On Monday, any last open climbing gyms in Colorado were directed to close their doors as part of “emergency measures” enacted by Governor Jared Polis.
A “notice of public health order” from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment was aimed at trying to deter the spread of novel coronavirus.
All bars and restaurants (for sit-down dining, though takeout and delivery are permitted), theaters, gymnasiums and casinos in Colorado are to close for 30 days.
According to our companion publication Gym Climber, other states with mandatory gym closures at this time are: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington and Louisiana.
Many climbing gyms across the country have tried to help and protect their member communities by lifting “freeze charges” for those suspending their memberships or, when closing for a period, extending customers’ memberships for time lost. In response, various climbers have rallied by urging active support of their community gyms.
On Friday, Dan Howley of the Spot Climbing Gym in Boulder closed through the end of March, a hardship to owners and staff. The next day he went on Facebook to quote this post by a Boulder climber (and former Rock and Ice editor), Mark Eller: “I’m not a current monthly member at the Spot but I’m happy to buy a new 10-pass online this week — I’ll be back in a few weeks.”
“He promptly went online and did exactly that,” Howley wrote, saying he was deeply moved. “Sometimes hard times bring out the best in people, or at least make it obvious who the best of us are!”
The mandatory 30-day closure of the many facilities in Colorado takes effect at 8:00 a.m. March 17.