Chuck E. Cheese’s Guam is officially closing its doors for good.
In a post from the local franchise, the owners say “we regret to announce that in the next few weeks, we will be officially closing our doors.”
Dave Alcorn, the Vice President at GFS Group, which operates the kids’ entertainment franchise, confirmed with PNC News that the official closing is Sunday October 18.
In an interview on Newstalk K57 in May, Alcorn had indicated that the restaurant/arcade may never reopen.
At the time, Alcorn said the final decision had not been made, but that GFS has an option to get out of the lease at Guam Premier Outlets in October (next month).
“We have a fork in the road on our lease extension and, we’ve been successful…but my wife, Lucy, keeps asking ‘do we want to be the one that had an [COVID] outbreak among kids at Chuck E.’ Ultimately, kids have different hygiene practices than adults,” said Alcorn.
Adding: “these are different times…things have changed a lot,” said Alcorn, adding the big question, “would you take your kids to Chuck E. Cheese right now?”
Reflecting on the bigger picture, he said, “that business model [children’s dining and entertainment spaces], may never recover.”
According to Alcorn, Chuck E. Cheese corporate says they will not reopen stateside locations until at least the beginning of 2021.
However, the 43-year-old chain’s parent company CEC Entertainment Inc. filed for bankruptcy at the end of June. The chain was said to be struggling even before the coronavirus pandemic. But, it said the prolonged closure of many venues due to coronavirus restrictions led to the Chapter 11 filing.
CEC and its franchisees operate 734 restaurants in 47 states and 16 countries.