While city council prepares to debate a motion on opening designated areas in parks or green spaces at a reduced rate for outdoor fitness classes, any decision will arrive too late for one well known yoga studio.
Citing the impact of repeated closures due to pandemic-related health orders, Yoga Loft Kamloops has announced it will close for good as of June 25, once its lease expires,
The studio has operated for years on the top floor of the venerable Elks Building, downtown at Seymour Street and Fourth Avenue.
KTW reached out to the Yoga Loft for comment, but has not heard back. A statement on the studio’s Facebook page attributes closure to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With this last closure, we had some exceedingly difficult decisions to make, our love for all our students and teachers is what has kept us going. It is a sad day when we realize we cannot continue operating in these conditions, our lease ends in two months and we will stay for this time.”
On May 4, Kamloops Coun. Kathy Sinclair presented a joint notice of motion with Coun. Sadie Hunter, asking staff to open designated areas in up to six parks or green spaces throughout Kamloops for outdoor fitness classes.
The motion stipulates classes be run by professional and insured organizations and that the space be operated on a first-come, first-served basis. It also suggests the city provide space for up to a year at rates comparable to those offered by the City of Kelowna.
The motion won’t be debated until May 18, exactly a week before the current pandemic-related restrictions on indoor group exercise, indoor dining and indoor worship services are set to expire, at which time Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will review the situation.
Asked if the initiative comes too late, Sinclair told KTW it is “better late than never.”
Sinclair said council was not aware of Yoga Loft’s situation, noting nobody from the organization approached council. She said she is “disappointed” the studio is closing.
In addition, Sinclair said, she only became aware of Kelowna’s outdoor fitness permit a week ago.
Part of the motion to be debated suggests the city provide space for up to a year at rates comparable to those offered by the City of Kelowna.
That city’s Outdoor Fitness Activities in Parks permit fee is $84.90, plus tax, per month. A full season (April 1 to Oct. 31) can also be purchased for a 20 per cent discount, at $424.48, plus tax, for seven months. Kamloops charges $20 per day for use of premium space, such as Riverside Park, which equates to $600 per month, or $4,200 per season.
Sinclair cited the potential to apply the reduced rate fees retroactively and that she is not confident the health orders banning indoor group fitness classes, indoor dining and indoor worship services will indeed end on May 25.