Local Bowling Alley works to keep its customers safe during this uncertain time


Credit to Avery Witherbee

By Marina Williams

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one has been fully at rest, since early March, the last time things seemed “normal”. This global pandemic took an especially hard toll on the small businesses trying to survive. Many of which are still being affected today, after having to shut down for so long. Don Klackner, owner of Olivette Lanes Bowling Alley, never would have expected the harm that this virus could do to his business.

“Our business is still suffering, it’s down by 40% [profit], and we lost a few employees who had to take new jobs when we first shut down,” Klackner said.

This difficult time has also led to lots of changes. Center for Disease Control guidelines and regulations made it very difficult to adapt. Especially owning a bowling alley, where almost everything is shared, and many different things to rent. However, the safety of his guests was Klackner’s number one priority.

“Guests and employees have to wear a mask, we provide hand sanitizer, take employee temperatures every day and we sanitize the bowling balls and shoes after each use,” Klackner said. “We have to do a little more work which makes the job a little more challenging.”

The thought of this virus changing the lives of many forever can be a frightening thing. However, the procedures adapted during this time have the potential to grow businesses in the long run.

“The cleaning and sanitation will be good in the long run,” Klackner said, “Customers are happy we’re open and to see that we’re keeping everyone safe during this time.”

The lives of students have changed a lot during this time as well. Some students have found themselves missing the fun activities they were able to do before the pandemic. Things such as bowling and other recreational activities with shared equipment  can be uncertain and make students hesitant to go out. Others are feeling just fine, as long as the companies are taking appropriate measures.

“I feel like I would be comfortable going out as long as it was safe,” Amber Kibera, sophomore at FHN said. “As long as the lanes are spaced out, and everyone has to wear masks and social distance I would feel comfortable.”

Most are not worried as much about the effects it has on their business, as they are worried about the safety of their customers and others around them. So, the extra precautions necessary aren’t too hard to adapt to.

“All of the employees accepted it, and were glad to be back,” Klackner said, “At the end of the day we just want to keep everyone safe.”