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#76665 - 01/22/09 10:34 PM Center Closing - Looking for Advice
bdgf06 Offline
Bantam

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 16
A/S/L: 27/M/PA/USA
Hello, I am a new member from Scranton, PA and found this forum when looking for places to ask questions about a growing problem that has finally hit home for me.

A local center that I bowl two leagues in is probably closing and getting demolished at the end of the season. I am looking to connect with people who have gone through this and ask for advice on how to proceed and keep your league intact through this transition to a new center.

I am President of a scratch league and Vice-President of a church men's league in this house and both have entrusted me with this task. I know the basic common sense stuff of checking USBC bylaws and shopping around where possible, but the dealing with the people part and being as diplomatic as possible with the bowler is probably going to be a bigger challenge to try to keep the leagues more or less intact.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you!
Joe R.
Scranton, PA
_________________________
High Game - 300 9/17/08
High Series - 810 9/17/08
High Average - 232 (current as of 2/12/09)

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#76667 - 01/22/09 10:42 PM Re: Center Closing - Looking for Advice [Re: bdgf06]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Quote:
A local center that I bowl two leagues in is probably closing and getting demolished at the end of the season. I am looking to connect with people who have gone through this and ask for advice on how to proceed and keep your league intact through this transition to a new center.


One house I bowled in closed about a week after fall leagues ended and there was NO notice. The scratch league there disbanded as did all other leagues. The bowlers had to go to other centers and one of two nearby associations. One association had only one center of 10 lanes. So it picked up a lot of bowlers. The other association was Santa Clara and it was closing centers left and right. No telling when the next center was going to close. So since so many centers were closing around the same time, a lot of those league simply disbanded.

But it would be wise to keep a list of your bowlers. And when you decide to move to another center and what center that is, contact them. Right now is the time to get all your updated information so you can contact them when you need to.

Erin


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#76668 - 01/22/09 10:49 PM Re: Center Closing - Looking for Advice [Re: Atochabsh]
bdgf06 Offline
Bantam

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 16
A/S/L: 27/M/PA/USA
Hey Erin, thank you for such a quick response!

Man, I was hoping for something a little more positive, but I can't ask for the moon either. smile

I was thinking after I gathered the pricing info and lane availability, call a special league meeting before bowling and discuss the situation, get a sense of whether they want to disband or move and try to grow at a new center. I know for a fact the church league will want to move and keep their identity as a closed members league only, but the scratch league of course is another animal entirely. I may lose 2-3 teams and pick up 3-4 when I move to the new center, or they may all want to go their separate ways, I guess I'll find that out soon enough.

The center has not officially told leagues they are closing yet, we all read an article today that Walgreens has a "conditional approval" of the city planning commission to go ahead with construction, a rumor that has been swirling for over a year now. But with it being in the paper, that gives a chance to at least be proactive and know ahead of the end of the year what we are going to do.

Thank you again for your input. Hopefully there will be more to come.
_________________________
High Game - 300 9/17/08
High Series - 810 9/17/08
High Average - 232 (current as of 2/12/09)

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#76677 - 01/23/09 12:02 AM Re: Center Closing - Looking for Advice [Re: bdgf06]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Quote:
I may lose 2-3 teams and pick up 3-4 when I move to the new center, or they may all want to go their separate ways, I guess I'll find that out soon enough.


Because so many leagues are misplaced it might not be possible for them to reform. If the existing houses already have a full schedule then they don't have room. That's the case in my association. You might want to change houses, but finding another house that has room for you is hard to come by. Have you checked with the centers that are operating to find out what's available in the day and time slot you want?

The center I talked about above was closed for 6 years! Only the bar and the restaurant was open. The rest rooms were in the center for both fascilities so patrons had to walk through the dark abandoned lanes. It was spooky especially if you were used to bowling there. 6 years it stood empty until a group could be had to remodel it at the cost of over 2 million. It is now open and has active leagues. Though open play prices have about quadrupled. The bar and restaurant are still open.

ERin

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#76689 - 01/23/09 01:03 AM Re: Center Closing - Looking for Advice [Re: Atochabsh]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9793
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
That's weird. Walgreen's has made an offer on one Center where I bowl. The owner turned it down. But, it is just a matter of time before the owner gets squeezed because, being on a corner of 2-lane roads, it is the plan to widen the roads and the intersection with turning lanes. The center will lose half of its parking, and have restricted access, due to turning lanes on one street.

The owner is just waiting for the town to drop the ax. he will last it out, and then sell to Walgreens or whomever.

Now, there is another center a few miles away, that is in financial trouble. Our center owner has already made inquiries into that one as a replacement for his.

This center has 20 lanes and 20 team leagues every night except Sunday where he has 2 afternoon leagues. Open bowling is near impossible from 6 to 11 because of the leagues. He has a great business.

While other houses in the area are scratching for leagues. They have come up with gimmick leagues like Ball leagues, and Las Vegas Leagues, and Beer and Pizza leagues, just to get bowlers in the house. There would be opportunities to move houses around here. Maybe not on the night you want. But, there are open lanes that could be used.
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#76706 - 01/23/09 03:21 AM Re: Center Closing - Looking for Advice [Re: Dennis Michael]
JStevensMD Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 95
A/S/L: 27/M/MD
Which center in Scranton?
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#76732 - 01/23/09 09:17 AM Re: Center Closing - Looking for Advice [Re: JStevensMD]
General Pounder Offline
3x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 3398
A/S/L: 40/M/Midlothian, IL
Since you have 2 leagues, I would call around to other houses in the area and tell them your situation. Let them know that you need to move 2 leagues and you like to bring them your business. Ask for a face to face meeting. Don't need to do it but I find it is easier talking to people about things face to face when possible. See what they can do. If they can't accomadate you, they may know of an alley that can.
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#76823 - 01/23/09 08:21 PM Re: Center Closing - Looking for Advice [Re: General Pounder]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
Sorry to hear about that bdgf06. You've already gotten some good advice. At least you can get a head start on getting pricing and availability instead of only a few weeks to get things rolling and set up.
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#77653 - 01/29/09 11:44 AM Re: Center Closing - Looking for Advice [Re: Calvin Pistorio]
bdgf06 Offline
Bantam

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 16
A/S/L: 27/M/PA/USA
Thank you all for the advice and encouragement. I have started the process of having meetings with the guys in my two leagues and I have written an editorial in my local paper encouraging league members and officers to attend the local Association Annual Meeting to offer an open forum and give an opportunity to network with other affected leagues/members and reps from the other local centers to try to work together through this.

Someone asked which house is closing, the house apparently closing is Green Ridge Lanes in Scranton, PA.

I will continue to encourage my fellow league bowlers along the way and make sure that the transition isn't as ugly as many predict.

Some bright light in this, is that someone is interested in buying the lane beds and equipment from Walgreen's so when that deal is finalized they can be taken and put into a new location (hopefully). But this certainly will not be a reality for next season so we will still have the challenge of handling the transition of about 24 newly minted "nomadic" leagues assuming they all stay intact in some way, shape, or form.
_________________________
High Game - 300 9/17/08
High Series - 810 9/17/08
High Average - 232 (current as of 2/12/09)

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