Oh, I can assure you that I am in no way affiliated with Bowlmor AMF. I do volunteer as a coach at my home center, and as such, I do think of myself as an ambassador for both the sport and for the center -- but only with customers that are already in the center. I'm not on payroll and I don't get paid for drawing business into the center or helping to improve the image of Bowlmor, Bowlero, AMF or Brunswick brands. They're on their own for that. :-) I've been openly critical of them whenever they've made a dumb move. They know I'll call things as I see them. It just so happens that I don't perceive Bowlmor AMF as being the great evil empire that some do. Tom Shannon's interview with Bloomberg a few years ago was an unfortunate misstep that continues to haunt him. But those of us who pay attention also know he was speaking on behalf of Bowlmor BEFORE the company absorbed AMF. He has since walked back his statements about nobody taking bowling seriously, and has pretty aggressively sought to enhance the experience for league bowlers in the centers that the company has designated as league centers. I don't know what more a manager can do than that.
Now, as for specifics brought up, I don't care whether I'm sitting on a couch or on a chair. And I don't care what direction they're facing. When I bowl, I usually bowl on a PAIR of lanes (even for open play). But if I were to bowl on just ONE lane, it wouldn't bother me in the least if somebody was sitting on the adjacent couch facing me. They might learn something from watching me bowl. I like showing off.
As for the music being played not being "royalty free," but rather, being the hit songs of today, I was referring to the music being played at the Brunswick Zone center where I bowl.
That said, I do know that most all Brunswick Zone centers subscribed to the same music service (it was a group deal done by Brunswick when they owned the centers). So no, I have not been at your center. But I'm pretty confident that no music service being used for Cosmic bowling at a Brunswick Zone center is royalty free music. That would be sheer madness. Muzak with psychedelic black lights. Honestly, the only way I think I could bear that is if I dropped acid.
And yes, the manager at our center resigned after about 15 years running the center, and is now working for the competition. Some believe he probably left when he saw what was coming with Bowlmor-AMF. I get it. Every company has its own corporate culture, and everybody tends to be resistant to change, especially if they're used to doing things a certain way that has worked well for an extended period of time. But if there's one thing I'm sure of in life, it's that things are going to change. You either adapt, leave, or get swept away. It's your choice. The good news is, as a customer, you always have the option of hauling your butt down the road and taking your disposable income elsewhere. If you're unhappy, I wouldn't blame you.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, the Brunswick Zone XL centers are a little different from the Brunswick Zone centers. The XL centers are a little more geared toward exactly the type of bowling that you say you hate. And frankly, I don't blame you. I prefer bowling in a league center, and our Brunswick Zone house is just that.
For a town not located in the upper midwest (like Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis and such), Atlanta is a surprisingly good bowling town. Not only do we have a relatively plentiful supply of bowling centers, and a steady stream of good money tournaments on sport patterns about every other weekend throughout most of the year, but we also have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to highly skilled (and highly sought after) bowling ball drillers (pro shop operators). Contrast that with, say, Florida, where you'd think there'd be lots of good PSO's (there aren't), and you suddenly understand why so many bowlers in Florida drive all the way to Atlanta to get their stuff drilled.
By the way, do you actually know what "royalty free" means as it pertains to music? I'm in the audio business (I voice and produce radio commercials for a living), so I actually do know the definition. And believe me, no one in their right mind would ever pipe in royalty free music into a bowling center, especially when the place is crawling with kids in the midst of Cosmic bowling. They'd want to be playing the hit music that the kids want to hear -- the stuff they're hearing on the radio, on Pandora, on Spotify, on Beats 1 and Apple Music, etc. It may not be music that YOU want to hear. But I find it hard to believe it's "royalty free." If it is, the manager of the center is an idiot. (And he may well be.)
Next time some of that "royalty free" music is blaring, go stand under a speaker and use your smartphone to run the app SoundHound or Shazam (they're both free) and see if the song that's playing isn't one that the app recognizes. I'll bet it is. If it recognizes it, then it ain't "royalty free."