International Bowl Expo 2009 Rolls Out of Vegas - Coninued
Mandalay Bay’s South Pacific Ballroom was packed for Wednesday morning’s general session where NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann was inducted into the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame Celebrities Exhibit. The former Pittsburgh Steeler great was recognized for his many contributions in promoting the sport of bowling. The newly created Mechanics Hall of Fame inducted Rip Owens, Plano Super Bowl, Plano, Texas as its first recipient. That was followed by keynote speaker, former Tennessee senator, one-time presidential candidate and TV and film actor Fred Thompson who provided amusing insights into his acting and political career before turning more serious to present his thoughts on the issues of the day.
Strike Ten Entertainment vice presidents Frank DeSocio and Henry Lewczyk, provided an update on STE’s progress over the past year and the crowd was treated to a special live appearance by the evil Kingpin from the popular Bowlopolis video series.
Wednesday morning The Bowling Foundation recognized Teacher of the Year Selinda Riggs, Cheney Middle School, Cheney, Wash. The highlight of the morning came when BPAA inducted former president Rex Haney, Gage Center Bowl, Topeka, Kan. into BPAA’s Hall of Fame through the presentation of the industry’s most prestigious award, the Victor Lerner Memorial Medal.
The 2009 Expo’s trade show presented attendees with a packed exhibit floor that offered a range of new and standard products and services available to the bowling industry. Thousands of bowling center, military, pro shop and other bowling-related operators spread throughout the Mandalay Bay Convention Center exhibit floor, which was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, the official soft drink of bowling, on Wednesday and Thursday in search of the industry’s most current and innovative products and services. Making the two-day trade show even more attractive were many Pro Bowlers appearing at various vendors signing autographs while a number of exhibitors offered interactive and hands-on demonstrations as well as many ‘freebies.’ This year The Bowling Foundation held it’s first-ever “horse race” fund-raiser that raised money for youth programs and for the second year BPAA-USBC held their Bowl Expo Bowling Challenge, this year won by USBC. There were also numerous other contests and cash prize giveaways that helped keep buyers on the trade floor throughout both exhibit days.
Fundraisers were plentiful during Bowl Expo with The Bowling Foundation’s Golf Outing, “live horse race” and the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame’s Salute to Bowling Silent and Live Auction, which included the induction of internationally acclaimed author and bowling instructor Tom Kouros into the Coaches Hall of Fame.. Pledges and actual donations for the BPAC (BPAA’s Political Action Committee) were once again received from attendees.
To cap off a week of hard work, serious learning and intense networking, Thursday evening saw the return of the ever-popular Club Xpo featuring pre-show music by Three Kinds of Magic, headline entertainer Bill Engvall and the musical group, Haute Chile.
International Bowl Expo thanks all of its sponsors and especially recognizes the 2009 Diamond Level Sponsors Pepsi-Cola, QubicaAMF, North Pointe Insurance Group, Brunswick, UPS, Anheuser-Busch, Tony’s Pizza and Jolly Time Popcorn.
International Bowl Expo 2010 returns to the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel June 27 – July 2, 2010, with exhibits housed at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
International Bowl Expo is the premier industry event for owners and operators of bowling centers, billiard centers, and related pro shops worldwide.