While many community centres and large gym chains are still closed as distancing and sanitization plans are finalized, several smaller boutique gyms in Metro Vancouver have opened their doors.
"We’re super excited to be open here, it’s been a long eight weeks," said Michael Nunziata, the co-owner of VIP Fitness and Lifestyle in Vancouver. "We’re not gonna let COVID stop us from getting in shape." Fitness centres are part of Phase 2 of B.C.’s reopening plan.
Nunziata's gym has now divided its space into three sections that members can book in advance.
"They’ll come into a very clean, sanitized space. They will be the only ones in that space, and they’ll have their workout. We’ll get them to leave their equipment on the floor, so when they’re done their workout we come in and we’ll sanitize everything," said Nunziata. "There are a lot of gyms closed right now, but we’re lucky at VIP, we have the ability to contain and control the amount of people in the club at once."
Controlling entry is also part of the reopening plan at Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness. And that means no more dropping in for members.
"We will do a reservation system by the hour, so people can book their hour and come in and after each hour there will be a thorough cleaning," said owner Trevor Linden.
There are 100,000 members across Club 16’s 11 fitness centres in Metro Vancouver, and getting staff ready to welcome them back is taking a little more time.
"We want to make sure our clubs are well laid out and have directional signage and our staff is up to speed on cleaning techniques and how the etiquette will be in the clubs moving forward, said Linden. "We don’t want to be the first to open. We want to make sure we do it right. We built a great plan. We just need to execute it now. It will be soon,” said Linden.
Nunziata is confident his plan will keep VIP Fitness virus-free. And his members are happy to get back to the gym.
“We’ve been cooped up for so long and some of our clients are itching to put their hand on a dumbbell," he said. "So it’s pretty exciting."