Some pools remain closed as Gov. Ducey allows them to reopen
SURPRISE, Ariz. - Arizona governor Doug Ducey allowed gyms and pools to reopen on Wednesday, but officials with some Valley cities say they are not ready to reopen their pools, just yet.
The city of Surprise is continuing to close gyms, pools and recreation centers indefinitely despite restrictions being lifted on the facilities as of May 13.
The closures are being maintained because of "budget impacts and physical distancing guidelines."
"The city of Surprise is maintaining closures of Surprise Aquatic Center, Hollyhock Pool, the gym at the Surprise Senior Center, and all recreation centers until further notice," officials wrote in a statement.
The city stated that the economic downturn from the coronavirus has affected their budget, and they have had to balance the cost of amenities like pools with the costs of essential services and public safety.
"The city is working on a phased reopening plan that will consider budget impacts, potential gathering numbers and the ability to physical distance," officials wrote.
Read the full statement here.
East Valley cities
Chandler's mayor, Kevin Hartke, is introducing a phased reopening of pools that starts on Monday, May 18, and expects to have everything open by June 6.
In Tempe, city officials say says it’s also not ready to open.
"The Governor’s order is not a mandate; cities have discretion about when to re-open," reads a brief statement.
For resorts that rely on their pool to entice visitors, allowing pools to reopen will make all the difference.
"The number one question people were asking us and would call and make a reservation, they would say 'Is the pool open?' So now we can say yes, we are open," said Andrew Chippindall, General Manager of Mountain Shadows Resort. "The minute the decision was made [Tuesday] afternoon, our phones started to light up. I’m excited to have a great weekend this weekend. Timing is great."
The resort, in order to keep people safe, has removed half of their lounges, and spaced the remaining ones far enough apart. Staff members are sanitizing often.
"We are working on sanitation," said Chippindall. "All of our employees have a mask while we are inside, wearing mask and gloves outside. We will see how that goes."
The state's stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 15.
According to Ducey's executive order, entitled "Stay home, Stay healthy, Stay Connected," hair salons, nail salons, and barbershops were allowed to reopen to customers on May 8.
On May 11, Arizona restaurants were allowed to reopen dining rooms to patrons, with modifications that followed social distancing guidelines.
MORE: YMCA reopens in Phoenix after Gov. Ducey announces gyms can reopen in Arizona
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