Workout partners Kim Dunlap, Cindy Ortscheid and Natalie Hunt were some of the first customers to return to the St. Peters Rec-Plex after the Phase 1 reopening on June 15. They were happy with fitness areas opening to Members Only, and are particularly excited about the return of group aerobic fitness classes that are FREE to Rec-Plex members.
“Yes, very excited,” Kim said. ”I’m really happy about the gym opening to classes.” Kim has been a Rec-Plex member for more than 20 years—an admitted diehard who was "having withdrawals" during the Rec-Plex's recent three-month closure.
Upon their return, the three women immediately noticed Rec-Plex staff’s detail to cleaning and sanitation. Cindy said she was concerned about returning due to COVID-19, but since coming back to the Rec-Plex, she has been satisfied with the work done to keep the facility clean and maintain proper distance between equipment. “Since returning to the Rec-Plex, I have felt very safe and my fears have lessened,” Cindy says.
Kim also was pleased with the distance that the Rec-Plex has kept between the workout equipment. “I think it’s perfect,” she said.
Group fitness classes are now open in Phase 2 in the spacious Rec-Plex gym. Those classes weren’t immediately available during the Phase 1 opening in June, but Cindy, Kim and Natalie improvised and benefited from their previous experience at Rec-Plex fitness classes. Kim explains that when the Rec-Plex’s group fitness classes would close for annual maintenance during the week of Thanksgiving, the disappointment was so great that a Rec-Plex trainer helped them out with ideas for “track workouts” that also used the Weight Room. “She would give us a copy of a workout during every class,” Kim says. “Cindy has a binder full of workouts.”
Kim, Cindy and Natalie used that binder of workouts to hold them over until group fitness classes returned on July 6.
Cindy, who has been a Rec-Plex member for about 14 years, says that opening to Members Only in the fitness areas has meant a lot to her comfort level during her return. “I think that initially reopening to Members Only was a great idea to see how the process was going to work and to make members more comfortable with going back to exercise,” she said.
She tried to wear a mask at first, but Cindy found that wearing a mask is difficult during exercise. Having a Members Only opening with fewer people in the workout rooms makes it easier to meet recommended social distancing of at least six feet.
“It is obvious that staff worked hard to clean and rearrange the layout of the facility to comply with CDC regulations. I appreciate the Rec Plex staff’s diligence to make the Rec Plex a safe environment,” Cindy said.
Efforts by Rec-Plex staff to update the Rec-Plex with maintenance and painting also were appreciated. “It looks awesome,” Natalie said.
Kim, who is Natalie’s sister, agrees. “I love how they painted the new aerobics room. The doors look incredible. The floors look good. I’m really pleased,” Kim said.
Natalie, who shares a Family pass with her husband and three sons, said another awesome thing was that the Rec-Plex didn’t charge returning members for the first couple weeks of reopening in June. She said that her family, which lives in O’Fallon, switched from another area recreation center to the Rec-Plex a couple years ago and plans to stay. “We’re happy. We like it here,” Natalie says.
Above: Kim (yellow shirt) and Cindy (blue shirt, front row) return to group fitness classes at the Rec-Plex, now available in the spacious gym.