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Attention Minnesotans!
Our bowling centers have been forced to shut down (again) during some of their busiest and most profitable weeks. The fate of the Minnesota bowling industry is in dire straits and no one is confident that they will be allowed to reopen on January 11th. In fact, some fear the shutdown of Minnesota's hospitality industry could last through February. The vaccines are being distributed, but not nearly fast enough. Financial aid is coming from the state and federal governments, but for many bowling centers those amounts of money will not be enough.

The board of directors of the Bowling Proprietors Association of Minnesota (BPAM) is asking that every Minnesota bowler send emails and/or send letters and/or make phone calls to Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Contact information for both appears below, as well as some verbiage that you can use for emails and letters (that you can edit however you like).

If you would also like to contact your state senator and representative, you can get contact information for them at simply by entering your city into the search bar.

Josh Hodney
BPAM Executive Director


Governor Tim Walz
651-201-3400 or 1-800-657-3717
130 State Capitol
75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Minnesota DEED
651-259-7114 or 1-800-657-3858
DEED Headquarters
1st National Bank Building
332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200
St. Paul, MN 5510



Bowling centers across Minnesota are particularly vulnerable and you have the ability to help. If they are not allowed to reopen on January 11th, many are likely to never reopen again as bowling centers.

The bowling industry is very seasonal, realizing the majority of their income from September through mid-April. The first shutdown that began on March 17th came towards the end of their revenue-generating season. Due to the decrease in business bowling centers experience during the spring and summer, it was impossible for them to recover from the first shutdown. Now, this second shutdown comes at the worst possible time, during one of their most profitable times of the year. The margins on bowling are far greater when compared to food and beverage sales. If bowling centers are not allowed to reopen on January 11th they simply will not have enough time to “catch up” on lost revenue before the spring and summer arrives.

Recent history tells us that there are a lot less people interested in owning and operating a bowling center when compared to a bar or restaurant. Prior to the pandemic, a bowling center that went out of business was more often purchased and converted to another type of business vs. new ownership continuing to operate it as a bowling center.

The seasonality of our business coupled with the decreasing number of bowling centers in existence separates them from restaurants, bars, and movie theaters. If they are not allowed to reopen on January 11th, you will have essentially sealed the fate of the bowling industry as we know it. After a bowling proprietor loses their business to the bank, it will just make room for something else.

Bowling centers are integral parts of many communities all around Minnesota. Year after year, bowling is the number one participation sport in the world. Bowling centers offer a safe place for all to play. They are often the heart and core of small towns. They provide the “playing fields” to Minnesota's 55,000 league bowlers (including 2000 youth). They provide great places for birthday parties, life celebrations, and community fundraisers. They are the employers to thousands of Minnesotans. YOU have the ability to SAVE bowling in Minnesota! Please allow bowling centers to reopen on January 11th!



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