Content of the article continued
“We don’t want to be the place where there was a peak of cases, a super spreader event. There are so many uncertainties. ”
In business since 1992, Dottermann has owned Bowlerama for five years and sales have been strong every year, before the pandemic hit, she added.
Bowling alleys are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic because of their size. They are large and the rent and maintenance are expensive.
“If you’re not making any income, you can’t support a 27,000 square foot building,” she says.
The nationwide bowling industry has seen only about 20% of its customers return since businesses began reopening, and forecasts suggest it could rise to 30-50% if the COVID count remains low, said Paul Oliveira, executive director of Bowl Canada.
But if there is a second wave of coronavirus infections, more businesses will close.
“It is a devastating time. It all came to a halt just before the March break, which is a great time for families who want to go bowling. It took a good chunk of the revenue from the bowling alleys, ”Oliveira said.
The timing also ended the league and the playoffs, he added.
As part of its third stage of reopening, the Ontario government has stated that a maximum of 50 people can be inside a business. That’s not enough to cover costs and keep the doors open and the industry is pushing the province for an exemption allowing more than the 50-person limit, Oliveira said.
“The government only allows 50 bowlers at a time. We need to at least double that figure, ”he said, adding that most of the aisles are large enough to accommodate more people.