Bowling alleys from across the state rally in front of the Capitol

Coronavirus

People demonstrate on the lawn of the state Capitol in Lansing on Aug. 12, 2020, calling for bowling alleys to be allowed to reopen. (WLNS)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan’s bowling alleys have been shut down since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and there still has been no word on when they may reopen.

Protesting the five-month shutdown, people gathered in front of the state Capitol Wednesday to protest.

Mike MacColeman, owner of Sparetime Entertainment Center in Lansing, said his business is barely surviving.

“We’ve hired 50 people that work full time with us and we already lost 10 people and that was just yesterday,” he said.

Dozens of bowling alleys were represented, a lot of them from the Detroit area but also others from around the state.

Bo Goergen, organizer of this rally, said he wants lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to tell them why they can’t reopen.

“Please tell us what is so unsafe ’cause we do not know. We know we can open up safely so give us an opportunity,” Goergen said.

Michigan is considered the top state when it comes to the number of bowlers and it has been for years. It is among only five states where alleys remain shut down.

“Some say maybe it’s the touch points. OK, my response to that is our rental shoes and rental bowling balls, how are they any different from a shopping cart or a basket at a grocery store? We can sanitize them,” Goergen said.

Demonstration organizers asked people to sign a petition and hope to take their message to the governor.

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