The break in bowling centre operations has given us a lot of time to assess the market and look for where we can add value. One thing that’s clear is that our industry has changed. The traditional bowling industry was based around the single sport activity, however the commercial new start projects that we are working on are almost exclusively multi-activity entertainment centres. Some targetted at families, but most now targetted at young adults.
Family entertainment centres are established visitor attractions within the leisure industry. What’s interesting about the new breed of competitive socialising venues is their alignment to high-end hospitality environments. British brands such as Top Golf (Golf driving range), Flight Club (Electronic darts), Swingers (Mini golf) and Puttshack (Tech driven mini golf) have all received considerable investment to expand internationally, predominantly into America.
Savills have created a great research piece about the competitive socialising sector here.
One thing that the industry commentators seem to have forgotten about the sector is…. bowling started it! Our game has been enjoyed by people of all ages in the UK since 1960. All Star Lanes started a boutique bowling trend in London which has gone on to influence operators to become more high-end ever since. Brands such as Lane7 and Roxy Ball Room are now adding a whole host of activities to their city centre venues making bowling just one of many games available to customers. The casual bowling market now merges with competitive socialising and immersive experiences to bring a huge selection of activities, food and drinks to their guests. You’re also seeing venues jumping on the street food trend by hosting a number of independent food vendors internally to give even more choice to their customers. It’s a big change from the traditional bowling business model.
Competitive Socialising Products
We’re big fans of this development and see it as an opportunity to keep bowling in the forefront of people’s minds. Our product range now includes smart darts, electronic & traditional shuffle boards, Duckpin Social and more. All integrated through the Brunswick Sync management system.
Competitive Socialising News
Last year we started working on a project to provide all of the revevant news about this sector in place. Introducing: Social Playlist. Visit the website to find out about all of the latest developments, and where we believe a consumer scene is growing in cities across the UK.
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If you want us to promote your venue, send your news to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will write a story like this one for Pinz, Elgin.
We have a lot of exciting ideas for this project so watch this space!