Some Rome businesses jumped at the opportunity to reopen Friday while others are slow-walking their reopening after more than a month away from the job during the COVID-19 shelter in place order.
Fitness centers, beauty salons and bowling alleys are among the businesses that had the chance to reopen Friday, though a series of recommendations and regulations designed to keep people a safe distance apart remain in effect.
Bart Kinne, owner of Floyd Bowling and Amusement Center and Classic Bowling Center on Huffaker Road, opened his doors to customers early Friday and admitted that business was a little slow early in the day, however he anticipated that more customers would start coming in later in the evening.
“We had some who came in to bowl a few games. I feel like people want to have something to do,” Kinne said. “We’re doing our part as far as providing a social distance and a clean environment for them, but you know the game room is closed.”
The alleys will have 12 lanes of bowling open with six bowlers per lane which allows for plenty of space between groups. Kinne also has staff available at each location to sanitize the house balls and the seating area around the lanes after each party finishes.
Libby Thomas, owner of Blonde on Broad, 217 Broad St., opted not to reopen Friday.
“With all the new regulations, restrictions and their suggestions to safely open back up, there was just no way to do that from Monday to Friday,” Thomas said. She met with her stylists in a three-hour session Wednesday to go over the plan.
She said that to maintain social distancing requirements she could only bring back three stylists at a time and that she couldn’t afford to pay an assistant at this point. Her massage therapist probably won’t come back until the end of May or first of June.
“There are so many things that we need that the whole country is out of,” Thomas said. She listed off disinfectant wipes and said the state is recommending that the stylists wear smocks and change them after each client. She’s ordered some, as well as some of the traditional neck wraps that are used more frequently by barbers.
“I’m not going to do it unless I do it right,” Thomas said.
Workout Anytime Rome, 134 Hicks Drive, reopened its doors Friday with general manager Louis Guevara checking in with members and making sure they follow the proper safety measures and guidelines put forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive orders.
“We’re going through the phase one of reopening. We’re normally opened 24/7, but right now we’re only allowing members to come in and workout under supervision of staff while we’re open,” Guevara said, adding that their hours are Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Members are screened for any health issues when they come in for a workout and are required to wash their hands before beginning. They are then asked to use provided sanitation wipes to clean any equipment they use. Staff then goes behind them and wipes down the equipment again with disinfectant spray.
“It’s a little extra work, but whatever it takes to get back open,” Guevara said. “It’s been a long month.”
The gym only has every other treadmill turned on in the facility to encourage social distancing, as well as making sure no more than 10 members are in the gym at a time.
Wicked Impressions Tattoos, 2201 Shorter Ave., was opened Friday according to its Facebook page and posted a very detailed and strict list of guidelines for patrons, including only taking appointments and not having anyone other than the person getting the tattoo come into the building.
Other rules include requiring patrons to stay in their car when they arrive and call the store to make sure their artist is ready for them, and having both the artist and patron wear masks. If any person exhibits flu-like symptoms they will be asked to reschedule their appointment.