Bowling alleys question why they can’t reopen after extensive safety measures


  •  Updated 
  • Safety precautions include six-foot tall barriers between lanes and frequent sanitation at Forest View Lanes in Temperance. 

(The Center Square) – Most Michiganders can toss money at a strip club but can’t throw a bowling ball down an alley.

Industry leaders say they don’t know why.

Bowling alleys have gone almost five months without revenue or answers why they can’t reopen outside Regions Six and Eight while indoor dining elsewhere in the state and even Detroit’s casinos are open.


Only five states still ban bowling, Michael Shearer, president of the Bowling Centers Association of Michigan (BCAM) and the owner of Perfect Game in Farmington Hills, told The Center Square.

BCAM represents 165 bowling centers statewide.


Shearer said his group gave a comprehensive safety reopening plan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office in April, but only heard a response last week – four months later – after filing a lawsuit.

“The goal behind the lawsuit is not to challenge anyone’s authority,” Shearer said. “It’s about getting the same opportunity to operate safely as a lot of other industries that are really similar to ours, like restaurants and now casinos.”

The reopening plan includes taking daily temperature screenings of customers and employees, sanitizing high-touch surfaces frequently, and social distancing.

Labor Day marks the start of league bowling season, in which bowling alleys generate the majority of their revenue.

“But if this [forced closure] goes on too much longer, it’s going to make [reopening] very difficult, and we risk losing a lot of the industry,” Shearer said.

If Forest View Lanes in Temperance was about 2.5 miles south in Ohio, it could have opened in May.

Owner Rich Kenny grew up working at the 58-year old business that survived the 2008 recession but may not live to see the end of Whitmer’s lockdown of certain businesses.

Since March, court filings say Forest View Lanes has lost more than $1 million of revenue

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One thought on “Bowling alleys question why they can’t reopen after extensive safety measures

  1. Jon says:

    Hi Guys,
    I know exactly how you feel as here in the UK we have been given the same runaround. They put bowling alleys in the same league as casinos WHY!!!. Bowling alleys were looking forward to re-opening on the 4th July with all social distancing and sanitization protocols in place, it didn’t happen. Then we they were supposed to open on the 1st August, with less that 12 hours to go Boris Johnson decided it wouldn’t happen ignoring the fact the company’s had gone to a lot of expense putting thinks in place i.e. staffing levels, food levels, taking bookings etc. One can only assume he and his colleagues do not like bowling but like drinking, swimming and going out for meals after watching a movie with a mask on. There are a lot of serious bowlers as well as casual bowlers in the UK that are being denied the chance because some idiot doesn’t understand the game or what protection has been put in place for both staff and customers alike. I like most others are getting withdrawl symptoms now as we see are bowling balls and shoes sitting on the shelf gleaming and wondering if our local bowling alleys will still be there once the numpties agree to let them open. Good luck to all fellow bowlers, take care and stay safe!!!

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