Closed since March, bowling alley owners file lawsuit against Whitmer to re-open

While many types of businesses have been allowed to re-open, bowling alleys are still deemed unsafe by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Bowling is a multimillion-dollar industry and Michigan has long been a hotbed for it.

"Michigan is the world capital for bowling," said Richard Glomb. "There are more bowling centers in Michigan than anywhere else in the world."

Bowling alleys have been closed since March as part of the statewide COVID-19 shutdown. Now with other businesses reopening, a lawsuit has been filed asking a judge to order the state to allow bowling alleys to re-open.

Glomb is the managing partner of Merri Lanes and says the vast amount of centers are small businesses owned by families for generations.

Merri Lanes in Livonia employs 42 people.

"We are allowed to do an outdoor event," he said. "One day a week I do have some of my bar staff and kitchen staff here, but that is far from being able to support your family."

Glomb's bowling alley has invested tens of thousands of dollars into their air quality system and purchased multiple cleaning devices.

"In our bowling center we sanitize our bowling balls after every use, we sanitize our bowling shoes after every use," he said. "We have tremendous protocols in place.

"We take temperatures of our staff members each and every time," he said.

Not only is this shutdown hurting bowling alleys and their employees, it is also hurting the bowlers.

"They are distraught, they are very frustrated," Glomb said. "Some of our bowlers are literally driving an hour south to Ohio or Indiana to roll the ball."