Local family entertainment businesses frustrated over delay in reopening

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- While most local gyms and bars begin to reopen, places like arcades and movie theatres, along with other family entertainment centers remain closed in Fresno.

Blackbeard's Family Entertainment General Manager Joe Simmons was expecting to welcome back guests Friday. That was until health officials this week pushed back the reopening date to June 26th after seeing a recent jump in COVID-19 cases.

"It's just the never-ending frustration that's going on right now," says Simmons.

"That's the running joke here, it's always two weeks. You're a couple of weeks away from the Shelter in Place, the next meeting or the next group of businesses that will be allowed to open. If you look throughout the state of California there are already businesses that are doing what we're doing. Just to not be given a chance, Fresno has been very difficult."

Less than 5 miles away in Clovis, No Surrender Adventure Park has reopened.

Management there did not want to go on camera but told Action News their agreement with the City of Clovis allows them to open their doors and start making money again.

"Just complete unfair treatment, from one county to the next or one city to the next, it's completely unfair," says Simmons.

Most of Blackbeard's attractions are outdoors, stretched across 16 acres.

Simmons believes his team has done enough to ensure the public's safety to be allowed to reopen.

"We have the training, we have the capabilities and space to really distance people. We've put so much into upgrades and barriers and screening employees and temperature checks. we're ready for it. We're just not being given the chance," says Simmons.

Until they receive the green light from health officials, the arcade, miniature golf and race cars will all remain in a holding pattern.
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