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 Post subject: How Do You Rate........
 Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:40 pm Post Number: #1 Post
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Other than “the distance from your home,” what things do you look for in a bowling alley, to decide that you want to spend your money there??

*It has a Pro Shop?
*The Pro in the Pro Shop is I.P.S.I.A. Certified?
*It has a bar and food court?
*Number of lanes?
*Cleanliness?
*Typical cliental?
*Fee rates?
*Number and types of League options?
*Oil & upkeep of the Lanes?
*Wood vs Synthetic lanes?
*Ball return & pin setting dependability?
*Hours of operation?

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Rate........
 Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:09 pm Post Number: #2 Post
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soupy1957 wrote:
Other than “the distance from your home,” what things do you look for in a bowling alley, to decide that you want to spend your money there??

*It has a Pro Shop?
*The Pro in the Pro Shop is I.P.S.I.A. Certified?
*It has a bar and food court?
*Number of lanes?
*Cleanliness?
*Typical cliental?
*Fee rates?
*Number and types of League options?
*Oil & upkeep of the Lanes?
*Wood vs Synthetic lanes?
*Ball return & pin setting dependability?
*Hours of operation?

My Wednesday night team is leaving our current house for many reasons. One is the dependability of the machines. Every week at least one pair of teams have to move lanes because of breakdowns. Another reason is the condition of the lanes. The lane topography is terrible, the seams are raised up making a bump in the lane at the dots causing your ball to go airborne for about 3 feet. There are 3 pair that have this issue in our 12 team league. This is a 50 lane house and I assume there are others on the other end of the house with extreme topography issues. We have one pair (11-12) that the lane is so off level the oil condition does not dictate where or how you play the lane the topography does. This house has the lowest linage and best beer prices in town. As well as wait staff that makes sure we are very well served. We will miss that but it was not enough to keep us bowling there.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Rate........
 Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:13 pm Post Number: #3 Post
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Frankly I’m having a hard time believing that that particular bowling alley that you have described has been able to stay in business at all! I get the hell out of there too, if I were you!!

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Rate........
 Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:51 pm Post Number: #4 Post
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Our city tournament is being held there, we opted to not even enter.
My wife's team just bowled there yesterday for the Women's City tourney, Guess what? Their lanes broke down and had to move in the middle of the 2nd game. Took them 4 hrs to bowl a 3 game set.

One night in league there were 4 pairs that had to move and then one of those pairs had to move a 2nd time. This is a 6:00 league, they didn't get done till almost 11:30.
The house gave our league $170 and said they were sorry for all the troubles we had to endure throughout the season. That was $2.83 per bowler. 1 beer for a season full of trouble. Our waitress gave us more free beer just because we tipped her so well. The service we got from her will be the only thing we will miss.
While I am venting, another thing they did to us was on Tuesday night they host a Sport league. The house shot on Wednesday was just layed over the top of the sport condition without stripping the lane. Averages were down almost 20 pins this year. Zero 300's/800's, a situation that has never happened in this league
I came to call this league a THS Sport league with unannounced lane conditions. At least on Tuesday night they knew what the pattern was, not that it mattered on lanes 11-12.

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12* tilt
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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Rate........
 Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:51 pm Post Number: #5 Post
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As much as I hate dividing my focus between playing and taking stops and the counter, I do like being the mechanic and part-owner in my home center! Which also is the only center.

But it gives insight in why stuff just dies, like a sweep motor. And why it takes ages to fix sometimes. But you also get the ugly scowl back when you are the mechanic, so it goes both ways I guess...

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    Years bowling: 11
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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Rate........
 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:17 am Post Number: #6 Post
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JJakobsen wrote:
As much as I hate dividing my focus between playing and taking stops and the counter, I do like being the mechanic and part-owner in my home center! Which also is the only center.

But it gives insight in why stuff just dies, like a sweep motor. And why it takes ages to fix sometimes. But you also get the ugly scowl back when you are the mechanic, so it goes both ways I guess...



How frequently do lane mechanicals fail? What types of failures are typical, most expensive? How easy or readily available are parts? How do PBA regulations come into play when modifications are done?

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Rate........
 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:22 pm Post Number: #7 Post
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Mainly whether there is a scratch league that is compatible with my schedule and preferences (not willing to bowl on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night). If there are constant breakdowns or frequent ball damage incidents I will probably bow out.

Doing things like ripping out 8 lanes and a good pro shop in favor of laser tag and coin-op machines will lose my business as well. I recognize that a business has to do whatever they think is best for their profitability/survivability, however the certain knowledge that such a move will alienate bowlers must be factored into the equation. I vote with my wallet and try to support houses that support bowling.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Rate........
 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:40 pm Post Number: #8 Post
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Off the top of my head, I have about 12 bowling alleys within a 30 minute drive of me.

The house I consider my “home house” is the furthest of those. It’s also a family-owned business that takes great care of their regulars and know everyone by name. The owners are all bowlers that bowl in the leagues and keep their lanes in great shape. They will get my business whenever I have a choice. Unsurprisingly, that’s true for many people - 40 lanes are full every night for leagues, with near full houses for second shift leagues and parties during the day on weekends.

I do open bowl at other places when necessary and bowl one league on the other side of town. In those cases, the only differentiator (assuming equal lane availability) to me is price. In the case of a league, I’ll consider the quality of the league more than the quality of the center itself, except for special circumstances.

I’ve only truly sworn off one bowling center completely. I dropped out of leagues there when they did a big reno to replace the arcade instead of fixing their lanes that were damaging balls. They lost me as even an open bowler shortly after due to cleanliness and the apathetic nature of their staff.

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