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Posts: 1,763
Reply with quote  #16 

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."


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Posts: 124
Reply with quote  #17 
"Honestly, the only way I think I could bear that is if I dropped acid."  

That's kinda how we felt, The 3 of us had 5 free games each, we left after 3 , We need to remember ear plugs and muffs if we go on the weekends. We all bought the 'Summer Games' passes good for 3 free games but only in the center we bought it at,  the nicest and the XL.  This XL has always had leagues, Competetive money leagues, Vegas ,  Dude/Divas, TGMO, Sam Adams and numerous senior leagues.  I believe they have at least one league every day and / or night, even Sat night.

Unfortunately , AMF / Bowlmor may try to change this. They do get busy and sometimes you have to wait for a lane but I believe often they look really busy because they have a league or 2  bowling along with open bowlers.  I kinda doubt if the kids and casual bowlers can support the center full time even at $5.95 a game. Often 6 of them pay for 1 game each but that may take a few hours because they go play laser tag or foosball or something.

If they do away with leagues , of courseI hope they go out of business .

I think I know what "Royalty Free Music" is but you can correct me if I'm wrong.  I think they play RFM  because I just can't believe any business or any body would pay any thing for that, uhh music.
So I believe Royalty Free Musicis music someone buys the rights to play it for a set price, (I would think pretty cheap) and they can continue to play it for week, months, years or as long as they want and never have to pay (Royalties) again.
That's why I figured it was RF because there is so much good music they could play but they seem to choose the screaming music that no one I know has ever heard of before.  The other night when we had to leave they had a disc jockey playing the same kind of music at about 147 DB Little Kids requested Michael Jackson a couple of times and the DJ made them dance (all boys) right in front of the bar for it.

Hey Randy, this is a long shot because of your common name.  About 45 years ago or so I had a friend named Randy Brown.  We lived in Clearwater Fl and he was a good bowler and pool player. I mean hustler grade.  His home alley/ center was Clearwater 10 Pins.  That's not you is it?


Posts: 1,763
Reply with quote  #18 

Not me.  I've never lived in Florida.  Although I did grow up with a snooker table in the basement, and one of my fondest memories from my childhood was when my dad took me up to King Louie Ranchmart Lanes (where I bowled my first junior leagues).  All the King Louie centers in the greater Kansas City area had big billiard rooms with nice, regulation size pool and snooker tables.  World Champion Jimmy Caras was in town to do an exhibition, and my dad wanted to see him.  So we were there.  At one point in the proceedings, Jimmy Caras called for someone in the audience to join him in a short match of straight pool.  My dad volunteered, and Caras and my dad lagged for the break.  My dad won the lag, and broke the rack.  He sunk a ball on the break, and proceeded to run the table.  Caras never got a turn.  Game over.  It was awesome.  Later after the exhibition, as we were headed out the door, I noticed there was a drawing for a Jimmy Caras signature Brunswick pool cue at the counter and I stopped to fill out an entry blank.  My dad just wanted to leave, but the guy at the counter said the drawing was about to happen in just a minute, so my dad waited for me to fill it out.  Then, boom, they drew my name and I won the cue.  It was one of those cues that screws together in the middle.  Came with a nice suitcase-style, felt-on-the-inside carrying case, too.  It was a memorable night.  I was never as good at pool as my dad.  He was hustler caliber.

Royalty free music is the kind of music I would pay for to put behind a radio commercial.  Royalty-free music is generally non-descript background music, similar to Muzak style "elevator music," but can be most any genre.  If a song is a published piece of music, licensed by BMI or ASCAP, it's NOT royalty-free.  In other words, if it's a song that you'd hear played on the radio or in a night club, it's NOT royalty-free.  Just because you pay a fee to play it doesn't mean it's royalty-free.  That's different.  For example, radio stations pay a performance rights fee to play music on the radio.  Night clubs pay a performance rights fee to BMI and ASCAP to play music in their clubs.  Similarly, bowling centers that subscribe to some type of music service (as all the Brunswick Zones do) would most likely pay a subscription fee to the company providing the service, and the performance rights fee is built into that fee.  Also included in that fee is the right to play the streaming music over their loudspeaker, and the company providing the service does all the research into which songs to play, how best to sequence them for maximum mass appeal, etc.  In other words, they do the job a disc jockey does, but without having to put up with having a disc jockey on payroll.  It's sort of a "jock-in-the-box."  But that's NOT "royalty free" music.  They're playing actual contemporary hit music that the kids are listening to on your local top 40 and R&B (and perhaps country) stations, and that you'll likely hear on the next Grammy Awards show.

Here's a website where you can download royalty free music.  Note that this is decidedly different from the kind of music you'll hear during Cosmic Bowling.  This is total pap.  The only place you'd ever hear this crap is behind the announcer in a commercial or used as mood-setting music in some cheaply-made independent film or documentary.  It's awful.  (You may think that today's hit music is awful.  But this is a whole different kind of awful.)


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Posts: 1,341
Reply with quote  #19 
My home bowling centre Majestic became Bowlmor/AMF in fall season. I have two leagues in fall and one travel league in different areas. I am not interesting going back to Evergreen Lanes (independently owned) coz it was 20-lanes, mix of Brunswick monitors and AMF lanes and lack of spaces for put the bowling balls.
Khun Paul
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