police chief knew the victim well.


“He opened up the bowling alley for the high school kids and he was well-liked and well known in the community,” DeLaurentis said.


Florence is located in southern Colorado. The community of about 4,000 is home to America’s only “supermax” prison.



A Fourth Cinergy Opens With 18 Lanes


A new Cinergy Cinemas & Entertainment complex has opened in Amarillo, Texas.


In addition to theaters featuring the latest technology and amenities, the Amarillo location offers an outdoor patio/bar, party rooms, 18 bowling lanes, billiards, laser tag, a zip line, a virtual reality attraction, a 4D ride, an expansive game floor and more.


The 90,000-sq.-ft. complex is located in Amarillo’s Town Square Village development.


“We’ve leveraged the latest technology to provide innovative entertainment experiences,” said Jeff Benson, Cinergy’s co-founder and CEO. “After much research, we’ve even added zero gravity heated seats to our luxury reclining seats to enhance the in-theater viewing experience.”


This weekend (Friday through Sunday), guests can sign up for Cinergy Elite, a free loyalty program. There will be a prize wheel to spin for those who do sign up, featuring prizes such as Cinergy game cards, free attractions, free popcorn, movie swag, Cinergy swag and more. Also, guests that become members will receive a free popcorn just for signing up.


The Amarillo complex is the fourth Cinergy, joining other Texas locations in Copperas Cove, Midland and Odessa. The Odessa location also features bowling.



Transition Planned for Eldorado Management Team


Eldorado Resorts’ board of directors has approved an executive management transition to position the company for its next phase of growth.


Effective Jan. 1, 2019, Tom Reeg, who currently serves as the company’s president and chief financial officer, will assume the role of CEO. Gary Carano, the company’s current chairman and CEO, has been appointed to the new role of executive chairman.


Among other things, Carano will assist the board and the CEO with regard to a wide variety of strategic matters, including the company’s long-term initiatives to maximize its customer-facing amenities and pursue additional acquisition opportunities.


Anthony Carano will assume the role of president and remain chief operating officer. The company has commenced a search for a new CFO.


Members of the Carano family were strong backers of the construction of the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, which is located one block from three Eldorado properties in the downtown district.


Eldorado Resorts is investing more than $100 million in facility enhancements to those properties — Eldorado Reno, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus Reno — as part of a three-year master plan. The three connected properties, now spanning six contiguous city blocks, will see more than 4,100 guest rooms renovated, new restaurant concepts introduced, and resort amenities added, including a full-service luxury spa.



Indy Operator Doty, LPI’s Johnson Elected to PBA Hall


By Bill Vint, PBA Media Relations


Professional Bowlers Association champions Patrick Allen of South Salem, N.Y., and Mika Koivuniemi of Finland have been elected to the PBA Hall of Fame, along with veteran bowling journalist Bob Johnson of Las Vegas and long-time Indianapolis tournament host Jim Doty, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark announced Monday.


The 2019 PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, as part of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic tournament that will be contested at the International Research and Training Center Jan. 2-6. The finals of the first tournament on the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season will be televised live on FS1 on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 11 a.m. Eastern.


Allen, a 13-time PBA Tour title winner, and Koivuniemi, one of the most successful international players in PBA history, were elected by an elite panel of veteran bowling writers, industry leaders and PBA Hall of Famers in the Superior Performance category.


Allen won PBA’s 2004-05 Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year award after becoming the second player in PBA history to finish among the top five in all four PBA majors during the same season — finishing second in the USBC Masters and U.S. Open, fifth in the PBA Tournament of Champions and winning the PBA World Championship.


“I don’t know exactly how I feel yet,” Allen said. “People are always saying you’re a lock (for hall of fame election), but you don’t know until it happens. I’m just happy I finally got there. I’m going to embrace it, and now I’ll have to figure out a speech.


“It was a helluva ride,” the 48-year-old left-hander added. “It just went faster than I would have liked. You blink your eyes and wonder, where did it go? But the time comes for every professional athlete, and the results show that. Your mind says you can do it, but your body won’t respond. You have to know when to say when.”


Koivuniemi, who now resides in the United Arab Emirates where he is coaching the UAE national bowling team, is a 14-time PBA Tour champion who earned his nickname, “Major Mika,” after winning two majors before he won his first “standard” PBA Tour title. In his first PBA television appearance, Koivuniemi defeated PBA star Pete Weber by a pin to win the 2000 USBC Masters. A year later he won the U.S. Open, and he claimed the crown jewel of his PBA career in 2011, when he won the $250,000 first prize in the $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions.


“I’m having a really good day,” the 51-year-old Koivuniemi said. “It was a really great call [from Tom Clark].


“I was 32 when I joined the PBA, but I had my experience around the world before I joined. But back then bowling on tour was something you needed to learn about. To bowl every week and to realize how good the players really were was different. Even when you had a good week, making the top 24 or a [TV] show was really hard. I knew I had to get better.


“It’s amazing how fast time goes,” he added. “I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I bowled on tour for the last time. But being in the hall of fame now is a great, great honor.”


Johnson, who began his journey into bowling journalism at age 15, is the only person in the bowling family to serve as editor of five national bowling magazines, winning 75 national writing awards for his news, feature and editorial compositions, many of which directly involved the PBA.


Currently senior editor of Bowlers Journal International and editor of Bowling Center Management and Bowling Entertainment Center magazines, he is a recipient of both the International Bowling Media Association’s Luby Hall of Fame Award and the Mid-America Bowling Writers Golden Quill Award.


“I have been blessed to be able to cover bowling competition at the highest level, to see the best players bowl in the most pressure-packaged situations, and to be able to talk to them and write about them is a privilege I’ve never taken lightly,” Johnson said. “To be honored for the work I’ve done is really something I don’t have the words to describe. If I was talking about someone else, I could describe it, but myself? Well, that’s difficult.”


Doty, who has served as general manager of the Royal Pin Leisure Centers chain in Indianapolis since 1996, has been the host for every major championship tournament conducted by the PBA at least once over the past two-plus decades. The 1971 Indiana University graduate joined the Royal Pin group in 1978, working under Royal Pin founder and 2018 PBA Hall of Fame inductee Don Mitchell as marketing manager until his promotion to general manager.


“It’s a nice way to start your week,” said Doty of his congratulatory call from Clark. “It was a surprise. I wasn’t thinking about it, actually. I don’t think you do what you do with the hopes of someday being put into the hall of fame, but it’s always nice to be recognized for what you do.


“It’s not only me; it’s having a great staff of people who make these things happen,” Doty added. “It’s a continuing process. At Woodland Bowl, we have endeared ourselves to the PBA over the years. The bowling industry is changing, but traditions need to be retained and honored, and that’s what we try to do.”


Additional career details for the four inductees may be found here:


The 2019 PBA Hall of Fame ceremonies will be live streamed by PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling. Tickets for the event will be available online in the near future (



Business Briefs…


* Brad Handelman, the President of KR Strikeforce, has announced that the company will be donating $25,000 to multiple cancer-related charities over the next few weeks. This week, KR has selected the USBC-supported fundraising effort, Bowl for the Cure. You can view Handelan’s announcement here:


* A new bowling-based entertainment center called Good Times has opened about 10 minutes from Auburn University in Alabama. In addition to bowling, Good Times offers 30 arcade games, two escape rooms, a full bar and an eclectic food menu (including a mushroom Swiss burger). Take a visual tour of the center here:


* Wanda and Ernie Simmons have purchased Frontier Lanes in Stillwater, Okla., from the Cummins family. The Simmonses had been long-term managers of the center. Ken Mischel of Mischel & Company/The Hansell Group handled the sale.



Other News You Can Use…


* In a showdown between two of the PBA’s all-time greats, Walter Ray Williams Jr. beat top qualifier Norm Duke, 259-237, in the title match to win the PBA50 Storm Invitational at Planet Fun Bowling & Entertainment Center in Shallotte, N.C. Full report:


* Top qualifier Danielle McEwan turned back Stuart Williams in a two-game championship match to win the PBA International-WBT Thailand at Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl Paragon in Bangkok, Thailand. McEwan is a PBA member, but won’t receive credit for a PBA title because she accepted the eight handicap pins available to women entrants. Full report:


* From Rookie of the Year one season to Player of the Year the next, Michael Haugen Jr. is experiencing a rebirth of his competitive career that ultimately may pave his way to the PBA Hall of Fame. That is a mission very much on Haugen’s mind these days as he piles up titles and accolades on the PBA50 Tour after bagging five titles on the PBA Tour including one major, the 2008 Tournament of Champions. The 2018 PBA50 Player of the Year’s spectacular run of success on the senior circuit was rewarded with a ball contract, as he joined Storm’s pro staff in August. Listen to his full conversation with BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione here:


* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is former pro bowler Mike Kelly. To listen to the conversation, click here:


* 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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