The Pinball Palace in Brunswick earned national recognition earlier this year as the nation’s No. 2 pinball arcade.
But instead of having an opportunity to build on that reputation, the COVID-19 outbreak forced owner Kelley Daniel to close the business at 3303 Hopkins Ave. until it’s safe to reopen.
When it reopens, regular customers will notice a few changes, including new carpeting, air conditioning system and a fresh coat of paint.
Daniel and his staff also are busy sanitizing the 150 games, including the 100 pinball machines and the bounce room for children, though he's unsure when youth will be allowed inside the room after the business reopens.
“It’s hard to keep kids from social distancing in that room,” he said.
A plan he's developing calls for opening the doors to the public by June or July.
One option under consideration is turning off every other game to create distance between players. On a typical weekend, the customer count can rise to 300 and to as many as 400.
“There are alternatives,” he said.
While Daniel’s arcade business is closed, his other business, Rent All of Glynn, is as busy as it was prior to the pandemic.
He hasn’t had to lay off staff because of the demand for rental equipment.
Daniel believes the steady business is the result of people using the time off work to make home improvements.
“We’re seeing a lot of customers, old and new,” he said.