Hello again everybody —
Since re-opening, it’s been SO nice to see everyone reconnect with each other in the gyms. The shutdown reminded us to appreciate, and never take for granted, the happiness & comfort we find in our day-to-day routines. Sometimes just seeing each other can make us smile!
COVID didn’t stop any of us from wanting to look better, lose an extra 10 pounds, get stronger, or live longer. It just forced us to hit the “pause” button for 3 months.
Workouts in the clubs started out slowly for the first few weeks, but are picking up as more & more people now feel safe getting back into their lifestyles.
Here’s an update of what’s going on to keep the world of Big Sky ‘Clean & Safe’:
CLEANING and SANITIZING: In addition to our existing cleaning protocols, we added a detailed sanitizing and deep cleaning during the day and overnight. All the clubs are closed from 1p – 2p every day, 7 days per week, to facilitate this extra sanitizing.
(A little confession here . . . we were honestly apprehensive making this decision to shut down for the hour every day. We’re the only gyms in the area doing it, but we just felt strongly that it was the absolute BEST thing we could do. THANK YOU EVERYONE for all the support and compliments about this!)
Every hour, all counter surfaces, door handles, and handrails are disinfected.
All of this is being done with our NEW, hospital-grade disinfectant cleaner which has been designated effective in killing the COVID-19 virus (as well as the H1N1 Influenza A virus).
The clubs’ weekend hours have been temporarily expanded: Saturdays and Sundays 7a – 5p.
(Big Sky – Farmington only: Sa/Su 7a – 6p (to allow the outdoor pool to stay open until 5:30p.)
AS YOU ENTER THE CLUBS: The exterior doors have been designated “in” and “out”. These, as well as the doors inside the clubs, are now equipped with hands-free, forearm pull handles.
Stanchions and belt-barriers (like at the movies) were installed where necessary to guide traffic in the lobbies.
After scanning your membership card at the touchless check-in, EVERYONE checks their own body temperature with the NEW, infra-red touchless temperature scanners. Anyone with a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees is not allowed into the clubs.
So far, thru 45 days, across all (5) clubs with thousands of check-ins, we’ve had a few high temperature readings . . . and ZERO reports of COVID.
Sneeze Guards were added around the Front Desks: in front of the check-in computers, cash registers, and the Big Sky Blendz areas.
Register scanners were turned around so you can scan your own purchases, and we encourage everyone to use our “No Pockets/card on file” system for easy, touchless transactions.
Much of the lobby seating and bar stools have been temporarily taken out to better facilitate social distancing.
USING THE FACILITIES: Hand sanitizer stations are available in all (5) lobbies, and another (2) free-standing dispensers are in each club. The sanitizer solution includes 70% ethyl alcohol, above and beyond the CDC’s guideline of 60%.
NEW wall-mounted units were just installed around the Newington club. The other (4) clubs will get the same over the next couple of weeks.
All equipment has been arranged to allow for 6 ft + distancing, including having at least 6 ft+ between every piece for cardio distancing.
Per CT State Guidelines, water fountains are still in “temporary timeout”, so NEW, touchless, bottle-refill fountains were installed for you in every club.
The spray bottles at all the Cleaning Stations are stocked with the same hospital-grade disinfectant germicidal we mentioned above. There are (6+) spray bottles at each station, and to make cleaning supplies even more readily available, “hotel-like” cleaning carts were added throughout the clubs.
Following USTA guidelines, cleaning supplies were also added for each of the indoor tennis courts at Big Sky – Farmington.
NEW signs were posted in all areas of the gyms and locker rooms to remind you to ALWAYS wash your hands before touching your face.
Directional arrows and social distancing floor decals were also added throughout every club.
All bathroom sinks were upgraded with American Standard® touchless water faucets.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE): For those who would feel more comfortable, blue nitrile disposable gloves are available for only $1 per pair at the Front Desk.
Our teams are wearing masks, and our Front Desk teams are wearing gloves while making your Big Sky Blendz (which are still SO good! 🙂
Masks or Cloth Face Coverings: the state has required that masks be worn. Our state of 3.6 million people was averaging 100 COVID deaths per day in April, and is now averaging 2 deaths per day. CT is leading the entire country (literally) in recovery, so obviously masks are working.
At Big Sky, we’re not just adhering to the CT state mask guidelines, we’re exceeding them. We’ve figured out a way to make it more comfortable for you while you’re working out, with signs posted in the club and on the cardio equipment explaining how we do that.
All members are signing our “mask promise”, and have been GREAT about keeping their word. (THANK YOU EVERYONE!!)
Also, we’ve tested over a dozen different types of face coverings and found (4) different versions that are much easier-to-wear, and less cumbersome, for working out. They’re at the Front Desks for anywhere from $2 for the disposables, up to $6 for the washables ($0 profit for Big Sky).
All of the clubs have been certified by “Connecticut COVID-19 Prevention”. In fact, we’ve already had (5) different, surprise inspections by local health officials. In every case, in every club, “all governor’s guidelines – followed and beyond” . . . their words, not ours (but we agree! 🙂
TEMPORARY TIME-OUT: The Farmington outdoor pool is OPEN (and BEAUTIFUL!!) and will remain open until Labor Day weekend. The indoor pool will be re-opened at that time.
Unfortunately, per CT State Guidelines, locker room showers and Kids’ Clubs are still in “Temporary Time-Out”. All indications from the state had been towards re-opening these areas mid-July, but so far, still no word. (very frustrating . . . so sorry to all of you who need these.)
Virtual Group-X classes have continued online at https://www.facebook.com/BigSkyFitness/.
We’ve seen for almost 20 years that when the Kids’ Clubs aren’t available (like for snow days), Group-X class attendance is very, very low. So we’re hopeful that with going back to school, the governor will allow us to re-open the Kids’ Clubs so we can resume classes in the clubs too.
OK, that’s everything for now.
For those of you who haven’t been in yet, the slowest times of the day in the clubs is either around 12 noon, or any time after 7p.
Wear your mask, stop by, and just walk around for 5-10 minutes.
See for yourself EVERYTHING that we’re ALL doing to keep Big Sky CLEAN & SAFE!
THANK YOU EVERYBODY!!