Cyber Report #1058

E-dition No. 1,058 • Friday, May 24, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

More Changes Ahead for National Bowling Stadium?

Anyone who has visited this year’s USBC Open Championships venue at the South Point Tournament Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas knows that big changes are coming to the National Bowling Stadium in Reno.

A large display greets visitors as they exit the Plaza, including an artist’s rendering of the renovated stadium. Among other things, much of the stadium’s seating area is being replaced by a larger bowlers’ area, with more room for the bowling balls brought by competitors.

You can hear more about the renovation in this BJI podcast with USBC’s Duane Hagin: https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/usbcs-duane-hagen-on-the-25th-anniversary-of-the-national-bowling-stadium

Now, the Reno Gazette Journal is reporting that the Reno City Council has voted unanimously to begin crafting a negotiating agreement with a development company aiming to build a hotel on the blighted CityCenter Plaza that would connect via skyway with the National Bowling Stadium and Reno Events Center.

But that’s not all. Along with the hotel, the public-private development firm, P3 Partners, would invest money in the bowling stadium to make it suitable for volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer and possibly other sports in addition to bowling.

The CityCenter Plaza area has sat vacant since 2010, and attracts many of Reno’s homeless people. It’s an area that bowlers must walk through to get to the National Bowling Stadium if they’re staying at one of the large downtown properties along Virginia Street. Many bowlers opt to drive the long block and park in the Stadium’s parking garage rather than deal with the area on foot.

PBA Extends and Expands Deal With H5G Brands

H5G Brands, the official jersey provider of the PBA since 2013, has renewed its agreement with the PBA through July 1, 2022, representatives of both companies announced Monday.

H5G Brands also will assume management of the PBA’s online and on-site merchandise sales in a companion two-year agreement that begins July 1, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark, and H5G President Todd Molbeck confirmed.

“We are excited about expanding our partnership with H5G,” Clark said. “Together we have grown the category of dye-sub bowling jerseys by helping shape player personalities and giving sponsors greater exposure. Now fans will have greater opportunities to feel closer to the PBA through H5G’s new commitment towards merchandising a diverse assortment of products.”

Said Molbeck: “H5G Brands has dedicated itself to enhancing the image of professional bowling ever since our relationship with the PBA began, and our goal will be to continue to pursue that objective with diverse products and contemporary designs. As promised in the beginning, we have provided PBA competitors with high-quality clothing designed for competition, and we continue to re-invest in the growth of the sport.”

Molbeck’s company now also will be responsible for merchandising sales on site at all PBA Tour stops, through the PBA Store on pba.com and through the H5Gbrands.com website. The merchandise line will include a larger mix of products beyond jerseys and shirts when it is unveiled in September.

Brunswick, LeaguePals Offer Cloud-Based League Platform

Brunswick has announced a strategic partnership with LeaguePals, a cloud-based league management platform for league scoring, online payments and accounting.

LeaguePals streamlines league tasks to save centers time while providing a modern league experience to attract new customers and engage returning bowlers.

With LeaguePals, bowlers can pay online — either through automated recurring payments or each week — which eliminates the potential for theft, simplifies accounting, and saves centers time by automatically reconciling all league finances.

“Brunswick is committed to competitive bowling, and we believe that LeaguePals is what today’s and tomorrow’s bowlers are looking for in a modern bowling experience,” said Corey Dykstra, President of Brunswick Bowling Products.

Bowlers who download the LeaguePals app have deep tracking of their stats and standings and receive league-based notifications such as lane assignments and standings updates minutes after the league completes. They can pay their league dues and receive prize fund payouts via the app.

As a result of using LeaguePals, some centers have reported more than 20% increases in food and beverage sales due to bowlers having more cash in their pockets when bowling in leagues.

LeaguePals is available for any scoring system, including Sync, Vector, Frameworx, and non-Brunswick systems.

“We have a strong vision for what the future league bowling experience looks like,” said Product Manager Scott Meier, “and we are excited by what is coming for LeaguePals and Sync scoring.”

Limited Spots Remain for Bowl Expo Boot Camps

Only 27 spots remain available for the three day-long Boot Camps that will kick off International Bowl Expo week in Las Vegas on Sunday, June 23.

As of Tuesday, each of three featured Boot Camps — one dealing with digital marketing, one with talent acquisition and one with league development — had only nine seats remaining.

The Boot Camps are complimentary with full Bowl Expo registration, but spots must be reserved in advance.

For further information, visit bowexpo.com and click on the “General Info” tab.

BCM to Feature 4-Part Series on F&B

The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show celebrated its 100th Anniversary Show at Chicago’s McCormick Place with a four-day show that concluded on Tuesday.

To kick off the festivities, a 1,000-lb. cheesecake, courtesy of Eli’s Cheesecake, was sliced and served to show attendees on Saturday. The cake was cut by Dawn Sweeney, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association, and Ted Balestreri, the 100th Anniversary Chairman.

Food-and-beverage service has become an important source of revenue and profits for proprietors across the spectrum of bowling-based business models, and Bowling Center Management magazine, BJI’s sister publication, will begin a comprehensive four-part series on various aspects of F&B in its July issue.

Former Team USA Member Excels in ‘The BJ’

The Bowlers Journal Championships is in its 73rd year as the premier side event held in conjunction with the USBC Open Championships, and this year’s edition is being contested at the South Point Bowling Center, a short walk from the South Point Bowling Plaza, home of the 2019 Open Championships.

Past Team USA member (2009) and two-time Junior Team USA member (2007, 2009) Tim Pfeifer of Oakdale, Pa., was able to continue his success at the 2019 BJ by adding an 800 series to his list of accomplishments.

The 32-year-old right-hander, who rolled a 300 game in the tournament on May 14 to land in the top 10 in Open Singles and Open Doubles, tossed games of 244, 287 and 269 for an 800 series May 16.

Pfeifer’s effort was the third 800 posted this year at the BJ. At the time, he entered doubles only with teammates Brian Waliczek (1411) and Adam Barta (1370). Pfeifer and Waliczek are seventh in Open Doubles, while he and Barta just missed the top 10.

Business Briefs…

* Remember when the advertising slogan for Sears was, “Where America Shops”? Well, that hasn’t been true for a long time, especially since Amazon came on the scene. Now, yet another Sears retail location has closed, to be replaced by a mix of dining and entertainment. Filling the 220,000-sq.-ft. footprint that Sears left at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo will be luxury cinema operator Cinepolis, Palette Restaurant, Belcampo Market, MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company, and the 12th location of Pinstripes. It will be the first Pinstripes in California.

* Space at another shopping destination — Northwoods Mall in North Charleston, S.C. — will soon be filled by a new location of Round1 Bowling & Amusement. Bowling, karaoke, billiards and an arcade will be included in the 46,000-sq.-ft. venue.

* A second location of The Eleanor — a 7,700-sq.-ft. bowling lounge, bar and grille — has been announced for downtown Silver Springs, Md. The venue will serve brunch, lunch and dinner, host two happy hours per weekday and offer six bowling lanes, more than a dozen arcade games and multiple outdoor patios. Other new tenants in the revitalized downtown area include the Roll By Goodyear restaurant and the Locavino wine bar. Plans also call for a new public plaza, “dynamic green space” and public art.

* Long a stronghold of candlepin bowling, Maine is getting a new tenpin facility this fall when Smitty’s Cinema in Sanford will open a family entertainment center with 10 lanes of tenpin bowling, a 50-game arcade, and a 100-seat lounge with multiple HD TVs. Smitty’s has five cinema locations in Maine and New Hampshire, and the company said it selected the Sanford location for introducing its first FEC concept because “it is our most successful theatre.”

* First Columbia plans to install nine or ten candlepin bowling lanes in the basement of a building next to Hedley Park Place, the shirt factory-turned-offices at 433 River St. in downtown Troy, N.Y. It will be a rare candlepin installation outside of New England.

* Ohio-based Pins Mechanical Company plans to open its first Indiana location at the former Coca-Cola bottling plant in 2020. The massive Art Deco-style building is being transformed into what developers have dubbed the Bottle District, which will offer places to work, live, eat and enjoy entertainment. Pins Mechanical Company will feature duckpin bowling, Foosball, pinball games, ping-pong tables and more.

* The new owner of a longtime South Buffalo bowling center, restaurant and sports bar is seeking city permission to reopen the business as an indoor amusement facility. Alfred Castricone has applied for a special-use permit from the Common Council to operate Five Star Lanes at the former Recckio’s Bowling Center. The business would include live entertainment, a pizzeria and outdoor volleyball, with total capacity of 400 people. The 22,264-sq.-ft., two-story building sits on two acres, and was built in 1920.

* Fowling, an activity that combines football and bowling, is coming to the Mayfair Collection mall in Wauwatosa, Wis. Plans envision 14 “lanes” of the activity, which calls for players to knock over regular bowling pins by throwing a football at them. Bar and fair food — including funnel cake, fries, pizza, cheese curds, sandwiches and nachos — will be available, as will craft beers.

* Revolutions Bowling Bar & Grille, a 35,000-sq.-ft. entertainment facility that anchored the north end of Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach, Fla., has closed for good. Since opening in December 2013, the owners of the upscale venue, which included 20 bowling lanes, had a contentious relationship with their landlord. There had been multiple attempts by CityPlace Retail to evict the business, according to WPTV.

* The building and property of the former El Dorado Lanes in Jackson Township, Ohio, will be sold by Jackson Township trustees, who were awarded the property through a gambling-related forfeiture case.

Other News You Can Use…

* Dasha Kovalova of the Ukraine won her first career PWBA Tour title and major championship Tuesday by delivering a double in her final frame at the 2019 USBC Queens. The 24-year-old right-hander defeated Malaysia’s Sin Li Jane, 226-216, at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., to claim the tiara and $20,000 top prize. The stepladder final round was aired live on CBS Sports Network.

* The last two semifinal berths for the inaugural PBA Playoffs will be determined when No. 7 seed Bill O’Neill meets No. 15 seed Wes Malott, and No. 6 seed Sean Rash takes on No. 14 seed Dom Barrett in Race-to-2-Points matchups on FS1 this Monday at 9 p.m. Eastern from Bayside Bowl in Portand, Maine. The winners of Monday’s matches will join No. 4 seed Anthony Simonsen and No. 9 seed Kris Prather, who earned their berths in the semifinals after winning Round of 8 matches that aired Monday on FS1.

* Atlas Obscura has put together a video on Highland Park Bowl, the Los Angeles landmark that first opened in 1927 and underwent a massive renovation/restoration project a few years ago. Click here to view the video and learn more about this historic venue: https://www.atlasobscura.com/videos/step-inside-los-angeles-s-oldest-bowling-alley.

* If you did not watch the stepladder finals of the 2019 PWBA Greater Cleveland Open on BowlTV on April 27, you missed the tutorial in high-stakes, clutch shot-making put on by Josie Barnes. Needing all three strikes in the 10th to force opponent Cherie Tan to strike out herself to win by a pin, Barnes flushed all three, then watched a stone 9-pin rock Tan and hand Barnes her third career PWBA Tour victory. If you did watch and Barnes seemed to be particularly fired up throughout her two matches on the show, it may have had something to do with the major personal news she had learned heading into Cleveland that has made each event she bowls in 2019 all the more urgent for her. She spoke about that and much more on the latest episode of The Bowlers Journal Podcast, which you can listen to here:

https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/josiebarneseditfinal.

* NBC 26 in Green Bay, Wis., recently featured Mally’s Spare Time in Greenleaf, Wis., on its “Small Towns” segment. Check out the four-lane center here: https://www.nbc26.com/shows/small-towns/small-towns-one-of-the-quaintest-bowling-alleys. Mally’s also was included on the most recent Wisconsin Vintage Alleys Tour, conducted by the Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin.

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is John Carter, the son of Don and Paula Carter. You’ll hear stories about cars, gambling and more. To listen to the interview, click here: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2019/5/22/john-carter-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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