Pineville arcade owner questions why arcades still can't open under Governor's plan

(Source: KALB)
(Source: KALB)(KNOE)
Published: May. 17, 2020 at 4:38 PM CDT
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UPDATED: 1 PM Saturday

Most types of businesses can reopen under phase one, including everything from casinos to movie theaters. However, arcades are noticeably excluded by Governor Edwards’ plan.

Wayback’s Arcade in Pineville just opened on Valentine's Day, and the owners say their first month in business wildly surpassed their expectations. That streak of good fortune came to a screeching halt when they were forced to close their doors along with everyone else in March.

The owners say they've spent the last month adding new games to their lineup and coming up with a plan to keep the machines even cleaner than before. However, to their surprise, arcades were listed as one of the types of businesses not allowed to reopen, and with no clear guidelines on whether they'll even be included in phase two. Co-owner Jeremy Shepherd says they want to open, and he thinks the governor's order is unfair to his business.

"You know it almost feels like the government gets to pick who wins and who loses and we're on the short end of the stick right now. I say that knowing people are concerned and there are many who still want businesses to remain closed and we're aware of that. We were going to do our best and we are going to do our best when we open to maintain a safe, clean, fun, place where people can come following the guidelines,” says Shepherd.

Wayback's has seven employees who are currently on furlough. They say one positive is that their landlord has been flexible with them. Wayback's Arcade says that they don't want to have to defy the governor's order, but that they have a reopening date in mind. If other businesses such as casinos are back in business for several weeks and arcades still haven't been told they're allowed to open, Wayback's says they will be forced to make a call to open again in order to stay in business. The arcade hopes that Governor Edwards might reconsider and allow arcades to open by early June.

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