Local health officials allow Pittsburg bowling alley to reopen

Bowling is back in Pittsburg, Kansas and the Crawford County Health Department wants to explain why.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly recently announced a slowdown of her Plan to Reopen Kansas by introducing Phase 1.5 which states that “indoor leisure spaces” will remain closed. The plan even singles out bowling alleys in an attached FAQ.

But the director of the Crawford County Health Department says the Kansas Department of Health and Environment told her, local health officials make the call when it comes to bowling alleys.

“I called KDHE and received verbal permission from KDHE, that because our county board of health had approved it and our bowling alley has a very robust mitigation plan for social distancing … they’re allowed to be open,” said Crawford County Health Department Director Rebecca Adamson.

The general manager of Holiday Lanes says he’s heard his bowling alley might just be the only one currently open in Kansas, and he’s proud of the steps his team has taken to open back up.

“We want safety for not only patrons but also our staff. All my staff right now is using face masks,” said Holiday Lanes General Manager J.D. Owen.

Other precautions taken include disinfecting bowling balls and bowling shoes after individual uses, taking some tables out of commission to encourage social distancing, installing plastic sneeze guards at every cash register, and even closing down the arcade.

That means holiday lanes is only operating at a 25% capacity, but staff says it’s worth it in order to safely get back to work and see some familiar faces.

“We see the same people over and over. This is small town USA, and we’ve got a lot of clientele where this is home for them. This is one of their hangouts,” said Owen.

UPDATE: Following the airing of this story, KDHE emailed KOAM and stated they did not give permission to the Crawford County Health Department to allow Holiday Lanes to reopen. KOAM will follow this story and bring you the latest developments.