Bowling alleys stuck in the gutter as they wait for guidance to reopen

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Bowling Centers continue to wait for guidance from New York State as to when exactly they can get the ball rolling and reopen for bowlers.

After four and a half months closed, the owner of The Village Lanes in East Syracuse is looking for answers. In what would be their busy season, Co-owner John Paniniski says he has grown tired of not hearing from state and local leaders.

“Let us in on what the plan is, what the time frame is, what we’re going to need to do to be ready to reopen… telling us we’re shut down and nothing further from there, it’s not good,” Paniniski says.

When it comes to social distancing, Paniniski says he’s got room to spare. Once the game is over, he’ll clean off the balls for the next bowler. Chairs, key boards and shoes each will be sanitized for recreational bowlers.

Paniniski says league bowlers typically bring their own gear. Those within their bowling leagues keep asking when Village Lanes will reopen; his answer saying the same:

“Everyday I get voicemails, text messages, and calls from the league bowlers. They’re trying to get some direction from me… I have to tell them I’m sorry I don’t have any information to tell you,” Paniniski said.

For now they’re making the best of their situation by remodeling. They have been able to put new lighting in and accomplish tasks typically done when they have spare time.

Paniniski has reached out to the Onondaga County Executive’s office, Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter and Governor Cuomo’s office, and has not received any answer to help him, or bowling alleys move closer to reopening.

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