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Ready To Hit The Lanes? Bowling Is Back

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With the easing of COVID restrictions, Parkway Lanes is opening after 18 months of being shutdown.

Owner-operator Frank Scinocca said he is able to accept as many as 10 people at a time.

“So that opens it up for us. Some of the bowling centres aren’t taking birthday parties. I am, because I’m getting a lot of calls,” he said. “Kids are good. Eleven-and-under doesn’t have to be vaccinated or they can wear masks unless they’re five and under. And while they’re bowling, they can just put them down and then if they leave the bowling area, they can put them back on.”

While enjoying a birthday cake, Scinocca said, children will be put about six feet apart to comply with public health orders. As soon as people leave the facility, the lanes used will be thoroughly sanitized.

Scinocca added there are no walk-ins. If you want to bowl, you have to call ahead and make a reservation.

“So that we can properly place people on the lanes with enough separation,” he said.

After consulting with the Manitoba 10-pin Federation, Scinocca said, bowling centres across the province will allow unvaccinated bowlers to bowl on separate lanes.

“Most people are willing to show their vaccination cards and everybody seems willing to wear masks. So in the meantime, until we get anything firm, we will accept bowlers who are not suffering any ill or flu-like symptoms,” he said.

Because Parkway Lanes has been shut down for so long, a lot of people have been calling to find out the status of the facility.

For now, Scinocca plans to go ahead with the fall and winter leagues beginning in September.

“And I’m hoping things get a lot better by then,” he said.

The hardest part of being shutdown, Scinocca said, was the unknown.

“Not knowing if you can open next month or next week or three months, six months away. It was just the unknown that was the problem,” he said. “And then we didn’t know how much to get involved in the painting, because if we could open, we’d want to stop that or reduce it to an amount we could handle.”

The closure allowed Scinocca and his staff to do some renovations, along with the painting.

“We did a lot of refinishing of the walls. All of that is nicely insulated. There’s just little upgrades like that. On the approaches, they’re all finished. All sanded. The boards are all replaced that needed replacing,” he said.

“Just a little upkeep in maintenance. We kept the staff busy through that entire period of time.”

Scinocca added they plan to paint the outside of the building, as well. Scinocca was able to keep all six regular full or part-time staff on the payroll.

To help with social distancing, staff installed plastic partitions between every two lanes.

Scinocca is looking forward to finally hear the roar of bowling balls rolling down the lanes and the clatter of pins falling after so much silence in the building.

“We especially miss the parties. The Christmas parties. When you’ve got 100 people in here, it’s fun. The days are long, but everybody is having a great time, bowling, dancing, having a few cocktails. Really enjoying themselves. I love that time of year,” he said.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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