MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - Businesses that could once count on a packed house on the weekends have been doing their best to survive, but those in Clackamas and Multnomah counties experienced another hit Friday.
Those counties joined several others in moving from moderate to high risk under the governor’s country risk guidelines. That means they went from allowing 50% capacity to just 25%.
Family fun centers say that’s a big hit after only being able to be open for a couple months now.
“Demand has been excellent since we opened in February. So, that’s been great,” said Tom Burke, the owner of KingPins.
KingPins will have to limit capacity at its southeast Portland location starting Friday and lasting at least two weeks.
“The challenge for us is this going back and forth right now,” Burke said.
It’s the same story for businesses in Clackamas County, like Bullwinkles in Wilsonville.
“It’s going to be long lines to get in the building and people are just going to have to wait, which is frustrating,” said General Manager Darren Harmon.
Just 45 minutes after opening Friday, lines to get in were already wrapping around Bullwinkles’ building.
“We had waits even at the 50% capacity the last couple of weeks,” Harmon said.
Families were told to expect long wait times to enjoy attractions like go karts, bumper boats and mini golf.
Both businesses say that reducing capacity so dramatically makes it hard to be able to make a profit and also to keep the employees they’ve been able to hire back.
“We’re only going to be open five days a week so that we can keep on the staff that we’ve hired back and let them continue to work,” Harmon said.
“We employ nearly 200 team members. They count on us for a regular schedule, they count on us for a regular paycheck to be able to support themselves and their families,” said Burke.
Burke and Harmon both say they would like to see changes to the metrics to allow businesses with such large facilities to be able to welcome guests.
“We’re really looking for Governor Brown to make another adjustment to relax these guidelines now that almost all Oregonians are eligible or will soon be eligible for a vaccine,” said Burke.
They say that even with social distancing and following safety guidelines, their facilities can hold far more people than the state will allow.
This week the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association urged the governor to start using hospitalizations as the determining metric for county risk levels. They also called on the governor to allow businesses like restaurants to always have 50% capacity or more.
Burke and Harmon say they would agree with these kinds of changes to the metrics.