Coronavirus: Michigan bowling alleys file lawsuit to reopen

A Michigan bowling group is suing the state over an order keeping bowling alleys closed while salons and other personal care services are allowed to open.

The Bowling Centers Association of Michigan, which represents 165 bowling alleys across the state, and five other bowling alleys claim the order is unconstitutional in a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Grand Rapids, MLive reported.

“I can go get a haircut and get my nails done. I can get a full-hour body massage. I can have a dentist put his hands in my mouth... and now I can go to a casino – but I can’t open up a bowling center? Pretty frustrating,” Bo Goergen, director of the bowling association, told MLive.

The lawsuit named Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel as defendants.

A recent executive order considers bowling alleys similar to amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, skating rinks and water parks in keeping them closed, MLive reported. While the order allowed professional sports, including bowling, to restart, recreational bowling is still prohibited.

Bowling is a multi-million dollar industry. Bowling alleys have been closed since March, WJBK reported. In Michigan, there are more than 300-family owned bowling alleys, which employ more than 10,000 people. 

Bowling alleys in some parts of northern Michigan have been allowed to reopen, WXYZ reported. Bowling is allowed in most states. Michigan, New York, North Carolina, California and Washington have prohibited it.