DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Parks and Recreation says many of their rec centers will be closed until April of 2021. That’s tough news for some Coloradans looking to get active and establish a sense of routine. It’s the latest closure announcement for Denver residents due to the pandemic.
The Carla Madison Rec Center, and others like it, have been shut down since the COVID-19 outbreak began. While rec centers and workers have been shifted to essential services like emergency child care, learning labs, and meal service sites, members told CBS4 they’re missing their outlet for physical activity.
It’s been almost seven months since Amber Lara has worked out at the Carla Madison Rec Center.
“I like activity and just working out and stuff, so it’s been rough,” Lara said. “I used to go every morning, and that was just part of my routine. Working out is kind of how I clear my mind.”
Fellow rec center members have also been left to find fitness alternatives.
“It’s been a drag because I’ve been an every other day user, or sometimes every day user, of the facility, but circumstances being what they are it’s understood,” said Bill Sudmeier.
Denver rec center member will have to wait a little longer until they can come back. Denver Parks and Rec says all 30 of the city’s rec center will likely remain closed until April of 2021.
“Every center has it’s own challenges as far as layout, making sure that we have adequate cleaning supplies, because our new norm is going to look a lot different than what we did pre-COVID,” said John Martinez, Deputy Executive Director of Recreation for the City of Denver.
Martinez says while his department has kept 137 full time employees, more than 1,200 on call employees have not worked since April when they closed. They remain dedicated to maintaining the state’s Safer at Home guidelines.
“It’s about people being safe, feeling safe in our facilities, and making sure that my employees feel safe,” Martinez said.
For now, rec center members will have to find another way to work out.
“I’ll be looking forward to being a regular once again,” Sudmeier said.
Martinez says come November, they might reopen some facilities for some reservation-only workouts. In the meantime, they’ll continue to offer virtual and socially distance outdoor workout classes for free.
Rec center members with month-to-month memberships had their plans frozen immediately when facilities closed. For annual members, their accounts we put on hold. They will get full household credit for the time the facilities have been closed, or can pick up where their memberships left off. The credits can be used toward any recreation services including personal training, sports programs, city pools and more.