Clayton bowling center gears up to reopen after NC court decision

Wake County News

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Dozens of bowling alleys across North Carolina can now reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a court decision Tuesday.

Rainbow Lanes in Clayton is one out of a group of 75 entertainment facilities that can now reopen. 

“We have put up plexiglass at our counter, snack bar and our redemption area. We have installed 20 wall mount sanitizers throughout the center, we’ve got social distancing stickers throughout and touchless paper towel dispensers,” said Melanie Campbell, the manager of Rainbow Lane and President of the Bowling Proprietors of the Carolinas and Georgia.

The decision allowing the reopening came after the North Carolina Bowling Proprietors Association sued Gov. Roy Cooper in June, saying it was unfair that bowling alleys had to remain closed while other businesses could reopen. 

The order includes 15 guidelines that must be followed for the bowling alleys to reopen, including limiting the number of customers, wearing face coverings and keeping a lane empty between bowling groups.

State orders say the facilities should not be open at this time.

“Bowling is coming back. We are excited, it’s been a long three months and this is a very big victory that the judge realized. We can open and we can open safely,” said Campbell.

Cooper called the decision harmful and says he immediately plans to appeal. 

The North Carolina Attorney General’s office has filed a motion to stay which would stop the judge’s ruling pending an appeal. 

Rainbow Lanes said they hadn’t set a reopen date yet because they’re waiting to see what happens with the appeal process, but they’re hopeful to have customers back in their facility again soon.

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