From bowling alleys to hot springs, local attractions respond differently to coronavirus phase two reopening
Sam Klomhaus — Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, May 22, 2020
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Enterprise photos by Nate Howard

Rod Lee, owner of Livingston’s Treasure Lanes, cleans bowling balls Thursday in preparation for the bowling alley to open up June 1.

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Paper bowling ball graphics on the floor, at 6 feet apart, encourage bowlers to maintain social distancing.

Following Gov. Steve Bullock’s announcement that Montana will be entering phase two of reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, area attractions are responding in different ways.

Bullock said Tuesday that pools, bowling alleys and other gathering places can open at 75 percent of capacity June 1, as long as social distancing can be maintained; and restaurants, bars, casinos and breweries can go from 50 percent capacity to 75 percent capacity.

To start phase two, the Chico Hot Springs Pool will be open to hotel guests only.

“It’s almost a soft opening,” Chico owner Colin Davis said Thursday.

There’s no timeline yet for when the public may be allowed in the pool, Davis said.

“We’re going to follow the governor’s directive to the letter of the law,” he said.

Navigating the disinfecting and social distancing guidelines is going to be a moving target, Davis said, but the resort has hired a full-time disinfecting team.

South of Chico, Yellowstone Hot Springs announced Friday it will open at 1 p.m. on June 5, with open hours from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday until June 16, when it will be open 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Meanwhile, Rod Lee, owner of Livingston’s Treasure Lanes, said the plan is for the bowling alley to open up June 1, with a changed floor plan and sanitation policy to follow disinfecting and social distancing guidelines.

Lee said he has canceled leagues until September, although he will allow leagues that were in progress when the bowling alley closed to wrap up.

The bowling alley’s new hours haven’t been pinned down yet, Lee said, but it will definitely be open Monday through Friday, with weekends yet to be determined.

“It’s just nice to be able to get back open,” Lee said.

Livingston Recreation Department Director Maggie Tarr said the city pool will not open June 1, and that the city is shooting for a mid-June opening.

City Manager Michael Kardoes said while the pool will open in some form, people will have to be flexible. The biggest issue is staffing, Kardoes said, and there will have to be adjustments with hours and what’s open at which times.

“We’re working through a lot of scenarios,” he said.

Yellowstone National Park and the state of Montana will announce a target reopening date for the park’s north gate at Gardiner “soon,” according to a park press release posted Thursday.

Bullock announced Tuesday the target date was June 1, the day his out-of-state travel restrictions expire.

Yellowstone’s south and east gates opened Monday, with significantly reduced traffic compared to previous years.

And, a note on a local restaurant that’s been closed for some time: Although restaurants have been able to open since May 4 with reduced seating capacity, Neptune’s Taphouse and Eatery will reopen June 1, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.