“We’re falling fast”: Laurel bowling alley owner worried about future
LAUREL, Del. – The owner of a bowling alley in Sussex County says coronavirus restrictions are putting his livelihood at stake.
“I don’t really know what’s going to happen other than fall apart quick. We’re falling fast,” says Pete Bryan, the owner of Bryan’s Bowling Center.
Pete Bryan has owned this bowling alley in Laurel for more than a decade. “Before this happened, this was probably going to be our best year because our open bowling was phenomenal this year and then it just stopped,” says Bryan.
Bryan says the center makes most of its money from leagues and they lost out on tens of thousands of dollars after being closed for almost three months. “There’s no money coming in. I’m not a big company. I’m not owned by corporate,” say Bryan.
Now that he’s open, he says the capacity limits and lane restrictions aren’t helping. “The most people we would ever have in here at one time would probably be 74 people. I can’t even get 74 people to bowl because I can only put five people on every other lane,” says Bryan.
Bryan says the only way they can open and make a profit is if they’re allowed to open every lane. He says people would still be able to practice social distancing because bowlers don’t usually go up at the same time anyway. “If they don’t let us open to the point of using every lane it’ll be pointless to open.”
Bryan was able to reopen his bowling center around the second week in June with restrictions like limited capacity and other guidelines, that officials say prioritize public health.