Gary Handler, Lane Centre, Chicago discussed on Wintrust Business Lunch with Steve Bertrand
This post covert world, you wonder how different businesses are going to shake out what it means to them. I have thought not infrequently about the dance studios in town. My wife and I would take ballroom dance lessons, sometimes for exercise and something to do, And we really, really enjoyed it. I was in the dancing with the Chicago Stars Competition. Lou Manfredini has done it. Mary Vanderbilt's very much into that. Don't know how those businesses were doing. But I would imagine dance lessons would just be the most complicated thing to do in this socially distanced in masked, covert world, and I thought the same about bowling alleys. There's one not too far from where I live. I thought. I wonder how people feel about sharing those common spaces, sharing the bowling ball sharing the lanes, which tend to have low ceilings. Let's talk a little bit about that segment with Gary Handler. He's the owner of Waveland Bowl, you Khun Visit Waveland bowl dot com. I believe Waveland Bull is the biggest bowling alley in the Chicago area. Gary, Welcome to the show. Is that right? You guys are the biggest, aren't you? Hi, John. Yeah, we have 40 lanes. And we are the largest center in Chicago. 40 lanes and so are you guys open. And how long have you been open? Did you have to shut down? Well, we shut down March 15th originally for two weeks, which turned into 4.5 months and we re opened in July. And now we are ours are limited. Now we have to close at 10 o'clock. Every night, which is is difficult. But you mentioned the feelings. We have actually high ceilings here and most know, spotted. Long centers do have high ceilings and we have 40 lanes, but we're only using every other lane. So you have about 10 ft. In between your group in the next group. Good to say, come through and sort of look at the bowling alley. Say yours and say, Okay, here's what we deem to be safe. I mean, I wonder how some of those decisions were made. It wasn't on a new individual basis center by center, but it was kind of as a group and our association, the Boeing Proprietor Association, did have a lot of discussion with the state. At first we were only allowed 50 people in the in the centre Regardless of size. Ifyou're 10 Lane Centre, you could have 50 people. And if you are 40 Lane Centre, you could have 50 people and we felt that was unfair. So they are now treating us more like restaurants and we're allowed 50% of our capacity. Our capacity on the lane is 2 52. You are allowed 126 people in a 40,000 square foot bowling center, So there's quite a lot of room for social distancing. How's business been since you were able to reopen? Are you getting 50%? It's been, You know, we've been running at about 50%, Of course. Now it's it's quite different having to close at 10 PM we do a lot of business, especially on the weekend. You know, between 10 P.m. and 1 a.m.. What's the point of that? Gary? Why did they shut you down at night? If that's your prime hours well, Chicago did that for all the bars and restaurants. There's no alcohol sales after nine PM and we abide by that. And all bars are closing at 10 PM Now he assumed they think that the crowds get larger and louder and more quote. You know closer, not the case here in a bowling centre because everyone's on their individual lane, But we have to go with what we're told. Are these non essential s O. Do you have any leverage there? Are you able to approach the city and make your case? I see your point. Uh, well, we have a meeting with our association tomorrow and we'll talk about those things. But so far they said that this is gonna be two weeks on DH. Then we'll see where things stand at that point, So if they relax it, of course for bars will be relaxed. Also. But it's just gonna have to wait and see..