Iowa state bowling tournament returns to Quad Cities
Bowling will be taking over the late-winter and spring weekends in the Quad Cities.
The area is hosting the United States Bowling Congress Iowa State Bowling Championship, with this year's event marking the 100th anniversary of the tournament, according to a news release.
The event — which will run at Leisure Lanes and Big River Bowl, both in Davenport — is expected to draw about 10,000 competitors to the Quad Cities, with the bowlers competing for more than $199,000 in prizes.
The tourney will continue through May 7, with competition held each weekend except April 15-16 for Easter. Opening ceremonies were held Feb. 4 at Leisure Lanes.
In the news release, Lynn Hunt, Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau vice president of sales, called it an honor to be hosting the tournament.
The event promises to be a financial windfall for the area, with an expected economic impact of $3 million. Hunt said in the release that restaurants close to the hotels and bowling centers -- based on the average visitor spending in restaurants nationally -- could see revenue increases of up to 25 percent. Other local attractions, as well as retail centers and gas stations, will see bumps in revenue, as well.
“Typically, the weekends in winter are slower for our hotel properties, and this extended, multi-weekend event will provide a nice jump in revenues to our hospitality partners,” Hunt said in the release.
When it came to deciding on the Quad Cities area to host the tournament, Darrell Fremont, manager of the Iowa State Bowling Association, told the Rock Island Today about the process.
He said the state is split into three regions — East, Central and West — and the tourney is rotated among them.
A couple years before a tournament is scheduled for a particular region, the association will ask the cities in that region to make a hosting bid. The cities then solicit bowling centers for prices and do a canvass of hotels; and the local convention and visitors bureau usually puts in a bid fee and makes a presentation. Then it goes to a vote of the members.
Davenport competed with cities like Dubuque and Muscatine for the right to host.
“Davenport was very aggressive,” Fremont said. “They wanted the 100th tournament. They saw the importance of it, I believe, and they wanted to host that tournament.”
A factor in the case for Davenport, he added, was that the event had not been to Quad Cities since 2011.
“It's fun to get back to Davenport,” Fremont said. “In the six-year span, there's been a lot of changes to the Quad Cities.”
To Fremont, another selling point for Davenport was its larger bowling centers. Big River Bowl has 40 lanes that the tournament is using, and Leisure Lanes has 24. That makes scheduling easier, he said.
“This year, because of that, we don't have any late-night Saturday-night slots,” Fremont said. “When we're at smaller venues, we have to bowl into the evening. Not a lot of bowlers like to bowl late at night, and so this just makes it more enjoyable for everybody.”
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