Feb. 18 Update: When originally published, the Rec Centers had set Monday, Feb. 22, as a tentative reopening date. Today (Feb. 18), the Rec Centers can now confirm that the Feb. 22 reopening date is now official. The word “tentatively” will now be removed from this page in order to reflect the change.
With Maricopa County’s announcement this week that 44 percent of county residents 75 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, coupled with a decline in the case trajectory, the Recreation Centers of Sun City West announces plans to reopen its fitness centers and indoor pools on Feb. 22.
Maricopa County is still seeing substantial transmission in COVID cases, and there are concerns that the case trajectory could begin climbing again if the COVID variants that are more contagious begin spreading. However, the Arizona Department of Health Services’ business metrics shows a consistent decline in all three measurements. There is also a two-week lag in those numbers.
“Due to the lag in reporting, we believe by Feb. 22 at least one of the metrics will drop below the substantial threshold, putting us back into the moderate transmission category. That category allows the Rec Centers to operate its indoor gyms and pools at 25 percent capacity,” said General Manager Bill Schwind.
For example, ADHS’s website shows one such metric – hospital visits for COVID-like illness in Maricopa County – at 11.9 percent, but that number is for Jan. 24. The Jan. 31 number shows the state at 9.8 percent (county-level data for Jan. 31 is not yet available).
“We believe this decline will continue, and in anticipation of the new numbers meeting the threshold for 25 percent occupancy, we will be ready to open by Feb. 22,” Schwind said.
Per the Governor’s Executive Orders 2020-43 and 2020-52, special events of more than 50 people will continue to be prohibited unless the organizers receive a special event license from Maricopa County.
Masks must continue to be worn in all indoor areas. Guests also will not be allowed at this time, except for golf and bowling, both of which have public play policies. In bowling, guests must have their own equipment and follow all social distancing rules. No spectators are allowed.
Other departments within the Association are open as follows:
Indoor facilities: Gyms, indoor pools, spas, Palm Ridge’s indoor walking track, group fitness, and shower/locker rooms will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. Spa services and personal training also will be offered. The gyms will be closed from noon to 1 p.m. each day for deep cleanings. Capacity in all these facilities will be limited to 25 percent. For the spas, capacity is limited to six at Beardsley, Kuentz and R.H. Johnson. Palm Ridge spas are limited to three. Racquetball and table tennis at R.H. Johnson will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
Outdoor facilities: Tennis, pickleball, lawn bowls, walking tracks, bocce, mini-golf, etc. will remain open. Equipment is available for rent at the Activities Center and is cleaned between users.
Library: Curbside pickup for materials; Data Resource by appointment only. Call 623-544-6130.
Golf: Open with existing precautions in place. Shotguns and crossovers will remain on hold as these events can bring more than 100 people together at one time.
Sports Pavilion: Open with existing precautions in place.
Clubs: Chartered clubs were not affected by Executive Orders, however the Rec Centers has opted to close the social, card and dance clubs as those cannot physically distance. The rest can open if they choose, however several have closed on their own accord. A list of which clubs are closed and which are open with restrictions can be found at suncitywest.com/covid19.
Member Services: By appointment only, between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Call 623-544-6100.
Administrative/Governing Board Offices: By appointment only. Call 623-544-6000.
Village Store: Open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with precautions in place.
For the latest COVID information from the Rec Centers, visit suncitywest.com/COVID19, and sign up for the weekly enews.
Are guests allowed i have a associate rec card under my father in law. Which he is the only home owner. So my husband come with me as a guest. His address on his license is scw. So since he lives here can he come with me as a guest.
Hi Keveline. Right now, only members, associates and tenants may use the facilities. No guests at this time. Your husband would have to buy an associate card if he is living at the property.
I have been very supportive of your plans but I am having trouble understanding the guest policy. Golf and bowling are revenue producing. Is that why they are chosen? Why can’t I bring my kids to play Pickleball? Why can they not go to pools during guest hours. Why can’t they play bocce?
Because the people running this place don’t care and don’t have a clue.
Well stated. Well stated indeed.
Judy, yes part of the reason is financial. If we cut off golf and bowling revenue, it would result in a dues increase. We are trying to balance all of this. Additionally, we are limiting capacity due to the Arizona Department of Health Services benchmarks. We do not want to displace members with guests – which is likely to happen during spring break if we open the pools etc to guests. We are meeting weekly to review COVID case counts to see when we might be able to lift this restriction.
Palm Ridge swim and fitness to be closed for repairs – The Palm Ridge swim and fitness building will be closed Monday, March 1 and will reopen on Saturday, March 6. During the closure, staff will be repairing the sidewalks leading into the building. REALLY?
Rol, this project was scheduled during the COVID closure. As case counts decreased, we wanted to reopen asap, which we did. But due to contractor schedules etc. we needed to move forward with this project and close to get it done, or else it could be months before we can get to it, if contractors are available.
The pools and gyms should have been opened long ago. We have been paying Rec. Fees continuously, but haven’t been able to use any facilities. If the CDC says schools should open, why don’t we follow suit?????
We signed an Attestation with the Arizona Department of Health Services saying we would reopen when cases and other ADHS benchmarks fell below their criteria for reopening. Those numbers have fallen into place and we have reopened.
Why not have the rest rooms at Beardsley park open on weekends. Also take the flag down you people just can not get it to the top of the pole. disgrace.
We have family coming soon. We’re hoping they can use the facilities.
I would echo Judy Thompson’s comment regarding guests and outdoor activities. Why is it not possible for guests to participate in Pickleball, tennis, lawn bowling, miniature golf, bocce, outdoor pools, outdoor walking track, etc.? Guests are allowed for golf, an outdoor activity, and an indoor activity such as bowling. I do not understand the logic other than the exception seems to be made for revenue producing activities. I do and have supported closings and restrictions but this one area is a puzzlement. Thank you for your anticipated response.
Sherry, there is no easy black and white solution to this issue. Right now, due to capacity limitations in some areas, we are not allowing guests. Additionally, we did not want to introduce guests into the community while case counts were high and vaccines were unavailable. COVID case counts have only recently begun dropping and vaccinations are spreading, so we are reevaluating this restriction now that the threat from outsiders is somewhat lower.
Great …the palm ridge gym and indoor pools open Feb. 22, only to close for maintenance, the week of March 1. Why wasn’t the maintenance done while the gym and pools are currently closed?
Since I didn’t receive an answer to my question, I think I can answer it myself n two words. “poor planning”
Ken, please see the response to Rol above.
Thank you for continuing to limit use of facilities to residents. Hopefully at this time next year guests will once again be able to use the facilities along with residents.
Why have you chosen to repair the sidewalk right after you plan to open Palm Ridge? This project could have (should have) been done while the center was closed for the last two months. Or it should be done in July when there are fewer people inconvenienced by the closing of the center.
Exactly! This has got to be the most poorly managed recreation center. They had months to do the repairs, yet waited until the facility was “opened” again. smh.
Also, WHAT ABOUT GUESTS??? Why in the world can’t you make it clear on this page somewhere, the guest restrictions?
Finally, will we be forced to wear masks while working out or walking on the inside track?
Hi Debra. Masks must continue to be worn in all indoor areas. Guests also will not be allowed at this time, except for golf and bowling, both of which have public play policies. In bowling, guests must have their own equipment and follow all social distancing rules.
I have to disagree here. In July when — due to the heat — we mostly can’t exercise outdoors, it’s more important than ever to have the rec center at Palm Ridge open.
Hi Bill, due to high demand for contractors, this was scheduled well before we reopened. We reopened as soon as possible. Trying to reschedule this at this time is not feasible due to the contractors’ schedules.
Kids should never be a problem. Can’t understand why they can’t be let in. Even the private schools in Washington state are going. The public schools are slow to open, but that is a political problem.