It’s about to get easier to work out or join a yoga class. Movies on the big screen, however, are still somewhere on the horizon.
“We were jumping for joy,” Port Angeles Anytime Fitness owner Colton Boddy said Friday, referring to Gov. Jay Inslee’s Thursday announcement moving 26 counties — Jefferson and Clallam included — into Phase 2 of the state’s Roadmap for Recovery plan.
This phase, starting today, means gyms, restaurants and movie theaters can accommodate their customers indoors at 25 percent capacity.
For Boddy and other fitness centers, the numbers still won’t be large. It’s morale that will take a leap.
“Phase 1 allowed us 11 people. Phase 2 allows us 23,” he said, adding his staff will still clean the gym twice daily, run the UV air sterilizers and keep the equipment spread out for social distancing.
“The staff,” Boddy said, “is real ecstatic. We’re starting to see our at-risk people coming back because they’ve had their [COVID-19] shots.”
That 25 percent capacity, however, won’t work for Port Townsend’s Rose Theatre.
Owner Rocky Friedman has said – ever since he closed the Rose last March – that one-fourth or even half his usual crowd won’t cover his overhead. Reopening will depend, he said, on a widely vaccinated public and film distributors releasing something worth going to see. Meantime, Rosetheatre.com will continue streaming films online, and Friedman will keep selling popcorn from the window at 235 Taylor St., Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., barring heavy snow.
The Peninsula’s other two movie houses also look to be staying dark. Port Angeles’ Deer Park Cinema reopened its five screens Oct. 30 – and had to close again in mid-November as COVID case rates surged. Deer Park’s managers could not be reached for comment about another reopening.
The Uptown Theatre in Port Townsend promises on its website that it will open soon, but owner Rick Wiley also didn’t respond to calls for comment.
At the Port Townsend Athletic Club, the mood was buoyant Friday in light of the Phase 2 news. The downtown club has undergone a major renovation since closing 11 months ago.
Owner Teresa Hoffmann opened her doors Feb. 1, adhering to the 500-square-feet per-person rule and encouraging appointments.
Phase 2, by allowing 25 percent capacity, means about twice as many people can use the club, provided they stay at least 6 feet apart.
“It’s super exciting to be able to operate again,” Hoffmann said, while she has to rebuild both her revenues and her instructor team. Several teachers moved away or found other work.
Jason Calsyn at Mystic Monkey in Port Townsend is coping with the same problem. Phase 2 lets him increase his yoga class size from five people to seven. If the studio fills up, he’d like to add to the schedule – but must find more instructors first.
At Madrona MindBody Institute at Fort Worden State Park, in-person yoga and dance classes could grow from a five people, the current maximum, to 10 people. But co-owner Renee Klein noted progress also depends on instructors. Madrona’s teachers have said they want to be vaccinated before returning.
The numbers won’t be large at Evergreen Fitness in Port Townsend either: group exercise classes there may expand to eight people — but “every little bit helps,” said owner Michelle West.
Wendy Bart, CEO of the Olympic Peninsula YMCA, acknowledged that the pandemic has meant loss of fitness for some — “I don’t even weigh myself anymore” — so increasing access to the Y’s facilities in Port Angeles and Sequim comes just in time.
Phase 1 allowed eight or nine people per room; Phase 2 raises that to nearly 20, Bart said.
“We are extremely vigilant” about protocols and cleanliness, and will continue using a by-reservation system via OlympicPeninsulaYMCA.org. The racquetball court will reopen for two players, Bart added, and the Sequim Y’s pool offers one-to-one swim lessons.
“Safety and trust,” she said, “are two really key things about people coming back.”
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]