Bowling is an entertaining pastime for many, but lately it has become almost impossible to enjoy a good game. As the economy worsens, people turn to more simple pleasures that do not cost much money and the bowling alley is a wonderful place to spend time without spending too much money. The only problem would be the lack of regulations on Sunday morning one dollar games.
I cannot tell you the exact number of Sunday mornings I have wasted waiting for a lane to open, but I can tell you it is a good thing I crochet. Without something to do I would have gone crazy waiting! You might be wondering why I would even bother waiting that long, but if you have ever bowled and felt the sweet satisfaction of seeing all ten pins drop after a smooth gliding bowling ball rammed into them you would know-it’s an addiction. I have fallen victim to the failing economy just as much as the next person and those one dollar Sunday morning games are just about the only form of cheap entertainment that allows me to get out of the house that I can afford. But is it really worth the wait?
Just last Sunday, my parents arrived at the bowling alley before it opened, in order to guarantee us a lane before my fiancé and I arrived. Fearing we were too late, we had called them on our way there to make sure we would be able to join in on their game, but I was surprised to learn they had not gotten a lane yet. My mom informed me they were next on the queue and we would probably have a lane by the time my fiancé and I got there. This was not the case. We ended up waiting another hour to no avail.
While we waited, we watched person after person leave their lane between sets of games to take a smoking break. As the smokers walked out, the front desk attendant would run up to them, assuring they would be adding more games to their order. Fed up with the situation, we asked how much longer it would be until we would be called up and were told it would be at least another hour. This was absurd, we had better things to do than sit and wait for people to get back from smoking. They would probably just add more games to their order after the next set anyway. The one dollar games are usually over by noon, so if we waited too long, we would end up missing out on the discounted price.
For bowling alleys to stay around and be successful to new crowds of people they need to realize it is ridiculous to expect people to wait longer for a lane to open than the amount of time they will end up bowling. Yes, it is cheaper to retain old customers than it is to attain new customers, but it is harmful to a business to lose new potential customers. In a perfect world, bowling alleys would put stipulations on the lanes during discounted times.
There should be a one, or even two, hour time limit for the lanes. This will reduce waiting times for all the families and individuals waiting to bowl and restrict people from adding game after game to their order once they have a lane. If a group wanted to bowl longer, they could put their names on the list again and wait for a lane to open up.
Too many times we have arrived only to see the same people getting their lanes first. They were there no earlier than us, so how is this happening? The bowling alleys claim you cannot reserve lanes, but these people obviously have some connection. This is also bad for business. Yes, it does make returning customers happy and they feel important, but when newer customers see this happening, it makes them feel excluded and out of the loop. We are potential paying customers; all customers should get the same treatment regardless if this is their first time or their thousandth time bowling.