New Fun Factories Rack Up Big Strikes for Brunswick
Four New Brunswick Zone XL Centers Open in 2007
LAKE FOREST, Ill., June 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), the world leader in recreation, is stoking the growing interest in bowling and family entertainment with new centers where rolling a strike is just one of many pursuits.
The latest Brunswick Zone XL opened mid-May in Blaine, Minn., 30 miles north of Minneapolis - St. Paul. It features 55,000 square feet of entertainment for parties, corporate meetings, group events, and organized bowling. The smoke-free facility offers 38 lanes of bowling, a two-story laser tag center, bumper cars, Brunswick billiards tables, a video game arcade, spacious meeting rooms, and a sports lounge. There is a full-service Brunzonni's Cafe featuring a varied menu including 18 appetizers, pasta and salads and other quality fare that goes far beyond amusement center staples. Dinners are delivered to the bowling lanes, where patrons enjoy the comfort of plush, sofa-style seating, instead of plastic molded benches. This is not your father's bowling alley.
More Brunswick Zone XL centers are on the drawing board as Brunswick promises to broaden the offerings for entertainment in mid-sized communities selected for their rapidly growing family populations. The company is building Brunswick Zone XL centers this year in Gilbert, Ariz., St. Peters, Mo. and the Chicago suburb of Algonquin, Ill. There will be nine Brunswick Zone XL (for extra large) centers by the end of the year, and additional ones planned for next year. This new format is a key growth driver for Brunswick Bowling & Billiards, which operates a chain of more than 106 bowling and entertainment centers in the United States, Canada and Europe.
On the eve of the grand opening in Blaine, hundreds of local residents poured into the new facility to enjoy the many attractions, including a community bowling tournament to benefit local charities. The new facility is filling a need in the city of 55,000, where the median age is 32. "People are genuinely excited to have a family-focused entertainment venue here," said Garth Hupka, general manager.
The new Brunswick Zone XL centers are exceeding performance expectations, according to Warren Hardie, president of Brunswick Bowling & Billiards. "We're meeting, if not exceeding, our revenue goals and customer traffic continues to grow. Through music and lighting, we cater to different audience groups throughout the day and evening hours, and people are responding to that and the variety of attractions. We're also converting casual bowlers into frequent customers by offering free lessons and tips to anyone who wants to improve his or her game. A better grasp of the fundamentals makes an enormous impact. It makes bowling more fun and that's what it's all about. Good times and great value bring people back."
Changing Face of Bowling
Brunswick recognized the potential for the new multi-attraction venues in the 1990s, when the ranks of league bowlers were declining and the opportunities for the casual bowler were increasing. According to the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA), more than 66 million people bowl at least once a year, making it the most popular participatory sporting activity in the United States. Forty-four million bowlers are adults, while 8 million are teens ages 14 to 17, and 14 million are between the ages 5-13.
Careful study of demographics and lifestyle trends helps Brunswick connect with its core customers. "Undoubtedly, parents and children are our most important segments," said Don Jones, director of retail marketing for Brunswick Bowling & Billiards. Education is high among this group, with two percent holding advanced degrees, which is more than three times the national average. In addition, the average income levels of this demographic are higher. "Most importantly," said Jones, "parents today are very passionate about finding entertainment venues they can enjoy with their children, or a fun, safe environment in which kids can be kids without Mom or Dad."
"Brunswick Zone XL centers are meeting the changing face of bowling," Jones said. "In fact, they're redefining the future of the sport, and that future looks very bright."
Headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., Brunswick Corporation has been a leader in the recreation business for more than 160 years. Founded in 1845 to make billiards tables, Brunswick Corporation is a Fortune 500 company and the leader in bringing Genuine Ingenuity(TM) to everything it makes. Brunswick Bowling & Billiards is one of the largest operators of full-service bowling and family recreation centers in North America; is a full-line supplier of bowling equipment, supplies and consumer products, and designs billiards tables and accessories. Brunswick Corporation endeavors to instill "Genuine Ingenuity"(TM) in all its leading consumer brands, including Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines; MotorGuide trolling motors; Teignbridge propellers; MotoTron electronic controls; Albemarle, Arvor, Baja, Bayliner, Bermuda, Boston Whaler, Cabo Yachts, Crestliner, Harris, Hatteras, Kayot, Laguna, Lowe, Lund, Maxum, Meridian, Ornvik, Palmetto, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Savage, Sea Boss, Sea Pro, Sea Ray, Sealine, Triton, Trophy, Uttern and Valiant boats; Attwood marine parts and accessories; Land 'N' Sea, Kellogg Marine, Diversified Marine and Benrock parts and accessories distributors; IDS dealer management systems; Life Fitness, Hammer Strength and ParaBody fitness equipment; Brunswick bowling centers, equipment and consumer products; Brunswick billiards tables; and Dynamo, Tornado and Valley pool tables, Air Hockey and foosball tables. For more information, visit http://www.brunswick.com.
SOURCE Brunswick Corporation
Released June 18, 2007