How to Manage a Bowling Alley Like a Tech-Savvy Superstar

Published: July 25, 2016

It was a classic two-for-one scenario.

Patric Zimmer was renovating a bowling alley he had just purchased two hours from his home base. He needed the renovation to be extremely high-tech and in sync with the 21st century trend toward bowling allies being about more than just bowling. Meanwhile, he needed to be able to manage and monitor aspects of the location without constantly making that two-hour commute.

He managed to accomplish both objectives by turning to integration firm Audio Video Headquarters, which provided technology solutions including an ELAN Entertainment and Control System allowing him to oversee the bowling alley from a mobile device.

Before acquiring Boone Bowling in Boone, N.C., renovating it and renaming it 10 High Country Lanes, Zimmer already owned 10 Park Lanes in Charlotte, N.C. One of the challenges with running a second location 100 miles away was a matter of simple geography.

Audio Video Headquarters owner Gary VanSant presented a remote management solution. “We showed him what we could do with the ELAN system, making many features automatic while allowing him remote access [and] he loved it,” VanSant says.

Photos: Get a Closer Look at the High-Tech Bowling Venue

The updates, however, included a lot more than automation and remote management. Zimmer installed a full bar to support local breweries and upgraded all of the entertainment features. Two 75-inch TVs were mounted above the bar along with TVs at each of the 16 lanes within the alley. Through the ELAN system, an employee can control every television within 10 High Country Lanes through the ELAN App on an iPad Mini.

Zimmer, impressed with the entertainment features of the ELAN system, eventually asked Audio Video Headquarters to expand the system to include cameras, automated office door locks and thermostat control. Through the ELAN App, Zimmer can check the venue’s thermostats, unlock or lock the office and watch a live video feed of the venue.

“When you have multiple venues, it’s cool to remotely log into the cameras and see how many people are at a specific venue having fun,” Zimmer says. “It gives me the opportunity to see what is happening with the business at any particular time.”

The plan is to add an outdoor deck to 10 High Country Lanes. “The system was built so it’s expandable,” Zimmer says. “As we add other areas to the bowling center, the system can grow with us. When the outdoor deck opens this spring, we’ll be adding even more TVs.”

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Posted in: Projects

Tagged with: Control4, ELAN, iPad

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