The Sport of Bowling

30 04 2012

Some people want to tell me the sport of bowling is dead or dying fast.  The Pro Tour is not in very good shape.  The country has seen the decline of almost 8 million league bowler’s over the past 20 years from 10 million to 2 million.  Junior programs are down.  Most would argue the shot on the lanes is so easy you do not need to be a pro to have a good average.  These facts are what they are, facts, and sometimes it is hard to argue with the facts, but not this time!

Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe hosted the NCAA Woman’s National Championship last week, and if you think the sport of bowling is dying or dead, you did not come to this tournament.  The tournament was filled with almost 70 bright, young, athletic and attractive women, and I have to tell the level of competition was fierce.  We have hosted great pro tour stops, but they did not have the same atmosphere of excitement and hope.  These Ladies were here to win, and you could feel it with every shot, every high five, every cheer, and yes every tear with the realization of defeat.  It made you believe in the competition of bowling and the hope that young people are taking this sport very seriously.

High School bowling continues to grow, and the Men’s USBC Collegiate Championship just went on in Lincoln, Nebraska.  We hosted a college tournament this year that was 64 teams, and again it proved that we need to pay more attention and promote this level of play to the general public.  As league bowler’s we need to stand behind these competitions.  We enjoy bowling on a league because of camaraderie and competition, and we need to always keep in mind what keeps the sport of bowling alive.  It is the higher level players that make us aspire to be better.  This gives us goals in our own game and strums the inner chords of our own personal beasts to be competitive and have fun!  This to me is what makes the game of bowling interesting.  Whether you are a cosmic bowlertrying to kick the butt of your friend to impress a girl (or guy), or you are bowling on a league competing for the prize fund, this is a huge part of what keeps us coming back week after week.

Freeway Lanes has put its best foot forward in supporting the sport of bowling in the Cleveland area, and is the clear leader in this arena.  We have more youth scholarship tournaments, host 3 college teams, and promote and host some of the best amateur competitions this side of the Mississippi.  I know that having tournaments can be a real inconvenience to our league bowlers, but in our opinion without these competitions the sport of bowling one day will die, and it is up to all of us that love bowling to promote our own game to keep it thriving.  I think it is short sighted not to embrace the competitions in bowling centers across America.

In full disclosure I am a 175 average league bowler.  When a knock down night happens somehow I find it within me to be a 185 average bowler for that night, as I thrive on any type of competition.  The night of the NCAA tournament I was in the elaborate ESPN trailer watching 9 people produce this live bowling event(See picture of my sons in trailer below.)  I was watching all the people piece together the telecast and one of the girls from Fairleigh Dickenson had a great shot for a strike.  She came running back and did a full fledge flying chest butt with another girl and continued to high five everyone else.  The ESPN guys in the trailer and me were floored by the passion and the energy.  There was not one of us not saying “Wow, that was cool!”  Trust me when I tell you, the sport of bowling is not dead!  Go into your local bowling alley, join a league, and kick some ass, you will feel better!

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Short Season Leagues

19 01 2012

I have bowled in many leagues over the past 20 years at Freeway Lanes. I would usually sub, get a team together from the bowling center itself, or perhaps a scotch doubles league with my Wife. I was at a Brown’s game and one of my good friends asked “Why don’t we put a team together of our friends?” So we went about finding people in that particular circle of friends willing to participate. We chose a short season league so it would not seem so daunting to new bowler’s and we started bowling three weeks ago. All of my friends, bowlers and non-bowlers alike, are having a great time! It is the casual competitive nature of the game that is found so appealing to all of us on the team. We talk about old stories, joke with the lane servers, and generally just have a good time. One of the guys on our team I met when I was 9 years old because we were on the same bowling team! We bowled at Mayland Lanes on Mayfield Rd. all the way back in 1974! It took 37 years to get back on the lanes together! We have had a lot of good times over the years and it is fun to back causing trouble in one of my centers.

How many of you out there have old friendships because of bowling? Maybe it is time to get a team back together, get a funny name for your team, and go out and light up the lanes once again! What are you waiting for? We have a league at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe where the average age is 77, 45% are over 80 and 15% are over 90? Why are these guys living long and happy lives….most of them have been bowling for decades!

 One of our team mates is in the scrap metal business, so the name of our team is the Freeway Scrappers. We bowl on Wednesday nights at Solon at 7. I have been in the business for over 20 years and only carried a 178 average last week giving you lots of material to make fun of me! Come on up and maybe we will buy you a drink! Go bowling with old friends! Trust me you need it!

Glenn Gable





Fall Bowling is Here!

8 09 2011

The summer has officially come to an end, and it was a record summer for Freeway Lanes. We had the largest league in Ohio bowl here at Wickliffe. We have been working all summer on pinsetters making repairs and cleaning the machines. We are proud how clean our equipment is for the beginning of the season. We have the new pins in at Wickliffe, and the new pins will be delivered to other centers in the next 4 weeks.
Fall leagues are down in two centers, we actually have an increase in 3 centers for fall league participation. We are encouraged about the start of the season, and hope we can fill in gaps with short season leagues and tournaments. Our new tournament director/league coordinator Dawn Freed has done a great job recruiting bowlers for this year, and look for a full list of tournaments on our web site shortly.
All though we had some slight increases in pricing in the kitchen and bar, we tried to keep the increases modest specially compared to the increase we have received from our suppliers. Look for some great specials this year, and keep us in mind for your next event with family or friends.

We are particularly excited about our juniors program this year. We have the buses getting ready to run, and looks like both buses will be full each day of the week. We are happy to have so many young faces in the centers guaranteeing us a good future in bowling.
Plans are well underway for the Mentor renovations. In March of 2008 we lost our financing on this project with the economic meltdown, but we are finally back on track to begin renovation sometime this bowling season. We apologize about the timing, but we feel we have waited so long we cannot worry about the timing of the renovation. Look for a complete bowler’s area renovation, a new bar, a new kitchen, and many outside improvements.
Many of you are aware, but the Bocce courts will be opening in Wickliffe in the very near future. This will be a great addition to the center, and we hope add some diversity to the offering. Bocce is a really fun game, and if you have the chance to see the tournament in the Wickliffe I and A, it is amazing to see thousands of people come out to enjoy Bocce. We will be the only full length professional courts in Ohio.
Please come see us and go bowling!
Glenn
Freeway Lanes





End of the Season

17 05 2011

 In some ways it is sad to see the bowling season come to an end and in other ways it is a welcomed change up to our busy lives.  I have enjoyed going to many league banquets this year and it was a pleasure to get to know some people better.  I heard a lot about Freeway Lanes.  Some good, some bad, but people were very honest with me which I really appreciate.  Besides feedback from the bowler’s personally, we also did a survey to find out what we were doing right and wrong.  Here are the areas we are making improvements in:

1)  Vacuuming and cleaning lanes between shifts and parties.

2)  We need to make sure ALL foul lights are working in proper order.

3)  We need to clean our approaches better.

4)  Even though we had a banner year with award scores, we need to improve on our lane condition consistency.

5)  Somehow we need to develop new league bowler’s to get some fresh blood in the leagues.

6)  We need to keep all TV’s working in prime order, even though we are all from Cleveland does not mean we turn our backs on our sacred sports teams!  Go Tribe! 

I am open to any new ideas people have on how we can improve the centers.  Coming to league banquets one thing really rang true;  everyone bowls for the people.   The long lasting friendships that are built  in a league is the real treasure trove of league bowling.  The employees of Freeway Lanes are our biggest asset that deals with the people. 

I went to a league banquet this year that complete their 86th season of bowling!  That’s right, approaching the century mark.  The history of the league was enough to keep anyone entertained for an evening.  We are planning a busy summer cleaning all the centers and doing preventive maintenance for a great season ahead of us.

Please give us feedback on things we can do better.  My direct email is Glenn@freewaylanes.com.  This summer as many of you know we are adding four Bocce Courts to Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe.  We are also adding a brand new round of pins!  Come by and see us this summer, if it keeps raining simply keep bowling.  Otherwise enjoy the nice weather if it ever gets here.  Keep us in mind for Summer Leagues, Graduation parties or any other event you may wish to have.  We are even having our first wedding at Freeway Lanes of Solon!  We are here for the customer and we will never quit working to improve your experience at Freeway Lanes.

Glenn Gable





Bocce is Coming to the Freeway!

11 02 2011

Bowling is coming back at Freeway Lanes.  We have seen great responses to tournament, short season leagues, and healthy inquiries for Summer leagues.  Our after kids school program continues to grow with an estimated 250 kids to participate in the second session.  We are pleased so many kids take an interest in bowling.

In addition to our great bowling offerings Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe will be adding 4 bocce courts, see press release below.  We feel it is important to diversify our offering of bowling with this exciting new activity.  The Cleveland Area is filled with outdoor Bocce Clubs, and we hope companies will take advantage of it coupled with our new 100 person Grand Meeting Room. Stop in Wickliffe on Friday nights and check out our new Live Entertainment.  Last Friday was a lot of fun in the main bar, and we are sure this will continue.  Also on Wednesday nights we will have a piano player from Howl at The Moon.  He is entertaining!  We look forward to seeing everyone for all these new, exciting events at Freeway Lanes! 

 

 

For Immediate Release

Glenn E. Gable
C.E.O.
Freeway Lanes Bowling Group
28801 Euclid Avenue
Wickliffe, Ohio 44092
216-267-2150
glenn@freewaylanes.com

Indoor Bocce will also roll at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe

Freeway Lanes Bowling Group is proud to announce the coming addition of Bocce to the Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe. 

With this addition, they will be adding:

  • 4 Tournament Length and width courts measuring 86’ in length and 12’ wide.
  • 4 Favero Scoreboards, one for each court.
  • Italian polymer synthetic bocce court surface; offering the most level, durable playing surface in the world!
  • Wood dividers of courts.
  • A party place and spectator room space between the four courts.
  • Plexiglass  at ends for safe, unobstructed view of the action.
  • An Italian Café style sitting area for players to relax.

Plans are complete and the work will be awarded soon.  We are looking forward to adding this exciting aspect to our bowling center.  The four Bocce courts are complemented by our new Grand Meeting Room completed last November.  This private area is a high end party room that can seat up to 100 people, comes complete with sound system, pool table, bar  and high-definition TV’s.  With the inclusion of our in-house catering, this is the ideal meeting and team building space.

Glenn Gable states “We look forward to adding such a complimentary activity to our bowling center.  There are a lot of Bocce players in this area, and our initial response has been overwhelming.  As we make the plans for the Bocce we are also making improvements for our league bowler base.  We have added a state of the art lane machine, bathroom renovations, and improved lane service to enjoy bowling more in the center.” 

Recently added to the staff is Jim Musarra.  Jim comes from an extensive food and beverage background, and will be pivotal in launching the new Bocce Courts.

# # #

About the Freeway Lanes Bowling Group.

The Freeway Lanes Bowling Group is a collection of 5 bowling centers in Northeastern Ohio with locations in Mentor, Parma, Solon, Warren and Wickliffe.  Their locations have been nominated and have been awarded numerous awards ranging from Best Bowling Center to One of the 100 Bowling Centers to Visit.

The Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe is the Largest Bowling Center in the Nation with 96 unobstructed lanes.





Freeway Lanes Kids Programs

10 11 2010

 Many people do not realize all that bowling has to offer kids today.  It is a sport that any person can excel in no matter what their athletic ability.  It is a game of finesse that does not require the physical stature of football or hockey.  It also allows the child to participate in a team sport that is essential to building leadership and social skills.  Bowling is a State of Ohio recognized sport and the child can letter in it.  As the child learns to compete there are scholarship tournaments almost every weekend that I have seen kids accumulate thousands of dollars towards college.  Last but certainly not least, there are many College programs that offer scholarships directly to the school.  Currently Notre Dame and Ursuline are bowling at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe and many of the students receive funding for being on the team.  Under title 9 Woman need to receive 50% of all athletic scholarships amd this opens the door even further for full support of the college experience.  We have a few of our junior women on nearly full rides to college, every parents dream!  All of this I would be remiss not to mention what a good time our juniors are having!

This year at Freeway Lanes we bought two school buses.  They are painted a bright lime green so you can see them coming!  Almost daily they depart from Wickliffe and pick up kids from schools around the area.  We run six week programs, provide professional instruction, lots of oversight, and a great time that will expose your child to a sport that will last a lifetime!  The response has been wonderful, and everyone should consider getting your child into one of our programs.  Call 440-585-5800 for more details.

Sincerely,

Glenn and Sue Gable

Proprietors

Freeway Lanes Bowling Group





The Bowlers’ “Fun” Choice

23 06 2010

It is hard to believe but all the league officers appreciation parties have been scheduled.  Parma, July 21.  Mentor, July 26.  Solon, July 27.  Warren, July 28, and finally Wickliffe on July 29.  We look forward to seeing all of our hard working officers at this party.  There will be great food, a bowling for dollars colored pin tournament, and of course of few free cocktails! 

We have been flooring leagues for over 20 years here at Freeway Lanes.   We stand for fun when it comes to leagues.  We are testing our Bowler’s “Fun” choice program here at Wickliffe.  We saw Wickliffe lacking the most to address the needs of the bowler’s in the chain.  Aspect for the “Fun” choice will be rolled out into other centers throughout the season.  Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe will be making many improvements this year to make bowling here more Fun!

1)  Adding additional counter service to take care of the bowler’s needs and Adding servers so there is 1 server for every 16 lanes of league.

2)  By the time you come back the Grand Meeting Room will be complete.  This room will be there for your needs throughout the season, and will be a great room complete with televisions and nice furniture.  We also hope you consider us for holiday banquets and end of season banquets. 

3)  This year we have re-worked our menu to improve the food and the value you receive.  We have gone to all fresh products, never frozen.  Besides a coupon book full of value for the holidays, we will also be offering specials in the following bowling weeks:

Week 3 50% off a hamburger and French fries

Week 5 50% off any large pizza

Week 7 50% off any large Salad

We hope you enjoy these specials and you have more fun!  Wait until you try our new “Bowl-O-Melt” sandwiches, it will melt your taste buds!

 4)  Your first league night back will include a party in the bar!  You will get $1  drafts and 30 cent wings.  Our way of saying welcome back and to start the fun!  Come meet the bar staff and stay for a few cheap cold ones!

5)  For your enjoyment we are adding televisions over the lanes so you do not have to miss any of your favorite shows and sporting events while bowling.

6)  A new deep cleaning bathroom service that will make us the cleanest restrooms in town!  This service comes in once a month with major equipment and cleans the bathrooms from top to bottom.  This service with an improved bathroom on the high end should make your visit more pleasurable this season.

7)  New Bowler’s fun Games to play while bowling.  More prizes, more games, and a bunch of new twists to league bowling that we are sure you will enjoy.

8)  Lights up!  Wait until you come back and see how bright the place is!  We added over 80 fixtures to really brighten the place up!  We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the center.

9)  Finally, we made a very important addition to staff in the back end.  Tim Cronin who has been with Freeway Lanes for many years has had his role expanded to facilities manager for the chain.  He will be working with our already capable staff to address needs of the pinsetters.  Look for improvements in all areas of the operation of the center with him aboard.  Already the machine calls have been reduced by 40%!

 All this making Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe The Bowlers’ “Fun” Choice!  It truly is going to be a great season.

 Every time we post a blog many people read it, please leave a response or email me directly.  We would love to hear from you!

Glenn and Sue Gable








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