New upgrade ready to roll

ALMOST READY TO ROLL: Vonaro Constructions' Jon Von Duve and Qubica AMF's Brad Hopkinson have played a key role in bringing the vision of Kaboom Family Entertainment managing director Stewart Owen to life.

By Brett Kennedy

TENPIN bowling in the Limestone Coast has been secured long-term thanks to a $500,000 upgrade to Mount Gambier’s Kaboom Family Entertainment facility.

The family entertainment empire – which includes Treehouse Adventure Centre – continues to expand with the official unveiling of a brand new interactive gaming system and pin-drop machinery at the bowling alley.

A new retail store with Elizabeth Street frontage has also been created on the ground floor – combined with a nine-hole mini golf course and virtual entertainment hub – delivering stage two of a three-tier overhaul of the entertainment site.

Kaboom managing director Stewart Owen said the professional entrance – which includes a wide array of Marvel-themed giftware – was a major progression for the business, which previously used an unassuming side entrance to its second floor venue.

Mr Owen said the pin machinery upgrade would provide significant safety and efficiency benefits for staff and patrons, with interactive screens now allowing players to control a majority of aspects within the game.

This includes group photos, player names, use of bumpers, as well as the ability to launch mini games.

“We have had a lot of issues with our machinery with pins getting jammed or stuck in the gutters,” Mr Owen said.

“Staff were forever running out the back but this will fix that,” he said.

“If we do have a problem, we will get a message on our phones before the customer even knows something is going on.”

Mr Owen said improving reliability was a key focus in the stage two development, with plans for a third stage to resurface lanes and connected approaches.

“We have to make the game run from frame one through to frame 10 without issue,” Mr Owen said.

“The scoring system was $150,000 alone so that’s quite a lot of games we have to sell but it will be worth it in the long run,” he said.

“We’ve bought the best of the best.”

The new pin-drop machines feature pins attached to string, which retracts pins and keeps them connected to internal machinery, as opposed to having to be mechanically reset.

The emerging technology is set to become the new industry standard and while it has not been without differing opinions, it has been shown to only increase scores by an average of two pins per game.

Mr Owen said the new retail store provided a more welcoming first point of contact for patrons and helped secure the mini golf long-term.

While acknowledging the investment was significant given the impacts felt by entertainment venues due to COVID-19, Mr Owen said the pandemic would not halt his plans.

“We have a fantastic group of families here in the Limestone Cost, we have absolutely loved it,” Mr Owen said.

“There is no fear, I guess.

“I don’t say that arrogantly, I’m very humbled by the level of support we get from the community.”

Kaboom Family Entertainment will officially unveil its new upgrade this weekend.