Bowling Centers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 3,100 bowling centers in the US are indoor facilities that offer bowling and related activities. They serve a mix of league and recreational bowlers. Major revenue categories include game fees; food and beverage sales; and rental fees (shoes, balls). Bowling centers may offer group events, such as birthday parties or corporate gatherings.

Decline of Bowling

Despite status as one of the top participation sports in the US, bowling as a competitive and recreational activity has struggled to remain relevant to Americans.

Boutique Bowling

To further engage adults and redefine the image of bowling, some firms have adopted a boutique bowling model.

Industry size & Structure

The average bowling center operates out of a single location, employs about 13-14 workers, and generates about $1.3 million annually.

    • The US bowling center industry consists of about 3,100 companies that employ about 43,000 workers and generate $4 billion annually.
    • The industry includes about 3,860 certified individual bowling centers and just over 84,000 lanes, according to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).
    • The bowling center industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for about 34% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies include Bowlmor AMF (AMF and Strike Holdings), divisions of Brunswick, and Bowl America.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Bowling Centers Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Coronavirus Update

                                  Apr 29, 2022 - Facility Owners Hope To Revive Lockdown Order Lawsuit
                                  • Several Michigan bowling alleys and roller rink owners argued before the Sixth Circuit Court in April that the state is not entitled to sovereign immunity on claims stemming from several executive orders that forced the businesses to close for six months during the coronavirus pandemic. The Michigan Supreme Court eventually declared the orders unconstitutional, but the businesses were forced to shutter operations in the interim, with no benefits provided by the state. The owners sued Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in 2021, alleging that the state violated their Fifth Amendment rights when it seized their property without just compensation. US District Judge Hala Jarbou granted the state’s motion to dismiss, finding that all of the defendants were entitled to sovereign immunity.
                                  • Federal and local health officials are leaving it up to people to assess if they need booster shots, whether to wear a mask, and how long to isolate after a positive test, according to The Wall Street Journal. Businesses, schools, and other entities are scaling back specific guidelines. The lack of effective treatments, vaccines, and widespread testing early in the pandemic resulted in social distancing mandates and lockdowns. The response is becoming more tailored to people’s own health and appetite for risk, as those tools help blunt the worst outcomes as the virus continues to spread, according to public-health experts. “The history of public health has been a constant tension between individual-level and government or community-level intervention,” said Megan Ranney, an emergency-care doctor and academic dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.
                                  • Twenty states prohibit proof-of-vaccination requirements for entry to businesses including bowling centers as of February 10. Governors in 11 states banned proof-of-vaccination requirements through executive orders. Legislators passed laws banning proof-of-vaccination requirements in nine states. Five states -- California, New York, Hawaii, and Oregon, and Washington — have mandated the creation of digital vaccination status applications or passed laws or enacted orders exempting fully vaccinated individuals from some COVID-19 restrictions if they can provide proof of vaccination.
                                  • At least 10 states have made mobile apps available to let people show that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 available. Many municipalities have done so too. Supporters of digital vaccination credentials say that the apps make congregating less risky while incentivizing vaccination. Critics say that restrictions which may be put in place following the introduction of the apps could infringe on civil liberties, unfairly punishes those who cannot get vaccinated, discriminate against those who will not, unleash another form of surveillance, and worsen inequalities rather than eradicate them.
                                  • Visits to bowling centers may increase if the number of COVID-19 cases continues decreasing. The US was averaging roughly 240,000 new cases per day on February 10, a 61% drop over the prior two weeks. Deaths are still rising, but those increases are slowing down considerably, a sign that they may soon begin to decline. Experts note that the American population has different vaccination rates, levels of previous exposure to the virus, and degrees of underlying health conditions, so the trajectory of new cases could vary.
                                  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that cleaning once a day is usually enough to minimize the chance of coronavirus transmission in most settings. Bowling centers are likely to benefit if the guidance results in lower pandemic-related cleaning costs. The CDC did identify one appropriate situation for deep cleaning: an indoor environment where a case of COVID-19 had been confirmed within the past 24 hours.
                                  • Employment at bowling centers decreased 78% at the beginning of the pandemic and was still down 9.6% in February compared to the pre-pandemic month of February 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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