Fitness clubs say they're ready for Monday reopening

Published: May. 29, 2020 at 6:05 PM EDT
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Vermont gyms, fitness clubs, yoga studios and similar operations are allowed to reopen on Monday at 25-percent capacity and other restrictions under Governor Scott's Friday announcement.

"We are incredibly excited. It feels like it has been a long journey, but we are ready, we're prepared, said Leslie Doenges with Vermont Sport and Fitness Club in Rutland.

Since the day the club closed, Doenges says they have been getting ready to reopen. "Gym owners all across the state would agree that we're prepared," she said.

Some of the new state guidelines for clubs include no classes for more than 25 people in one space, six-foot distancing and masks, and no contact games or activities.

At Vermont Sport and Fitness the spin bikes are all on the basketball court. When there isn't a class going, the bikes will all be lined up and members can move them to one of the designated spots.

"So excited. I can't even tell you how excited," said Liz Patnode with True Yoga Vermont. The Rutland yoga studio closed on March 13, ahead of the state's order. They were able to transition online within 24 hours and didn't miss any classes.

Patnode says the shut down gave them time to focus on the business and learn more teaching techniques, making the positives of the situation outweigh the negatives. "When we transition back into a physical location, the classes are just going to be even more powerful," she said.

At Motivation Studio Pilates, inside the Vermont Sport and Fitness building, Mandy Dansereau has been doing classes online. "I guess I'll just have to get used to the mask and stepping back," she said.

Many clients tell her they are ready to come back next week. She will open up for private lessons, or a couple from the same household, but hold off on classes. "The governor has done a really wonderful job about really watching and waiting and going slowly about starting this and if he had opened two or three weeks ago, I would not have felt comfortable about coming back in at that point," Dansereau said.