what will become of AMF

Posted by: Atochabsh

what will become of AMF - 06/19/13 06:26 PM

As you might have heard, AMF is bankrupt and a proposed merger is planned with Bowlmor. The new company would be Bowlmor AMF. However, the head of Bowlmor is more known for his family entertainment centers then supporting the sport of bowling. His concept "Under Shannon’s leadership, Bowlmor changed the bowling alley concept by installing video screens, glow-in-the-dark lanes, and laneside food and drink service. He also eliminated bowling leagues and added sports-themed restaurants to some locations."

So what will now happen to all the AMF houses, will league bowling be eliminated and they all just become a bunch of party houses? One center in our area has 50 lanes, 37 winter leagues, including youth and 1700 bowlers. Can Bowlmor really afford to get rid of them?

Erin
Posted by: wronghander

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/19/13 08:14 PM

According to this article leagues appear to be safe for now. Can't see how they can realistically turn all of the AMF centers into the boutique type center anyhow. Bowlmor has 6 centers now and they are all based in big cities and urban areas where there are a lot of people in their 20s and 30s with disposable income that will go and fill the place up and pay upwards of $8 per game and spend money on food and drinks. The demographics are much different in the rural areas where a lot of the existing AMF centers are located. I don't see them getting rid of leagues at those locations when it's guaranteed weekly revenue for the center.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/20/13 09:43 PM

until last year we had 5 AMF centers. They closed two last year. We still have to deal with 3 of them.

Erin
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/20/13 09:47 PM

In reference to that comment about the Bowlmor lanes in Cupertino where they say We’re like cosmic bowling,” said Cone, who also oversees the Bowlmor operation in Cupertino. “We have that look all the time.”

I went to that center about a year after it opened. Its in a mall, you would have to drag your equipment through a busy parking garage and through part of the mall. There's a warning sign at the front desk that says "use your own equipment at your own risk". I asked them if they had an oiling machine and the reply was NO. That's a sad state of bowling.

Erin
Posted by: Fin09

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/21/13 04:49 PM

I can see areas with several AMF centers (like the 5 or 6 in this area) turning one into a boutique center, and transferring as many of the leagues to other centers in the area. There are open lanes at almost every center at night during the week, so it may help fill lanes that would otherwise go unused. Completely walking away from existing leagues would be unwise.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/21/13 06:12 PM

In the last two years we have lost three centers. Most of our centers are full from 6pm to 9:30pm every night, no open play available. And you are right, when those centers closed down the leagues squished to get into the other centers, except a few. The result, unfortunately is that we took a big hit on bowlers. Whenever a center closes there are always a number of bowlers that do not move on to another center and just quit.

Erin
Posted by: JBenny

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/22/13 01:43 AM

It's all about the $$$$. If the centers remain profitable I'm sure they will remain untouched. If the business drops they will close and put something in that will bring in more money. It is sad for the bowlers that will be effected, but if you weren't attached to bowling and you thought there was more money to be made elsewhere , wouldn't you explore these options...
Posted by: rrb6699 (RayRay)

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/22/13 08:47 PM

i bowl at an AMF house. They give you free practice for bowling in a league. i bowl in a fun league and get 2 hours of practice every friday morning, i can bowl 2 hrs (extreme bowling, but, good practice on how to focus), and every weekday from 10am - 5pm it's all you can bowl for 5.00. as much as i try to bowl i can t afford the "boutique" houses that charge 3.50 per game or 10.00/hr to rent a lane (24.95 on weekends). i pay to bowl in a fun league and consider it practice. in return i get these benefits i mention. at times, i can even get the lane man to set up shots if i go to a tournament. well worth it just to be able to try and stay sharp. yes, it will affect me as a bowler if they close down. i will still have to bowl, but, it will cost me more. maybe i can 'get in' with the new company (maybe BowlMor?) and see if they will run specials for open bowling, but, that is unknown at this point. if some houses close down, maybe i can buy a pair of lanes and get them instlled at home!!

R/R
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/23/13 01:29 AM

<<i bowl in a fun league and get 2 hours of practice every friday morning, >>

who has time to practice Friday mornings? Everyone I know is working Friday mornings.

Erin
Posted by: wronghander

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/23/13 12:28 PM

I think that's the point. They want people to use the practice when there is less traffic at the bowling center. Makes me wish I had an AMF center in my area. At my local house I pay $2.25 for practice games as a league bowler and I practice on Friday mornings anyway.
Posted by: rrb6699 (RayRay)

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/24/13 12:37 AM

10hr days 4 days a week. Fridays off. works for me.
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/24/13 01:14 PM

I am a little lucky in the fact that I have five centers within 20 minutes of my house and I have yet to have any close since I started bowling.

We did have two centers close but that was in 2004 after Florida was hit with the four Hurricanes in like a month span and it destroyed one of them and left the other flooded and pretty much useless.

Two of my local centers are AMF centers that are family owned, one center is Brunswick Corp owned and the other is on Patrick AFB and run by the Air Force (civilians can get passes to bowl on base).
Posted by: djp1080

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/25/13 12:18 AM

SK8, I bowled my highest game at Patrick AFB in some tournament when I was stationed down there in the early 70's, 265. I think I started with nine strikes. I finished 3rd. Bowled in Satellite Beach and on the Causeway in Cape Canaveral, too, as I recall. I was in the Navy down there for about five and half years... smile
Posted by: Charlie98

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/25/13 12:26 AM

Here in the north Dallas area the 'boutique' bowling centers are popping up (as are boutique golf/driving ranges.) I pretty much stay away from them... I can't afford $8/game to bowl anywhere, and if they aren't taking care of the lanes, what's the use?

I don't really see any new 'real' bowling alleys being built... probably ever, so we are really stuck with older venues very often in a not-so-nice part of town. frown
Posted by: sk8shorty01

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/26/13 01:43 PM

@djp,

Patrick AFB lanes are still going strong, Satellite Beach Lanes were destroyed in the hurricanes we had in '04 and the Cape Canaveral bowling center has not been in existence for quite a while, I actually don't ever remember a center there so it could have been gone before I was old enough to remember.
Posted by: djp1080

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/26/13 03:20 PM

I just remember it was just off A1A on the right hand side if driving West. Bowled there for a couple of years. Bowled in the Air Force / Navy league at Patrick and a mixed league in the evening. You brought back some memories for me... laugh
Posted by: Dan300

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/05/13 09:15 AM

Last week, the manager at the non-AMF lanes at which I bowl said that Bowlmor was axing all the morning leagues at one AMF house, and going to not even open that house until 4pm on weekdays.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/08/13 08:39 PM

Our AMF Mardi Gras Lanes has 50 lanes, they are full every night, every lane until after 9pm. They are not changing but their lineage went up and I hear their pitchers of beer went up to $14.50.

One of our other AMF centers went though an employee change. All new staff.

Our third AMF center I have not heard any news.

Erin
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/08/13 09:42 PM

We had 1 AMF center close in May. And, a Brunswick House hired the other AMF Center Manager away. He bowled at that Brunswick House anyway.
Posted by: Doubletap

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/10/13 08:58 AM

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.
Posted by: wronghander

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/10/13 11:12 AM

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?
Posted by: Fin09

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/10/13 04:02 PM

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.
Posted by: Doubletap

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/10/13 04:24 PM

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?!
Posted by: Doubletap

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/10/13 04:48 PM

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.
Posted by: Dave800

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/10/13 06:37 PM

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
Posted by: SubaruWRX

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/21/14 06:20 PM

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.
Posted by: Richie V.

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/21/14 09:21 PM

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.
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/23/14 06:55 PM

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.
Posted by: SteveH

Re: what will become of AMF - 08/23/14 07:22 PM

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.
Posted by: airraider1

Re: what will become of AMF - 10/13/14 09:39 PM

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!)
Posted by: SteveH

Re: what will become of AMF - 10/14/14 10:01 AM

That's why in many markets, centers are going after more upscale clientele. If their current lower rates are not drawing business, they'll simply target those less impacted by higher rates with better food, bars, and other entertainment.

Should be noted that laser rage is a huge, and profitable draw. I was surprised as well, but it's true. Not only that, laser rage is more expensive than bowling.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/05/15 10:28 PM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
That's why in many markets, centers are going after more upscale clientele. If their current lower rates are not drawing business, they'll simply target those less impacted by higher rates with better food, bars, and other entertainment.

Should be noted that laser rage is a huge, and profitable draw. I was surprised as well, but it's true. Not only that, laser rage is more expensive than bowling.

I just learned today that one of the most popular independently owned centers in my area is doing a full blown remodel over the summer. The leagues there are more popular than where I bowl. I originally thought that they might just be redoing the lanes and some other updating but they're going the boutique center route with a restaurant, VIP lanes, laser tag, and a redemption arcade that I figure will take up a lot of space. They've said that they need to get more business. It is/was a 34 lane center, I'm almost sure that it will be less when they are done. Not sure what impact this will have on their leagues, but I can't imagine that it will be good. I'll have to ask around next time I'm at my center.

Mark
Posted by: SteveH

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/06/15 11:34 AM

A trend in some areas for sure. League bowlers have put a I'm Cheap sign on their foreheads, a red flag to proprietors looking to pay ever-increasing bills. Our league fought hard against a $1 lineage increase. Now we have laser tag, bar/grill and all of that. The only proprietors that can afford cheap league bowlers are the ones that have owned their centers for decades.

Not a good omen for the future.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/06/15 11:54 AM

Originally Posted By: SteveH
The only proprietors that can afford cheap league bowlers are the ones that have owned their centers for decades.

Not a good omen for the future.

This center is 56 years old and still owned by the same family but was built by the grandfather. I'm really shocked to see this happening there. It really has me feeling very worried about the future of the sport.

Mark
Posted by: SteveH

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/06/15 05:03 PM

Huge advantage owning it for that long. Most old centers never saved any money for reinvestment, and thus close when their equipment breaks down, or customers just stop going in.

I'll bet most old-time league bowlers thought their reign would last forever. A great competitive atmospheres that was always cheap, and the proprietors just delighted to have them. Some got fairly wealthy as their centers ran down, others were smarter and maintained them and upgraded.

Most league bowlers seem to have balked at higher rates, and eventually become a burden on centers, not an asset. Many family-owned centers cannot convince the younger generations to work all the time for the rest of their lives, turn down a couple of million of dollars or more to make peanuts. Some look around, do the math, and look for ways to make up for their lack of bowling profits.

Everyone concerned about the sport needs to realize it takes a lot of investment and expenses to keep it alive. If the bowlers aren't prepared to pay the rates, the proprietors will find a customer base that can. Or, simply pocket the money and sell it off for a shopping center or parking lot. McDonalds doesn't pay people $2 an hour anymore either, and gas is not 25 cents a gallon.

Another issue is interest in bowling. We can't find two bowlers to fill our team for the two that are moving. Our summer league has four teams.
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/07/15 07:48 AM

Originally Posted By: BOSStull
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.
Well been almost a year and both are still here

Originally Posted By: SteveH
A trend in some areas for sure. League bowlers have put a I'm Cheap sign on their foreheads, a red flag to proprietors looking to pay ever-increasing bills. Our league fought hard against a $1 lineage increase. Now we have laser tag, bar/grill and all of that. The only proprietors that can afford cheap league bowlers are the ones that have owned their centers for decades.

Not a good omen for the future.
Well our center raised lineage $1 and I did not here one complaint from the 30 teams bowling in the summer league.

My Brunswick Center may be an exception to the rule but there has not been any drastic changes since it was acquired by BOWLMOR. One of the reasons may be the league participation. During the fall/winter leagues weekday leagues are almost a full house. If you add the lineage and money spent for food and drinks that adds up to a lot of guaranteed dollars for our 40 lane center. There is no doubt that BOWLMOR sees the value in league bowlers and as long as this center keeps embracing league play I will continue to bowl there.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/07/15 08:53 AM

Originally Posted By: BOSStull
Well our center raised lineage $1 and I did not here one complaint from the 30 teams bowling in the summer league.

Don't know about leagues at the other center, but I've had the same experience in my league. In my league, every time we've been informed of a lineage increase, we've always voted to raise how much we pay a week for league. What we pay has increased by about 50% over 11 years.

Originally Posted By: BOSStull
One of the reasons may be the league participation. During the fall/winter leagues weekday leagues are almost a full house. If you add the lineage and money spent for food and drinks that adds up to a lot of guaranteed dollars for our 40 lane center.

That's also what surprises me as their league participation is very healthy. Where I regularly bowl and another house are likely to see a bump in leagues if they alienate their league bowlers after the remodel. The other center that can take overflow is a very popular 24 lane center, so they probably don't have a lot of space in their leagues either but where I bowl does have space for leagues to grow.

Also, this center that's making these changes had done a decent amount of updates over the years. They had synthetics since the mid 90's and had a nice scoring system with flat screens including a third screen every other pair for watching TV. The furniture needed to updated and it could have used some repainting, but it wasn't stuck in the past.

Mark
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/07/15 10:15 AM



Mark our center was actually a beneficiary of another BRUNSWICK remodel about 12 miles away last summer. Many of their league bowlers migrated to our house. I can see why you are worried about your center remodeling. The center here removed 6 lanes from the 40 they had to add a restaurant but did not add laser tag or an arcade area. In the process they also wiped out the PRO shop. They do have leagues at the remodeled one but not to the extent they had before the remodel. A lot of the league bowlers did not go back.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/07/15 01:17 PM

Fortunately, I don't bowl regularly at the center that is remodeling and I'm pretty sure my regular center runs a good chance of picking up bowlers from the one that is remodeling. We've had a new manager for a few years now who also runs our pro shop. Furniture was updated two years ago and they have installed video projectors and screens for the laser light nights. They also are running more tournaments and they have an equipment demo day every year. It seems to me that they're trying to keep both groups of bowlers happy at my regular center, which is the way I feel it should be.

Mark
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: what will become of AMF - 11/10/16 08:49 AM

I know I'm digging up a post, but I felt this would be better here than making a new post. I didn't know about this happening at Carolier until a few weeks ago, I don't live in this part of NJ so I didn't know until I saw something online about it. Although they only did lanes 1-48 and 49-82 were not touched, I never thought this would happen here.

http://www.nj.com/somerset/index.ssf/201...#incart_m-rpt-2

It seems like leagues are to be relegated to 49-82, which was always the less popular part of the center and limits leagues. In the first article I found a few weeks ago, I read that they can still host tournaments that use the whole house.

Mark
Posted by: Joe Bowler

Re: what will become of AMF - 11/10/16 04:15 PM

Interesting what they are doing at Carolier. I'm glad they are keeping a portion of the bowling center for leagues. In a house that size, who knows, getting more recreational bowlers in the door might result in more league bowlers over time.
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/03/18 06:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Mkirchie
Originally Posted By: BOSStull
Well our center raised lineage $1 and I did not here one complaint from the 30 teams bowling in the summer league.

Don't know about leagues at the other center, but I've had the same experience in my league. In my league, every time we've been informed of a lineage increase, we've always voted to raise how much we pay a week for league. What we pay has increased by about 50% over 11 years.

Originally Posted By: BOSStull
One of the reasons may be the league participation. During the fall/winter leagues weekday leagues are almost a full house. If you add the lineage and money spent for food and drinks that adds up to a lot of guaranteed dollars for our 40 lane center.

That's also what surprises me as their league participation is very healthy. Where I regularly bowl and another house are likely to see a bump in leagues if they alienate their league bowlers after the remodel. The other center that can take overflow is a very popular 24 lane center, so they probably don't have a lot of space in their leagues either but where I bowl does have space for leagues to grow.

Also, this center that's making these changes had done a decent amount of updates over the years. They had synthetics since the mid 90's and had a nice scoring system with flat screens including a third screen every other pair for watching TV. The furniture needed to updated and it could have used some repainting, but it wasn't stuck in the past.

Mark
I posted this back in 2015. At that time this Brunswick Zone had good league participation. Mon-Thurs leagues all had 30 teams or more. Fast forward to today. All the leagues have dropped to 20 teams or less. What is happening here? Where have all the bowlers gone? As for the center not really anything the center has done to drive people away.

I like the Stars and Strikes near my house but league participation there is even worse. You may get 8-10 teams on a night.

Sad state of bowling. Wonder what it is going to be like when new USBC rules are fully in affect.

Even participation on discussion boards are declining. Only 23 different posters signing on in a moth. I feel like I am problem talking to myself.
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/03/18 08:33 AM

Originally Posted By: BOSStull
Originally Posted By: Mkirchie
Originally Posted By: BOSStull
Well our center raised lineage $1 and I did not here one complaint from the 30 teams bowling in the summer league.

Don't know about leagues at the other center, but I've had the same experience in my league. In my league, every time we've been informed of a lineage increase, we've always voted to raise how much we pay a week for league. What we pay has increased by about 50% over 11 years.

Originally Posted By: BOSStull
One of the reasons may be the league participation. During the fall/winter leagues weekday leagues are almost a full house. If you add the lineage and money spent for food and drinks that adds up to a lot of guaranteed dollars for our 40 lane center.

That's also what surprises me as their league participation is very healthy. Where I regularly bowl and another house are likely to see a bump in leagues if they alienate their league bowlers after the remodel. The other center that can take overflow is a very popular 24 lane center, so they probably don't have a lot of space in their leagues either but where I bowl does have space for leagues to grow.

Also, this center that's making these changes had done a decent amount of updates over the years. They had synthetics since the mid 90's and had a nice scoring system with flat screens including a third screen every other pair for watching TV. The furniture needed to updated and it could have used some repainting, but it wasn't stuck in the past.

Mark
I posted this back in 2015. At that time this Brunswick Zone had good league participation. Mon-Thurs leagues all had 30 teams or more. Fast forward to today. All the leagues have dropped to 20 teams or less. What is happening here? Where have all the bowlers gone? As for the center not really anything the center has done to drive people away.

I like the Stars and Strikes near my house but league participation there is even worse. You may get 8-10 teams on a night.

Sad state of bowling. Wonder what it is going to be like when new USBC rules are fully in affect.

Even participation on discussion boards are declining. Only 23 different posters signing on in a month. I feel like I am probably talking to myself.
I feel like I am probably talking to myself even to correct my spelling mistakes.
Posted by: djp1080

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/03/18 12:08 PM

Good morning,
I stop by most days just to see if there's anything interesting. You're not the only one who is on here.
I'm not one to start a new string of posts I guess.
When I have, I don't get many answers. Guess the coaches have all left already.
Hope things pick up one of these days.
As for me I'm thinking I may pick up an Intense Fire. It looks really nice to me. I'll wait to see what Bowling This Month mag has to say about it...
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/03/18 01:05 PM

Yes the Intense Fire does look good for performance as well as looks. Look at Luke's video has some interesting points about the Intense Fire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDcQ7t6Q7sU
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/03/18 11:32 PM

Mark, FYI, I have 2 Bolero centers within 15 miles of me. One East 15 and one West 15. Neither caters to leagues, and what leagues they did have, have relocated. The Brunswick Zone I used to bowl at has about completed its renovation, which was the reason for lineage increases for leagues.

Open bowling is now $5.69 per game on weekend nights, when they don't have Cosmic bowling (after 9), when the price goes up.

A few leagues left, and other leagues are losing teams. And, when bowlers find out lineage is $3-4 less at other houses, they move.

The food is terrible and the drinks are too high. $14 for a pitcher of beer??? When bowlers complained that it was too high and all can't get a full glass, they dropped the size of beer glasses to 10 oz instead of 12.

I thought the Investment banker who supported the Bolmor buyout of Brunswick was suing Shannon for lack of loan payment. Haven't heard much on that.

In the mean time, the new 40 lane center where I bowl, treats bowlers well. 40 lanes used on Thurs, and the other leagues are growing. Beer is half price, and the food is pretty good. They have a carry out Pizza business. And, the bar is filled.
Posted by: djp1080

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/04/18 12:03 AM

Luke's reviews are pretty darn good.
I have the Hy-Road Pearl and it's a very nice ball. It matches up with my style quite well. In Luke's review of the Intense Fire I think he says it has a similar shape to the HYP. If that's the case, it ought to be pretty good for me.
I have the Storm IQ Tour 30 and it's done well for me, but the HYP suits my style better. I picked up the Son!Q expecting it to be similar in shape to the IQT 30, but it seems to get farther down the lane than I expected; however, it grabs the friction a lot more. It's more difficult to control and I don't get much room for error like the HYP or IQT 30.
Perhaps I should stick with what I've got... smile
Posted by: steveA

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/04/18 07:46 AM

Yep I'm another that drops in on a regular basis , just don't post that much.
Things are a lot different over here , play in a 16 lane house, old wood lanes, markings sanded away to nothing, oil machine obsolete 20 yrs ago.
league play Sunday trios 5 teams, though a couple of teams have 10 registered players
Thursday Doubles ( 2nd house league) 6 teams , 4 teams made up of players from Sunday nights league.
Thursday doubles 4 teams , joined so it would keep running. More of a friendly party league they go out for a meal once a month , whilst I play the other league.
Combined winnings from last year paid for about 2 weeks bowling.
Last new ball bought was a while ago, 5 yrs plus, can't see the point. I'm not playing on modern conditions.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/04/18 09:22 AM

Dennis, I've never been in a Bowlero center, mostly because the closest one to me is not close at all. I always figured I would refuse to go to one anyway, you reinforced that well.

I'm worried about the league I bowl in not existing next season. The team that just took first place had threatened to quit before this season and I heard that they make a joking or serious reference to "leaving on top". Our president and secretary are not returning. I'm worried because our secretary did a very good job in recruiting bowlers to the league and is the only reason we stayed at 12 5 person teams the last two years. A few of the teams had unreliable bowlers and subs a lot of the time. If the league dies, bowlers on our team and a few others could easily move to the 4 person money league that bowls at the same time as we do, but there are other teams that got destroyed in our league that would be way worse off in that one and would not join at all. The total # of league bowlers on Friday nights at the center would decrease again.

Mark
Posted by: 6_ball_man

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/05/18 11:42 AM

AMF just closed a 56 lane center here that they improved a LOT when they got it 10 or so years ago, but then let deteriorate...my Saturday singles league is moving back to the AMF place we moved from years ago due to (new) personality difficulties between the secretary and the hall owner. I REALLY do not like giving them (AMF) any of my money, but I love the league. The place we are moving from has become my home house, so I have agreed to join a 4-man league on Wednesday nights. I am certain I will despise the rotation speed, but I wanna still bowl there and a friend asked me to join up.
Posted by: mmalsed

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/05/18 11:57 AM

I drop in every weekday, just to see. smile

Same situation here. Our old AMF is now Bolero and the few leagues that are there are just there out of stubbornness.

Our Brunswick Zone (and all of them in the area) has been remodeled. Lineage has gone up. Choice has gone down. Beer-lines aren't cleaned very regularly and the beer tastes like bandaids (chlorophynol, technically)

our local independent is doing well. Leagues Wed-Sun. Mon and Tue we get 2 free games. Leagues are big and thriving. We're getting more and more so it often multiple leagues per night (like a big and a small); especially when leagues see they can lower their lineage and put that money into prize funds. Me, I'd prefer a lower weekly fee (we switched leagues for that reason) but . . . smile
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/05/18 04:25 PM

Well, 5th week is in the books. I bowled like crap. But, we won all 3 games and total.

And, this is the 4th week that lanes 39/40 are shut down, and the 3rd week that lanes 31/32 are off as well. It would help if this house had a laneman who could fix things. Instead, AMF has 1 regional laneman to service 3 houses. And, he's new and has yet to be trained on our machines.

I don't mind lane 40 being out of commission, being on the outside wall. But, 31/32 are right in the middle of the league.

Today, the President has a new complaint. As teams were finishing, the counter put open bowlers on 2 lanes that were done. But, the adjacent lanes still had league bowlers. And, the lanes assigned had balls in the rack and the team was still writing down scores. There is no regard for leagues.
Posted by: wronghander

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/05/18 09:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Dennis Michael

Today, the President has a new complaint. As teams were finishing, the counter put open bowlers on 2 lanes that were done. But, the adjacent lanes still had league bowlers. And, the lanes assigned had balls in the rack and the team was still writing down scores. There is no regard for leagues.

Something similar happened to me but it was during open bowling. I finished up my practice and had to the bathroom so I left my stuff on the rack. I came back 5 minutes later and the lane was given out to another group (with other open lanes available) plus they were throwing my equipment. Talking to either manager there is useless, they get defensive and cite corporate policy ad nauseam. They actually brought in a 3rd manager last year that was a league bowler and understood the issues that I and other bowlers had but he got fed up and left to manage another center.

I'm actually bowling at another center that's part of a chain (Sparetime Entertainment) this summer and it's 100x better than Bowlmor. First and foremost no matter what time you come in there is always oil on the lanes. They actually put out a good shot here (Kegel Big Ben) while the Brunswick Zone that I bowled at in the winter is practically handing out honor scores in the summer (3 weeks into their Wednesday League and there have already been four 800s). The manager there is a bowler and cares about the league base. No corporate policy BS either. The league that I joined was small and we all wanted to move the league from 7:00 to 6:30 and it was no issue. Also we get 2 free games per day of practice for bowling in the summer. If it's a weekday and they're not too busy they'll offer me a pair of lanes away from the other open bowlers. At Brunswick Zone it was all cosmic bowling all the time with bowlers on both adjacent lanes (even if it was a weekday afternoon and there were only a few lanes going) and it was almost impossible to get a decent practice in.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/06/18 08:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Dennis Michael
Today, the President has a new complaint. As teams were finishing, the counter put open bowlers on 2 lanes that were done. But, the adjacent lanes still had league bowlers. And, the lanes assigned had balls in the rack and the team was still writing down scores. There is no regard for leagues.

Nearly every season, our center would try to sneak open bowlers on the pair next to our league and it is always met with complaints. I will give the desk person credit for what they did for most of last season. Almost every week they kept on putting one of the best high school bowlers in the county and her father on the pair next to our league. I'm totally fine if the open bowlers they put next to our league are regular league bowlers themselves. The center still gets revenue for the pair and we're not aggravated at the center.

Mark
Posted by: mmalsed

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/06/18 11:43 AM

Yeah - HATE that as well. Thankfully our new center puts up on the display "Reserved" so typically no problem.

I would have ZERO problem with using league bowlers, doing makeup or pre-bowl or whatever, on the spare lanes AFTER we're pretty much determined that we don't need them. I mean we rarely need it . . . but . . . smile
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/06/18 04:59 PM

well, we were told that the league cannot stop the Center from earning money. So, open bowlers will be placed on any open lane. And, the Center alternates assigning lanes. Day 1, start from left to right and Day 2 from right to left. This is to extend the life of lane surfaces and evenly use up oil on the lanes.
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/09/18 01:04 PM

Originally Posted By: djp1080
Luke's reviews are pretty darn good.
I have the Hy-Road Pearl and it's a very nice ball. It matches up with my style quite well. In Luke's review of the Intense Fire I think he says it has a similar shape to the HYP. If that's the case, it ought to be pretty good for me.
I have the Storm IQ Tour 30 and it's done well for me, but the HYP suits my style better. I picked up the Son!Q expecting it to be similar in shape to the IQT 30, but it seems to get farther down the lane than I expected; however, it grabs the friction a lot more. It's more difficult to control and I don't get much room for error like the HYP or IQT 30.
Perhaps I should stick with what I've got... smile
DJP I also picked up the SON!Q. I agree with your assessment. It definitely moves on the back end when it hits friction. I will probably wait for another demo before I make another purchase. Storm usually has 2 or 3 in the area every year.
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/09/18 01:15 PM

Originally Posted By: BOSStull


I like the Stars and Strikes near my house but league participation there is even worse. You may get 8-10 teams on a night.

A friend of mine was going to do summer ball league at S&S. At the end of the league you got your choice of a Hyper Cell Fuse, No Rules Exist, Intense, or Code X including drilling. Only 4 people showed up for the league.
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/09/18 01:21 PM

Originally Posted By: steveA
Yep I'm another that drops in on a regular basis , just don't post that much.
Me too Steve. Trying to post a little more. It's has been a crazy week at work so only got on to read. Did not have time to post during the week. So today's the day.
Posted by: djp1080

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/09/18 01:46 PM

Thanks BOS. I guess it's not just me then.
I see you have the Hy-Road Nano in your ball list.
I bought one at 16 lbs. Probably should have gotten a 15 lb. model instead. I got it before any Bowling This Month reviews as I thought "How can this not be a great ball?" It's pretty good. I've not used it much so far though. The IQ Tour Nano is a ball I have some confidence in, but not so much for the HyRN yet.
I'll have to play with it more this Summer to find a better line to play. So far I've been laying it down around board 17 and targeting at 12 or 13 at the arrows. Perhaps need to move more left and target 15 or more at the arrows to get more miss room, not sure.
I got it primarily to tackle any over/under reaction we get sometimes...
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/09/18 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By: mmalsed


Our Brunswick Zone (and all of them in the area) has been remodeled. Lineage has gone up. Choice has gone down. Beer-lines aren't cleaned very regularly and the beer tastes like bandaids (chlorophynol, technically)

o)
My BZ is in the process of removing anything with the Brunswick name attached. Removing nameplates on ball returns, chairs , anything. All you see now is OMG and LOL on the side walls. Now the counter person is doubling as the bartender. Having to wait for someone to get a pitcher of beer before I can get someone at the counter to answer the intercom for ball return.
Posted by: wronghander

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/09/18 05:15 PM

Originally Posted By: BOSStull
Originally Posted By: mmalsed


Our Brunswick Zone (and all of them in the area) has been remodeled. Lineage has gone up. Choice has gone down. Beer-lines aren't cleaned very regularly and the beer tastes like bandaids (chlorophynol, technically)

o)
My BZ is in the process of removing anything with the Brunswick name attached. Removing nameplates on ball returns, chairs , anything. All you see now is OMG and LOL on the side walls. Now the counter person is doubling as the bartender. Having to wait for someone to get a pitcher of beer before I can get someone at the counter to answer the intercom for ball return.

My local BZ started doing the same thing about a year ago. The first thing to go was the Brunswick masking units. They have the same blank white ones that they can use to show videos on which I've seen in a lot of AMF centers. Not only that but the rental shoes have the AMF logo on them, as does the letterhead on the paperwork, plus the paper lining in the food baskets. Other than the Brunswick lanes/pins/ball returns the center looks indistinguishable from an AMF house. I had read somewhere that Bowlmor had a 5 year license to use the Brunswick name so wouldn't surprise me if they are in the process or renaming these centers.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/10/18 05:29 AM

The Building has been painted, red, black and grey. The Zone name is down.

Inside, the counter wall is now black, red and grey. The Brunswick logos on ball returns are being replaced. Shoes have changed. But, the side walls still have BZ clearly visible on wall carpeting. The Bar wall on the concourse has been removed and is now open.

The road sign is still BZ.

Most notably is the change in operating hours. in Summer, opens at 11 am and closes at 11 PM on weekdays, Midnight weekends.

IDK why they still have 3 at the counter, 2 at concession/bar. Business has dropped in half.

The one league I bowl in there threatened to leave if lineage increased. So, it remained the same. But, the contract changed. Used to be an absent bowled wasn't changed for lineage, now they are. Officers got free game pass, no more.

They used to make a 100 cup coffee pot for Sr League. I know it didn't get all used, and they left it out all day. So, last week they dropped it in half to 50. Haha, they ran out and boy did those old ladies let them know about it.

Its Cosmic bowling most open hours with lights flashing and music blasting, and the place is empty. Bowlers don't come any more to practice. And, it appears to be a policy to play music during leagues. They won't turn it off but down.
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/23/18 09:41 AM

It may have appeared I was bashing my BZ but really it is still the best place for league bowling in my area. I will support them as long as I can. I feel sure that if league bowling dies here so will the bowling center. They do not have other fun attractions like Stars and Strikes or Main Event has to attract customers. It is pretty much bowling as the main money maker.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/23/18 04:00 PM

The Mon Nite League I bowled in had 32 teams and is now down to 22. I know of 3 teams leaving in the Fall. 2 are joining my league at a privately owned center.

The Thurs Nite League, was a 185+ handicapped trio league. 18 teams when I bowled, now 14. Only, because they have allowed lower average bowlers to enter. this hurts, because there is a low handicap of 170. So anyone with lower average only gets a cap based on 170. But, the house will sign up anyone.

There are 2 main reasons for bowlers leaving. 1. The lineage for league bowling is now higher then the highest open bowling rates. A bowler can save $4-5 by moving to another center, or pay the same rate and that differrence goes to the prize fund.

The second issue has been with the lane conditions. It is rare that the lanes are oiled the same 2 weeks in a row. There is NO laneman to fix the machine when its off or pads worn. Counter people have been trained to run the machine. It has been common, that the lane oiler has broken down, and leagues have gone for weeks without the lanes being oiled.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/28/18 01:02 PM

This house is NUTS. Sr league used to have a 100 cup Urn of coffee for league. Then, the Regional Mgr saw that there was a surplus. So, he ordered the Manager to make a half Urn the next week. They ran out in game two, and the old ladies were very unhappy. So, he raised it to 60 cups and used smaller cups. Who is he trying to fool?

I am sure a couple will bring in theirown 5 pound can of coffee to use next week.

The skimping in the Center is becoming so evident, people are getting upset.

We were without a clock on the West, outside wall, as the old one stopped working. So, 2 bowlers bought one and brought it in. It sat behind the counter for weeks. Then one of the purchasers took it, got a bar stool, and hung it on the hook of the old one. He was admonished because the new clock was battery operated, unlike the old plug in one. Not it will cost to replace the batteries.

How cheap can they get!! Does anyone want to donate 2 AA batteries?

I remember we had a blind programmer at work, years ago. I'm sure AMF would have turned off the lights in his office.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/28/18 01:12 PM

oh, I heard scuttlebutt the other day. It seems that lineage for leagues will raise in the Fall to pay for the paint job in and outside of the building. the bowlers didn't ask for it. So, why should they have to pay?

Lineage for Monday Nite Men's league is already higher then open bowling prices.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/29/18 06:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Dennis Michael
We were without a clock on the West, outside wall, as the old one stopped working. So, 2 bowlers bought one and brought it in. It sat behind the counter for weeks. Then one of the purchasers took it, got a bar stool, and hung it on the hook of the old one. He was admonished because the new clock was battery operated, unlike the old plug in one. Not it will cost to replace the batteries.

We had a sort of similar clock story this year. Our center always has a clock above the lanes in the middle of the center. Last season it started to act up and never showed the correct time. It took them a good few months to replace it. At least the replacement is a better clock for where it is located, it is much bigger.

Mark
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 06/30/18 12:07 PM

Yep, our bowling is going up too.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 07/03/18 10:16 AM

The Zone Manager held a meeting with a few bowlers, who also happen to be officers of leagues last year. The purpose was to understand objections with the new ownership.

the largest complaint was the lineage being charged. This has caused teams and a couple of leagues to switch centers.

the second was bar pricing and food. It appears that the prices are exhorbitant, and the quality is poor.

third was inconsistency in the weekly shot. Oilers were down alot and not working the same from week to week.

lastly, was lane break downs. Lane 40 hasn't worked all year and now, lanes 31-2 are not available for leagues. the house has operated without a laneman for months, borrowing one from another nearby house. We recently got a new one, but he splits his time among 3 houses in the area. And, each house has different machines that requires training on each.

I remember an old Zone house, that has since closed, who hired a new laneman that was untrained on their machines. He was called to repair a problem, and in doing so, tried with the knowledge he had. The rack mechanism came down on his arm and snapped the bone in half. He was on leave for months. And, when he returned, he was terminated.
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: what will become of AMF - 07/04/18 10:33 AM

About food. You must really be hungry if you have to eat something at the Zone. There is just better and cheaper options around our center to opt for their food.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 07/07/18 07:49 AM

Haha I found out what the problem was with lane 40. Its not the lane or the pin setter. It's the TV.

Seems the TV went out, and there is no way to display the scores. And, because the scoring machine tells you so much, like arrows on which lane you bowl on, they have shut down lane 40 from use.

I guess people don't know how to score manually.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 07/08/18 10:42 PM

this is getting very bad. They changed the open hours to 11 am, ev day. But, someone forgot they had a practice league on Sunday Morn at 9. So, the desk person opened the door for league bowlers on time, then locked them

However, some other bowlers got in and they assigned lanes to them.

I got there at my usual 10 am to bowl with the league bowlers who would finish. I found the doors locked, and knocked. An open bowler heard me and started to walk to the door to open. He was stopped by the desk person who came to the door.

She informed me of the posted open hour change. I pointed to the open bowlers already inside. She told me, the house was for league bowlers only and shut the door.

I know there were open bowlers inside, and she flagrantly lied to me.

I'm done with this place.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: what will become of AMF - 07/09/18 06:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Dennis Michael
She informed me of the posted open hour change. I pointed to the open bowlers already inside. She told me, the house was for league bowlers only and shut the door.

I know there were open bowlers inside, and she flagrantly lied to me.

I'm done with this place.


Wow is all I have. What a great way to run a business, I'd never go back either. It seems to me from everything you have said that they're intentionally trying to drive away league bowlers so they can become the night club entertainment type center.

Mark
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: what will become of AMF - 07/09/18 07:13 AM

Mark, it really sucks when you do something for so long, then they arbitrarily change things, like the opening time, without any regard to patrons.

How can a place of business be open for some and not all?

I never heard of open for league bowlers only!!

And, it's a league of only 8 people. They pay $12 weekly and get 2, 3 free game passes, to use in the week. I used to bowl in it when it was $9 a week and you got 5, 3 free game passes, Just a couple of years ago. Used to have 20 bowlers at 9 am ev Sunday. Plus a bunch of open bowlers who would meet then too. We would bowl til 1 o'clock, when they turned the lights off for Cosmic.

I'll definitely make an issue of this with the Manager, who I will see Tuesday.

In fact, I'm calling the Corporate phone customer service recording. I'll leave her Name and time and date. And, demand a response.