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In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Bad Axe Throwing reopened Friday after getting the green light from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to do so, nearly a month since being forced to close by state mandate to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But the Westside entertainment facility, at 1257 Marietta Blvd NW, didn’t reopen to a line of Atlantans with bells on, eager to chuck axes for “quarantine and stress relief” as President and CEO Mario Zelaya had hoped.
“We did a lot of marketing,” Zelaya said.
“We spent a lot of money letting people know we’re open. It had ZERO impact. The reopening weekend was a disaster. We had [two] customers all weekend. This points to a bigger problem the entertainment industry is going to have.”
Here are some of the safety guidelines being taken by Bad Axe:
- Wipe down of all axes with Clorox wipes after each event
- Clean tables & surfaces of group after each event
- Limited Capacity: reduction in occupant load to ensure we only use EVERY OTHER target in the facility so we adhere to a 6ft distance guidelines
- Coaches will maintain distance and not make any contact with customers:
- Credit card processing will be done at a distance where customers can drop off credit card on table, step back, coaches step forward, swipe, leave POS on table for signature by customer (if signature is required)
- Staff with any symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) cannot enter the facility for at least 72 hours
“We prepared for the worse, but this weekend of only [two] customers was something we never imagined,” Zelaya said.
“Bars, bowling alleys, movie theatres, axe throwing, and any other entertainment concepts are going to have the most difficult time reaching normalcy after the closures. This past weekend showed us that. It’s very worrisome for our Atlanta location.”
Owners of other entertainment facilities, like The Painted Pin, felt Friday was too early to open, calling a rush to do so a “nail in the coffin for many companies.”
“We are scared to death about the new norms, strict limitations, and guidelines that will make it impossible to be financially viable,” Owner Justin Amick said in a prepared statement to What Now Atlanta on the decision last week.
“A rushed reopening could be the nail in the coffin for many companies. We won’t risk the safety of our staff, families, and patrons, as their well being is of the utmost importance. We look forward to digesting all the information and making the best decision that aligns and serves our entire community.”
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]