The answer has always been the same. It starts with juniors. I started in 1961 at age 13. Back then, we bowled for 35 cents a game and shoes were free.
Proprietors gave us lineage at cost because they knew we were the future. Today, proprietors charge kids $4.50 per game and shoes are $1.50.
Today, we see the results of the Sesame Street approach to education. Kids want 'instant' gratification. They would rather stare into an iPhone than take the time to learn something new.
Where I bowl high school kids bowl instead of PE, but they basically just show up and get a grade whether they bowl well or not. I live in CA, so we don't expect much of anyone here.
We have places in town where they charge $20 each half hour per person. Not many parents will send their kids into that cost-structure.
There's also too many people my age (70) charging $50+ per hour for lessons. We should be willing to give up the instruction for free.
I'm lucky. Where I bowl, the owner is a former PBA member and TOC winner, Steve Cook. He allows seniors to bowl for 75 cents a game. Last year it was just 50 cents. His center is so busy the mechanics have barely enough free time to keep the machines working.
The answers to dwindling bowlers has always been kids, the industry just isn't paying attention, or worse yet, kids aren't paying attention.