One bowling alley owner in the North Country has had enough.
All of New York’s roughly 300 bowling alleys have remained closed due to the pandemic, leaving thousandS of people across the state out of work.
Lucky Strike Lanes in Malone is no exception. So far, these fun, family-friendly venues have been shut down for 134 days and bowling alley owners have been left in the dark, said Scott McLaughlin, owner of Lucky Strike Lanes.
“All of us are ready, now. I mean, I’m ready to open tomorrow…and a lot of us are,” McLaughlin Said
McLaughlin is determined to get an answer from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Despite countless calls and letters, he says he hasn’t received any guidance. Meanwhile, other states have welcomed the reopening of bowling alleys.
“(In) 45 states right now, bowling centers are open. They’re doing it safely, efficiently, and have had no issues whatsoever,” said McLaughlin.
The life-long bowler says he’s prepared to do the same. Until he gets a response, he’s called on state and local politicians for help.
“We’re calling on the Governor to give guidance on these bowling centers. They have suffered long enough. They’ve been 134 days with their doors closed,” said Billy Jones, Assembly member of the 115th district of the New York State Legislature.
Bowling centers spend this time preparing for their fall leagues, where they receive much of their revenue. But at this rate, some may close permanently.
“Bowling centers survive on that league income and if we’re not able to floor our fall leagues come september…we’re going to lose a lot of centers,” said Doug Bohannon, President of New York State Bowling Proprietors Association.
McLaughlin points out, Lucky Strike Lanes is a community favorite.
“We’re the only entertainment in Malone. A lot of families come up…we do a lot of fundraisers,” said McLaughlin.
To help raise awareness, McLaughlin and his colleagues created a campaign where Malone residents can pick up a bowling pin outside the Lucky Strike Lanes and send it to Gov. Cuomo.
In the meantime, he plans to have more conferences so he and other bowling alleys can soon reopen.