LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Bowling alleys are among the businesses still not allowed to reopen in New York.

CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported some of the state’s 300 bowling alley owners made a plea to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday, saying they’re safe.

“Safety of our staff, of our guests, it’s our first concern and we’re blessed with a lot of space here, so we can do this right,” said Joe LaSpina, who owns Maple Family Centers.

New York’s bowling centers employ about 9,000 workers, but are left out of Phase 4.

The owners say they’re ready to roll.

A bipartisan group of legislators is pleading with the governor for guidance.

“This is Phase 4. Tell us what we need to do. We need to hear something. We need to know what it is that it’s gonna take to get our centers going,” said State Assemblyman Joseph DeStefano.


A pair of bowling lanes is 11.5 feet wide. Owners said they can achieve social distancing by closing every other lane.

Temperature would be checked at the door, food would be served behind plastic sheets, and shoes and bowling balls would be sanitized, they said.

“We actually don’t have the customers touch their bowling balls when they leave. Our staff comes in. They’re gloved, they’ll take everything away,” said LaSpina. “So, we can do this where we reduce the amount of touch points the customers have. And they can still have a fun experience on the lane.”

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While bowling alleys in New York are closed, they are open in New Jersey, Connecticut and more than half the states in the country.

“Our bowlers are making appointments to take their equipment out of their lockers and they’re trekking to New Jersey and Connecticut,” one person told Gusoff.

“Back in April, I lost my dad, Clint, to the virus and I almost lost my mom as well. Please don’t let this take our business also,” said Chris Keller, who owns “The All Star” Bowling Center.

League bowlers and students are also aching to come back.

“It is my future, honestly,” said Rachel Hines, a nationally ranked bowler who has hopes for a college scholarship.

The governor did not yet comment Friday on the future of bowling.

  1. Ray Recco says:

    This is an Open Letter from Funfest Family Bowling Center to all our Officials and Fellow Citizens.

    (💡)…. Bowling centers are the only business still not allowed to reopen at some degree – No consideration no options no capacities.
    > After 5 months of preparation to open safely they should be allowed to reopen. >They should be allowed because they are essential to our community in many ways and families need to have a safe environment to go to for some family enjoyment together..
    > Bowling centers can follow all the guidelines and more than any other businesses that are currently open to keep their customers safe. We can put families on every other lane and keep them 11 ft’ 5 in” apart from the next family, and even be 6 ft apart from even each other behind the approach with spaced out seating and standing room too.
    > A BOWLING BY RESERVATION PLAN makes bowling safe for all because it allows a 1/2 hr between each session. This gives everyone a chance to leave while staying apart. It also gives our workers time to sanitize the areas and any equipment they might have used from bowling center before the next session.
    > We’ve seen to the needs of safety for all our employees. We’ve installed plexiglass at front desk and also sneeze guard type plastic between every pair, 3 ft high to 7 ft high and from foul line to seats. We have sanitizing stations at front desk and bathrooms and all through the center.
    > All the Guidelines can be followed easily because most bowling centers are usually between 20,000 sq ft – 59,000 sq ft which allows people and stall plenty of room to follow social distance.
    > There seems to be no facts or scientific reason for us to be closed and if there is a special guideline we need to follow we certainly can and will.
    > Please consider another important factor, – NO ONE GOES BOWLING WITH STRANGERS. People bowl with family or friends.
    > Another thing, – even though we do have bars and snack bars , there can be waitress service only if advisable.
    > PLEASE UNDERSTAND , – OUR MAJOR SOURCE OF INCOME IS BOWLING and we deserve to be allowed some capacity to survive. Give us the any additional guidelines required and let us survive – or at least please show us some reason why we can’t be as SAFE as any other service business that is already open. We need to understand why we must sacrifice so much more the others…… VTY M.Rudy & R Martin
    Funfest Family Bowling Center Mil Basin Bowl

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