It’s not quite business-as-usual, but leading amusement industry companies are doing their best to keep operations going in some capacity during the coronavirus pandemic that continues to create closures, cancellations and general unease in the country (in addition to the obvious health implications, of course).
From amusement locations such as Jenkinson’s Boardwalk on the Jersey Shore, Los Angeles’ Two Bit Circus and The VOID VR arcades to events like the Texas Pinball Festival and many more, closures, cancellations and postponements have been the norm during the past week or so, and will likely continue through at least March 31, which is how long the U.S. government’s initial “social distancing” and “self-quarantining” recommendations suggest. Read your local newspaper to keep up-to-date on what’s happening in your area, as some of these recommendations have been made mandatory by the closure of bars, restaurants, etc. in places like Los Angeles County, where RePlay is headquartered. For example, the Asbury Park Press reported that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy closed all indoor shopping malls, amusement parks and amusement centers until further notice. The order came a day after Murphy closed all casinos, racetracks, bars, movie theaters, nightclubs, performing arts centers and gyms until further notice and set a voluntary curfew, asking all residents to stay home between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Here is how some of our industry’s leaders are responding:
Shaffer Distributing is “continuing to navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 public health crisis” by limiting office access to team members only at the moment. They are still available for sales, parts and service support via phone at 800-282-0194 and through their website, www.shafferdistributing.com. They have also restricted all in-person travel and service until further notice. “We are going to do our best to minimize any in-person interactions as much as we can,” the company said.
LAI Games is also keeping a close eye on the outbreak’s developments. As of Monday, March 17, they moved to a remote workforce with a limited number of staff members working in the office, and have restricted all business travel. The sales, support and parts departments are fully operational, and parts orders can be placed at any time at www.parts.laigames.com. “Our top concern is for the health and welfare of our staff, partners and customers,” they said. “We ask that customers do not visit our offices, but conduct business with us remotely instead. We will notify our customers of any changes to our operations as soon as possible.”
Apple Industries echoed a similar sentiment. They, too, have suspended all non-essential business travel. They have also taken the step of temporarily restricting deliveries, customer parts pick-up, service and repair drop-offs. The company asks you to contact [email protected] to have your repaired parts shipped. “Most of our team members are now working remotely,” they said. “You should not see any difference from how you normally communicate with our teams.”
Bob’s Space Racers is also taking precautions like limiting business travel for all of its employees, including repair trips, installations, trade shows and more. They have also limited deliveries, customer parts pick-ups and service and repair drop-offs from customers. You can email them at [email protected] or call 386-677-0761 ext. 131 to arrange to have parts shipped. They have also temporarily limited customer visits and suspended all factory tours. You can always go to www.bobsspaceracers.com to submit sales, parts and other inquiries.