Cyber Report #1088

E-dition No. 1,088 • Friday, December 6, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo Heads West in 2020

The Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo is heading west in 2020. The event is set for July 5-9 at the Gold Coast Hotel, Casino and Bowling Center in Las Vegas, one of the seven facilities that will be playing host to the 2020 Junior Gold Championships.

The 10th anniversary edition of the Expo will be the first to be held in the West, a fact that Turbo President Lori Mraz believes will provide new opportunities for college-bound athletes and college coaches alike.

“We anticipate a much larger group of student-athletes from the region, making it an exceptional opportunity for colleges from the east to meet new talent from the western states,” Mraz said. “It also gives students and recruiters from everywhere a chance to become more familiar with the Western region. We are looking forward to meeting many new families and coaches who haven’t been able to attend before.”

The structure of Collegiate Expo X will continue the format of on-lane instruction and classroom sessions led by top professionals. The 2020 lineup includes:

* “The Physical Game and Spare Shooting” by Randy Stoughton and Del Warren of Webber International.

* “A Simple Guide for Choosing a College That’s Right for You” by Katie Thorton, head coach at SCAD Savannah University.

* “A Useful Way to Use Video to Analyze Performance” and “Getting Ready for the Season — Realistic Goals and Expectations” by USBC Gold coach and Bowlers Journal International columnist Bill Spigner.

* “An Athlete’s Perspective on College Bowling” by PBA champion Andrew Anderson.

As in past events, the Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo Official Photo Booth, sponsored by Columbia 300, will feature a prominent PBA and/or PWBA Tour professional, with all proceeds from the sale of souvenir photos this year going to the Ballards Vs. The Big C charity.

The BVBC Striking Back to Spare More Lives is a fun bowling event that was developed during long-time friend and Collegiate Expo coach Del Ballard’s journey with tonsil cancer. The BVBC partners with Cancer Care Services, Baylor Health Care and the North Texas Laryngectomy Society.

“The Collegiate Expo has been a tremendously rewarding experience for our team over the past decade,” said Mraz. “Over 1,400 students and families have come through our program. It’s been exciting to watch them grow in the sport with many being recruited directly from our event and going on to bowl in college. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Registration is now open through May 30. Attendance is limited to 210 students, and the event is expected to sell out early. Special room rates are available at the Gold Coast and its sister property, The Orleans Hotel & Casino.

Sponsors for the 10th annual Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo include Ace Mitchell Bowlers Mart, Ballards Vs. The Big C, Bowlers Journal, Bowlingball.com, Brunswick, Classic Products, Columbia 300, DV8, Dexter, Ebonite, 900 Global, Hammer, Kids Bowl Free, Kegel, KR Strikeforce, Logo Infusion, Motiv, On the Ball Bowling, Professional Bowlers Association, Roto Grip, Steve Cook’s Bowling Supply, Storm, Track, Turbo and Metro Detroit USBC.

For more information, visit turbogrips.com.

 

Szabina Promoted to VP of Sales for ZOT Pinsetter Parts

Steve Szabina has been named as Vice President of Sales for ZOT Pinsetter Parts, it was announced by ZOT’s President and owner, PJ Rosendahl

Szabina, who joined ZOT in June of 2016, formerly was the company’s Sales Manager.

Szabina came to ZOT with an extensive background in sales, including a 14-year tenure as a district sales manager for Ebonite International, and for the past three-and-a-half years has focused primarily on the ZOT ColorSplash LED Lighting product line.

In his new position, Szabina’s responsibilities will be expanded to include overall sales for all of ZOT’s brands and product lines, including ZOT ColorSplash and ZOT Bowling Parts.

Szabina resides in Edmond, Okla., with his wife, Marnie. The Szabinas have two sons, Gordon (29) and Seth (20), and one granddaughter.

 

Revamping of Lane Certification Process on Horizon

Following a study of the lane certification process and analyzing data from lane inspections, the United States Bowling Congress determined it will implement a center certification program, featuring tiered levels of certification and a national staff of lane inspectors, over the next five years.

Details of the tiered center certification program will be announced at the 2021 USBC Convention.

USBC also determined it will not require local associations to perform annual lane inspections as the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certifications team continues its work to fully develop the program. The decision means all bowling centers will be certified until the national staff begins center certifications in 2022.

Once the tiered center certification program is in place, centers will be inspected and assigned to a tier based on the level it meets in regard to USBC specifications. The decision to make any necessary improvements, based on the results of an inspection, will be left to the center and no longer mandated by USBC.

More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/usbc-to-implement-a-tiered-center-certification-program/.

 

Westgate Lanes Honored by Chamber of Commerce

After investing $6 million over two years and retaining 42 jobs, as well as creating an additional 14, Westgate Lanes in Brockton, Mass., has been awarded the South Shore Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Impact Award.

The investment was made to transform Westgate Lanes from a traditional bowling center into a more diverse family entertainment center — as General Manager Mark “Cali” Calandrello put it, “a place families young and old can look to as a safe and friendly environment to come and have fun.”

Westgate Lanes, Pub & Grill, Arcade & Billiards has provided entertainment for Brockton and its surrounding communities since 1959. It has a total of 62 lanes — 50 tenpin and 12 candlepin — an arcade with more than 45 games and a large redemption center, and 13 Pro Brunswick billiard tables.

The Westgate Pub & Grill, which is located inside the entertainment center, has a full American menu and a sports bar atmosphere. Westgate Lanes also hosts birthday parties, corporate events and other events.

 

The Business of Being a Pro Bowler: 2019 Earnings Redux

The PBA’s first full year of competition under its new FOX Sports agreement proved to be financially rewarding to several PBA Tour players.

Nine players exceeded $100,000 in prize money during the year, led by Australia’s Jason Belmonte, who banked $288,290 — the highest single-season earnings total since Mika Koivuniemi collected $333,040 after winning the record $250,000 first prize in the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions during the 2010-11 season.

Belmonte was the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s only four-time title winner in 2019, including a pair of major championships (PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA World Championship), and won the earnings crown by $52,510 over Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., who collected a total of $235,780. Both totals were career highs.

The top 10 prize money leaders in 2019:

1. Jason Belmonte, $288,290

2. Jakob Butturff, $235,780

3. Bill O’Neill, $192,448

4. Kris Prather, $183,960

5. Sean Rash, $181,897

6. Anthony Simonsen, $176,598

7. EJ Tackett, $172,945

8. Dom Barrett, $125,720

9. Norm Duke, $105,515

10. Kyle Sherman, $97,558

 

Business Briefs…

* BJI is saddened to learn of the passing of Marcy Skowronski, the owner of the Holler House in the Lincoln Village neighborhood of Milwaukee. To tavern-goers, the pub is known for the bras — more than a thousand — that hang from the ceiling, “donated” by guests. To bowlers, it’s known for the two bowling lanes in the basement — sans automatic pinsetters — that are said to be the oldest certified lanes in the country. And to all patrons, it is known for its personable owner and bartender, who was still serving up beer at the age of 93. Skowronski was the subject of a Forbes feature in 2018, which you can read here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanettehurt/2018/09/03/at-92-milwaukee-woman-might-be-the-oldest-working-bartender-in-the-country/#401ac27a1604

* Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine — home of the PBA League Elias Cup competition — has been named the 2019 Small Business of the Year by the Portland Development Corporation. Bayside co-owner Charlie Mitchell said, “We want to acknowledge that we couldn’t have done this without our amazing employees and all of our great customers who make this business what is it.” The PBA League will return to Bayside Bowl for the 2020 Elias Cup competition July 21-23.

* Last Saturday (Nov. 30) was the last day of business for Westdale Bowling Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, ending a 32-year run. Visitors to the 44-lane center that day were met by a handwritten sign on the front door that read, in part, “Thanks for the memories.” Report: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/business/westdale-bowling-center-closes-after-three-decades-in-operation-20191203

* A new outpost of Punch Bowl Social is coming to the Sawyer Yards development in Houston, Texas. A late 2020 opening is anticipated. More: https://abc13.com/entertainment/restaurant-with-bowling-and-private-karaoke-rooms-coming-to-houston/5732102/

 

Other News You Can Use…

* PBA Tour competitor Francois Louw became the first South African bowler to win the QubicaAMF World Cup in the tournament’s 55-year history, defeating Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia in Palembang, Indonesia, 237-202. Australia’s Bec Whiting won the women’s title, defeating two-time World Cup winner Aumi Guerra of Dominican Republic, 172-162, in their title match. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/south-africa-australia-win-titles-at-2019-qubicaamf-world-cup/

* The PWBA Regional program will hold a minimum of 10 events during the 2020 season, highlighted by six regionals conducted in conjunction with 2020 PWBA Tour stops, and the top 10 regional players will earn a season-end bonus as part of the BowlTV PWBA Regional Cup. The PWBA Sarasota Regional, set for Jan. 18 at Sarasota Lanes in Sarasota, Fla., will be the first of four PWBA Regional tournaments to be held prior to the start of the 2020 PWBA Tour. More: https://www.pwba.com/News/In-the-News/pwba-to-kick-off-2020-regional-schedule-in-january

* BJI’s resident historian, J.R. Schmidt, was recently on a podcast about obscure sports history called “Good Seats Still Available.” The discussion centered around the National Bowling League, and went for close to 90 minutes. To listen to the podcast, click here: http://goodseatsstillavailable.com/listen/2019/12/1/episode-141-the-national-bowling-league-with-dr-jake-schmidt

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is PBA and ABC/USBC Hall of Famer Barry Asher, who talks about the impressive career credentials of Jim St. John, Jim Stefanich, Wayne Zahn and Dick Ritger. To listen to the conversation, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2019/12/3/barryasher

* 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. Please remember that the Cyber Report is a B-to-B publication and not intended for consumers.

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