During a Tuesday morning press conference, when it was announced that Denver is moving to new restrictions due to recent increases in COVID-19 cases, the fate of gyms and fitness studios was left unclear.
Under Safer at Home Level 3 restrictions and guidelines developed by the state, gyms are not allowed to conduct classes indoors and are limited to virtual classes or outdoor classes in groups less than 10. But in the news conference, Denver Health Department Bob McDonald said it was too soon to say whether gyms will be included in the new restrictions.
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“We’re taking a look at that right now, talking with the state health department, considering that particular venue,” McDonald said. “I don’t know that it’s going to be included in all of the metrics and restrictions that you’ll see in Level 3. I think at this point, what I can say is, more to come on that. We’ll see what decision the state makes along those lines.”
Under the Level 2 restrictions Denver gyms had been operating under, they were limited to 25% capacity indoors. Denver has lost several major players in its local fitness industry since the pandemic began, and some gyms say they are barely hanging on. A closure could deal the final blow.
“From what I understand through talking to my peers, there are many who have not gotten additional funding outside of the PPP loans,” said Danielle Barbeau, owner of The River Yoga, with locations in Golden Triangle and Five Points. “We’ve been hanging on by a thread. I feel like we’ve been overlooked, and that we’re looking at some really tough decisions and some long months if we don’t get some additional assistance soon.
“For yoga, we have the advantage of not needing a lot of equipment, but I really am concerned about my friends who have spin studios or Pilates reformers, equipment that’s hard to replicate at home unless you have a bike or a reformer,” she said.
“I feel like last man standing in lots of ways.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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