Arcades still waiting for green light to reopen

Mark Mulholland
Created: July 28, 2020 07:08 PM

LAKE GEORGE - The only attention the games are getting at Lake George vacation staple Playland Arcade is the spray of disinfectant.

Owner Chuck Leonelli wasn't allowed to open his business of 50 years because of COVID-19, so he went to work making it safe for guests and staff.

He's allowing only one entrance to limit the number of guests inside. He bought thermometers to take everyone's temperature and gloves for guests who want them.

He added 10 touchless hand sanitizing units, removed 30 machines, spaced others so they're not within six feet of one another, and put Plexiglas between others.

He's also completely revamped the area where kids pick out their prizes, so families are safely separated.

"We've done everything that we could think of to make as safe for our staff and for our customers," Leonellis said.

Leonelli also points out that people can wear masks the entire time they're playing games.

Lake George Mayor Robert Blais says Playland should be allowed to reopen. "They've gone far beyond what's necessary to abide to the regulations. They're small business people; they're not chains. They're losing almost their entire summer so far."

However, the doors remain closed.

The state includes Leonelli's small arcade in with large amusement parks.

"The state of New York has done a phenomenal job fighting this virus. I'm not here to criticize, but I'd like a chance to show that we can be safe."

With bills piling up for all the modifications and things like insurance, Leonelli remains optimistic that at some point soon many of the families passing by his business will be allowed to come in.

"The thing that makes me hopeful is I look at the place and I say, 'Wow it's so much safer than a lot of the places I've been to.'"

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