QUINCY — Jeff Scott believes enough is enough.
Scott, one of the operators of the family owned Scottie’s Fun Spot at 8000 Broadway, said the business is cracking down on youth-related rowdyism and vandalism. Anyone under 18 years old must now be accompanied by a parent or guardian while on Fun Spot property. The only exception, according to Scott, are individuals who own their own skates.
Scott said this measure was necessitated from activity in recent months that has seen a distinct rise in destruction and theft of Fun Spot property, plus overall hooliganism.
“It’s a nationwide problem right now in skating (and similar type) centers,” said Scott, who has been a part of multiple nationwide video conference calls via Zoom involving about 800 similar businesses across the country. “It’s gotten much worse since things started to open up following the worst of the pandemic. Fights, arguments, repeatedly needing to call Adams County law enforcement officials … if we can’t get things to improve, we may just sell the place and get out of the family entertainment business.”
The Scott family has owned and operated the Fun Spot for 11 years. Scott said for most of that time the staff had no — or minimal — problems with the trouble it currently faces. He said the overall situation has been escalating since around December 2020.
Scott said the problems need to be dealt with to protect the family environment and entertainment the Fun Spot had become known for — roller skating, a wide variety of games, karting, miniature golf and other attractions.
The Scotts have been in the family entertainment business since 1941 with the Fun Spot’s predecessor, Scottie’s Skateland. They also owned nearby Quincy Raceways for more than 30 years.
“Right now, about once a week, we have to ask (law enforcement) for assistance,” Scott said.
Scott said the Fun Spot boasts an extensive video monitoring system, featuring 64 different cameras it can use to identify criminal acts. He said numerous individuals have been banned from the site.
The Fun Spot is currently open just three days and evenings a week (Friday through Sunday) due to staff shortages.
“No one wants to work,” Scott said.
Scott desires to return to pre-pandemic staffing of about 45 employees to permit more days of service, but he says the business has been lucky to have about half that number in recent months. Many family oriented events the Fun Spot had become famous for have been cut back, limited or eliminated.
Scott hopes to reverse that trend in the near future. He feels this crackdown will help.
“We’re tired of (troublesome) kids being dropped off simply for us to babysit,” Scott said.