More gyms joined the list of reopening operations in Arizona following retailers and restaurants.
Gov. Doug Ducey made the announcement May 12, in which pools and spas were also allowed to reopen May 13.
For gyms in Arizona, particularly in the Phoenix metro area, some of the largest congregations are at Planet Fitness, EōS Fitness, LA Fitness/Esporta Fitness, Mountainside Fitness and Life Time Fitness.
Independent Newsmedia reached out to the gym chains on when they plan to reopen. Phone calls were also made to individual locations throughout the Valley. So far, LA Fitness/Esporta, Mountainside, EōS and Life Time Biltmore have set reopening date as Monday, May 18.
Life Time Fitness
Life Time in Goodyear and Tempe remain temporarily closed and directed the calls to member relations. Attempts to reach Planet Fitness in Avondale and Peoria also went to voicemail, stating temporary closures.
“We are aware that Arizona authorities have provided the approval for some businesses to reopen, including health clubs,” stated Amy Williams, manager of public relations at Life Time. “Our team is eager to get back to serving our members and we’ll do so quickly once when we know most of our members and team members have the confidence and peace of mind that Life Time will deliver the safest environments in our communities, just as we always have..”
Ahead of Mr. Ducey’s guidelines for gyms, Life Time has developed its own detailed plans and safety protocols, including enhanced cleaning measures using EPA-registered products and strategic use of the gyms’ vast square footage to allow for ample social distancing. Ms. Williams states those protocols were established in partnership with an epidemiologist and industrial hygienist. Visit online for more information.
On May 15, an email from Life Time Palm Valley in Goodyear stated it will reopen 5 a.m. Wednesday, May 20. Life Time Biltmore in Phoenix is opening Monday, May 18. The Biltmore location is one of the newer facilities, having opened this year.
EōS Fitness on its website plans to reopen 6 a.m. May 18. Among its policies, there will be a limited number of members in a club at one time, allowing 100 square feet of space per member.
Clubs are also setting 2-3 p.m. for members 55-plus and/or with vulnerable immune systems. Every other piece of cardio equipment will be turned off to maintain at least 6 feet of spacing between members. Steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs, courts and massage chairs will remain closed.
“The world may be a bit different right now, but you can always trust EōS to be your refuge; creating space between you and other people, not between you and your fitness goals,” the company states on its website.
LA Fitness/Esporta Fitness
LA Fitness/Esporta Fitness has a list on its website that details when locations were closed and when they will reopen. The chain announced May 15, gyms will start reopening at 6 a.m. Monday, May 18.
For most of these gyms’ memberships, accounts have been frozen since their facilities had to close in mid-March.
Mountainside Fitness members can return Monday, May 18 with normal business hours. Founder and CEO Tom Hatten stated in a letter to patrons that they will also not be billed for the month of May.
Baseketball courts and locker room amenities will be available with proper social distancing.
Becky Zirlen, senior public relations manager at Planet Fitness, explained the safety of the gym team and members is a top priority and Planet Fitness is working closely with local franchisees to determine a reopening date.
“As we begin to execute a thoughtful and phased reopening approach, we will take a number of steps to protect the health and well-being of our team members and members, which include enhanced cleanliness and sanitization policies and procedures, physical distancing measures, reducing physical touch points in the club, and more,” Ms. Zirlen stated. “Now more than ever it’s important to stay active, in order to stay healthy, and we look forward to safely and responsibly welcoming our members back to Planet Fitness.”
Small local gyms are likely to vary on when they’ll reopen due to staffing, equipment, and health and safety policies.
Gov. Ducey's guidelines for gyms
The above gyms have outlined their reopening protocols on their websites.
Gym-goers are advised to also follow these guidelines in coordination with Mr. Ducey's new executive order set to replace his stay-at-home order after Friday, May 15:
Gyms are also advised to provide and require staff to wear masks when possible, wash hands regularly, operate with reduced capacity and occupancy based on the size of the gym, and implement symptom screening for employees. Click here to read the full guidelines for gym operations.
RCSC not opening facilities yet
Despite Mr. Ducey’s announcement to reopen gyms and pools, that will not be happening in Sun City yet.
Recreation Centers of Sun City officials have a phased reopening plan in place, but are not prepared to open facilities, even on a small scale, so quickly. RCSC cardholders were informed Wednesday via an email blast of the decision to hold off on reopening pools, spas and fitness centers.
They let cardholders know implementing a reopening was not feasible in the short period of time since the governor’s announcement. Part of the reason is that RCSC officials have not received all the necessary personal protective equipment and supplies necessary.
Officials did not spell out their reopening plan in the email but stated phase one of the plan would require strict physical distancing and sanitizing protocols.