Bob Burnham, president of the Colorado Amusement Machine Assn. (CAMO), reports that amusements have been given approval to operate in the state, albeit with restrictions as in other locales. Beyond more general best practices from the state and rules for “indoor events,” game guidance states:
- Indoor arcades themselves may open up to 50% capacity or a maximum of 50 people per room, whichever is fewer. (There is a calculator for indoor events to determine how many people can be accommodated per room based on “medium” viral transmission.)
- Arcades with foodservice should follow restaurant guidance for designated dining areas. (This is to keep dining and game-playing areas separate “as much as possible.”)
- Disinfect high-touch areas and equipment.
- Limit player group size to no more than four people and maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing between groups.
- Lower or turn off the volume on games to reduce the need to speak loudly “as forced exhalation increases the risk of transmission”
Burnham, who actually got the good news on Sept. 11 as he was at the airport to head to Florida for AMOA’s board meeting, said that CAMO had been working with attorneys hoping to affect change without having to file a lawsuit. While they hadn’t been able to reach the governor directly, they did have success in connecting with the heads of the health department. “We had a good working rapport with them and they said they understood and were pretty sympathetic. We worked back and forth, negotiating with them.”
When we spoke to Burnham on Sept. 17, he had returned from the Florida meeting and was hard at work resetting his stops. “Yesterday, I got four locations opened. It’s really good and it marks the first victory for CAMO as a group,” he enthused. “We’re actually 33 members strong now. It’s pretty great!”
About the state of things in Colorado, Burnham said, “It’s good and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Just the week before I left for the meeting, I was pulling machines out of locations because it’s getting cold out there. We’ve already had six inches of snow –– it was in the 90s one day, and 28 degrees the next. So, all our patios are shut down and it’s that time of year when they’re looking for seating inside.” He said that since games weren’t allowed, locations would simply want them taken out so they’d have more room for tables and seating indoors.
He continued, “It’s going to be hard to get the games back into those places, too. That’s the sad thing. A lot of them have rearranged to have more table space so for the locations that have pulled the machines, it’s going to be tough to get them back inside.”
Overall though, Burnham is happy about the change. “We’re very excited about it. We did lose the summer income from a lot of those seasonal venues, but it is what it is. Something is better than nothing.”