Joe Purton in March was making preparations for the fourth anniversary celebration of his CycleBar, the gym where invigorating workouts on stationary bikes are set to upbeat music at 3355 Richmond Road in Beachwood, when Governor Mike DeWine announced that all gyms and recreation centers must close due to the coronavirus.
“We obviously had to postpone that celebration,” Purton says of the gym’s anniversary. “We had very little time to react and notify our members, but we were fortunate enough to rent out all of our 49 bikes in the studio to members. We kept one for an instructor to teach our live Facebook classes.”
CycleBar claims to offer one of the safest fitness studios by using the REME Halo unit. Induct air purifier.Purton then went about making plans to ensure CycleBar is as safe and clean as possible when it reopens. With doors closed, he decided to make the $6,000 investment in a REME HALO in-duct air purifying unit, made by Florida-based RGF Environmental Group.
Purton, who says CycleBar is the first gym in Northeast Ohio to get this equipment, says he didn’t even know the REME existed before he started researching how he could open safely.
“When I learned about it, despite the high cost, I wanted to give my members peace of mind knowing that we have taken every precaution possible to ensure a safe environment for them,” he explains.
Crews installed directly into CycleBar’s HVAC system last week. The system actively distributes hydroperoxide that is circulated throughout the CycleBar’s bike studio, community room, and front lobby—disinfecting every surface that comes in contact with the air.
“It [hydroperoxide] acts as a disinfectant and kills all airborne pathogens, 99% of viruses in the air, and sanitizes all surfaces as well,” Purton says. “It’s really kind of exciting.”
Purton says the equipment has proved effective in stopping the spread of SARSCoV when it hit Canada in 2003, so he says he is hopeful it will also stop COVID-19.
And now that gyms have the green light to open on Tuesday, May 26, Purton says he is ready and confident that his 400 members will be protected when they come to the gym. But, Purton has implemented some precautionary changes.
“We put a lot of extra protocols around our cleaning processes to make sure they’re in a safe environment.”
For instance, with the six-foot social distancing recommendation, Purton says he will only have about 16 Schwinn Carbon Blue bikes on the floor, as opposed to the normal 50.
And, when customers come into the gym (through automatic doors so there is no touching door handles) they will now use CycleBar’s mobile app on their phones to check in.
“Members will no longer use the iPad check-in stations,” he explains. “We will also be able to check members in at the front desk. We are just going to eliminate as many touch points as possible.”
Between classes, CycleBar staff will conduct 30-minute deep cleanings—sanitizing each bike and every surface with antibacterial wipes followed by sanitization with a UV wand, followed by a thorough floor mopping.
New policies for now will include customers bringing their own towels and waters, lockers will be off-limits, and hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the gym. CycleBar will hand out masks and gloves to those who want them.
Purton says they will open on Friday, May 29 to members, followed by opening to the general public on Monday, June 1.