Gyms and fitness centers expand capacity under 5-star program |

Gyms and fitness centers expand capacity under 5-star program

Wild and Free, an indoor playground, is one of 13 gyms, fitness and recreation centers that have expanded capacity under the state’s 5 Star Business Certification Program.

Summit County opened the state’s 5 Star Business Certification Program to gyms and fitness centers Monday, Dec. 28, allowing expanded capacity. As of Thursday, Dec. 31, 13 centers have received the certification.

The process of certifying fitness centers comes after a major effort to certify more than 130 restaurants across the county in a single weekend. While there are fewer businesses seeking certification in the fitness industry, the expanded capacity that certification allows can make a big difference for local businesses.

Under level red, gyms and fitness centers have been operating at 10% capacity but can move to 25% capacity if certified through the program. To get certified, centers have to follow safety protocols in addition to existing standards like mask-wearing, physical distancing and regularly sanitizing surfaces. Additional protocols include recording customer contact information; screening employees and customers for symptoms and potential exposure; having a written plan for outbreak detection, response and exposure notifications; improving ventilation; and publicly displaying instructions for filing a public health related complaint.

Wild and Free, a children’s indoor playground that opened in July in Dillon, was certified and expanded capacity from four people to 11. Owner Michelle Flickinger said capacity has fluctuated between four and 22 people since the center first opened its doors. With only four people allowed, she said it was hardly worth being open, so she jumped at the opportunity when the five-star program was made available to recreation centers.

Flickinger said the town of Dillon quickly sent over an inspector after she applied for the program and said she was “pleasantly surprised” by the swiftness of the process. Flickinger said she didn’t have to make any major changes to get certified because she’d already upgraded the HVAC system when she opened.

Flickinger said the increase in capacity will help to offset her rent payments but noted that she doesn’t break even until 50% capacity.

“It’s been challenging,” Flickinger said. “Definitely not the conditions that we had envisioned when I first signed the lease in January or February of this year, but the community has been really supportive, and we definitely have a core group of people who are really rooting for us. And that makes it a lot easier to keep pushing forward and trying to make it work every day.”

The county’s two recreation centers, in Breckenridge and Silverthorne, also expanded capacity under the five-star program this week. Breckenridge Director of Recreation Scott Reid explained that the two towns traded inspectors so that they weren’t inspecting their own facilities.

“The reason we did it is because we wanted to have more flexibility in terms of our numbers and the people that we’ve been hosting,” Reid said about applying through the program. “Pretty much everything on the list we were already doing anyways … so we didn’t change operations too much. There were some minor signage adjustments.”

At the ice arena, the capacity of the rink went from 10 people to 25, which Reid said will better meet demand. At both recreation centers, visitors already had to reserve class spots or time slots for workouts, so the amount of available reservations were simply increased. However, Reid said the pool numbers will remain the same.

“We have been maxing out our sessions, our reservation numbers in the last couple of weeks, so this gives a little more room for folks, but we still believe it’s safe and it’s appropriate,” Reid said. “Our goal as a community is really to make sure we’re still serving people in a safe way, and that’s been the goal all along.”

5-star certified businesses


Breckenridge Recreation Center, Breckenridge Tennis Center, Gold Run Nordic Center, Grand Colorado at Peak 8, Grand Lodge at Peak 7, Grand Timber Lodge, Meta Yoga Studios and Stephen C. West Ice Arena


Studio B Dance Center and Summit Hot Yoga


Wild and Free and Body Essentials Pilates


Silverthorne Recreation Center

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