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Bowling alleys prepare to reopen in Dane County under short notice

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WAUNAKEE (WKOW) -- When Dane County announced it would move into Phase One of its reopening plan, a few more businesses found themselves a part of it.

Indoor recreation facilities like mini-golf courses, trampoline parks and bowling alleys can reopen at 25 percent capacity.

The news came as a pleasant surprise for places like Waun-a-Bowl.

For two months, owner Don Laufenberg said the business has survived on takeout orders, from its grill.

"Thursday, Friday Saturdays are pretty good but the rest of the week is pretty quiet," he said.

He said the business has been fortunate enough to keep all its staff employed through the pandemic thanks to community support. Still, running a kitchen isn't the reason Laufenberg owns a bowling alley.

"Every customer that comes in to get carryout have been asking ever since this started," he said. "Wish we could be here."

Starting Tuesday they can.

While the news came at short notice, co-owner Scott Adler said Waun-a-Bowl has been planning working on a re-open plan for weeks.

"We're gonna do this very soft and we're going to do everything we can to make sure everybody's safe," he said.

On May 26, Waun-a-Bowl plans to follow Dane Forward and WEDC guidelines opening at a limited capacity.

Only four of sixteen lanes are opening, spaced out through the bowling alley and there's a limit of six people per lane.

"Gonna be by reservation only it's gonna be by the hour, max six people on a pair of lanes and we're gonna run it from 11 to about 7," Adler said.

They also plan to disinfect every part of the lane when guests are finished including the ball return, the bowling balls, all of the surfaces and the shoes.

"It's gonna put a little pressure on the staff to make sure we're taking care of each and every step but we're up for the task," Laufenberg said.

He said the reopening would be a magic pill to help the business bounce back, but it will help keep it afloat.

"25 percent isn't the best but we'll take it," he said. "And hopefully after two weeks or whatever the process is going to be we can open up 25 to 50."

Most importantly, Adler said it will give Waun-a-Bowl a chance to reconnect with the community.

"It'll be nice to see some faces back again," he said. "It's been a long two months but at least we made it this far."

Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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