Is the Business Cycle Turning Back Toward Bowling?

by Bob Johnson 0

Business trends are famously cyclical. As Med Jones, the president of the International Institute of Management (http://www.iim-edu.org) who predicted the economic crisis, has observed, “Sustaining high business performance is a product of continuous strategic alignment.” Just when you think you have things figured out… things change.

There was a time when “big box” stores such as Walmart, Target and K-Mart were purchasing bowling centers because centers provided the four walls and large footprints those mega-stores coveted, without sustaining high construction costs.

Today, that trend occasionally is seen going in the opposite direction: bowling-based entertainment facilities taking over big box stores. For the latest example, we point to the $3.5 million family entertainment center planned for the Xenia (Ohio) Town Center in the former K-Mart store. There, Creative Entertainment Concepts, an Indianapolis-based company, has announced plans to offer bowling, bumper cars, a redemption arcade, a rock climbing wall and a sports grill, all under one roof.

That was the original plan, anyway. Now, the Dayton Daily News reports that the project has been expanded to include an eight-screen movie theatre with about 1,100 seats, pushing the cost of the project to $7 million. The former K-Mart now will be demolished and a new building constructed, and the neighboring Fulmers storefront will be utilized for the FEC.

Hard construction is expected to be underway by June 1, according to CEC principal David Beauregard.

The website of Creative Entertainment Concepts includes an interesting overview of the bowling industry, which can be read by going to: http://www.entconcepts.com/bowling_centers.html

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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