Apex Entertainment has indefinitely closed its Destiny USA bowling alley, virtual reality, laser tag and arcade center on the third floor of Destiny USA. But it’s not because it’s in an orange zone.
The owners decided to shut down last week after Onondaga County officials issued three $1,000 fines over three consecutive days for Covid compliance violations.
The company believes it was unfairly targeted by county representatives who refused to identify themselves or listen to explanations, said Rob Luzzi, company spokesman.
For example, one complaint alleged kids were playing arcade games, which have not been allowed to reopen in New York state. The games are lit up at the entrance, but they are not operable for play, Luzzi said.
Another objection was levied against people who were not wearing masks. Luzzi said they were eating. The business has a restaurant with a full menu and bar.
“They gave us a fine and walked out,” he said. “They don’t even know their own guidelines.”
Apex Entertainment opened in December 2018. It is a 55,000-square-foot facility in the canyon section on the third floor of the Syracuse mall. It had 75 employees.
Like the rest of Destiny USA, Apex closed in March, when non-essential workers were sent home to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Apex reopened at the beginning of October with limited hours and about 20 workers. They started marketing to companies and college students with the hopes of generating small-group bowling and laser tag nights at a time when big holiday parties are not allowed, he said.
About six weeks later, they shut down again. The 20 employees were laid off again, he said.
“We can’t be operating more in the red than we already were,” he said.
This time, Luzzi said, the Syracuse operation will likely stay closed until there is a vaccine. He said other locations, including the one in Albany, remain open. Other locations have not been fined, he said.
Luzzi said the owners intend to fight the $1,000 fines. He said there have been no Covid exposures at the business.
“The decision was made at the corporate level that essentially, if we’re going to get our chops busted, it’s not worth it,” he said.
Luzzi said he did not have information about the company’s lease agreement with Destiny USA.
There was no immediate response from a county spokesman.
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