When Will Bowling Alleys Reopen? It’s Not Clear

BY MORGAN MCKAY NEW YORK STATE

Most upstate regions are now in the designated “fourth phase” of the reopening process, but many businesses are still waiting to get the green light to open. 

For gyms, fitness centers, and bowling alleys, no timetable on when they might be able to resume their operations has been given. 

Around 9,000 bowling alley jobs are at risk of being lost statewide and centers have already lost around $90 million in revenue, according to state Senator Daphne Jordan, a Republican who represents the suburban Capital Region. 

“Back on July 14, I wrote the governor asking him to direct Empire State Development to develop a plan to allow for the safe, sensible reopening of these facilities,” Jordan said recently at a press conference. “To date, the administration hasn’t responded, and a growing number of bowling centers – many of which are family-owned and operated small businesses with deep roots in their communities – may face the possibility of permanent closure. We can’t allow that to happen.”

With fall leagues set to start, bowling centers are increasing their efforts in pushing for a reopening plan. 

“We offer our guidance to the governor and are happy to help work with his office to modify the previously submitted opening plan so that it meets or exceeds all of his concerns,” said New York State Bowling Proprietors Association President Doug Bohannon.

Assemblyman Colin Schmitt on Monday sent to the governor nearly 3,000 petition signatures collected in a week, asking that clear guidance be issued on when and how local gyms could safely reopen. 

“Our local gyms and fitness centers have the ability to modify their operations safely around COVID-19 restrictions so they can serve the physical, mental and emotional health needs of New Yorkers,” Schmitt wrote. “I urge the Governor to take into account my letter and the signatures of thousands of fellow New Yorkeres who are in need of the services offered by these local gyms and fitness centers.” 

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