A popular Jacksonville fitness center and golf course with a bar & grill have made preparations to reopen to the public. Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that health & fitness businesses along with bars & restaurants could open with special restrictions this weekend moving into Phase 3 of his Restore Illinois plan.
Rachel Rohn, co-owner of Fitness World & K’s Creek Golf Course, says that each location is going an extra step to help Jacksonville residents enjoy a safe workout or a safe dining out experience.
Rohn says that they are going to take advantage of the amount of space that Fitness World has to offer to maintain physical distance: “The regular social distancing guidelines of the 6 feet, we’re doubling that and in some cases, possibly tripling it in some cases. Being able to keep the social distancing of 12-15 feet on every piece of equipment is going to help a lot when it comes to the exertion levels of all our different members. We’re going above and beyond by moving our cardio equipment out into our sports complex which will allow for more social distancing. We have mapped out our two sports courts to still be able to utilize group fitness classes. We have mapped it out so there is 12-15 feet between each member when it comes to group fitness classes along with our spin classes as well. Then, with our assisted weight equipment and our weight room downstairs, we are asking that people use every other piece of equipment.”
Rohn says that they are going to be utilizing extra staff to enforce social distancing restrictions and occupancy limits are followed. “We are going to have at least 3-4 members of our staff who are getting certified COVID training who we are going to have on staff at all time to ensure that social distancing guidelines are being followed as well as cleaning and sanitizing. Members will have their own set of procedures to follow and we do as well.”
Rohn says that portions of the facility will remain closed for the time being. “We are limiting to just the use of our bathrooms. There will be no use of shower stalls, water fountains, anything that could help increase the transmission of the virus will not be able to be used. We are asking people to bring their own water bottles, their own towels. None of that will be around so we can make sure there is one less thing that could carry the virus.”
Rohn says they will monitor occupancy levels at all stations of the fitness center to make sure it says at a safe limit. She says they are fortunate to have such a large amount of space due to their sports complex.
Rohn is also a co-owner of K’s Creek Golf Course. They have been operating their bar & grill on a take out, to-go menu only since the late-March shutdown of the hospitality industry. Rohn is excited that the bar & grill will get to reopen for dining-in experiences for their customers. “What we’re really luck to have out at K’s Creek is the amount of space to make people feel comfortable to come and sit down for a dining experience outside compared to a lot of other places. Being able to utilize our tent, our outdoor deck, our courtyard, and possibly even other areas around the golf course is going to let people in the community enjoy the dining experience but not at the cost of them not being comfortable in following social distancing guidelines and COVID procedures that have been put in place.”
Rohn says that some simple changes have occurred to allow for a more complete experience despite all of the guidelines and procedures. “It’s going to be very comfortable because we are going to have the tables more than 6 feet apart. We are not going to seat more than 6 people to a table, because that obviously follows state guidelines. We’re going reservation only. That allows us to take a little bit more time to clean and do all the disinfecting of silverware and tables, things of that nature. We are also going to make sure that a lot of the drinks, food, and the things that we are able to have would be for example instead of fountain soda, canned soda to where it’s limiting exposure to our customers and our workers.”
Rohn says that K’s Creek has been lucky to have head chef Richie Fredericks come on in their kitchen to create dishes for Jacksonville residents for their take-out menu. Rohn says she’s excited to see what he can do with the expanded experience being offered. Rohn says Francie Sweeten, the head bartender, is also looking forward to offering sit-down cocktail drinks rather than the to-go options just passed by the General Assembly. Rohn says it should offer customers a complete dining experience. She says that both businesses are looking forward to getting back to seeing their customers with the reopening.