It’s game on – with a bit of a difference – at Capital City Arcade.
After being shuttered by COVID-19, the business is reopening its doors in Sapperton on Friday, July 10. Customers will have a chance to play about 70 classic video games, including some new ones that were refurbished during the closure.
"We are humbled by all the supportive messages we have had from our customers and the New West community while we have been closed,” owners Brad and Maryanne Eyers said in an email to the Record. “We can't wait to everyone again."
According to the Eyers, British Columbia’s reopening plan is missing reopening guidelines for arcades, kids play places and family amusement centres, but they’ve implementing major changes in order to open up as safely as possible.
“We have made considerable changes to our arcade to make it a safe place for our customers to play classic games and for our employees and family to work. It's a tough balance right now to open responsibly and to pay our bills,” said the Eyers. “We are preferring to err on the side of safety by significantly reducing our capacity and closing multiple times a day for deep cleaning of all of our games and other high-touch surfaces."
Capital City Arcade has temporarily removed its pinball machines to allow for more space on the floor, so customers won’t need quarters because all games are included with the $20 admission for a two-hour session. The arcade’s nacho bar has also closed temporarily.
In order to allow for social distancing, Capital City Arcade has cut its occupancy by 50%. That means 20 customers will be permitted in the space at any given time.
Other changes include an online ticket system where customers can book their session ahead of time and contactless mobile check-in, where customers can show a QR code instead of printed tickets. The business will be closing shop between sessions for one hour so staff can do a thorough cleaning of all high-touch surfaces.
Inside the space at 457 East Columbia St., customers will notice that the games have been rearranged to provide as much social distancing as possible in the space. Hand sanitizer will be available at the door and throughout the arcade.
“You’ll be asked to use hand sanitizer when you check-in to keep everyone safe while at the arcade and to use hand sanitizer on your way out to protect yourself and others after leaving in the arcade,” said a notice about the new guidelines. “Everyone is encouraged to use our washrooms to wash your hands.”
Enhanced cleaning procedures include regular wiping down e
Each control panel, button and joystick will be regularly wiped down, as will all door handles and bathrooms.
Along with staff training related to social distancing and and sanitizing, employees will be wearing non-medical masks while in the arcade, using gloves when cleaning and getting monitored for their health at the beginning of each shift.
Capital City Arcade asks that customers use hand sanitizer and wash their hands frequently when they’re at the arcade, keep their distance from other people as they move around the arcade, avoid touching their face while playing games and stay at home if they’re not feeling well.
Masks are a must for all customers as they will reduce respiratory droplets in the air and on the games. The arcade will have a limited number of masks available, but people are encouraged to bring their own masks from home.
“Our space is small and we feel this is the biggest way everyone can work together to keep people safe while in the arcade,” said a notice. “If you feel that wearing a mask while playing games is not possible, please postpone your visit until we all can be without masks in small indoor spaces.”
More details about the arcade’s reopening plan can be found at www.capcityarcade.com.