Bowling alleys allowed to open Monday at half capacity

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CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (WIVB) Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late Friday morning that, due to a continued low infection rate across New York state, bowling alleys would be allowed to open starting Monday at half capacity.

“It’s a huge relief for myself, my Dad, the employees, the league bowlers, everybody included,” said Kurt Williamson, manager at Spare Time Bowling on William Street in Cheektowaga. They are allowed to reopen on Monday if they operate at half capacity, close every other lane, and ensure that bowlers wear masks inside.

Spare Time probably won’t open until the week of August 24 because of the logistics. 95% of their business is league bowling, according to Williamson. “For example, on Saturdays, we have four person leagues. They take up the whole place. They bowl at 3:30, seven, and nine thirty, so I mean, we’ve got a lot of people in here and it’s gonna be a hard decision to try and decide if they split in half, if they go once a month.”

Bowlers can eat and drink but the Governor had some very specific restrictions against lining up at the bar. “So, you’re at a lane bowling. You can order food, order alcohol. They come to you. You don’t go to a bar, to a food concession,” said Cuomo. “They come to you.”

During the interview the phone began to ring behind the owner, Dave Williamson. “Everybody wants to know when we’re gonna open. My pro shop which I run specifically by myself has already got a half dozen phone calls waiting for people to get in and get some stuff done on their bowling equipment.”

Owner Dave Williamson will meet with his leagues next week and figure out the logistics. “Everybody just can’t wait to get back, it’s just a matter of each group figuring out what they want to do and how they’re gonna do it. Some of the leagues that bowl every week, they might have to go to every other week to get us through this, but 50% is better than nothing at this point.”

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