Billings Family YMCA reopens its doors Friday

Posted at 5:55 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 19:55:38-04

The Billings Family YMCA reopened its doors Friday in accordance with Gov. Steve Bullock's phased reopening plan.

The YMCA’s CEO, Kim Kaiser, said Friday afternoon that the club opened its doors at 5 a.m. and had over 20 members waiting in line to get in.

Kaiser says the YMCA will only be open to members, but they are still accepting new member sign-ups.

Kaiser says during their closure, the YMCA went through a deep cleaning and refresh. They repainted walls and other parts of the facility and added signs throughout warning members to sanitize equipment and use proper distancing.

The gym has also shut off every other piece of cardio equipment to ensure proper distancing.

Kaiser says they have added staff in certain areas to further increase sanitization.

“In the fitness areas, we generally have one fitness floor staff. Now we have ramped it up to three staff the entire time we are open,” says Kaiser.

Kaiser says they are maximizing use of their 110,000-square-foot space by distancing and setting up separate equipment sanitization areas. In these areas, members can drop off used equipment, and the YMCA staff will sanitize it and return it to the fitness floor.

Kaiser says that due to the size of their facility, they will stay under Bullock's 50 percent capacity guidelines. The YMCA has over 2,000 members. Kaiser says they will likely not have 1,000 members in the facility at once.

One of the main concerns from members during the YMCA’s closure was not having access to the pool.

“That has been, hands down, the number one call we’ve been getting. Are your pools open? I can tell you, those individuals were really excited when they came in,” says Kaiser.

Kaiser says that last week, the YMCA started their “party in the parking lot” classes. The fitness classes are held outdoors and set up so members can distance themselves thirteen feet from one another.

Kaiser say some of the main changes members can expect to make during the reopening are to maintain social distancing, taking the extra time to clean, and being mindful of posted signage.

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