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#180074 - 08/10/13 11:12 AM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: Doubletap]
wronghander Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 583
A/S/L: 33/M/NH
Originally Posted By: Doubletap
Just joined up here to let everyone know to BEWARE OF BOWLMOR! They drew first blood on Thursday 8/8. They informed all league secretaries that they would not be honoring our league contracts and tossed us all out! This was at AMF Rip Van Winkle lanes in Norwalk CT. They also did the same to White Planes Bowl in Westchester County NY. The closest house for us as an alternative is almost an hour ride away in rush hour traffic. I bowl there already so I'm used to schlepping around but I bet more than half the league bowlers they just displaced will never bowl in league again because of this. This is bad people - bad business and most importantly bad for our game in general.

Welcome to the forum fellow New Englander. Sorry to hear about this. Perhaps you could make your feelings known to BowlmorAMF on their customer service page. Ridiculous that they are going to toss out all of the guaranteed money that goes with league play. Did they give a reason for their decision?
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#180075 - 08/10/13 04:02 PM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: Atochabsh]
Fin09 Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 1160
A/S/L: 52/M/Virginia Beach, VA
I'm hearing a lot of the AMF centers around here are not going to open until 4 pm or later, which will eliminate senior and ladies leagues, and will also cut into Pro Shop business at those centers. But, if it saves the centers money by not having to turn on the lights during the day, that's what they'll do. It's hard to say that AMF was doing much of anything right after filing a couple of bankruptcies in the last 10 years or so.
One theory I heard was that Bowlmor was most interested in getting AMF's international centers, and that they'll look to sell off the US operations in a couple of years, especially if they're not really profitable.
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#180076 - 08/10/13 04:24 PM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: wronghander]
Doubletap Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 08/09/13
Posts: 3
A/S/L: 46/M/CT
Thank you for the warm welcome! I very briefly considered the Bowlmor/AMF customer service page but decided to write to the USBC Northeast Regional Manager and join some forums instead. I figured I'd be "wasting my breath" speaking with anyone from Bowlmor at this point. Yes it is a bit strange to toss the bread n butter out - the leagues pay the rent and keep the bar busy! They gave no reasons as to why they were doing this. There was supposed to be a meeting between someone from Bowlmor and all the league secretaries but they abruptly cancelled it and the day after the cancelled meeting axed the leagues. I have been told by an employee in the know that they do plan on ripping out lanes 1-12, the bar and building a restaurant with a separate entrance very soon. It looks like they plan on up-scaling the place ASAP?!

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#180077 - 08/10/13 04:48 PM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: Fin09]
Doubletap Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 08/09/13
Posts: 3
A/S/L: 46/M/CT
Originally Posted By: Fin09
I'm hearing a lot of the AMF centers around here are not going to open until 4 pm or later, which will eliminate senior and ladies leagues, and will also cut into Pro Shop business at those centers. But, if it saves the centers money by not having to turn on the lights during the day, that's what they'll do. It's hard to say that AMF was doing much of anything right after filing a couple of bankruptcies in the last 10 years or so.
One theory I heard was that Bowlmor was most interested in getting AMF's international centers, and that they'll look to sell off the US operations in a couple of years, especially if they're not really profitable.


They cut the hours at Rip Van Winkle the minute the merger was completed. The building opened at 4pm most days all summer and was closing by 10pm. This is (was) a very busy bowling center in a fairly affluent area. Pre merger they were charging almost $10.00 a game for open bowling and it was a profitable center according to my friends who work there. Of course this also probably explains why they chose this house as one of the first (from what I can tell) to upscale. Just an added note - the founders of Bowlmor are supposedly personally managing this house and the other I mentioned whereas "AMF" is still managing the rest of the portfolio. I'm just seriously disappointed (and a bit confused as to how) that they would choose to not honor the contracts in place for the leagues and toss us all out with about 3 weeks left before the winter season starts.

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#180079 - 08/10/13 06:37 PM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: Atochabsh]
Dave800 Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 280
A/S/L: Burbs of Milwaukee
There are several AMF centers around here as well.
The busiest one is a 72 lane house and the upkeep has been somewhat poor in the past.
I believe they will now invest some major $$ in this house.
I have not heard anything about league changes, in fact, its hard to get into a decent league there, they are all full.
I can see them shutting a few other ones that have minimal income

Bowlmor is in business to do one thing and one thing only
Make Money, period...
You would do the same if it were your investment
Yes, some will not be happy with all the changes, but it has to be if the AMF centers left are to survive
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#188087 - 08/21/14 06:20 PM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: Doubletap]
SubaruWRX Offline
Junior Coach

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 45
A/S/L: 29/m/Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Doubletap
Just joined up here to let everyone know to BEWARE OF BOWLMOR! They drew first blood on Thursday 8/8. They informed all league secretaries that they would not be honoring our league contracts and tossed us all out! This was at AMF Rip Van Winkle lanes in Norwalk CT. They also did the same to White Planes Bowl in Westchester County NY. The closest house for us as an alternative is almost an hour ride away in rush hour traffic. I bowl there already so I'm used to schlepping around but I bet more than half the league bowlers they just displaced will never bowl in league again because of this. This is bad people - bad business and most importantly bad for our game in general.


Hey! I work in Norwalk! Sad to hear this frown They have or have just now started the "heavy" work at the AMF lane in Norwalk I feel kind of bad I did not go to it more often before the change happened, For now I've been going to Fairfield to Nutmeg bowl, a bit older but it was still enjoyable.

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#188088 - 08/21/14 09:21 PM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: Atochabsh]
Richie V. Offline
Virtual League Secretary,
Virtual League Champion x4


Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 4663
A/S/L: 51/M/Brockton, MA
For those of you thinking Bowlmor AMF is an enemy of serious bowling, I'd like to point you to a recent article of Jeff Richgels' on his blog, The 11th Frame, in which PBA Commissioner Tom Clark told him in an interview that he expects the PBA to have a deal in place with Bowlmor AMF soon. It would be the first time in years that AMF has been involved with the PBA.
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#188107 - 08/23/14 06:55 PM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: Atochabsh]
BOSStull Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/15/11
Posts: 1181
A/S/L: 62/M /Georgia
It is going to be interesting to see what AMF or Brunswick Zones will close in the near future. My Brunswick Zone competes with the AMF center 7 miles from my center. My guess would be the AMF center is not going to be around much longer.
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#188109 - 08/23/14 07:22 PM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: Atochabsh]
SteveH Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 766
A/S/L: 62/M/Burlington VT
It's really too bad that AMF was such a rotten company, let's face it, they really were. As for upgrades? Heck, we've had waitress service at leagues for food and beverage for a very long time, nice sports grill as well. Since they did all that, the leagues are as big or bigger, and open bowling had definitely picked up, a lot.

It's really appreciated too. Nothing too fancy, but occasionally we pick up a couple of filets with potato and veggie to go for $9.99 after league. Can't beat that.

League bowlers need to step up to the plate and realize that they too are customers. If leagues remain important customers, they'll be around for a long time. $10 a game sounds pretty high for less than incredibly fancy. We pay $3 as league bowlers, and I think it's $4.25 or so normal rate.

Without restaurant customers, bar business, and Cosmic bowling, I'd say they'd go to $7, or maybe close.
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#188902 - 10/13/14 09:39 PM Re: what will become of AMF [Re: Atochabsh]
airraider1 Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 10/05/14
Posts: 2
A/S/L: United States
I have talked to a few league bowlers that have been around for a while. Apparently is the cost of bowling that is slowing it down. (I can't imagine that) It is the best value I can find for entertainment and exercise. Many bowlers try to win money to offset the cost. But it is so cheap to bowl. Where else can you have 3 hours of fun for less than 80 dollars? I bowl in a league plus another 20-30 games a week just for fun. It is cheaper than sitting home and drinking all night!(and a lot more fun!)


Edited by airraider1 (10/13/14 09:42 PM)

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