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#198999 - 02/03/18 04:54 PM My Senior League wants to change Houses
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9738
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
We bowl at a Brunswick house. Now, I don't know who the new owner is. But, this house has gone steadily down hill.

I reported before how it was without water for weeks. And, there were gallons of store bought water next to the toilets to flush with. The Health Dept finally closed them til it was fixed.

Well, things have gone from bad to worse. They eliminated the cleaning service and now make the employees clean the bathrooms. this isn't working.

the women reported their pants stick to the floor when they pee. There has been a button in the Urinal for 3 weeks. this tells you how they clean. there are no longer deodorizers being used and the washrooms stink.

We found coffee from last night still on the counter in the pot. Food service is horrible and over priced, and they don't care. when asked how long it would take for a burger, the response was, when I am done. WTH??

The new manager has no clue what he is doing. Only 6 months on the job. His first ever real job. And, the assistant managers are pizzed that they got passed over for the job.

There is NO bartender, as they fired 2. And the counter guy had to cook and tend bar at the same time. Had a line at each station.

Well, our Senior league is fed up and is looking for another house. This won't be good, as it will split the league in half. those North won't drive South and the reverse too.

Well, the Pres asked me to check the other house where I bowl, so I did. Without even asking, that private owner quoted lineage fees $2.50 less. He also gave a Pizza frame for all strikes in the 5th frame which was taken away by the old house. And, had free popcorn in the bar. Another pet peeve from the old timers, since that now costs a few bucks for a bowl.

Well, the Private owner offered the entire league free bowling yesterday at noon, so all could see the house and bowl on the shot. Only 34 of the 64 came, but all were very surprised. The Bathrooms were clean. the shot was good. The place is more open. It was a good feeling for all. and, free coffee all day. That's a biggie for them.

the owner came around, talked with the officers and welcomed all who came. was a nice touch.

then one lady turned to me. She counted 6 workers in the house. Not the usual 1 up front and 1 in back. That impressed her as it was Noon.

Well, 34 bowlers liked what they saw, and am sure will tell the others. But, I already know 3 teams won't move, and there may be others who won't come either, it is 5 miles farther South.

so, we will let this play out. I told the President to use this as leverage back against Brunswick. Lower their price to match, reinstate the free pizza, and for God's sake, clean the place!!

It's really a shame. this was the flagship house for Brunswick, only a few miles from the former Corporate Offices. It's where the big wigs would bring others to show off. The former President and his wife bowled here, before he got laid off.

I'm watching the slow death of a Bowling Center.
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A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#199002 - 02/03/18 07:03 PM Re: My Senior League wants to change Houses [Re: Dennis Michael]
djp1080 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 432
A/S/L: 71/m/IL
The Brunswick place sounds like a disaster.
The new place sounds like heaven.
Some older folks like you and I don't think very clearly or they have another agenda on their minds I guess.
I personally don't like change all that much, but it's inevitable as things change around you. I'm going to be that guy who's going to try and continue to concentrate on my game and do as best as I can each time I get up on the lanes.
Best of luck to you! Keep us posted....

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#199006 - 02/04/18 03:46 AM Re: My Senior League wants to change Houses [Re: Dennis Michael]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9738
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Oh, I forgot one thing. 3 Seniors came but couldn't bowl. They keep their balls in a locker and when they went to pick them up, they found out the Center doesn't open til 4:30.

haha, they give out Free Game passes, but the center is closed in the daytime on weekdays so they can't be used. And, all day on weekends, there is Cosmic Bowling, which Seniors hate. Well, from noon on.

I went there at 5 last night. Found the lights off for cosmic, and a few kids parties going on. Very surprised there were no Friday Night leagues. It used to be a big night. The wife and I used to bowl on Saturday night. The place was packed, all 40 lanes. Now, all the leagues have been collapsed into 1, 16 team 3-man league. And, I know others are still bowling. Just not there.

We all know that a big part of a bowling alley revenue comes from the bar. How does a bar make money with kids parties?


Edited by Dennis Michael (02/04/18 03:48 AM)
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#199013 - 02/05/18 12:36 PM Re: My Senior League wants to change Houses [Re: Dennis Michael]
mmalsed Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 1380
A/S/L: 43/M/Riverside, CA
well, the new owner of Brunswick is Bowlmor which has no priority for leagues. They want parties. They've now changed the two big houses here in Riverside area and both are just no fun for leagues (at least to most people) - any practice games are gone. The coke frame is very grudgingly given. No service. Etc. Pretty much just as you described.

More and more leagues are moving to another independent house maybe 8 miles from the other two. As you said, more staffing. Much cleaner. Better service. They literally cater to the steady income they get from leagues.

Oh - and the tater tots at the snackbar. . . SOOOO good! smile


I'm with you on it, Dennis. The whole thing seems to be that Bowlmor wants the candy rather than meat. You get the sugar rush from the candy (quick profit) but not the solid healthy work from the meat (steady income). Leagues, the bar/lounge, snackbar - these give steady and long-term income but only about 75-80 cents on the dollar that parties give. But that dollar is come and go - it takes more marketing/promotion (which they don't really do) but less servicing and since people are there to party, they don't care about how things work.

Conspiracy theories say that Bowlmor is trying to drive the businesses into the ground so they can recoup their money by selling the land. frown
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#199014 - 02/05/18 06:48 PM Re: My Senior League wants to change Houses [Re: Dennis Michael]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9738
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Yep, the land they bought is the asset they want. Some say Bowlmor and others say AMF a subsidiary of Bowlmor. So, I don't know the organizational structure.

they already refinanced land once and I see that as a continuum. it's free money to refinance land and let on going operations pay for it.

there is no regard for bowlers.

would like to hear from Bosstull as he also bowls in one.


Edited by Dennis Michael (02/05/18 06:50 PM)
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#199016 - 02/06/18 06:30 PM Re: My Senior League wants to change Houses [Re: Dennis Michael]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9738
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Bowled Sr League today. There definitely is a split between the Move and Don't Move. I'd say 60% to move.

A lot of positives being talked about the other Center. To the point, that the house Manager scheduled a meeting with the Officers after bowling. He did offer a $1 reduction in lineage, pending the Regional Mrg approval. Haha, I already know what that answer is.

He listened to the other complaints of a dirty Center, bad food, high prices, all fell on a deaf ear.

Then the Pres laid into him. What is your bowling knowledge? None, can't even bowl. What do you expect from leagues? Loyalty, even at higher prices. Haha.
He stated he is strapped on headcount approvals, and can't increase staff. So, the Pres asked, how he can make this league happy? He had to talk with the Reg Mgr again before he made a commitment. We asked him why they give out free game passes when the house is closed during the day weekdays, and they turn off lights for Cosmic at Noon on weekends? The free games for practice can't even be used. He had no comment as he didn't understand the problem of practicing in the dark with flashing lights. He was shown the arrows and the down lane range finder marks. They are targets, and you can't see them with lights off. Oh, he said. He didn't know how to use them.

Then we were told that another league was planning to leave the center and he was working with them too. It's just a matter of time before all leagues hear of these talks, as some bowl in other leagues too.


Edited by Dennis Michael (02/06/18 06:35 PM)
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#199017 - 02/06/18 07:23 PM Re: My Senior League wants to change Houses [Re: Dennis Michael]
BOSStull Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/15/11
Posts: 1168
A/S/L: 62/M /Georgia
Well I think my Brunswick Center is one of the better ones. It still has a good league base every night of the week. We have none of the problems that Dennis mentions about his center.I do see a lack of concern by the center with deteriorating equipment mainly the score consoles. We have numerous monitors at the consoles that do not work although overhead ones do. If you need something changed you have to go to the front desk. As for food or drinks prices are high. I do not eat or drink there. Just Bowl.
A couple of years ago another Brunswick center about 6 miles away was upgraded. They renovated and at that time most of their league bowlers migrated to other centers. Now they are trying to reestablish league bowling with not much success. They may be able to lure a few new bowlers but the base they had before is gone and is not coming back.
I travel about 15 miles to my center for leagues. It is not really because of the center but the league bowlers that I enjoy bowling with that I drive that far. I have 2 Stars and Strikes within 5 miles of me. I have bowled leagues at each but just not interested in bowling there . Hopefully our Brunswick center sees the value in their league bowlers and continue to show that they want us as customers.
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#199020 - 02/07/18 12:00 PM Re: My Senior League wants to change Houses [Re: Dennis Michael]
mmalsed Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 1380
A/S/L: 43/M/Riverside, CA
Hate to say it, Bos, but just wait.

Brunswick (Bowlmor) has been going around, center to center, changing them to the party-style houses one by one. They did the two around here, then went up to Upland and changed it, then to another house nearby and are starting with that one.

After they make the changes (which seem to include management changes and cosmetic changes but no real equipment changes) - that's when leagues leave.

Very sad.
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#199021 - 02/07/18 12:23 PM Re: My Senior League wants to change Houses [Re: Dennis Michael]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9738
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Here there are 3 within a 45 min drive. Mine and another North are failing fast. The third always was a non-entity.

The two in Question, Deer Park and Hawthorn were stops on the PBA tour years ago. Both were state of the art when constructed, and in cases, far superior to all others. Now, both are floundering. Leagues are abandoning them in favor of private houses which are more bowler friendly. Only the Gimick leagues or those of lesser stature exist. Heck, my thursday league had a bottom cap of 170 for handicap to maintain competition. Now, they can't get bowlers who average 170.

Hawthorn used to have the first 6 lanes oiled with the pattern to be seen on TV the next week. And, Sport leagues a couple of nights a week. Now, none. Deer Park dropped the Sport/PBA league as it was claimed, they could never get the pattern right. The League Pres demanded the tapes of the league every night and would show how it was wrong to the lane Mechanic. Happened every week. Now, they don't even have a lane Mechanic, and a couple of counter people were trained in the back end in the absence of a night mechanic.

Each has a new facility Manager and neither of them are bowlers. They are former food/beverage people. They ran restaurants, WTH. The food service sucks and the prices are out of sight.

When my Monday night team left for another house, one team member said, I can drink more beer as the prices were almost half. I don't drink, so I really don't know. But, trust his judgement.

Our new Monday night league received an extra $1000 from Miller light to the prize fund. Never saw that at a "B" Center. A 5-man team had the opportunity to win $5500 on the year. Only the first half winner has that chance now. they must win the second half and the roll off.

I'm just glad there are another 5 private houses in the area to use.


Edited by Dennis Michael (02/07/18 12:26 PM)
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#199035 - 02/10/18 06:23 AM Re: My Senior League wants to change Houses [Re: mmalsed]
BOSStull Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/15/11
Posts: 1168
A/S/L: 62/M /Georgia
Originally Posted By: mmalsed
Hate to say it, Bos, but just wait.

Brunswick (Bowlmor) has been going around, center to center, changing them to the party-style houses one by one. They did the two around here, then went up to Upland and changed it, then to another house nearby and are starting with that one.

After they make the changes (which seem to include management changes and cosmetic changes but no real equipment changes) - that's when leagues leave.

Very sad.

So far our center has not been renovated. It has a new coat of paint . Inside the Brunswick name was removed and replaced with large OMG amd LOL letters. As soon as we saw this we started looking to see if WTF was somewhere. As you stated no equipment upgrades. When they renovated the other Brunswick leagues left there and never went back. When they renovated they also kicked out the Pros shop. I'm afraid to say that will happen here eventually. I will just ride it out for now. I have 3 Stars and Strikes centers closer to me and they all have a couple of good leagues to migrate to if our center goes downhill.
_________________________
Current Bag 16lbs
Storm: Hy-Road,Hy-Road Nano,Intense,Son!Q
L/M Legends: New Standard, Yeah Baby

"Let me bowl or let me die"

HG 300,
HS 811
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