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Author Topic: How not to run a bowling center - opinions  (Read 8620 times)

Rodimus

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How not to run a bowling center - opinions
« on: April 28, 2003, 03:35:46 AM »
Let me preface this by saying there's a chance that I'm a little spoiled.  My hometown of a mere 60k people has two centers, both of which are very nice and one of which has nearly all the latest Brunswick furnishings and is maintained near perfectly.

Now, I go to college in Raleigh, NC.  For those of you who don't know, Raleigh probably has a surrounding population of about 200,000 (not including Durham).  

My University is literally right across the street from a bowling alley, and when I first came up here I thought "Oh, cool...I'll bet lots of college folks hang out and bowl here.  That should be fun."

Guess what?  They don't.  As a matter of fact, I'm finding out that about the only reason that the house even stays open is because of the bowling fee that students in the bowling classes have to pay.  I'm currently in one of these classes.

"Well why would a house that's right across the street from 28,000 college-age kids not flourish," you ask?

Where to start....

First, this house hasn't had ANYTHING new come in the door as far as equipment, house balls, rental shoes, lane prep/upkeep, or even pins since the 70's.

As far as oiling patterns, I don't think they have any.  I think they just have JoeBob get out there with the old 1960's oiling machine and "do whatever."  One of the supposed expert technicians actually furrowed his brow at me when I asked him if they had put down a Christmas Tree pattern and how far down it was.

Today when I was bowling I threw what looked to be a great pocket hit, but instead of that "clush" sound, I heard the "clud" sound of a ball hitting pins that have been broken and glued together.  It sounded remarkably like the sound a baseball bat makes when it breaks.

The stake through the heart, though, is the management.  One of the owners yelled at a ten year old kid one day because he threw at a pin that had fallen outside of the sweeper and was laying on the lane.  I know that what the kid did was wrong, but geez...don't yell at him.  

That's not all though.  This management "team" makes you feel like it's some kind of burden for them to let you bowl in their house.  If it weren't for the awesome cafe at this place, I'd never EVER set foot in there outside of class.  For as bad as AMF houses can be sometimes, at least their employees (around here at least) fake caring.  It's a lot more expensive there (4.50/gm as opposed to 2.50/gm), but the convenience is soooo worth it to me.


So I don't know.  Is this typical of any places around you guys (and gals)?  Am I just spoiled by a good house near my hometown?  Maybe after I save and invest some money (we're talking 20 yrs here now) I could look into buying and revamping this alley.  It just seems to me that there's no reason why all 24 lanes shouldn't be packed with so many college folks in the vicinity.


 

AdrianS

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Re: How not to run a bowling center - opinions
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2003, 05:23:49 AM »
Hey Michelle, you can do some good stuff with century machines, triple run(with the double oil light on) to 32ft buff to 40ft with the shims set up for 10 to 10 wall(if you havent got the proper shims, just stick 2 12 inch wooden rulers in there). It's cant miss city, especially when you rip it coast to coast. Of course the old boss at my old home alleys only put this on one pair(11 and 12, almost never used otherwise)and all the fluff bowlers would have panicked if it was the leauge shot. At least i had to use my fingers on this 'practice' pair!
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JOE FALCO

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Re: How not to run a bowling center - opinions
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2003, 05:49:53 AM »
I've bowled in quite a few CENTERS in the RALEIGH area. Really don't have much complaints about CONDITIONS. Allies are always clean and bathrooms are generally VERY GOOD. Yes there are occasional breakdown of allies but overall they are attended too quickly. I've bowled at PLEASANT VALLEY, WINSTON-SALEM, SOUTH HILLS, BUFFALOE NORTH, BUFFALOE SOUTH and BUFFALOE CARY .. all are in excellent condition. NORTH is a WOOD center that will be converting to SYNTHETICS this summer.

I don't think that some of the houses (not all) are fair with the OIL. I bowl with SENIORS and there is no OILING done for us. If you bowl on a MONDAY afternoon (1 PM) sometimes the alley is oiled SUNDAY morning (if you're lucky).. by the time we bowl there is a backend that is uncontrollable. COMPLAINTS go on deft ears .. majority of the SENIORS just take it in stride ..I get angry/complain and go away with my tail between my legs.

That's an aside .. overall the RALEIGH allies I've been too are ACCEPTABLE (I've been here 3 years .. originally from NY)

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Jerry Weller

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Re: How not to run a bowling center - opinions
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2003, 01:57:21 AM »
The main excuse I've heard used for not oiling lanes for the seniors is that the majority of seniors use obsolete hard rubber bowling balls that generate a gazillion ball calls after they get a bit of oil on them. Some friends of mine who own a bowling center have even gone so far as to install ball detectors to cut down on the ball calls.

Of course if toasted lanes were all I got to bowl on I don't think I'd be investing in a new high tech ball myself. All of which leads to... "Which came first - the chicken or the egg?"


Edited on 5/1/2003 2:03 AM

JOE FALCO

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Re: How not to run a bowling center - opinions
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2003, 04:50:07 AM »
JERRY .. Your response gave me a laugh .. but you know .. you ARE right .. quite a few of the SENIORS use antique balls .. and I never thought that was a reason for the NO OIL .. it REALLY  is a legitimate excuse.

I'm glad I made the statement .. guess I'm going to look for leagues OTHER then SENIORS. Have to tell you that's the first time I heard that reason and I'm stuck for an answer. Thanks AGAIN!!

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Hit them light and watch them fight
      J O E  F A L C O
RIP Thongprincess/Sawbones!