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New wave of businesses open

Photo by Michele Newbanks Grace Erlwein, 16, of Watertown, prepares to hit the golf ball Wednesday afternoon at the Pioneer Family Golf Center in Marietta. She and Christian Schwendeman, 18, of Fleming, played at the 18-hole miniature golf course as a way to get fresh air.

As part of Responsible RestartOhio, more local venues can open, although many are opting to wait.

Places such as museums, movie theaters, outdoor playgrounds and public recreation centers can open as long as they follow retail, consumer, service and entertainment guidelines.

Campus Martius Museum is planning to open its doors on June 25.

Glenna Hoff, director of education and programs, said the staff at the museum want to keep people safe, so they are taking extra time for planning.

“To do so, we will submit to the Ohio History Connection the protocol that will cover what we intend to do to make that happen,” she said. “If by chance we would omit something in our plan, they will be able to advise us as to changes that need to be made.”

The staff will be required to wear masks, but visitors can do so at their discretion.

“We also want to be sure that we have all the necessary cleaning supplies that we will need to provide, as much as humanly possible, a clean and sanitary museum,” she added.

She noted there will be a limit to the number of people permitted to tour the Rufus Putnam House and the WP Snyder Jr. at any given time.

“We want people to have a wonderful visit,” Hoff said. “To make this happen, we want to have a well-thought out plan that will enable us to make it happen.”

Others that have not yet opened are the Castle Museum, Riverside Artists Gallery and North Hills Lanes. Renovations are being done at Pastime Lanes and they will open in a few weeks. Bowling alleys, along with miniature golf venues and batting cages, were allowed to open May 26.

A business being closed for an extended period of time can be detrimental.

“We closed the indoor place down permanently because we were shut down for so long,” said Charles Watson, owner of Thomas Family Entertainment. They had opened the inflatable playground on Ohio 7 near Poynter’s Business Solutions not long before the pandemic began.

One business that opened May 26 and is doing booming business is the Pioneer Family Golf Center in Marietta. Their miniature golf course normally opens the first week of March, but was forced to hold off. It is open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“People were calling and asking when it would open,” said Tina Miller, clubhouse manager.

She said they usually see a lot of kids once school is out.

“Now, pools are closed and there’s nothing to do,” she added. “We’ve been busy. People want to come and do something outside.”

Grace Erlwein, 16, of Watertown, and Christian Schwendeman, 18, of Fleming, played the 18-hole course Wednesday afternoon.

“We were just looking to get out,” Erlwein said. “We thought it might rain, but it’s held off.”

The Odyssey Lafayette Square 7 movie theater will be open Friday through Sunday starting this week. Prices are $5 per person.

According to their website, the auditoriums will be limited to 25 percent of capacity for the time being. People are being asked to keep three seats between them and other groups.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

Some of the venues allowed to reopen on Wednesday:

•Art galleries.

•Indoor family entertainment centers.

• Indoor movie theaters.

•Indoor sports facilities.

•Museums.

•Outdoor playgrounds.

•Public recreation centers.

•Roller skating rinks.

•Social clubs.

Source: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

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