Local fitness studio owners are cautiously optimistic following B.C.’s reopening plans released earlier this week — and they continue to make plans for alternative classes this summer.
Oxygen Yoga Kamloops owner Dina McLeod said this is the third reopening plan since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been here before,” McLeod said, noting business ultimately went sideways for the fitness industry, with multiple forced closures. “I am cautiously optimistic, but feeling really hopeful for the first time in a year, which is wonderful.”
McLeod said she plans to reopen her Aberdeen yoga studio soon, at reduced capacity. B.C.’s restart plan allows low-intensity group exercise to resume indoors effectively immediately, with limited capacity.
McLeod said she will continue to utilize city parks, as well. She taught in Westsyde last Saturday and said it was wonderful, with children heard laughing in the background at the park and space plentiful.
“I will be the first to buy a pass, should the pilot project move into next year for the park,” McLeod said.
Kamloops council has approved a pilot project to allow group fitness firms to use six parks (to be identified next week) for classes, at a reduced rate.
K Spin owner Samantha Gibson said she was caught off-guard by news of how soon she could reopen her spin studio. The downtown space is currently undergoing renovations.
Gibson said if vaccinations continue to ramp up and case counts ] remain low, B.C.’s restart plan would allow her to open indoors at reduced capacity on June 15, at the earliest, and at a higher capacity on July 1, under guidelines around high-intensity group fitness classes.
Gibson said she is planning to resume in-person classes when possible, but also plans to continue virtual and outdoor classes. She rented out bikes to clientele, while others purchased bikes to take part in online classes during the pandemic.
Expect more virtual rides in the future, even post-pandemic. Gibson thanked the city for allowing the ability to host spin classes in parks this summer. Like McLeod, Gibson has a hard time believing this reopening will truly be the last.
“This time, I feel like I’m not getting my hopes up just because there’s been so much back and forth, but feeling more hopeful that at least there’s a plan and that we have been included in that reopening plan,” she said. “That’s exciting.”