Summit County gyms and fitness centers allowed to reopen, with new restrictions
For months, residents of Summit County have been cooped up inside and haven’t been able to head to their favorite gyms to get “summer ready” or enjoy group activities in the outdoors.
But that will change after Summit County lifted its stay-at-home order Friday and replaced it with a new directive.
With a slowing rate of new coronavirus cases in Summit County, gyms and recreational facilities have been given the OK to reopen under strict guidelines that are meant to safeguard against a second wave of cases.
“This is absolutely a step in the right direction, at least a huge part of us hoping to return to normal one day sooner rather than later,” said Stanton Jones, owner of Silver Mountain Sports Club and Spa. “I was talking to members this past weekend and they just felt alive again. … You could feel it in their voice because they were so giddy about being able to strain their bodies differently than they were at home.”
Jones was among the business representatives who worked with Summit County to identify how gyms could reopen in a safe manner. Tina Adkinson, Yoga Park City’s studio manager, was another member of the group and said she was eager to be part of the effort.
“To us it was more about providing for the community to contribute to mental, physical and emotional health,” she said. “The level of conservativeness that we’ve taken couldn’t be higher. … We have 80-plus years of fitness experience through this group so we understand what it would take and our details are so clearly laid out for a successful opening.”
Other representatives involved were Stephen Sutherland of South Summit Aquatics Center, Chris Spealler of CrossFit Park City, Ashley Battersby of State of Mind Yoga and Fitness Center and Maryguenn Vellinga of RISE Boxing.
Together, they helped put forth the restrictions that were submitted to and approved by the Summit County Health Department, allowing the businesses and facilities to reopen, albeit on their own timelines and at their own discretion.
For example, Jones and Silver Mountain opened up Saturday at 7 a.m. as people were waiting at the entrance for the doors to open. Sutherland and South Summit Aquatics Center had a soft opening on Monday for their gym and fitness center, but the lap pool isn’t scheduled to open until May 18.
Other businesses like Tadasana Yoga, RISE Boxing and CrossFit Park City are taking a more conservative approach and not opening until this weekend or early next week. They said they’re making sure they can properly disinfect everything, in accordance with the restrictions, while keeping employees safe.
“Once we were allowed to reopen, we put out a survey to see what the response would be to small group classes. … And we’ve been doing Zoom and online classes for our members so we’ve gotten a lot of dialogue through the community,” Vellinga said. “A lot of people are hesitant to come back while some are super eager. There are some challenges and limitations with the public health order so we are trying to navigate those issues now instead of learning and trying to fix them with people inside.”
Among the restrictions are employee temperature checks, virtual sign-ins, patron limits and more. The full list is available at summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/10897/Joint-Public-Health-Order-2020-05—Stabilization-Phase.
Spealler said the effort to craft the restrictions was positive, involving people from different business and fitness backgrounds.
“It was great to work with some people I’ve known just by crossing paths or with ones I was meeting for the first time. … We felt a big responsibility to serve Park City and it always came down the safety and health of the community,” Spealler said. “A lot of what we did came down to the ease of controlling the environment we were in instead of having an open and free-for-all format. It was really helpful to talk with trainers and hear their thoughts and processes because it allowed us to not leave anything out.”
As for public fitness centers, the PC MARC and the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse are scheduled to reopen on May 11, with restrictions.
Adkinson said that while the reopening plan is encouraging, she doesn’t believe Summit County will lift all of its restrictions anytime
“This is Park City, which is like a small family, and along with the physical movement we are offering, we know the value that also has emotionally and mentally,” Adkinson said. “All three of those things are a factor in why we reopened, but it doesn’t mean we in the clear yet. The stakes are too high to not take this seriously, but at least we are moving in the right direction.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new information regarding the reopening of the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse.
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