COVID-19, Governor Claim Venerable Washington Center

by Bob Johnson 0

As we reported last week with our story on California’s Cloverleaf Family Bowl, the pandemic plays no favorites when it comes to the bowling centers that it strikes down.

Now, the owners of a legendary center in Everett, Wash., have been forced to throw in the towel. Glacier Lanes, which had served its community for more than six decades, had to close as the governor of Washington continues to provide no indication of when bowling centers in the state may be allowed to reopen.

"With utility bills, gas bills, insurance and payroll, there was not enough money to pay those, and all we do is down, down, down, down," co-owner Larry Miller, part of the family that has operated the center 1957, said.

Miller told FOX Seattle that the decision to close was “very heartbreaking.” He said he had endured “lots of sleepless nights. I probably woke up every morning at 2 o’clock just with anxiety because i have staff that have been here for 24 years, 16 years, 14 years, 22 years, and my heart goes out for them.”

Here are excerpts from the family’s post on Facebook announcing the closure:

“It’s with heavy hearts that the we (Miller family) have to call it quits after 63 years serving the public. Sadly, the mandated closures and the lack of direction from Washington state’s elected officials has officially claimed a family-operated icon of entertainment in Snohomish County.

“Due to the lack of income (caused by the impossible-to-succeed, restrictions-based ‘phased’ game plan), it is no longer possible to offset the monthly power, utilities, insurance and payroll (just to name a few) from the past six months.

“We have held out hope (as well as remodeled and revamped the building and how we conduct business), as well as followed every safety and sanitize guideline issued by the state, to no avail.”

The post was signed by Tuffy, Larry, Steve and Tom Miller — today’s family operators of another family business shuttered in part by the coronavirus and in part by a governor’s management of the situation.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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