Local Entertainment Venues Awaiting Financial Relief

With the future of some of these local businesses resting on seeing financial relief at the state level all they can do now is wait.

DULUTH, Minn. – Entertainment Venues are among the many Northland businesses hit hard financially by the pandemic.

During these next four weeks, they will get some help through the Minnesota Governor’s recently announced plan for a Business Assistance Program.

Without this relief, they may not be able to survive.

Fresh off of a multi-million dollar renovation in 2019, Skyline Lanes Bowling Alley in Hermantown is now forced to shut down for the second time this year.

“It’s going to be extremely challenging. We’re a very big, large operation with a lot of overhead and frankly takeout and delivery is not going to support us,” Skyline Lanes General Manager, Corey Kolquist says.

This time around, managers are worried about the lack of financial support.

“They still require us to pay property tax. All of us in the entertainment and restaurant industry need financial support extremely bad right now,” Kolquist says.

After the Governor’s order for a four week shutdown took effect last week, much of his staff was left without a job.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was to tell 60 employees that hey we’ve got to let you go. I’m hoping it’s only four weeks and we’re going to get as many of you guys back as possible,” Kolquist says.

Even with those layoffs, it will be tough to get by without outside help.

“There’s no financial support for us as a business and including all of the employees. We have to unfortunately let go for this four week period,” Kolquist says.

Over at Adventure Zone in Canal Park is another big entertainment venue in the area forced to close down.

“Seventy to eighty percent of our business is parties. We rely on parties and things to make a go of it,” Grandma’s Restaurant Company Director of Operations, Tony Boen says.

After the first stay-at-home order, the popular arcade re-opened in late June with limited capacity.

Managers say that pressing the reset button for a second time will be challenging especially hiring more staff once they can open their doors again.

“We’ll call them back, and if they want to come back we’ll have a job for them but I anticipate us to need to do some hiring. This will be a much more difficult reopen,” Boen says.

With the future of some of these local businesses resting on seeing financial relief at the state level all they can do now is wait.

“It’s just going to be a lot of walking through some thick mud to get to the sunshine and green fields of summer,” Boen says.

Skyline lanes is currently open for delivery and pickup.

For a full list of local restaurants will pickup availability, click here: Local Duluth Restaurants



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