Local gyms adapt to newest guidelines released by Gov. Inslee

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Just weeks after many local gyms finally reopened under strict guidelines, Gov. Inslee released new rules for gyms in Phase 2 and Phase 3 to follow.

“We’re just trying to keep up with everybody else on what exactly the regulations are,” said Ryan Calhoon, owner of Calhoon’s Fitness in Walla Walla. “We’re just kinda riding the waves.”

His gym went from being open 24 hours to being closed for 24 hours – every day – for two months.

They opened back up at the beginning of June – with noticeable changes. They laid down tape to section off areas – making it easier to keep everyone six feet apart – and keeping the gym at 30% occupancy.

They also shifted some equipment and taped off other equipment to help people social distance.

However, under Gov. Inslee’s new gym guidelines released Monday, among other changes gyms must now operate at 25% and keep people 300 square feet apart – roughly 17 feet.

Along with adjusting to the latest rules, staff at the gym are continuing to take everyone’s temperature when they come in and asking customers to wipe down equipment after each use. They also are no longer open 24 hours.

But even being able to open in some capacity hasn’t made up for being closed for a period of time. Calhoon said though they gained some new members since opening, they lost nearly half of their original members.

For now though, they are grateful to be up and running again.

“We are happy to be open in some capacity, and we’re trying to offer the flexibility we can to our members while adhering to the guidelines so we can remain open,” said Calhoon.

The gym’s new hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. They will be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting August 8.