Florida Community Gets Its Bowling Center Back

by Bob Johnson 0

Bowling is back in Winter Garden, Fla. Carter Family Bowl and Pizzeria, which was foreclosed upon last January, re-opened on the day after Thanksgiving, and business has been brisk, according to a report in the West Orange Times & Observer.

The new operators are Jay Hess and Dan Holtzapple, who have leased the center from the bank. The facility’s new name is Winter Garden Bowl.

Local high school teams that had been forced to move to outlying centers have returned, and numerous birthday and company parties have been conducted.

The new operators invested in new Brunswick ball returns, new bumpers, new gutters, a new light show and new kitchen equipment. Their three-year plan also includes new monitors, a new bar area, a new game room and remodeled bathrooms.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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