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Sunday, September 28, 2014
Bowling in America
Bowling is America's number one sport where multiple people
participate. There are over 67 million people who bowl at least once per year,
and over 2 million who play in leagues across the country. These statistics and
others show that bowling is stable even in hard economic times. It is a fun,
family-oriented activity that is usually near to home, and it doesn't usually
cost a fortune. Many bowling alleys are pulling themselves
into the 21st century - albeit, kicking and screaming a little. Some of the bowling
modernization changes have to do with updates to the traditional snack bar by
offering more high-quality food and beverage options including upscale
restaurant, bowling lounges and bars. Other changes are coming to many bowling
centers in bringing facilities more up-to-date, re-decorating, offering a
better and more broad range of products, and going digital, if they haven't
already. Ownership of these bowling centers - both big and small - turns out to
be diverse with no central trend other than the fact that a large portion of
them appear to be family-owned and operated. All things considered, bowling has
become a $6 billion industry in the US.
Bowling alley construction has really
undergone some changes in recent years. In some instances, the resurgence of
bowling means that other configurations are in play - being combined with other
activities to make it even more family-oriented, or urban upscale changes that
use lounge concepts with luxury restaurants and a bistro atmosphere. Affluent
homeowners are bringing residential bowling into the home with private alleys
that are built-in through home improvement projects. Entertainment parks or
hotels are putting in mini bowling systems to profit from this pastime even in
small spaces that they can spare.
A top-notch bowling equipment manufacturer is
likely to be very busy if they aren't already with all the growth both now and
the near future. Being sure to stock plenty of equipment configurations and
different products will be essential to get a piece of the action.