The Latest: Fun center closes due to pandemic losses; two big Indy events canceled

Get the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic in this ongoing series of updates:

5:10 p.m., July 21

Pandemic leads to Main Event closure on 86th Street

The Texas-based fun-center chain Main Event Entertainment has permanently closed its Indianapolis location at 4016 E. 82nd St.

The location, which featured bowling, arcade games, laser tag, billiards and a full-service bar, opened in mid-2017. It closed March 17 amidst the coronavirus pandemic and never reopened.

“As we refine our business in response to COVID-19, we’ve had to make decisions that are best for the long-term health of the company,” Main Event Head of Communications Doug Terfehr told IBJ Tuesday via e-mail. “At this time, we regretfully have ended operations at the Indianapolis center. It has been our privilege to be part of this great city, and we thank our loyal guests for their support.”

Main Event operates 44 fun centers around the U.S. The Indianapolis site was the company’s only Indiana location.

On Tuesday afternoon the company’s website listed a handful of its locations as temporarily closed. The Indianapolis location is the only one that Main Event has closed permanently, Terfehr said.

Founded in 1998, Main Event is based in the Dallas suburb of Plano.

5 p.m., July 21

Two big Indy events canceled

The Indianapolis Zoo has canceled this year’s Zoobilation fundraising event, which had already been postponed to Aug. 14 to accommodate social distancing due the coronavirus. It’s the zoo’s signature fundraiser and last year brought in $2.5 million for operations and conservation efforts.

See story here.

Also, the annual Penrod Arts Fair, which for more than 50 years has served as the unofficial kickoff of the fall arts season in Indianapolis, has been canceled this year due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-day fundraiser for local arts organizations and other not-for-profit groups typically draws 20,000 attendees and hundreds of artists and performers to the grounds of the Newfields complex at 38th Street and Michigan Road.

See the Penrod story here.

2:55 p.m., July 17

Indiana State School Music Association calls off marching band events

The Indiana State School Music Association on Friday announced that it would cancel all live marching band events overseen by the organization this year because of the pandemic.

Nearly 200 schools and thousands of students in Indiana participate in different classes of ISSMA events each fall.

Mitch Bridgewater, executive director of ISSMA, said the decision will not prevent individual school bands from performing in their own school events, including high school football games if they take place this fall.

The cancellations apply to dozens of competitive and non-competitive events, most of which that had been scheduled for October.

Among them is the multi-class state tournament that culminates in 40 different schools competing for state titles at Lucas Oil Stadium. This year’s state finals had been scheduled for Nov. 7.

Bridgewater said the ISSMA was looking into whether noncompetitive virtual events could still be scheduled in which individual bands could still be assessed and rated.

Many marching bands have started summer practice schedules following specific guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Federation of State High School Associations and state and local officials.

The ISSMA Executive Committee determined those guidelines and measures “could not be effectively put in place to ensure a safe environment for students, directors, supporting personnel, adjudicators, workers, and spectators at a live marching band event.”

“It is our fervent hope that we will be able to return to live Marching Band events in the fall of 2021 and assist our member schools in carrying on the proud heritage of marching bands in the State of Indiana,” the ISSMA said.

2 p.m., July 17

Clay Terrace hits pause on pre-pandemic plan to add apartments, offices, hotel

Pier 1 Imports is closing its Clay Terrace store as part of the parent company’s bankruptcy and shutdown of all 540 locations. (IBJ photo/Mickey Shuey)

The owner of Clay Terrace has told the city of Carmel it has decided to put the brakes on an ambitious plan to diversify the lifestyle center by adding a 140-room hotel, 290 apartments and 200,000 square feet of office space.

Columbus, Ohio-based Washington Prime Group, which was spun out of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group in 2014, announced the expansion in February, a month before COVID-19 led to social-distancing recommendations and stay-at-home orders that emptied out shopping centers nationwide.

According to the city, Washington Prime is waiting for the pandemic to wane before proceeding with the project, which also called for 70,000 square feet more retail to the 578,000-square-foot center.

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11:35 a.m., July 17

Two local restaurant groups to require masks at all eateries

Two of the Indianapolis area’s top independent restaurant groups announced Friday that they would begin requiring customers to wear masks in their eateries starting Monday.

Cunningham Restaurant Group and Huse Culinary—which altogether operate more than 30 eateries—said they were taking the step to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect fellow diners and employees.

The restaurants said guests would need to wear face coverings when they are walking through common areas of the business, but not when they were dining. Guests who are not able to wear a mask due to medical conditions are being asked to consider a face shield.

Marion County already requires citizens to wear masks in public, so the new rule means a change only at Cunningham and Huse restaurants outside of Indianapolis.

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10:59 a.m., July 17

Group planning weekend anti-mask rally at Indiana Statehouse

A group that protested against Indiana’s stay-at-home orders in April near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic plans to rally against face masks this weekend.

The Indiana Conservative Alliance and Grassroots Conservatives said the Anti-Mask Protest Rally is scheduled for Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. south of the Indiana Statehouse.

Robert Hall, leader of the organization, said the group feels that mask mandates are a government overstep that interfere with individual liberties.

“It’s time to stop any shutdown of the Indiana economy,” Hall said. “Government overreach did not eliminate the spread of the China virus nor prevent deaths.” Hall added

Rallies held by the group at the Statehouse and at the governor’s residence in April drew several hundred people in April.

Hall said the group does not believe masks are effective in stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“It is unnecessary to wear masks,” he said. “Masks have little effect on reducing the spread of the China virus and give a false sense of health safety. Wearing masks can be harmful to your health, causing oxygen deficiency and toxic carbon dioxide in your blood.”

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2 thoughts on “The Latest: Fun center closes due to pandemic losses; two big Indy events canceled

  1. I’ve never once heard a doctor, nurse, or dentist complain of oxygen deficiency or toxic carbon dioxide in their blood. Don’t be silly; this is simply not true. I hope the next time you need surgery the doctor forgets to wear a mask and see how much you like it.

  2. This sentence explains the closed mindedness of this group…. “Masks have little effect on reducing the spread of the China virus and give a false sense of health safety. Wearing masks can be harmful to your health, causing oxygen deficiency and toxic carbon dioxide in your blood.”

    The heading of this part of the article should have been…..”Indy expects sharp increase in cases expected following misguided rally”…they might not be wearing white hoods, but the premise is all the same.

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