ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave bowling alleys the okay to open their doors next Monday, over a Friday morning conference call. He said alleys must operate with 50% occupancy, enforce face coverings and have every other lane closed. On that same call, he said protocols for gyms to open can also be expected on Monday.
At L&M Lanes in Rochester, owner Gary Stubbings said his reaction to the green light to open is a lot of relief, and also panic. They’ve been having construction on the interior while shut down.
“We are nowhere near ready finishing our projects. Hopefully within the next week we will be ready to go,” said Stubbings. “We installed all new lane tops, been in the works for the last two years … doing some painting in here, not quite done with that and obviously cleaning and sanitizing.”
They have also been offering food for takeout during the time they’ve been closed to stay afloat. Stubbings said when they were shut down in March, it was devastating
“It was actually right in the middle of our busy season, we were doing record numbers for the first two months of the year, and then all of a sudden a complete stop,” said Stubbings.
He said while they’re usually closed for most of July anyways, he still wanted the okay from the government, and felt left out of the conversation.
“In the early stages we felt we weren’t included when everything started opening,” he said. Stubbings said it didn’t make sense, because bowling is a low contact sport. “It’s pretty low contact, easy to distance yourself in here, there’s room for sure.”
Stubbings said they will sanitize bowling balls after use, sanitize shoes and encourage people to bring their own. He said they also plan to operate reservation-only for the time being, to allow for spacing in the vicinity. They’ll continue offering takeout on Monday but plan to take a few extra days to prep the space.
Stubbings said they’ve missed out on a lot of fundraising while closed, and are looking forward to doing that again safely.