Non-essential business owners react to Phase 4 guidelines


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — On Friday, Illinois residents will be able to take part in a number of indoor activities opening back up for Phase 4. But businesses will be far from hosting a full house once doors open. One Rockford bowling center manager says the capacity limits will keep him to just a fraction of what staff normally see.

“We’re excited about being able to open, at the same time we understand it’s limited capacity, but at this point any kind of capacity is better than none,”explained Jamie Funk, the manager at Don Carter Lanes.

As residents prepare to enjoy the benefits of Phase 4 of the ‘Restore Illinois’ plan, non-essential business owners say they’re just as grateful for the change.

“We get calls every single day, ‘when does bowling start, when do leagues start?'” Funk added.

Venues will be able to host 50 customers at a time or half of normal capacity–whichever is smaller. Tuesday, the National Association of Theater Owners of Illinois warned that isn’t enough and offered a plan to allow for 50-percent capacity without a maximum limit.

Don Carter Lanes manager Jamie Funk is still excited to welcome back bowlers after months without business. However, the state’s 50 person limit set for a facility that typically sees hundreds at a time is disappointing.

“We have the capacity of 700 just in the bowling center, so having that much room we can definitely do the social distancing,” Funk explained.

In Loves Park, Volcano Falls outdoor activities opened during Phase 3, but employees are excited to expand services inside starting Friday.

“It’s something to be taken serious, and we do but we also think people are cooped up and need some fun in their life and that’s what we’re here to do,” explained Volcano Falls manager Tony Meyer.

Meyer says indoor activities like laser tag and arcade games typically have a capacity of 150 but only a third of that will be permitted during the next phase.

“We will be keeping track of how many people are in there and if we you know get to that limit, then we’ll rotate people in and out but other than that it’s going to be weather permitting business as usual,” Meyer added.


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