JOINT MULTINATIONAL READINESS CENTER, Germany – Strikes, doubles and turkeys may bring out the most cheer at Hohenfels’ bowling lanes, but further facility improvements stand as cause for celebration for both customers and staff.
The Hohenfels Bowling and Entertainment Center and Spare Time Café, Bar and Grill received an upgrade in furniture, ball returns, speaker systems and more, updating the on-post entertainment center for military community members.
Tom Stenson, business manager for the bowling center, pointed out the advantages of the new furniture, which includes comfortable bank seating.
“The furniture that we had was put in 20 years ago, and they were just plastic seats,” he said. He then waved toward the new seating, “These are considerably nicer than the old ones. Much more comfortable and they provide a lot more space to move around.”
The furniture is also modular and movable, giving the bowling center staff more flexibility when arranging the furniture for games and events, and giving the customer more room to maneuver. There are also new standing tables, but the staff is waiting to install new flooring before they bolt in the new tables.
Another big, visible improvement to the center are the ball returns, which have a sensor-activated safety feature to stop the moving parts if a player’s hand gets too close.
“The new ones, they shut off automatically,” Stenson said. “There’s a sensor, and a beeper goes off – so it’s going to surprise people – but it will also shut itself automatically. It also has energy-saving things, where the ball return will shut off if, you know, no play is going on for a while, say, if somebody goes to the kitchen to order food and they’re not bowling.”
The center also received a significant upgrade to its sounds and lights, replacing parts of the old system that no longer functioned and integrating the legacy working parts into a new, better working system. A customer, Stenson gave as an example, after returning to their lane from the bar and grill and reactivating the ball return at their lane would be surrounded by the thunder of balls on the lane and the clatter of pins.
“From the kitchen counter, a customer comes in and places their order, they get their ticket, and we have the ticket number,” Stenson said. “Before the cook would have to yell as loud as they could. And with bowling and other noises going on, it doesn’t work. Some of the employees that we have don’t have strong voices. It didn’t work well. Now [an intercom system] rings throughout the facility.”
Stenson says the improvements are several in a series of many that the bowling center staff; the Directorate of Public Works; the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and others have been working at for a while. Some of the machinery behind the pins have been replaced recently as well. In the future, they are looking to put a cover over the beer garden so customers can enjoy the garden in any weather. They seek to get new kitchen equipment. They also plan on updating the ATMs in the gaming lounge.
Stenson remarked upon what customers could expect at the bowling center:
“There are continually upgrades going on.”
The Hohenfels Bowling and Entertainment Center and Spare Time Café, Bar and Grill is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 2 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. To learn more, including specials at the center and what is on the menu, visit their web page or call at 09472-708-4611 or DSN 522-4611.