HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — On Friday, Chuze Fitness in Highlands Ranch looked like a typical pre-pandemic weekday morning. The gym reopened for the first time since March with some new safety protocols.
Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes have been placed around the gym. Staff members are now on a specific cleaning schedule. The bathrooms are open, but the showers and lockers are still closed.
"In the cardio (section) every other piece of equipment is turned off, and we’ve adjusted the placement of equipment on the floor to maintain that social distancing," said Jenn Foster, district manager for Chuze Fitness.
To further limit interaction, Chuze will only allow a maximum of 175 people into the gym at a time. On Friday morning, there were about 88 customers at one point.
"It feels great to be back, we just walked out, and feel so accomplished," said 27-year-old member Vinay Krishnan.
Douglas County was one of the first counties in Colorado to be granted a variance to reopen gyms. Planet Fitness plans to open locations in Parker and Castle Rock on June 1. LifeTime Fitness plans to open its Parker location on June 3.
Very few customers were wearing masks at Chuze Fitness Friday. Foster said Douglas County recommended masks, but is not requiring them.
"At Chuze Fitness, we’re requiring our staff to wear masks, just to make everyone feel comfortable and for the safety of us and our team," Foster said.
Foster said employees are also having their temperatures taken and are being checked for symptoms of the novel coronavirus. If there is a case of the virus linked to the gym, members will be notified.
Foster said they're hoping customers will take some personal responsibility as well by not coming to the gym if they're sick.
"We’re hoping that at this point people are understanding that we’re trying to do this for the good of everyone and we want to keep everyone safe and healthy," she said.