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Pro wrestling is part of this Maine businessman’s plan to counter pandemic losses

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Pro wrestling is part of this Maine businessman’s plan to counter pandemic losses

Pandemic obstacles keep piling up for Brian Plavnick, owner of G-Force Adventure Center in Brewer, but like many of the laser tag game players at his amusement business, he’s managed to dodge enough blows to keep going.

When the pandemic hit Maine in March, he had to close his 21,000-square-foot amusement center in Brewer under Gov. Janet Mills’ executive order to shut nonessential businesses. The other lucrative part of his business, mobile corporate events, fairs and graduations, also quickly dried up, with 100 bookings shrinking to one.

It’s a story of lost revenue and rapidly changing pandemic mandates that is repeated across the state by many entertainment, hospitality and tourism businesses. Even with federal stimulus and other grants earlier in the pandemic, some decided the changing state mandates were too onerous and stayed closed this year, while others decided to stay open and figure out ways to fill the gaps.