New Mexico has been among the states hardest hit by the mandated COVID-19 closures, and bowling proprietors aren’t the only people that have been frustrated by the disruption in business. Many bowlers in the Land of Enchantment want to get back on the lanes.

Bowling Proprietors Association of New Mexico Executive Director Steve Mackie shared a Facebook post from bowler Eric Ferdig, who hoped Governor Michelle Grisham would take notice and reclassify bowling centers into a more appropriate category so that they could join gyms in reopening.

Here are excerpts from the post:

“There are two friends, Arnold and Alvin, who both enjoy participating in sports activities. Both of their activities take place in large indoor facilities which, of course, follow all the proper COVID precautions.

“Arnold lifts weights. Alvin lifts and rolls weighted spheres.

“Arnold uses equipment from a common set available to everyone in the facility. Alvin brings his own equipment into the facility and is the only person to use it.

“Arnold does step drills and knee bends to strengthen his cardio. Alvin does step drills and knee bends while rolling the weighted spheres to strengthen and sharpen eye-body coordination.

“Both Arnold and Alvin go to their respective facilities at least once a week to practice and perform their drills to become better and more efficient.

“Both Arnold and Alvin drink water and high-carb beverages during their sports activities to stay hydrated and maximize their performances.

“So you may ask, ‘What is the moral of the story? What is the difference between what Arnold does and what Alvin does?’

“Arnold is allowed to participate in his sports activity right now because gyms are open under the current public health orders.

“Alvin is not allowed to participate in his sports activity right now because bowling centers are closed under the current public health orders, even though the scientific evidence shows that bowling is a safer, more COVID-friendly activity than working out in the gym.

“In other words, if gyms are open — and they should be open — then bowling centers should also be open. It makes no sense, given the scientific evidence, for gyms to be able to operate and offer their services and not allow bowling centers that same opportunity.

“Bowling centers must be moved into the same ‘miscellaneous’ category that gyms were moved to when the state transitioned to the ‘red-yellow-green’ rubric and allowed to operate under the same guidelines they did before the ‘two-week reset’ on Nov. 15.”

It would be a challenge to find a bowling proprietor in New Mexico who would disagree. Many centers have remained closed during the pandemic, while others have opened their food service operations, with limited capacity, just to drive some revenue.

Retired PBA champion Gary Skidmore and his wife Eve, proprietors of Holiday Bowl in Albuquerque, announced that they would reopen the center’s heated patio on Thursday for outdoor dining. The opening comes just days after the center was burglarized (, an incident that made an already difficult year even more so.

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