Hoboken fitness clubs can now apply for a permit to host outdoor workouts with up to 15 people, following an executive order signed by Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The directive was signed in anticipation of certain gymnasiums and fitness centers being allowed to reopen at a limited capacity, as determined by Gov. Phil Murphy (D), and difficulties of social distancing in certain indoor locations.
The city encourages fitness clubs to utilize outdoor space as much as practically possible for workouts, given recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control – which includes social distancing.
“Our gyms and fitness clubs have been hard hit during COVID-19. We recognize the major challenges faced during a gradual re-opening with indoor facilities not always having the room for social distancing or capability to reduce capacity,” Bhalla said in a statement.
“Allocating space for outdoor classes provides an added option for safe and socially distanced workouts that makes the best possible use of our public space.”
While Murphy hasn’t placed an explicit timetable of when gyms will be able to reopen, even with a court battle between a South Jersey weight room that openly defied state orders last week, he said on May 21st that fitness facilities could reopen “in a matter of weeks.”
“We think allowing businesses to utilize public space to host outdoor fitness classes is an excellent first step towards re-opening while also promoting public health and wellbeing,” added Patrick Franco, owner of the Hudson Yoga Project.
“Addiction, depression, and other mental health issues have all been proven to be reduced with physical activity. Through this initial role out, the Hudson Yoga Project can provide a roadmap of how safe and responsible interactions can be sustained within the fitness community.”
Owners or managers of current Hoboken gyms or fitness clubs may apply to utilize outdoor space in certain city fields and parks by clicking here.
Each application will be reviewed by city staff on a case by case basis, with additional information requested including class sizes, current indoor capacity, types of workouts requested outdoors, and more.
Gyms and fitness clubs are permitted to charge participants the fair market value they would normally charge for indoor classes.
Additionally, certain activities may be restricted given the requested location of outdoor space, and priority will be given for morning times when fields and parks are not as heavily utilized by the public.
The City is offering the following parks and fields for outdoor workouts:
• Church Square Park basketball court
• Elysian Park basketball court
• Multi-Service Center rink
• 14th Street Viaduct soccer pitch
• City Hall Plaza (behind City Hall)
• 7th and Jackson plaza and lawn
• Sinatra Park amphitheater
• 1600 Turf Field and concrete area
• Maxwell Park pier and lawn
• Southwest Park
• Mama Johnson field
• Sinatra Park field
• Stevens Park little league field
• Church Square Park turf lawn
• Pier A
Additionally, the executive order permits gymnasiums and fitness clubs to utilize outdoor parking lots for socially distanced workouts with the permission of the respective property owner.
More information about Hoboken’s efforts to help small businesses, including the City’s Business Recovery Plan and applications for streateries, parklets and open streets can be found here.