DENVER — Denver may be one of the fittest cities in the country, but the city’s struggle with public workout groups is drawing national media attention.
The New York Times last week waded into a debate between fitness groups and the city over where trainers can hold their classes.
Under city law, no “commercial” activity is allowed in public parks without a permit. While the rules have traditionally applied mostly to unauthorized festivals and food vendors, the Times found that cities in the Denver metro area are increasingly cracking down on CrossFit crews and yoga groups that try to work out in public areas.
“You can smoke pot, but you can’t exercise,” gym owner Chris Lindley told the paper. “This is Colorado.”
Working out is fine, city officials told the paper. But if a trainer or instructor is making money from the session, it’s unfair that they get to use parks for free rather than paying for a storefront like any other business.
Several exercise programs scoffed at the explanation. Trainer Amy Fuller complained that the city wanted $1,200 per month for permits, which would cut deeply into her profits.
“They totally priced us out,” she said.
The Denver City Council was expected to address the controversy later this month.