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#168817 - 07/17/12 10:20 AM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
Fin09 Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 998
A/S/L: 47/M/Virginia Beach, VA
We've seen a couple of AMF centers close around here in the last few years. Most recently was a 48 lane center that had been there 40-50 years or more. Had started out as a Fairlanes center with half the house having duckpin lanes, converted to 100% tenpins, then sold to AMF. I'm sure they try to sell them individually after a package deal doesn't fly, but the price drops dramatically after they choose to close them, so it's wise to wait until they close before buying them. We still don't have a shortage of centers in this area (6 civilian centers at last count, 5 of them are AMF centers), but if AMF decides to cut bait around here, we could be in trouble. The company that owned most of the centers around here has talked about buying a couple back from AMF, but it hasn't happened. I bowl at the one non-AMF civilian center in the area, and it's because the staff actually treats us well and appreciates the fact that we spend our money and time there.

Bowl all you can now- the future of bowling is not looking good for the small minority that is the scratch bowler.
_________________________
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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#168830 - 07/17/12 01:13 PM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
AmpleSound Offline
Legend

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 1199
A/S/L: 31/M/CO
Fortunately not really any centers closing here in the Denver metro area. Heck they even reopened one that was shutdown for about a year.
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#168838 - 07/17/12 06:00 PM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
jeff75225 Offline
Bantam

Registered: 06/18/12
Posts: 18
A/S/L: Dallas
Are other AMF's as poorly run as the one I go to? They have had new people working ONE cash register on a very busy weekend. They had the girl who knew how to handle money efficiently serving food instead. I asked why they didn't ever have the other register open, and they told me it's broken. It's been broken for 2 years. At least if this alley closes, there's another alley not too far away from me, but it is more expensive.


Edited by jeff75225 (07/17/12 06:02 PM)

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#168840 - 07/17/12 06:50 PM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6565
A/S/L: 50/F/California
This week two of ours are gone. AMF Woodhaven closed immediately and AMF Alpine Valley at the end of the month. Both centers have been in the area for decades. Alpine especially has a very die hard group of bowlers that want to bowl there and no place else.

Erin

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#168856 - 07/18/12 08:41 AM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9227
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Don't think the Closing Incidents are restricted to AMF.

If I draw a 25 mile circle on a map from my home, I have the following results:
2 Privately owned housed closed, both last year
2 Brunswick owned houses closed, both in April and May
1 AMF owned house closed in July
2 Privately owned houses on life support

In the mean while, if I expand the circle to 35 miles, I find 2 new Privately owned houses built. And, both are highly successful. I believe this coincides with population expansion of the area.

One thing is evident. Houses in financial trouble are cutting costs, in labor, service, lane maintenance, oiling. Houses that are maintaining their reliable employees and not hiring the minimum wage part timers, houses that put an effort into maintaining the lanes, and oiling routinely are making a go of it.

Even over the Summer, these bowler friendly houses are thriving with Summer Leagues and open bowlers.
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#168889 - 07/18/12 01:08 PM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6565
A/S/L: 50/F/California
I did a google search for AMF closing and made the parameters just within the last month and got a bunch of hits, including the two centers in my area. The common theme to all of these is that these are older centers, in most case sounding like they have not been updated in decades (as is the case with our two closing centers).

Erin

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#168930 - 07/19/12 09:46 AM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
BOSStull Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/15/11
Posts: 787
A/S/L: 58/M /Georgia
All the closings besides being an older center seem to be AMF Centers that AMF also leases the building.If the center is underperforming I can see why AMF would be sceptical about renewing or entering a new lease.
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#168939 - 07/19/12 12:42 PM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
Fin09 Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 998
A/S/L: 47/M/Virginia Beach, VA
I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes, but AMF didn't build any of the centers here- they bought them from the companies that built them (possibly an owner or two more in the chain for a couple of them). I don't know how much that affects the degree of investment they have in them, but I would imagine it would be easier for them to walk away from something they bought at less than full market value in the first place.
_________________________
Experience is something you get immediately after you need it most

Bowl up a Storm!

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#169040 - 07/23/12 01:57 AM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
Lemur Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 16
A/S/L: 29/m/Oviedo FL
The inside joke I always heard was AMF stood for "Another Manager Fired".

I have a friend (who I will not name for obvious reasons) who manages one of our local centers. Apparently, they just don't care very much. They do not really invest in anything at all. They have been using the same lane Master that the center inherited 20 years ago. Apparently, when you date the machine it goes all the way back to the late 60's. I am all for bringing back the space age look of the Brunswick Gold Crown series, and whatever the heck AMF had that looked similar... but the game has changed. Get a Kegel, and lay down some oil for once.

So, I could not be surprised if I saw a cut and run strategy from AMF now. They seem to have lost their way long ago, and are now are just glorified slum lords.

Well, at least that is my opinion.
_________________________
Current average: 214

First year anniversary of bowling this August. I think it's time for new shoes.

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#169145 - 07/25/12 01:39 PM Re: AMF Bowling Center Closings [Re: BOSStull]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9227
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Slight wrinkle here. Our Brunswick Manager has been promoted. He is being replaced by the nearby AMF house manager.
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Legends - L/M Widow Maker 15# Polished Hybrid
Legends - L/M Xtreme Damage 15# Strong pearl




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