Some gyms in Parksville Qualicum Beach have re-opened on May 19, with strict restrictions in place to ensure health authorities guidelines are followed.
Among those that are happy to be given the opportunity to re-open is Jim’s Gym and Iron Warehouse. Both had to close down like everyone else for more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It hurt us,” said Jim Miller, who is one of the owners of Jim’s Gym. “Our expenses did not go down and we did not have any revenues. We did surive but there are other gyms that sadly are struggling to stay open. And I am sad to see that.”
Island Health gave fitness facilities the green light to re-open which is in line with the provincial government’s multi-phase plan to restart B.C.’s economy.
Meaghan Orcutt, who co-owns Iron Warehouse, also feels a lot better now that they’re open.
“This is a second home for a lot of people and I know not everyone understands it but the gym is an essential service for some of us,” said Orcutt.
When they re-opened on Tuesday May 19, Miller said there were a lot of enthusiastic and eager members who came out.
“It went very smoothly but the volume is down,” said Miller.
Jim’s gym now only allows 20 people inside every hour. To ensure the numbers are maintained, members are now asked to book their training day although drop-ins will be accepted if space is available.
Both Miller and Orcutt indicated that they will be monitoring things to ensure sound public health practices are followed.
Orcutt said making sure that members are comfortable coming back to the gym is her objective.
“Our mental health is very important during this time so I needed to make sure people felt safe and comfortable coming back to their gym,” said Orcutt, who added that since they’ve opened everyone has been respectful and following social distancing protocols.
“People are just happy to be back in the gym,” she said.