Pending approval, Breckenridge Recreation Center plans to reopen June 17 by reservation only | SummitDaily.com
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Pending approval, Breckenridge Recreation Center plans to reopen June 17 by reservation only

The Breckenridge Recreation Center is pictured May 21. Pending approval from the state and county public health departments, the rec center plans to reopen as soon as June 17.
Liz Copan / ecopan@summitdaily.com
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BRECKENRIDGE — Breckenridge Recreation Director Scott Reid presented Tuesday to Breckenridge Town Council a three-phase plan to reopen the town’s indoor recreation centers.

Reid said the recreation department is targeting a reservation system to begin at the town’s indoor rec center and tennis center June 17 and for Stephen C. West Ice Arena on July 1. Reid said those dates are preliminary and contingent upon the county’s latest novel coronavirus numbers as well as approval from the county and state health departments.

The Town Council approved Reid’s preliminary plan Tuesday, though council member Erin Gigliello recommended moving forward conservatively because she was worried the rec center could be a potential COVID-19 hotspot.

Breckenridge Town Manager Rick Holman said he thought Reid was being “rather conservative.”

“The public is starting to wonder what they can look forward to,” Holman said.

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“In each step, the primary theme is to start small and expand access to the facility as new processes and strategies are implemented and proven successful,” the plan reads. “This incremental, adaptive approach is the cornerstone of the plan.”

Reid added that he has been coordinating and discussing reopening ideas and plans with the county’s other major public recreation center, the Silverthorne Recreation Center. He said the two centers are fairly close in agreement in timing and phasing pending their own independent municipal governmental approval.

In Breckenridge Recreation’s first phase, the rec center would open to current members and passholders by reservation only, with an online symptom check required to enter. Physical distancing and face coverings or masks would be required for employees and patrons at all times within the facility. Reid said the recreation department is considering reservation timeframes around 1 hour and 15 minutes long, and there would be a maximum number of patrons for specific rooms within the facility. Reid said the department is shooting for 40-50 guests inside the rec center at one time to start. He said if the department went straight with state guidelines for the 80,000-square-foot building, it could permit many more people, but the department is airing on the smaller side to be conservative with social distancing and safety.

The recreation department’s planning document added that the rec center’s hours would be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with a two-hour cleaning window from 1-3 p.m. each day. The center would begin operating on weekdays only “to reduce the facility’s role as a tourist attraction and large crowd gathering space,” the plan reads. There also would be a 10-minute break between reservations to ensure all patrons have departed before a new group comes in.

Also during the first phase, the recreation department would maximize the use of outdoor spaces, the tennis center would open with mask and distancing protocols, and the aquatics area would open for lap swimming. Locker rooms and shower facilities would remain closed.

Previously opened facilities and programming of Breckenridge Recreation — such as trails, the recpath, tennis courts, the skate park, turf and ball fields, personal training, physical therapy and limited child care — would remain open. Reid added the June 8 start of Breckenridge Recreation summer camps already has been approved per state and county guidelines.

As for phase 2, with a tentative July 1 start, the ice arena would reopen with limited use while the rec center would add more fitness equipment capacity, based on outcomes of the first phase, and begin to admit non-passholders. The rec center also would begin to offer limited in-person fitness classes with a limited number of participants, and Breckenridge Recreation would expand other recreational opportunities as permitted by public health orders, such as group fitness, the rec center’s climbing wall and, potentially, its leisure pool.

As for phase 3, which does not have specific date, the department’s small group activities, such a swim lessons and skating lessons, would restart while facility hours and the duration of reservation bookings would expand. Shower facilities and locker rooms also would reopen.

Other health and safety protocols the department plans to undertake include:

  • New layouts of equipment to facilitate increased physical distancing
  • All employees mandated to wear masks while at work and to undergo symptom tracking before reporting to work
  • Providing a clean towel and personalized spray bottle of sanitizing solution to members to clean equipment

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