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Bowling Alleys Are Split: Some Shut Down, Others Stay Open After NC Supreme Court Order

Victory Lanes bowling alley
Victory Lanes
Victory Lanes in Mooresville remains open despite a NC Supreme Court decision ordering bowling alleys to close.

A handful of bowling alleys around North Carolina remained open without plans to shut down Wednesday in defiance of a temporary order from North Carolina's Supreme Court requiring them to close down.

Among them was Victory Lanes in Mooresville, which has been open since June 26 in defiance of Gov. Roy Cooper's executive order. Reached by phone, owner Paul Kreins said he planned to remain open at least through Saturday while he consults with his attorney and other local elected officials on whether he should comply with the state Supreme Court's order.

"Defying the executive order was one thing, but defying the Supreme Court could be another," he said. "I just don't know."

Other bowling alleys the remained open Wednesday were Pla More Lanes in Statesville, Textile Lanes in Belmont, and Woodleaf Lanes in Salisbury. An employee at Woodleaf Lanes said the bowling alley planned to close down on Thursday in compliance with the court, while an employee at Textile Lanes said the staff was waiting to see the next round of litigation before closing back down.

All Buffaloe Lanes locations in the North Carolina Triangle also remained open Wednesday, though it was unclear whether they planned to close in the coming days.

The order from the state Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively reversed an order issued days earlier by another judge that allowed many bowling alleys to reopen. Judge James Gale found that Cooper's executive order keeping bowling alleys closed wrongly treated them differently then other businesses with similar levels of risk for spreading the coronavirus.

However, the state Supreme Court disagreed, finding that Gale's order could make it harder to reopen schools and other businesses.

The Bowling Proprieters Association of the Carolinas and Georgia, which filed the suit, said its attorneys planned to submit additional filings to the state Supreme Court on Monday. The association hoped to schedule a hearing in the coming weeks and argue that bowling alleys should be allowed to reopen under North Carolina's Phase 2 of reopening.

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