Yet, upon strolling into the newly opened HeadPinz in Fort Myers, there’s a whole other set of sounds. First you’re greeted by the beeps and buzzes from the ultramodern arcade. Then you hear children’s laughter and recounts of exploits in the laser tag area or rope climbing course.
Rope climbing course? In a bowling alley? HeadPinz is anything but your average strip mall bowling alley. This is a family entertainment center and special event facility that just happens to have a high-tech bowling alley within it.
The opening of HeadPinz is the culmination of a plan set in motion some seven years ago when Pat Ciniello acquired property at 14513 Global Parkway in Fort Myers. “This was a dream that started in 2008… to not only provide a higher experience for people that love bowling, but also offer families a fun place to go,” says Ciniello.
For all its modernity, Head- Pinz also pays homage to a classic era in the sport; a time, when one didn’t rely on marked lanes or automated processes for the setting of the pins. One VIP section of HeadPinz was constructed to resemble a 1920s alley. In these lanes, services are rendered by pin boys and pin girls. “This space was designed to showcase the history of the sport. We think it will appeal as a place to host private parties as well as [to] children who might come during a school field trip,” says Ciniello.
Ciniello, now 70, says his fascination with bowling began at the age of 12. His love for the sport led to opening bowling centers throughout Southwest Florida, including the Cape Coralbased HeadPinz and a variety of Bowland venues.
As Board Chairman of Qubica AMF, Ciniello also happens to lead the world’s largest specialty bowling supplies and operational support services company. His professional passion for bowling may only be exceeded by his personal love for the sport.
He even met his wife at Bowland Beacon in Naples. From the couple’s home at Barefoot Beach, Ciniello affirms, “Bowling is a family affair.”
Though Ciniello loves the history of bowling, he is now fixated on the future of the sport in Southwest Florida. He is already considering expanding the new HeadPinz. “We want to make sure visitors can always interact with something new, so the experience never stagnates,” he says. Ciniello has also been in discussions with Florida Gulf Coast University about establishing a collegiate bowling team. As Ciniello says, “Beyond creating a new family entertainment center and establishing new bowling leagues, we’re hoping to launch a program with FGCU’s athletics department…it’s exciting to see the increasing popularity of this sport as it transitions throughout Southwest Florida.”