Summer is typically a busy time for local bowling alleys, but it’s getting off to a bumpy start.
They were not included in Phase 2 of reopening, and now centers across the state are urging Governor Roy Cooper to reconsider.
“We’re doing absolutely everything possible that would be standard for any other business and just don’t understand why those same rules don’t apply to us,” Tabitha Golding said.
Golding is the co-owner of Northside Lanes in Winston-Salem.
She grew up in the bowling alley and has bowled at the center since she was three years old.
She bowled both of her perfect games there.
Northside Lanes is celebrating 60 years, but Golding worries that 61 won’t come.
“There is no way we will be able to survive another month of no bowling allowed. It’s just not possible,” she said.
The center is also concerned that the loan it received through the Paycheck Protection Program will expire on June 18.
Golding and others are supporting a Change.org petition pushing for North Carolina bowling centers to open based on the safety guidelines that have been put in place.
In the meantime, Northside Lanes and High Point Bowling Center are welcoming foot traffic based on what is allowed.
They have opened their restaurants serving dine-in customers at 50% capacity.
Triad Lanes in Greensboro is closed entirely until it can reopen for bowling.
When that happens, customers will notice changes.
“All of the bowling balls will be sanitized. They can go to their lane and once they’re at their lane and they get done and they leave, we will have additional employees that will take the bowling balls back to the racks. We will sanitize them, sanitize that complete bowling area where the bowlers are and be ready for the next group,” General Manager Bob Marino said.
Marino says masks will not be mandatory for customers, but employees will wear masks and gloves.
Customers can also expect changes regarding social distancing.
High Point Bowling Center plans to implement an online reservation system to help stagger groups.
“It’s going to be 50% occupancy which means every other lane. We’re going to cap the number of people that can participate on a lane to six. That includes any spectators,” owner and president Bill Cornell said.