October 19th, 2020

Bowlers back on the lanes with COVID-19 restrictions in place


By Woodard, Dale on September 30, 2020.

Audrey Mann gets set to release the ball as her fellow senior league players watch from behind at Holiday Bowl. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Dale Woodard

Lethbridge Herald

sports@lethbridgeherald.com

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, things are rolling at Holiday Bowl.

Restrictions are in place, but the bowling alley’s leagues hit the lanes in the last week of August.

“With our restrictions we’re only allowed to have 50 people in the bowlers area, which is half our capacity,” said Jason Temreck, manager and part owner of Holiday Bowl. “So with our leagues we have to have one team per set of lanes. Instead of the traditional style where you’re bowling against a team, you’ll be bowling with yourself on one set of lanes. You’re still bowling another team, but the scores have to be migrated after.

“For some of our leagues we have to run shifts. For example, our Tuesday Night league has 17 teams, so we have to run a 6 p.m. and an 8:15 p.m. because we can’t accommodate everybody at one time.”

The Special Olympic program was cancelled this season.

Open play at the weekend at Holiday Bowl is open by reservation depending on the numbers.

“People can call in and come in on the weekend,” said Temreck. “During the week it’s a bit harder because normally if we have a 10-team league on a Monday night we would have 10 lanes we could put bowlers on. Now we have to spread them over the whole house so we don’t have those facilities available. But if they call ahead, most of the time we could be able to accommodate them.”

Those coming into Holiday Bowl are required to sanitize their hands and if they have a personal bowling ball are required to check them at the counter for cleaning.

“We have a special sanitizer to sanitize the equipment,” said Temreck. “After somebody is done on a set of lanes we sanitize all the balls on there and wipe down all the tables. So it’s all sanitized and ready for the next group to come in.

“With the mask bylaw it gets a little bit tricky for us because they’re doing a physical activity. When you come into the facility you have to wear a mask and any time you’re in the common areas you have to wear a mask. But when you’re in the bowling area sitting at a table or up bowling you don’t have to wear a mask.”

Holiday Bowl manager and part owner Nick Michalenko said customers are mostly on board with the pandemic protocols.

“There are some people don’t always agree with the regulations, but they’re handling it really well. We haven’t had any complaints other than some general grumbling. But the reception has (gone) really well. People phone about booking lanes and ask what we’re doing that what the regulations are. We haven’t had any pushback from anybody.”

Diners at Holiday Bowl have the restaurant exemption as far as facemasks.

“But any time you are in the common area we ask you to wear a mask,” said Temreck, adding Holiday Bowl isn’t running a full menu right now, hopes to change that in October once the leagues get settled in.

“We still have our pizzas and our deep-fried stuff, but we’re not doing burgers and salads.”

Temreck noted some interesting trends in Holiday Bowl’s league numbers.

“When this whole thing started I expected a drop in the senior categories and the youth categories, but we haven’t seen that,” he said, adding the seniors numbers are up and the youth numbers are roughly the same. “The biggest drop has been in our adult leagues. Perhaps with the borders being closed a lot of people going south for the winter are looking for something to do because they can’t go. The area I thought we be down are not and the areas I thought would be stable are down a little bit.”

The leagues run until the end of April.

Visit http://www.holidaybowl.ca for times and league information.

Follow @DWoodardHerald on Twitter.

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