There is no one-size-fits-all reopening plan for those in the bowling business, given the numerous business models that exist today, whether a center sits on leased or owned-by-the-proprietor land, and whether the business itself is “free and clear” or there’s still a mortgage to be paid.
As we’re seeing across the country as states begin to reopen, some proprietors are opening as soon as they are allowed, some are taking a wait-and-see attitude, and some won’t be reopening at all.
Back Bowl in Eagle, Colo., opened its doors on April 27 after outlining its plan for doing so with the Eagle County Department of Public Health.
During the first phase of the reopening, the center was allowed to offer bowling, billiards and take-out food. It will not be allowed to open its restaurant until the second phase kicks in.
Meanwhile, in Fishers, Ind., Kevin Walter, the Chief Operating Officer of Pinheads, says, "I’m not really interested in reopening for now — especially if the plan is nearly impossible to execute.”
Early guidelines would cut capacity and revenue streams significantly.
“I could lose more than I’m losing now,” Walter said, “not to mention damaging the experience for the long term, ruining repeat business and word of mouth."
Jen and Jeff Young, unfortunately, could not wait out the pandemic-caused closure of Elmira Bowl in Elmira, Ontario, Canada.
They made the difficult decision to close down the center, addressing the matter on Facebook: “The rumors you have been hearing are true. We are closed. Elmira Bowl will no longer be offering any services.”
“Speaking” to the center’s customers directly, the Youngs added: “Elmira Bowl could not have been as successful as it was without your loyalty.”
Just not successful enough to outlast Canada’s mandated closing.
To subscribe to Bowlers Journal International now for much more of the industry's best coverage of bowling news and incisive instructional tips and analysis, go here: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/bowlers-journal-subscriptions/