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Kenmore Lanes struggling to survive during phased coronavirus opening

Lanes at the Qatar bowling venue are seen during the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images For DAGOC)

Many businesses are struggling to adapt to the phased reopening guidance from Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start plan. Joann Evans is the co-owner of the Kenmore Lanes bowling alley and doesn’t see the phases as logical for her business. Are they going to be able to survive this government shutdown?

“It’s going to be a huge struggle. We were closed totally for 10 weeks, we’ve been open for food and beverage with no bowling for the last six weeks, and the latest new normal is that bowling was moved from phase three to phase four. And we have no idea when that’s coming,” Evans told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show.

Has it been explained to her by officials why bowling in particular will not be allowed until phase four, considering that some social distancing measures can be applied there?

“Not sufficiently for me to really understand. … The social distancing aspect is really easy to accomplish, there’s no doubt about that. One lane gives you about eight feet. So if you bowl every other lane, you’re least eight feet from the next bowler,” she said.

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“You only go to the line to bowl one at a time, you’re not going as a group,” she added. “And we always sanitize the equipment.”

Evans says she’s having trouble finding the logic in keeping an establishment like hers partially closed until a later phase when other types of businesses — where it would be more difficult to socially distance — seem to have been given the green light.

“I can’t find any logic when fitness centers can be open to some extent, and buffets and restaurants can be open where you’re going to be sharing utensils to dish up your food and standing in a line. Sure, you’re going to be six feet apart if you follow the protocol, but in a bowling center you can be eight,” she said.

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“It doesn’t make any sense to me. We’re diligently working to try to come up with a viable option to allow us to hang in there — for want of a better word — and be open to bowl when we’re allowed to bowl.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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