BUFFALO, N.Y. — Some five months after they were shut down bowling center proprietors across New York State are delighted that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is finally sparing them some consideration.
Mike Mallwitz is eager to turn the key on what has been the darkest period of time in the 40 years that his family has operated its bowling center on Grand Island.
This news during the COVID pandemic was right up his alley.
"You know, we're allowed to open, so anything is better than nothing, which we had before," he said.
Bowling centers will only be allowed to run at 50 percent capacity, with bowlers on every other lane.
They can still provide balls and rent shoes, as long as they are thoroughly sanitized between uses.
Food and beverage will be allowed, but only if there's a wait staff to carry it to keglers, who won't be able to congregate outside of their assigned lanes.
"We kind of figured that would be the case, and we're prepared for that," Mallwitz said.
In fact, according to Mallwitz, these are all things bowling center proprietors themselves had actually proposed to the state months ago during their bid to reopen.
And though the state, as has been its typical practice when it comes to approved reopeings, left them little time to prepare, his tables are already spaced, and the signs are up reminding patrons of the public health protocols.
There is good news for the proprietors of gyms and fitness centers as well.
Though he set no date for their reopening, the governor announced that on Monday, the state will produce guidelines for the eventual return of gyms fitness centers.
This came as somewhat of a surprise because in recent days he was still insisting it would be unwise. But then just Thursday, some 1,500 gym owners filed a class action lawsuit against him over their continued closures.