As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the globe, it also continues to impact the amusement industry. Here are some of the most recent closures and responses from businesses during these trying times. (Please visit our Instant RePlay page to see other recent news.)
Manufacturer Coastal Amusements is suspending all business activity beginning today, March 20, according to the company, “in an effort to minimize the health concerns to our employees as well as the costs to the business.” They will evaluate the situation in the next two weeks. “It is our hope that we will be able to resume business activities again on April 6.” That, they say, is dependent on the status of the COVID-19 virus status at that time. Updates will be made available at www.coastalamusements.com.
Crane and game maker Smart Industries is operating with essential staff internally while others are functioning from home. “Our first and foremost priority is the health and well-being of our staff, customers, and associates. We have implemented internal policies to ensure we are following all of the recommended guidelines being provided by government agencies,” they wrote. “Currently we are providing support for sales, parts and tech support. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that may occur surrounding any request we cannot deliver. Our hope is that this event passes quickly, and all can re-establish operations as soon as possible.”
Citing their primary concern being the “health and security of each employee,” Shaffer Distributing has decided to close their office and send all personnel home “to stay as isolated as possible with their families.” The company has set up essential personnel to have the capabilities to work from home. Their phones are being transferred and employees are monitoring emails as well. The protocol will stay in place until further notice, and they note the situation is being managed on a day-by-day basis. Email [email protected] with any questions.
Shaffer’s operating arm, Shaffer Entertainment, decided to send many of its employees home, and noted they’ll be “sparsely available” for “911 equipment calls only.” “We will do our best to respond, but we do not wish to risk your health or our employees’ health unnecessarily during this pandemic situation we’re all in right now,” said Andy Shaffer in a note to customers published March 18. “As my father Steve Shaffer says; ‘If I’m not healthy, I’m no good to anyone.’” Shaffer also said: “We feel your financial agony as we mutually depend on your business staying open & healthy. We will be extremely limited in our employee resources until we all get the “GREEN LIGHT” from our gov’t to re-open all public gathering locations. We will all get through this challenge together, as difficult as this will be on all of us.”
CoinUp/Play Mechanix/Raw Thrills
The company that manages Big Buck HD, CoinUp wanted to assure its customers that they take “the health and well-being of our customers very seriously.” They added: “We realize that many bars, restaurants and game rooms that may have a Big Buck HD machine are being required to close. Since your business may be directly affected by these circumstances, we will be waiving the Big Buck HD monthly service fee and software upgrade fee beginning 3/16/2020 and continuing through the end of March. This credit will automatically be applied to your next CoinUp bill. There is no need to take any further action on your part.” They will evaluate the situation again in April. If you have any questions, email [email protected] or call 866-646-1975.
The New Jersey-based Alpha-Omega Amusements is “actively monitoring the rapid concern in relation to the coronavirus,” but has opted to remain operating under normal conditions as of March 16. Their sales, parts, service and merchandise teams are available from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern time. You can also reach them at [email protected]. The company will be keeping customers updated if anything changes.