Bowling Legend LaPolla is Excited to Reopen His Alley
It's been one of the big contradictions in Governor Andrew Cuomo's reopening plan as the COVID-19 numbers have reduced in the Mohawk Valley, according to anyone who loves bowling.
Why aren't bowling alleys able to open?
That question was resolved on Friday when the Governor announced that starting on this past Monday, August 17th, bowling alleys could finally reopen under some pretty rigid restrictions.
That news was better than a 300-game for Tony LaPolla, the owner of Vista Lanes in Yorkville. The bowling hall-of-famer who's known nationally as a legend of the sport, spoke with WIBX's Keeler in the Morning on Tuesday, and said he's so happy to be open again.
"Finally! Finally, thank you!" Lapolla told WIBX's Bill Keeler. "We're going to be at 50-percent capacity, which is hard, but at least we can handle that," he said.
Lapolla said the restrictions include skipping every other lane, even in league play. Teams of up to six must remain in their lane through all games. Balls must be brought up to the customer service desk to be cleaned after play. There are also guidelines that apply to food and beverage that must be adhered to, just like bars and restaurants. LaPolla said that he expects to come up with a special menu that will work with the current restrictions.
LaPolla is a legend of the sport. He was recruited by AMF, has managed bowling centers in Central New York, Philadelphia and San Diego. He was even bowling manager of the year for three years straight. The 78-year-old started in the sport in "1969 managing the Aurora Bowlaway for the Gallicchio family in what now is the Joe Tahan Furniture Outlet on Campion Road in New Hartford," according to a 2013 story in the Observer Dispatch.
Vista Lanes will reopen on Thursday and for the remainder of the summer, will be open only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Hours of operation will expand after Labor Day when the bowling season gets underway for open bowling and leagues.
Listen to the complete interview here: