Cyber Report #1027

E-dition No. 1,027 • Friday, October 26, 2018

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Eyes of Bowling World Focused on U.S. Open

The 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season will come to a dramatic end over the next few days with a number of plot lines in play as the U.S. Open gets under way at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan.

Those plot lines include the tournament’s impact on the PBA Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year races, the possibility of a new addition to the PBA’s “Triple Crown” roster, maybe a record-tying major, and a battle for berths in the end-of-season PBA Clash.

For starters, how players finish in the U.S. Open could be a significant factor in deciding the 2018 PBA Player and Rookie of the Year races. Heading into the final PBA Tour event of the year, E.J. Tackett is the only three-title winner in 2018. Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Andrew Anderson and Jakob Butturff are all solidly in contention with two titles each.

On a personal level, the U.S. Open may also have special meaning to Belmonte and Tackett. Both players are in need of a U.S. Open title to complete the PBA Triple Crown. A win by Belmonte also would be his 10th major, tying the legendary Earl Anthony and Pete Weber for the all-time record for most PBA major titles.

The U.S. Open will pay $30,000, $15,000, $12,000, $10,000 and $8,000 to the top five finishers. Fans can track the competition through exclusive live coverage of the qualifying and match play rounds by Xtra Frame on FloBowling Friday through next Tuesday. Fans also can follow the U.S. Open via the “Live Scoring” feature on pba.com. The five-man stepladder finals will air live on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The prize money could impact the PBA Clash, a special event that will officially debut the PBA’s historic new television agreement with FOX Sports. The Clash will feature the top eight players in PBA earnings for the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season. Belmonte, Tackett, Anderson and Simonsen have locked up berths in the Clash, based on their current-season earnings, but they could change positions based upon what they may earn in the U.S. Open.

Behind the top four, Stuart Williams, Dom Barrett, Marshall Kent and Kyle Troup currently hold the next four spots, but there are several players mathematically in contention to overtake any of those four. Williams made a big move after picking up a total of $36,000 in the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing.

The PBA Clash, which also will include a preview of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season on FOX and FS1, will take place at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., on Monday, Dec. 10, and will air on FOX on Sunday, Dec. 23, at 2:30 or 4:30 p.m. (depending on where the viewer lives).

Main Event Debuts New Shareable Menu Items

Life is short — eat dessert first!

That’s what many guests will be saying when they order the new Big Fun Super Sundae, one of several new shareable menu items launching at Main Event Entertainment.

The colossal dessert, which serves up to four people, is made with four types of gelato — strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and the new blue cookies and cream — topped with chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate syrup, cinnamon-sugar donut holes, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and candy. It’s described by Main Event as “the perfect dessert to share with friends and family after a game of bowling or an hour of arcade game play.”

To celebrate the launch of the new sundae, Main Event also is debuting a 7-ft. sundae photo stand in its centers so guests can take photos with the dessert and capture the delicious memory.

Additional new innovative and shareable menu items include:

* Queso Creation Appetizer — Main Event’s house-made signature queso is served with sides of bacon, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, scratch-made guacamole and sour cream.

* Jumbo Wings — These new bone-in wings are larger than ever, tossed in your favorite wing sauce and served with your favorite dipping sauces.

* Warm Skillet Cookie — A giant, warm, ooey-gooey, milk chocolate chip cookie, baked and topped with creamy vanilla gelato.

In addition to fun shareable menu items, Main Event also has added plenty of craveable items for folks who don’t want to share. Example: the Main Event Burger. This burger boasts two angus steak burgers, four slices of American cheese and four slices of bacon on a toasted brioche bun with all the fixin’s.

Other new menu items include:

* Crispy Chicken Tender Sandwich.

* Wild West Burger, made with Sriracha BBQ sauce and gourmet onion rings

* A Kid’s Hot Dog Meal

* A gluten-friendly cauliflower crust substitution on any signature pizza.

For guests over the age of 21, Main Event has just debuted its Grand Margarita, Frozen Sangria Swirl Margarita and the Blue Hawaiian.

“At Main Event, we continuously focus on the creation of innovative, craveable, shareable menu items that elevate the experience you have when you are in one of our centers,” said Director of Menu Innovation, Mark Boyton. “Sharing ‘one-of-a-kind’ food and beverages with friends and family is a big part of having the most fun you can have under one roof. The smiles on our guests’ faces when they see our new over-sized sundae says it all and lets us know that we are delivering on our promise of fun.”

To view the full list of new menu items, visit mainevent.com. A special feature story on shareable items and small plates will appear in the November issue of Bowling Center Management magazine.

Washington Center Lives On With Plans for Upgrading

Chuck Linn was getting ready to retire. That meant the outlook for Daffodil Bowl in Puyallup, Wash., was bleak. In all likelihood, the center would be bulldozed to make way for a parking lot.

Fortunately, Randy Beddow and Brad Swartz had been looking to start a business together, and heard about the center’s impending demise.

“Daffodil Bowl has a 50-year tradition for being a bowling center,” Swartz told The News Tribune. “You have a lot of really good bowlers here who take it very seriously. As we investigated the business, the more we found out what a gem this place was.”

So, they struck a deal with Linn, and took over ownership on Aug. 30. They asked Linn to stick around for a year on a contract basis to show them the ropes.

Beddow is an electrical contractor and Swartz is a business owner. Swartz also was a competitive wrestler. In 2009, he won the FILA Veterans World Wrestling Championships, held that year in Ankara, Turkey, for the third time.

Before he retired, Linn had invested in new pinsetting equipment, carpeting, and upgrades to the bar and front desk. The new owners already have invested in exterior lighting to improve safety, and are planning to resurface the parking light and make visual improvements to the building. Inside, they’re considering constructing a private lanes area for parties. They’re even considering adding lanes in the future.

“We want the whole place to be a five-star experience,” Swartz said.

Orlando’s Colonial Lanes May Have New Life

“We are sorry to announce that Colonial Lanes will be closing May 24th.
The new owners will be doing a major remodel that will involve removing some of the lanes.
Thanks to all of you for the great memories!”

That message has appeared on the homepage of Colonial Lanes for several months. Now, the future of the Orlando, Fla., bowling center has been revealed.

Plans submitted to the city by the property’s new owner, Titan Properties, call for it to be split into two developments: a three-story mixed-use building with retail and offices, and a smaller bowling center described as an “upscale entertainment complex.”

Colonial Lanes was a 32-lane center, but the reimagined center would have fewer lanes, according to reports.

USBC Releases Membership Satisfaction Survey Results

The United States Bowling Congress has released results of its latest Membership Satisfaction Survey that show overall member satisfaction has improved over the past two years, as 8.5% more members responded they are extremely satisfied or satisfied overall with USBC compared to 2016.

USBC received 15,373 responses to the email survey about the 2017-18 season that was sent to adult USBC members. Based on the response and a confidence interval of 95%, it is estimated the survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 0.79%.

Key findings of the survey include:

* Membership satisfaction is improving. Compared to 2016, 8.5% more members say they are extremely satisfied or satisfied overall with USBC.

* The overwhelming majority of USBC members (84.5%) are extremely satisfied (21%), satisfied (43%) or neutral (21%) overall with USBC.

* USBC customer service received strong ratings, with 95% of members reporting service satisfaction at either neutral or above.

“I am really proud of our state and local USBC associations, and believe they deserve tremendous credit for these great results,” USBC President Karl Kielich said. “The data shows USBC as an association is providing value at all levels, and membership satisfaction is improving because of it.”

A summary of the USBC Membership Satisfaction Survey is published on BOWL.com.

Shaffer Distributing Announces 3 Promotions

Shaffer Distributing has announced the promotions of three individuals on its leadership team, effective immediately.

Bill Kraft has been promoted to Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. Shaffer’s long-time President will assist in the oversight and management of both Shaffer Distributing and Shaffer Entertainment.

Scott Shaffer has been promoted to President. For several years, he has played a significant role in managing the overall enterprise from his position as Vice President of Sales.

George Speakman has been promoted to Vice President of Sales. Since joining the Shaffer organization several years ago, Speakman has done an incredible job growing and managing the company’s FEC business. He will now work directly with all members of the Shaffer sales team to enhance the company’s sales efforts and offerings across the board.

Other News You Can Use…

* Stuart Williams won all four matches and averaged 251 in the stepladder finals to win the FloBowling PBA Tulsa Open, the pinnacle event of the FloBowling PBA Fall Swing at The Lanes at Coffee Creek in Owasso, Okla. In a final round that featured a dual lane condition pattern — the  PBA 39-ft. Bear pattern on the left lane and 33-ft. Wolf pattern on the right lane — Williams beat two-time Go Bowling! PBA Tour winner and top qualifier Andrew Anderson, 237-215, in the title match for his second career title and the $30,000 first prize. Full report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/stuart-williams-wins-30k-top-prize-in-tulsa-open-for-second-pba-tour-title/.

* Josh Blanchard’s slip-and-fall during the 2011 PBA World Championship elimination matches at South Point in Las Vegas is being revisited, thanks to a new Google Pixel 3 ad called “Flip to Shhh.” The video clip, depicting Blanchard being distracted by an untimely cell phone pinging during his delivery, is included in one of the commercials Google Pixel 3 is airing nationally to sell its newest top-of-the-line smart phone. To view the clip, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eD_lhnyW9k.

* Concrete Software is getting into the Halloween spirit with a new “Boo-ling Tournament” for PBA Bowling Challenge players. The “spooky” tournament, currently underway, invites players to battle through frightful opponents in 13 “spooktacular” games on cemetery-themed lanes with special “candy corn” oil patterns. Included in the contest are three new Halloween-theme bowling balls players can use. Anyone with an Android or iPhone mobile device can download the PBA Bowling Challenge at no cost, joining the throng of more than 23 million people who have already joined the fun.

* Larry Gray returns for another visit on Phantom Radio this week. Topics include the importance of trusting one’s subconscious mind in bowling, and how he spent an entire summer programming his subconscious, leading to four high-level tournament victories in five weeks. To listen to the interview, click here: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2018/10/24/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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