Outdoors is the “in-thing” for a growing list of cities looking to help businesses survive during the coronavirus pandemic.
Thursday night, the Coronado City Council approved measures allowing existing gyms and fitness centers to use city-owned public park space at Spreckels Park, Bradley Field, and even the beach. The council also allowed those businesses to use their existing parking lots for classes and machines.
“We have everybody in their own designated area. We bring all the equipment out,” said Nick Merrill while standing in a makeshift gym set up outside Sweat Equity, which he co-owns with his wife.
“Not quite the same as being inside,” he added.
Merrill and other fitness centers will benefit from the new rules if they adhere to public health safety regulations.
“We just really want to keep providing this service for our members,” he said.
“If they can do it outdoors in the open, I think that’s a lot better than being inside,” said Amy Campbell as she sat in Spreckels Park with her family and Shauna Mangapit’s family.
The two were sitting six-feet apart on blankets as their children played in the grass. Both agreed they wouldn’t mind sharing the space with businesses.
“I know a lot of people are struggling during this time,” Mangapit said.
The past few months have been difficult for all types of businesses.
“Oh man, it was, it was crazy,” sighed Merrill when the stay-at-home orders were first issued in March.
“We went online, which was great, but it’s not the same as seeing people in the gym,” he said. “As long as we can keep doing stuff like this, we’re going to survive.”
A City of Coronado spokeswoman said businesses should hurry to get their permits because space is limited, and they won’t be able to use the space all day long.