Pastime Lanes operates during Phase 3, works to recover from lost revenue
A Hastings bowling alley and catering service is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars during this pandemic, and although Phase 3 of reopening has loosened restrictions, there are still many unknowns for the business.
Pastime Lanes reopened on June 10 after being closed for nearly two and a half months. During that time, the business lost more than $250,000.
"Devastating would probably be the main word," said Butch Hogan, owner of Pastime Lanes. "Bowling counts on crowds. Bowling centers survive on crowds. So, I don't know. Time will tell."
Hogan said March and April are typically busy. It's time that allows them to set aside extra money for their worst months in June and July.
Due to initial COVID-19 restrictions of ten people gatherings, Pastime Lanes temporarily closed on March 20. Not only did they not collect revenue during their busiest months, Hogan said they didn't have that money to get them through the slow ones.
Part of that is because of canceled weddings, graduations and class reunions. Hogan said catering accounts for about one-third of their revenue, so the loss of those events created a deficit.
"Most of that will never come back," Hogan said.
While Phase 3 has some loosened restrictions, Hogan said it'll be tough to cater larger events like weddings.
If someone books an event, it counts as an indoor gathering. Under Phase 3, that means the bar and lounge area can only be filled to 50 percent capacity.
But if people go to the bar or sit down to eat on their own, the room can be at 100 percent occupancy.
"We're going to be limited on income taking events that normally help cash flow," Hogan said.
Despite these challenges, Pastime Lanes is doing all it can to remain open.
To allow for more social distancing, only odd lanes are in use.
Although Phase 3 allows for eight people to be at a table, Hogan said they're keeping it to six.
Staff is sanitizing shoes and bowling balls after every use, as well as tables, chairs and ball return.
"We're going to keep - bowling wise - acting like we're in Phase 2 for awhile. We're still going to do every other lane, act like a 16 lane house until people get more comfortable. Then we'll do the 100 percent," Hogan said.
He said they did apply, and receive a PPP loan.
Hogan added Pastime Lanes is ready to serve the community, and looks forward to a return to normalcy.
Pastime Lanes has new hours to accommodate the current situation. They're open from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.