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Local bowling alley operators left “frustrated” with Gov. Reynolds’ mitigations

The frustration comes with the rules against organized league bowling
Published: Dec. 6, 2020 at 11:14 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Leisure Lanes would normally be bustling on a December weekend, but with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ mitigations in place regarding sporting events that are not high school, collegiate, or professional, Leisure Lanes has been quiet.

“Restricting league bowling, you can have as many open bowlers as you want but no league bowling, that’s 90% of our revenue,” Muscatine Rose Bowl operator Troy Smith said.

“Without that, we’re essentially closed,” Leisure Lanes Owner Mike Roseman said.

Smith and Roseman said that one of the hardest parts for them are the different events that can continue, but not for league bowling.

“High school bowling is basically still going on but no league bowling, so essentially it’s the same thing,” Roseman said.

“If we can have 196 people in my bowling alley open bowling, I don’t know why I can’t have 50 people in a league spaced out,” Smith said.

Roseman said the hardest part comes with the layoffs he’s made so close to the holidays.

“Troy (Smith) included, you know I got about 51 employees right now laid off right around the holidays, I mean there’s no worse feeling than that is to have to lay somebody off around the holidays,” Roseman said.

Roseman’s biggest concern comes for bowling alleys in smaller communities across Iowa.

“I feel like bowling alleys are the heartbeat of some of these communities like Durant, Tipton, some of the smaller towns I mean they’re essential businesses to be there,” He said.

“I think there’s 122 bowling alleys in Iowa and I think they’ll be about 80 when we’re done,” Roseman said.

The operators and other Iowa bowling alley owners have said they’ve reached out to Governor’s office, but to no avail.

“We’ve reached out to the Governor’s office...it just sounds like it’s fallen on deaf ears,” Roseman said.

All the operators ask for is a way to get things fixed.

“I don’t care what the help is, just reach out and start the conversation,” Roseman said.

TV-6 did reach out to the Governor’s office as well as the Scott County Health Dept. but did not receive a response from either.

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