Cyber Report #1120

E-dition No. 1,120 • Friday, July 31, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

Mandated Closure Claims Cloverleaf Family Bowl

The COVID-19 pandemic claimed perhaps its highest-profile center to date when, on July 24, the Chambers and Hillman families announced that Cloverleaf Family Bowl in Fremont, Calif., would not be reopening.

In an open letter to the center’s patrons, the families wrote, “Due to the high monthly cost of sitting here without any income to offset such monthly costs as rent, utilities and insurance, just to name a few, we cannot continue to pay these bills.”

The families noted that, “Over the past four-plus months, we have held out hope for a reopening date, a date that has not come from the state or County of Alameda. With the current status of the state of California, it appears that bowling is still months away from an opening date, and especially in Alameda County.”

Even prior to the pandemic, the proprietors had been waging a battle to save the business after the land on which center sits was sold to developers who intend to construct high-end condominiums. The families had attempted to work with the developers to reach some kind of compromise that would enable the center to continue its six-decade legacy of service to the community, but the developers were not interested despite strong community support for the center.

This has been a gut-wrenching, sad time for our families, and we have appreciated all of the support and wishes and prayers that you have provided,” the families added in their message.

We’ll have much more on this story — including what the loss of a center such as Cloverleaf Family Bowl means both to its community and to the bowling industry — in the September issue of Bowling Center Management.

Several Reasons Cited for New Mexico Open Postponement

The 17th New Mexico Open, originally scheduled for mid-August at Tenpins & More in Rio Rancho, N.M., has been postponed due to the many uncertainties caused by the pandemic, along with the various and differing state government responses to it.

“We have a record 226 entries on July 29,” said tournament organizer Steve Mackie. “It was necessary to hold off because of many factors, not the least of which being that all but three New Mexico Centers, run by military bases, have been closed continuously since mid-March with no clear indication yet when they will be re-opened to the public.

“It would be unfair to expect our New Mexico bowlers, who traditionally make up a third of the field, to compete with most having not thrown a ball in over 140 days,” Mackie added. “On top of this, the state still has a required 14-day quarantine for visitors — the other 70 percent of entrants — in addition to some other states recently initiating their own travel restrictions.”

Major sponsors remain on board, including 900 Global and 3G, Miller Lite, Shamrock Foods and Principal Financial Group, along with more than two dozen local and national companies, including the Pitre Kia, Buick, GMC dealership located south of the bowling center.

Pitre is offering a new car for a 300 game during the top-four stepladder finals, to be streamed live by Craig Elliott’s BowlStreamTV.com when the tournament is rescheduled.

Oct. 16 Is Deadline for BJI Design Awards Competition

No one needs to be told that 2020 has provided the bowling industry with far more opportunity for stress than celebration. As readers of Bowlers Journal International will see in the August issue, however, the accomplishments of 15 pro-bowling greats are indeed celebrated through inclusion on the 82nd annual BJI All-American Teams.

Now, BJI editors turn their sights to another annual initiative that should provide the industry with a needed escape from COVID-related doom-and-gloom: the 2020 BJI Architecture & Design Awards.

That initiative, typically the star of BJI’s November issue each year, will be pushed back a month in 2020 to allow designers, architects and proprietors extra time to gather material for their entries. Hey, you have had more than enough on your plate in this pandemic-stricken year without another pressing deadline to meet, right?

So look for the 2020 BJI Architecture & Design Awards winners and honorable mentions to be announced in the magazine’s December issue.

The submission form will be available on BowlersJournal.com by or before end-of-business Friday. Entrants will have until Friday, Oct. 16 to send in their materials.

As always, those interested in having their projects considered in this year’s contest may enter either by sending their materials directly to the editor at bjieditor@gmail.com or by regular mail to Bowlers Journal International, 55 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 401, Chicago, IL 60604.

Entrants will want to ensure they are sending in the very best photography of their projects that they possibly can gather. Art must be high-res (print-quality; 300 dpi minimum). Given the large file sizes of high-res photos, those sending electronic submissions are encouraged to send photography using a file-sharing platform such as Dropbox or any file-sharing service of their choice. Regular-mail submissions should include art on a thumb drive, CD or other storage device.

Entrants are encouraged to include with their submissions any discussion of ways in which COVID-19 impacted or altered the design of their projects, as that reality promises to be a substantial focus of this year’s BJI Architecture & Design Awards feature.

Retired BJI Editor Jim Dressel Celebrates 80th Birthday

The man who originated the BJI Cyber Report in 1998, retired BJI Editor Jim Dressel, marked his 80th birthday this week.

Dressel introduced the Cyber Report as a weekly vehicle to keep bowling’s business community informed between monthly issues of the magazine. Whereas a monthly publication typically delves into topics in-depth with less emphasis on timeliness, the Cyber Report was envisioned as a way to get “breaking news” and other information of interest to the industry distributed quickly and efficiently.

I remember the very moment that the Cyber Report was created,” said Luby Publishing Inc. President Keith Hamilton. “I had just moved into the corner office after Mort Luby decided that he was going to limit his time coming into the office.

From the second I saw Jim’s face as he walked into the office, I could tell something special would be coming out of his mouth. Of course, I didn’t know if that something special would be good or bad. It was neither — it was brilliant: ‘Let’s send our faxed newsletter via email.’

Wow! What a great idea. Remember, this was 1998.  Just goes to show that some ideas don’t fade with time, and the Cyber Report will always be known as the creation of Jim Dressel.”

Dressel embraced his role as an industry watchdog, and never was afraid to ask tough questions of bowling’s leaders. “The Bowlers Journal Interview,” for all practical purposes, really was “The Jim Dressel Interview.”

He also reveled in hearing someone say, “Be careful, here comes the media,” whenever he would enter a meeting room or bowling center.

In addition to the Cyber Report and “The Bowlers Journal Interview,” Dressel also was known for his monthly opinion column, which originally was titled “Write On!” and later was renamed “The Write Stuff.”

From all of your friends at LPI, Happy 80th, Jim!

Online Coaching Product Features O’Keefes, Shady and Jasnau

Inside Bowling has partnered with Shannon O’Keefe, Bryan O’Keefe, Mike Shady and Mike Jasnau to form Backstage Bowling, a subscription-based coaching product that makes elite-level coaching and information easily accessible.

All bowlers and coaches deserve to have access to accurate information so they can improve their understanding of the sport,” said Junior Team USA Head Coach and McKendree University Director of Bowling, Bryan O’Keefe. “There are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding our sport, and one of our goals is to reduce the number of those misunderstandings.”

A subscription to Backstage Bowling includes access to the Backstage Bowling private community, feedback on one’s bowling game from the coaches, live Q&As and learning sessions, special offers from industry partners, contests awarding bowling equipment, exclusive bowling video content and more.

Subscription rates of $14.99 per month, $144 annually, or $229 for two-year access have been established. Visit backstagebowling.com for further information.

World Bowling Teams With YBVR for Immersive Technology

World Bowling and YBVR, a Silicon Valley immersive technology company, have announced a three-year partnership that will enable millions of fans to experience bowling in a different way.

YBVR, which has showcased its VR live-streaming technology in sports events such as the Australian Open, will work with bowling’s international governing body to deliver the next generation of immersive technology in a multi-device strategy.

The partnership will create vibrant and immersive experiences for bowling fans, bringing a new degree of engagement through virtual reality and interactive features. Together, World Bowling and YBVR will work to deliver new content and engage fans with a variety of apps, software and innovative solutions that allow for a personalized experience for every user.

YBVR is an essential piece of the jigsaw in our ‘Bowling Evolved’ strategy, providing multiple ways for our athletes and fans to experience, consume and engage with our elite, para-bowling and academy content,” said Chris Neilson, Innovation and Business Development Director for World Bowling. “Users will be able to consume content via a multi-cam mobile experience in 2D, 180 and 360 with supportive features, real-time statistics and scoreboards for the complete XR experience”.

Other News You Can Use…

* Look for in-depth coverage of the QubicaAMF “Some Strings Attached” tournament doubleheader in the September issues of BJI and BCM.

* TrainerTainment has scheduled a Virtual Business Coaching Conference for Aug. 18 from 2-5 p.m. Central, and Aug. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Central. According to company founder and BEC columnist Beth Standlee, the conference will cover “where your business is today, core values and purpose, finding people who align with your values, implementing a review process that drives productivity, and how to process the right issues so they are solved forever.” To learn more, go to: https://trainertainment.net/product/virtual-business-growth-conference-august-2020/.

* It’s the semi-final round of the second Phantom Radio Trivia Contest this week, with long-time BJI columnist and feature writer Lyle Zikes in the hot seat. To listen in, go to: https://www.kegel.net/phantom.

* 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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