Cyber Report #1109

E-dition No. 1,109 • Friday, May 15, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Harsh Reality in Nebraska; BPAA Offers Helpful Resources

There is a harsh reality that the bowling industry is facing, even as most states are engaged in early phases of reopening after being shut down almost completely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That reality: Some centers simply aren’t going to make it.

Among the recent casualties is Leopard Lanes in Bellevue, Neb., a southern suburb of Omaha. On Monday, the center announced its closure on its Facebook page.

This has not been an easy decision to make,” the post read. “We want to thank all of the bowlers and lifelong friends we have made over the years.”

You can read the center’s full message here: https://www.facebook.com/LeopardLanes1/

Another Nebraska center operator expressed the frustration shared by many over state-mandated capacity limitations that have been placed on businesses, including bowling centers.

Jeanne Belitz, General Manager of Maplewood Lanes in Omaha, told KETV-7 that she and her mother had “been in tears for the last 24 hours” after learning of the fate of Leopard Lanes “because it hits really close to home.”

As of early this week, centers were allowed to be open, but with no more than 10 people bowling.

Noted Belitz: “You can’t make it, running a 30,000-square-foot building and 19 employees on 10 people bowling.”

See KETV’s full report here: https://www.ketv.com/article/bowling-alley-fears-closure-due-to-coronavirus-limitations/32452419#

Some center operators have the means to ride out the closures and reopening limitations indefinitely. Others do not.

Ultimately, the status of a center’s mortgage — land, building or both — its other debt service, the business model, and specific state mandates all will play roles in how centers emerge from the pandemic.

The BPAA has made an abundance of resources available to assist proprietors in not only surviving the mandated closures, but also preparing to reopen safely and successfully. Visit bpaa.com for more information on this comprehensive package of resources and assets.

 

Welcome Back to Bowling Kit’ Offered by QubicaAMF

QubicaAMF Worldwide has announced the release of a marketing kit for centers to use as they begin the transition to reopening.

The “Welcome Back to Bowling” Marketing Kit includes social posts, monitor ads, email templates, labels, outdoor signage, checklists and a “Venue Reopening Guide” outlining operational considerations and best practices for centers.

The kit is designed in an 8.5-inch by 11-inch format, enabling centers to print materials in-house as needed, or have items professionally printed.

The complete kit is available for download for free at: https://www.qubicaamf.com/support/center-reopening-marketing-kit

The kit will be updated with new content as centers continue to open across the country.

Additionally, QubicaAMF’s technical support team is available to assist centers with complimentary reopening technical support. To schedule a call to receive assistance during reopening, centers may contact QubicaAMF Technical Support at: https://www.qubicaamf.com/scheduletechsupport

To access the complete QubicaAMF Resource Center and reopening tools, go to: https://www.qubicaamf.com/support

 

More COVID-19 Updates from Our Bowling Family

* What has made the reopening process so frustrating for so many proprietors is the lack of consistency in the “phases” from state to state. For instance, we know that in Georgia, bowling centers were allowed to reopen early, at the same time as nail salons and tattoo parlors. But in Montana, centers were forced to remain closed even as gyms, fitness studios, movie theaters and museums were allowed to open. It’s perplexing to proprietors in Big Sky Country, who already have developed protocols to keep their centers cleaner than ever. “It’s not our business to make people sick,” said Norman Carey, co-owner of Westside Lanes & Fun Center in Missoula. “If we do that, we’re not going to be in business.” Read more about the situation in Montana here: https://nbcmontana.com/news/local/bowling-center-owners-frustrated-over-continued-closure

* The Disney Springs area at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., is scheduled to begin a phased reopening on May 20. Following the guidance of government and health officials, a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase. The rest of Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed, including theme parks and Disney Resort hotels. Disney Springs will begin to reopen in a way that incorporates enhanced safety measures, including increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members. Disney Springs — home to a Splitsville bowling entertainment center — will initially have limitations on capacity, parking and operating hours. Disney did not list specific businesses that would be included in the reopening, but Splitsville would seem to be an ideal candidate given that its lanes are spread out in small clusters throughout the building, rather than in a straight-across configuration.

* The coronavirus has claimed another major summertime bowling event. The 2020 TAT Amateur Classic, which had been scheduled for June 29-July 5 at The Orleans Bowling Center in Las Vegas, has been postponed. Since all bowling centers in Las Vegas are housed in casinos, and since all casinos remain closed by the order of Governor Steve Sisolak, there presently is no bowling in Sin City. “We do plan on running the TAT’s 20th Anniversary event sometime this summer or early fall, and are working to secure dates in August or September,” said TAT Director Jamie McWilliams. “However, with the casinos and bowling centers closed, it is making it difficult to secure exact dates at this time.”

* For the record, as part of the governor’s “Roadmap to Recovery,” bowling centers in Nevada are included in the same reopening group as strip clubs and brothels.

* On a more hopeful note, there is growing evidence of a pent-up demand for bowling, at least among the sport’s higher-average players. Consider what happened with the New Mexico Open, which saw entries skyrocket to a record 232 following a recent social-media campaign over a three-week period. The 17th annual tournament is scheduled for Aug. 14-16 at Tenpins & More in Rio Rancho. “We’re planning a prize fund of more than $55,000 and a full field of 240,” said tournament organizer Steve Mackie. 900 Global and 3G are presenting sponsors.

* The 2020 BetVictor Weber Cup has been rescheduled, subject to government policy, to Oct. 23-25 at Morningside Arena in Leicester, England. Bowling’s annual transatlantic tenpin tussle was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, having originally been scheduled for June. News on player selection will be announced shortly. Matchroom Multi Sport said it would continue to monitor the situation to ensure the event can be staged in a manner that is safe for players, spectators and staff.

* QubicaAMF has introduced a series of webinars and interviews with industry leaders, including chats this week with Strike Ten Entertainment President John Harbuck and BPAA President Randy Thompson. Also archived are numerous presentations featuring helpful information for reopening. You can access QubicaAMF’s “Beyond the Frame” presentations at: https://www.qubicaamf.com/support/beyond-the-frame

* Twelve-time PBA Tour champion Bill O’Neill suspects the COVID-19 pandemic might bring a change in perspective to his fellow PBA Tour competitors. In his experience, bowling PBA competition for the past 15 years, gripes often have been more abundant than gratitude among his fellow players. With the Tour being taken away from all of them temporarily by forces beyond anyone’s control, complaints about cash ratios or formats or oil patterns might seem a bit less consequential. He speaks about that, what it has been like to wait out this pandemic at home with two small children, how his wife Christi is holding up as a first-grade school teacher in the throes of an abrupt transition from in-class to online education, and much more in this edition of The Bowlers Journal Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/podcast-bill-oneill-on-the-importance-of-family-and-perspective-amid-the-pbas-hiatus

* While PWBA Tour champion Daria Pajak already had planned to return to her native Poland in March, she wasn’t planning on staying there as long as she has. The pandemic intensified throughout the world, particularly in Europe and the United States, in the weeks following her early March return to Poland, where she now is waiting it out with her family while eagerly awaiting news of the PWBA’s resumption. On this episode of The Bowlers Journal Podcast, she talks about how she is filling that unexpected stretch of downtime, the hobbies she has taken up along the way, the role her retired body-builder dad has played in keeping her physically sharp while she cannot bowl or go to a gym, and much more:

https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/podcast-daria-pajak-on-waiting-out-the-pandemic-in-her-native-poland

 

Other News You Can Use…

* Everyone is wondering what the future will bring for the PBA once the pandemic subsides. PBA Commissioner Tom Clark believes that the organization is uniquely positioned among sports leagues for a successful comeback. Read his thoughts in this exclusive BowlersJournal.com essay: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/tom-clark-wsob-format-provides-model-for-other-sports-amid-pandemic/

* Here’s a look at this week’s podcast schedule from the International Bowling Campus (all times Eastern): May 14 at 1 p.m., The PWBA Podcast with Leanne Hulsenberg; May 14 at 2 p.m., Inside the OC with John Janawicz; May 15 at 1 p.m., The Sport of Bowling Show with Ryan Growney and Rick Murdock; May 15 at 2 p.m., Inside the OC with Ron Vokes; May 16 at 1 p.m., The PWBA Podcast with Dasha Kovalova.

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Darren Andretta, who takes part in the podcast’s ongoing trivia contest. To listen in, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2020/5/13/darren-andretta-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, “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook, and follow BJI on Twitter (Twitter.com/BowlersJournal). 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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