As Topgolf prepares for grand opening, other entertainment venues remain closed

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — While Topgolf in Albuquerque prepares for its grand opening, you may be wondering why other entertainment venues are still closed.

Topgolf is considered an outdoor recreational facility like a golf course, driving range, or even a restaurant. Those establishments are all operating at some capacity right now.

Currently, Bernalillo County is still in the red zone. Recreational facilities in red counties are still allowed to operate at 25-percent capacity. Restaurants in this zone can also open at 25-percent capacity for outdoor dining.

Topgolf had a soft opening Monday. People have to make a reservation ahead of their visit, but officials said they sold out for the week. The official grand opening is Friday.

“We’ve been working closely with state and county health officials to make sure that we’re abiding by everything with the county and state,” said Peter Bowman, Director of Operations at Topgolf Albuquerque.

Bowman said they’re following all the COVID safe measures.

“We have a reservation only outdoor tee line online, so we’re closing our indoor areas,” said Bowman.

Bowman said they’ve already hired 260 associates and 28 managers.

New Mexicans are already lining up to get in on the fun.

Along with Topgolf, Isleta Resort and Casino will be opening back up this Wednesday morning.

While casinos are not allowed to open under current restrictions, tribal casinos operate on tribal land, which means they operate under tribal sovereignty. State officials don’t have the power to require tribal casinos to follow state restrictions.

According to Isleta’s website, it will re-open at 9 a.m. Wednesday. It does say not all amenities will be available and they could have limited hours.

Many other entertainment venues are hurting because of the pandemic. Hinkle Family Fun Center offers outdoor activities, and there are some other places that could seemingly open in a limited fashion.

KOB requested an interview with state officials about the matter, but did not get one. However, there is a comprehensive breakdown on the Department of Health’s website.

Even once Bernalillo County makes it to the green zone, close contact recreational facilities will still remain closed. That includes places like movie theaters, indoor museums with interactive displays, mini golf, arcades, amusement parks, aquariums, casinos, concert venues, and more.