Bowling alley forced to close; owners told they weren’t permitted to open in phase 2

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White Oak Bowling Lanes has been around for over 60 years

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WDVM) — A longtime business was forced to close in Montgomery County, Maryland earlier this week – and it was all because of a misunderstanding.

White Oak Bowling Lanes closed their doors March 18 during the start of the pandemic that has put thousands of businesses in limbo. As Montgomery County entered phase two, the company owners said they did research and even contacted the county executive’s office, but say they didn’t get a clear answer.

“There was a lot of confusion with the openings going on around this area, Maryland went into phase two and part of phase two openings were that bowling alleys were allowed to reopen,” said George Sloan, White Oak Bowling Lanes, owner.

Business went on as usual but the county then received a complaint stating the business was operating when they weren’t supposed to be opened. The couple said they reached out to County Executive Marc Elrich for guidance, but no luck.

“Just to sit and talk with him and show him what we were doing and plead for him to possibly amend the executive orders,” said Stacy Sloan, White Oak Bowling Lanes, owner.

“I really, strongly believe that we can operate just as well, if not better, as a lot of these companies that are open right now,” said George.

Officials say Montgomery County has inspectors to monitor, enforce, and educate businesses on regulations but not enough to pursue the whole county. Bowling alleys are permitted to open in neighboring counties including Frederick.

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