Charlotte gyms, music venues, bowling alleys ‘dumbfounded’ they still can’t reopen

Charlotte gyms, music venues, bowling alleys ‘dumbfounded’ they still can’t reopen (Source: Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte gyms, music venues, bowling alleys ‘dumbfounded’ they still can’t reopen

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Charlotte Observer) – Not all Charlotte business owners were surprised they won’t be able to reopen Friday due to the novel coronavirus crisis. But for some, the situation is growing dire.

NO BOWLING

Ten Park Lanes, a landmark bowling alley on Montford Drive since the 1960s that includes a sports bar and full-service restaurant, also remains closed. The business said on Facebook it would reopen July 13, but on Wednesday said, “Unfortunately, we have once again been forced to close based on enforced laws by the higher courts. We will be updating our messaging as new information becomes available.”

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a judge’s previous ruling that allowed many bowling alleys in the state to open, overturning the governor’s executive order keeping bowling alleys closed.

Efforts to reach a Ten Park Lanes manager immediately Wednesday were unsuccessful.

North Carolina bars, gyms and event venues have been closed for four months. Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday extended the Phase Two of the safer-at-home executive order, keeping bars, gyms and event venues closed until at least Aug. 7.

“We very much are in need of being able to be open quickly,” said Ric Peterson, who handles bookings for Skylark Social Club in Plaza Midwood. The live music venue with about 12 employees has exhausted its savings and the Paycheck Protection Program loan.

Without local or federal support, he said, “I’m not sure what we’ll be able to do to reopen.”

Cooper also announced public school plans for opening next month.

“As we continue to see rising case numbers and hospitalizations, we will stay in safer-at-home Phase Two for three more weeks,” said Cooper. “Our re-opening priority is the school building doors, and in order for that to happen, we have to work to stabilize our virus trends.”

He also urged everyone to continue wearing masks in public. A statewide mask mandate went into effect June 26.

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“Our virus trends are not spiking like some other states,” Cooper said Tuesday. “However, our numbers are still troubling, and they could jump higher in the blink of an eye.”

Originally gyms and bars were to be included in Phase Two reopenings with restaurants on May 22. But to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Cooper moved those business openings into the final step, Phase Three. It’s the second time Cooper extended Phase Two reopenings, after making the same decision last month that would have allowed them to reopen Friday.

“We were hoping to open. We’ve been ready every time,” Peterson said.

On Wednesday, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra announced it would cancel its six live performances scheduled next month due to ongoing restrictions on large events. Under Phase Two, gatherings continue to be limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT NEEDED

So far, the Charlotte community has rallied to help businesses such as Abari game bar, The Evening Muse, The Visulite Theatre and Skylark Social Club with fundraisers and Go Fund Me pages to help keep them afloat.

Peterson said Skylark’s Go Fund Me page is halfway to its goal and will help pay back rent. But, now, more will be needed.

“Our virus trends are not spiking like some other states,” Cooper said Tuesday. “However, our numbers are still troubling, and they could jump higher in the blink of an eye.”

Originally gyms and bars were to be included in Phase Two reopenings with restaurants on May 22. But to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Cooper moved those business openings into the final step, Phase Three. It’s the second time Cooper extended Phase Two reopenings, after making the same decision last month that would have allowed them to reopen Friday.

“We were hoping to open. We’ve been ready every time,” Peterson said.

On Wednesday, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra announced it would cancel its six live performances scheduled next month due to ongoing restrictions on large events. Under Phase Two, gatherings continue to be limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

 

 

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