By Kimberly Brown
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced beginning March 26, indoor family entertainment centers will be able to reopen at 25% capacity.
Other facilities such as bowling alleys and escape rooms have been open since last August, but indoor family entertainment centers are among the industries that have been left behind during the reopening plan. As a result, they have taken a big hit since the start of the pandemic last March.
A few Long Island entertainment centers such as Urban Air Adventure Park in Lake Grove and Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Mount Sinai are “excited, eager, thrilled, delighted” to make a comeback this year.
“We tried as a business to get engagement from New York State about the reopen plan for family entertainment,” said David Wolmetz, co-owner of Urban Air. “Meanwhile these other businesses like bowling alleys, gymnastics, casinos, gyms and other indoor recreation centers were able to reopen and we were questioning why the data was not allowing for our business to open.”
Unable to receive the data from the state to support the lack of focus on indoor family entertainment centers, he was able to obtain his own data from other Urban Air parks that were allowed to reopen around the country.
Observing approximately 140 different Urban Air parks, Wolmetz found that out of the 4 million guests who have been served, no cases of COVID-19 were traced back to their parks.
“It was very tough for us to understand why we couldn’t reopen, but we remained patient,” he said. “We are doing everything possible to remain safe, and are pleased we will be able to open March 26 and serve the community again.”
Despite how tough the year has been for such companies and keeping in mind that only 25% capacity will be permitted on reopening shortly, Dominick Crafa, Sky Zone general manager, said he is still looking forward to welcoming back families into the park again.
“We want to allow people to have fun again, and try to get back to somewhat of a normal,” he said, “We’ll probably be running in the red for a little bit and losing some money, but just the fact that we’re able to get back to some sort of normal life and provide a place of happiness is something we’re excited for.”