‘Doesn’t seem fair’: Bowling alleys, mini-golf and arcades to close for a month on Oahu under mayor’s order

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — In addition to Oahu parks and beach parks shutting down, team sports will not be allowed to play. Indoor attractions like bowling alleys, mini-golf and arcades must also temporarily close.

Some of these businesses say they aren’t sure why they were part of the Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s latest order.

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“I feel–I’m sure a lot of people [feel also]–that we’re being singled out. The [bowling] center and I have no idea why,” said Leeward Bowl owner Richard Akimoto.

Akimoto is the owner of Leeward Bowl. He said they did everything they could to ensure COVID-19 didn’t spread in the bowling center and followed city rules.

“We did social distancing. We [took out] lockers from each center. We took temperatures. We insisted on face masks, you know, all these type of things,” said Akimoto. “We try to follow the rules and then we get shut down…[It] doesn’t seem fair.”

He said closing a second time will be a bigger blow than the first time, especially since a majority of their earnings come from bowling leagues, which were just starting up again.

“Let’s put it this way, we won’t be able to pay the rent, that’s for sure,” said Akimoto.

This time around, Akimoto said he will have to let staff go. He is also worried about how this impacts the bowling alley in the long term.

“Anytime you shut something down people are going to think, ‘Oh, what is the reason, why they did that, it must be that it’s not good you know?” said Akimoto.

It isn’t just indoor sports being affected, but outdoor sports as well.

Little League baseball teams usually start conditioning around this time, but with team sports banned and parks closed, Honolulu little league coach Gerald Oda said it is a loss for the kids.  

“I know for sure they’re disappointed because they were happy to get out, you know, [after] the first lockdown–to finally be able to start working out and hanging out with their friends, and now we’re going backwards, you know taking a step backwards,” said Oda.

He’s also concerned that the closures could be extended past September 4.

“No one’s going to be able to go on the park or on the field to play football or any other sport as well as baseball,” said Oda.

The city said it will work with the governor and the Department of Health to monitor the situation and see if some measures may be relaxed, but that would only pertain to parks and beaches parks.

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