Cyber Report #1074

E-dition No. 1,074 • Friday, September 6, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (

Bowling Deals With Texas Shooting, East Coast Hurricane

The Labor Day weekend and the days immediately following saw two disasters touch the United States, with bowling tangentially involved in each.

The first involved an active shooter incident in West Texas that ended outside the Cinergy Permian Basin entertainment complex in Odessa. After the shooter traveled approximately 20 miles between Midland and Odessa, shooting at people randomly along the way, police shot and killed him in front of the Cinergy venue, which includes 18 bowling lanes among its array of attractions.

On its website, Cinergy posted this message: “Prayers for West Texas. Our condolences to our community and families affected by this tragedy.”

According to multiple media reports, the incident began when the suspect was pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. Before coming to a full stop, he opened fire on two Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, wounding one, and fled the scene.

He then headed toward the city of Odessa, shooting randomly at people along the way. After abandoning his car, he stole a U.S. Postal Service truck and continued his shooting rampage. Finally, in the parking lot of the Cinergy center, he was shot and killed by police after an exchange of gunfire.

Moments before, inside the center, customers encountered numerous people rushing in, saying that there was a shooter outside. Many quickly evacuated to the rear of the theater complex, seeking shelter.

The facility was closed on Saturday and Sunday in the aftermath of the tragedy. As of Thursday morning, the death toll in the incident stood at seven, along with 22 wounded.

Meanwhile, bowling centers in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas were forced to close as Hurricane Dorian lingered along the Southeast’s coastline after causing catastrophic damage in The Bahamas.

Mario’s Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace, located on New Providence, the most populated island in The Bahamas, posted this on its Facebook page on Sunday: “Due to the advice given by NEMA officials for all residents of New Providence to stay indoors, Mario’s Bowling is closed today. Let’s continue to keep our brothers and sisters in Abaco and Grand Bahama in our thoughts and prayers.”

U.S. bowling centers were following the storm closely, some adhering to evacuation orders and others closing on their own so employees could make their own decisions.

On Sunday, Florida’s Ormond Lanes posted this:

“Hurricane Dorian Update: We will be posting updates throughout the duration [on] the impact of Hurricane Dorian. On Monday we will open at 9 a.m. Volusia County has announced a mandatory curfew for Monday evening at a time to be announced. We will close at least 1 hour prior to the announced curfew. All Monday leagues and Colorama are OFF. All Tuesday and Wednesday leagues are cancelled. Hours after Monday will depend on the county curfew and storm impact. Stay safe.”

Meanwhile, Saint Lucie Lanes posted this:

“So that our employees and families can prepare for Hurricane Dorian, we are closing early today. We will remain closed on Monday. Please stay posted [sic] for updates on when we will reopen. From all of us at Saint Lucie Lanes, Stay Safe.”

On Monday, The Alley Charleston in South Carolina addressed the hurricane with this post:

“The Alley will be closed until further notice to ensure the safety of our staff as #Dorian looms in the distance. We will keep you posted as to when we’ll re-open. Stay safe, Charleston.”

It proved to be a wise move as Charleston implemented lane reversals on Interstate-26 to help evacuate the city ahead of Dorian’s arrival, with all lanes becoming westbound lanes.

On Tuesday, Frames n Games in Savannah, Ga., posted:

“Due to Hurricane Dorian, Frames n Games will be closed on Wednesday, Sept. 4th. We will be closing early today, Sept. 3rd, at 8 p.m.”

Also on Tuesday, Premier Bowl & Bistro in Pooler, Ga., posted:

“We will be open today from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. and will be closed on Wednesday! Stay safe & alert!”

In Jacksonville, Fla., Splitz of Orange Park posted this message on Tuesday night:

“Due to the storm we are closing now for the night, will be closed tomorrow, and we will re-open for normal business hours on Thursday at noon. Stay Safe!”

On Wednesday, as the hurricane headed north, Cardinal Lanes North (a.k.a. Beach Bowl) in Wilmington, N.C., posted:

“We will be closed tomorrow, September 5, 2019. There will be no Wednesday or Thursday Leagues bowling. We plan to reopen Friday if all safe and sound. Thank you.”

Another Wilmington center posted this on Wednesday:

“Ten Pin Alley & Breaktime Billiards will be closing today at 6 p.m. Be safe, N.C.”

Thursday morning brought an offshoot of Hurricane Dorian to a number of areas in the Carolinas: tornado warnings. Reports also indicated that Charleston could face historic flooding as the storm regained strength overnight.

As bowling center owners in hurricane, tornado and fire zones have learned, business interruptions are occurring more frequently than in the past. But as all proprietors would agree, they are a small price to pay in order to keep their employees safe.


Sheikh Talal Gets Second Term as World Bowling President

By a margin of 82-22, Sheikh Talal Mohammed Al–Sabah of Kuwait defeated Perttu Jussila of Finland, to earn a second four-year term as President of World Bowling.

Sheikh Talal oversaw much change during his first term, including recognition of bowling by the International Paralympic Committee, and implementation of a long-term broadcast strategy that has seen partners such as CBS Sports Network come on board.

During the course of the World Bowling Congress in Las Vegas, Sheikh Talal indicated that key topics for his next term would be a Quality Control Program for sports equipment, commercialization of World Bowling properties (including data and broadcast), and continued work toward Olympic Games inclusion.

“I thank those that voted for me and I thank those that did not vote for me,” Sheikh Talal said. “All I ask is that we work together for the future.”


Brunswick Sets Fall Seminar Tour for PSOs

The Brunswick Fall Seminar Tour. Events will be conducted across the United States starting on Oct. 14 and running through Oct. 25.

For $299 per pro shop location, attendees will receive two 15-lb. Brunswick performance balls, one 15-lb. DV8 performance ball, and one 15-lb. Radical performance ball.

Also, the company will be providing lunch, access to exclusive offers, and the opportunity to demo the new balls. The offer is limited to one pack per pro shop location, and attendees will receive their four-ball pack on the day of the event.

“We will be highlighting subjects like technology, money-making opportunities, and many other topics that affect your business,” said Bugsy Kelly, Brunswick’s Director of Marketing for Consumer Products. “We would love to see you at one of these events, so please mark your calendars.”

To view the full schedule of Fall Seminar Tour events, go to:


Free Education Event for Maryland Proprietors

All bowling center operators — tenpin and duckpin — in the state of Maryland are invited to attend a free Education Day on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

The gathering will include two educational sessions from BPAA’s Bowling University.

The first will focus on outside sales for non-sales people, and will help center operators set goals, generate leads and close new business.

The second comes from Bowling University’s new Security Awareness Series, and will provide useful information on dealing with an active shooter, handling a robbery and incident reporting.

Lunch will be included at this free event. For more information or to reserve your spot, contact Bart Burger at 817-385-8405 or


Shah Now Operating 3 Centers in Gujarat

As the sport of bowling gains popularity in India, proprietors are discovering the excellent return on investment it can provide.

One such proprietor is Smeet Shah, COO of Shott Amusement in Surat, Gujarat, India. Shott operates three centers in Gujarat, with bowling, go karts, a rope course, virtual reality games, cricket simulator, arcade games, and food-and-beverage service among the many amenities.

Shah selected Brunswick’s Sync scoring and management system for his operation, and says he also has benefitted from CSML, Brunswick’s distributor in India. He added that Sync works well with Intercard’s debit-card technology.

“Though bowling is an expensive purchase, we operate with a great return on investment,” said Shah. “Overall annual profitability of the game is always positive. Food-and-beverage sales get a big boost from bowling, as people book private parties and love to have something to eat while playing the game.”

Gujarat is a state on the western coast of India, with a population in excess of 60 million. To learn more about Shott Amusement’s locations in Surat and Ahmedabad, go to:


Kari Smith Named Museum Curator and Program Manager

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame has named Kari Smith, who has been a member of the museum’s staff for the last four years, as curator and program manager.

After working as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Texas Tech University and as a collections technician for the Fort Worth Museum of Science and Natural History, Smith joined the IBM/HOF in August of 2015 as tour director and gift shop manager.

She has bachelor’s degrees in history and English from the University of North Texas, and earned a master’s degree in museum science from Texas Tech University in 2015.

This is a great opportunity and I look forward to what I can bring to the museum in my new role,” Smith said. “After assisting on exhibits at the IBM/HOF for the last few years, it’s exciting to take the reins on future projects and exhibits.”

In her role as curator, Smith will be responsible for the satellite exhibits at the United States Bowling Congress Open and Women’s Championships, in addition to the exhibits at the museum in Arlington. She also will be responsible for bringing in new acquisitions.

Kari has done a great job as taking over as curator,” said Mike Aulby, chairman of the IBM/HOF Board.

Smith’s work as program manager will entail many of the responsibilities she handled in her previous position, including creating and coordinating museum events, supervising the staff and interns, plus purchasing and financial reporting.

Smith succeeds Jessica Bell as curator. Bell left her position in April to open a consulting business.


Fire Destroys Center in Eastern Iowa

Cascade Lanes and Happy Joe’s Pizza in Cascade, Iowa, was heavily damaged in an early morning fire on Aug. 15.

No cause for the blaze was released by the Cascade Fire Department, although the fire chief told local TV9 that it was believed to have originated in the bar and then spread to the bowling area.

“I’m sure — I’m hoping — they will rebuild and be better than ever, but that’s going to be up to the owner,” Fire Chief Denny Green told TV9. “They will have a lot of support in this community, there’s no doubt about that.”

The owners indicated on Facebook that they do plan to rebuild.

“We hope to have Cascade Lanes and Happy Joe’s up and running soon,” they said in a post. “Thank you to all of you who have shown so much support to our family during this time. Our business was/is our second home and pride and joy. We have been overwhelmed by all the texts and phone calls; we appreciate every one of them!

“A HUGE shout-out to the Cascade Fire Dept., Monticello, Bernard and Farley… we have sooo much respect for all of you!”

To view reports from TV9, click here:

The community of Cascade is located in far-eastern Iowa, near the borders of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.


Long-Time Bowling Banquet Site Demolished

Demolition of the Sportsmen’s Lodge Events Center in Studio City, Calif., commenced over the Labor Day weekend, and with it went a little bit of Southern California bowling history.

For 10 years during the 1970s and ’80s, the Lodge played host to the Southern California Bowling Writers’ All-Star Awards Banquet, at which annual Bowler of the Year, All-Star Team and various service awards were presented. The banquet was the big social event of the year for the Southern California bowling family, drawing between 450 and 650 attendees during those years.

Over the course of its history, the banquet utilized a mix of national and local personalities for its masters of ceremonies. The first host in 1953, when the event was held at the L.A. Statler Hotel, was Art Linkletter. Johnny Carson hosted the banquet in 1956, and an attendance record of 900 was set in 1960 when Milton Berle hosted.

The banquet moved from the Statler to the Beverly Hilton for six years, then to the Hollywood Palladium for two years, then to several locations before beginning its decade-long run at Sportsmen’s Lodge.

During those years, the emcees were: 1977, Bob Barker; 1978, Arte Johnson; 1979, Richard Paul; 1980, Skip Stevenson; 1981, Ron McCoy; 1982, Roy Firestone; 1983, Bill Bunetta; 1984, Tom Poston; 1985, Bud Tucker; and 1986, Edie Adams.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Midwood Investment and Development, which owns the property, plans to construct nearly 80,000 square feet of restaurants and retail shops on the site. Read more here:


The BJ Podcast: Restrepo, Rash Overcome Adversity

Two new additions to The Bowlers Journal Podcast library are now available:

* Four-time PWBA Tour champion Rocio Restrepo tends to be a private person, so going into the PWBA Orlando Open TV finals on Aug. 17, not many people knew that Restrepo’s appearance on that show was the light at the end of a very dark tunnel she had been stuck in throughout the year. Times got so dark for her in 2019, she says, that at one point she thought she was going to have to abandon her pro bowling dreams altogether.

That dark period included significant health challenges that forced her off the tour temporarily and onto a plane to her native Colombia to seek answers from doctors about the fatigue, dizziness, weakness and pain that was plaguing her, and forced her to question her most fundamental beliefs about who she is as an athlete and as a person.

Now on the other side of that struggle, Restrepo says she will be going into 2020 with a completely new way of seeing her life and the people in it, her pro bowling career, and her approach to adversity.

Listen to the full conversation on SoundCloud, the exclusive home of The Bowlers Journal Podcast, here:

* Former PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash is in the midst of a competitive resurgence that has seen him win two titles, make six stepladder finals appearances, and enjoy a deep run in the inaugural PBA Playoffs.

When he came on The Bowlers Journal Podcast after having also just won the $20,000 top prize in the USBC Cup race that concluded with the PBA Illinois Open on Aug. 31, he was not shy about those whom he calls “the haters,” people who doubted him, people who thought Sean Rash’s better days were behind him. If anything has thrilled him about his stellar season this year, it’s proving those people wrong.

He spoke about that and much more for this episode of the podcast, which you can listen to here: 


Business Briefs…

* Clarification: In Cyber Report No. 1,073, we included a report on Storm posting a number of interviews with younger bowlers to help introduce them to the bowling community. To clarify, Caroline Thesier and Katelyn Abigania are not Storm staff members, as they are both college eligible and staff inclusion would put that eligibility at risk. Both are, however, Storm Youth Championships and Junior Gold Championships winners.

* The entry deadline for the 2019 BJI Bowling Center Architecture and Design Awards is Sept. 13. Centers that have been built or modernized since Aug. 1, 2018, are eligible to be entered into our industry’s only annual initiative that encourages investment and reinvestment in bowling-based entertainment centers. To download an entry form, click here:

* Long-time Nebraska assistant coach Paul Klempa has been named the new head coach of the Husker bowling program, Athletic Director Bill Moos announced on Tuesday. “Paul Klempa has been a leader in Nebraska Bowling since before it became a varsity sport. He has helped lay the foundation for the country’s most successful program,” Moos said. “Paul was integral in building the program, has proven that he has what it takes to lead the team to success, and has earned the opportunity to take our program to even greater heights in the years to come.” Klempa replaces Bill Straub, who announced his retirement in late August.

* A new location of Painted Pin is planned for the 118-acre mixed-use development known as Revel in Duluth, Ga. “We look forward to showcasing our unparalleled entertainment experience that combines top-notch hospitality and service with bowling, interactive pub games, live music and dancing,” Painted Hospitality President Justin Amick said. The Revel project, with a price tag of $900 million, also will include a Regal theater complex. Read more here:

* Moodright’s Bowl & Boogie is now open for business in the Starland District of Savannah, Ga. The venue includes four lanes of duckpin bowling, rarely seen outside the Northeast and Midwest. There will be no sanctioned competition at Moodright’s, however, as the lanes are shorter than regulation length. Adding to the throwback fun, the pins are set by hand, not machines. For more on the venue, go to:

* A homeless man has been arrested for stealing food and alcohol from the Bowlero location in Milpitas, Calif. The burglary took place on Aug. 27 at around 8:15 a.m. The man reportedly entered through an unlocked door, and was identified through security camera footage. The next day, the suspect allegedly stole a laptop computer from a dental office.


Other News You Can Use…

* Visit for multiple reports from the PBA Summer Swing Presented by the Brands of Ebonite International, as well as the World Bowling Women’s Championships — all in one place.

* First there was the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival in Las Vegas, going strong since 2000. Now, Homestead Bowl and the X-Bar in Cupertino, Calif., are readying to host an event called Bowling and Beers and Hell. It is scheduled this weekend, and will bring together 24 psych, stoner metal and hard rock bands from across Northern California and beyond. To learn more and see a list of the bands scheduled to perform, click here:

* Yes, you could say that visiting Lady Gaga’s home in Malibu, Calif., is something like going to a Pinstripes location. Like Pinstripes venues, it offers both bowling and bocce among the amenities. Read more about how the other half lives here:

* You could call photographer Robert Gotzfried the Kevin Hong of Germany. Hong’s “Vintage Alleys Project” has visually documented dozens of America’s surviving “tiny houses” — places where the bar is as likely to be “out front” as the lanes. Gotzfried recently returned to his childhood home in southern Germany to photograph that area’s vintage nine pin kegelbahnen. You can check out his work here: And don’t miss the September issue of Bowling Center Management for a look at some “tiny houses” in Wisconsin that Hong photographed.

* This week on Phantom Radio, the trivia contest continues with guest Mike Valanzano. To bolster your knowledge of tenpin trivia, go to:

* 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 Please remember that the Cyber Report is a B-to-B publication, not to be shared with consumer.

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