The long-awaited opening of the Orem Fitness Center has almost arrived.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the Parks and Recreation department will hold a ribbon-cutting and celebration. The renovated center will then be open for business at 10 a.m.

Regular operating hours are from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. starting Monday. The center is closed Sundays.

On Saturday, the fitness center will be on high engagement with the community and will be providing classes, teachers and demonstrations in every room and location in the building, according to Karl Hirst, director of Parks and Recreation.

For the past few days, the public has been able to tour the facilities to get a firsthand look at what to expect from the facility and its amenities.

Approximately 900 people have already toured the center and the response has been narrowed down to one word, which, according to Hirst, is “Wow!”

“Other than, ‘wow,’ the biggest comment has been, ‘There is something for everyone,’ ” Hirst said. “And almost all have commented on the great views.”

Many of the exercise and running facilities have a full two-story view of Mt. Timpanogos on which to gaze. The view will most likely never be encumbered as the Mountain View High School parking lot and football stadium borders the center.

In reference to Orem’s neighbor Provo, Hirst said. “Provo’s got a great facility, but I think we’re there, too.”

One of the fun, adult attractions in the center is next to the children’s playground area. It is a large adult-sized slide that takes you from the second to the first floor, instead of taking the stairs that are provided.

Hirst said the final touches have been going well and the facility will be ready for Saturday’s onslaught of exercise enthusiasts.

“I’m excited, I’m loving watching people’s faces,” Hirst said. “I can’t think about retirement until Sunday.”

After more than three decades with the city, Hirst will retire on March 31.

For those who want to know what is going on at the center in real time, particularly if it’s busy, you can download an Orem Rec app to your phone. It shows what’s going on and offers people counts in real time.

Hirst said the app also helps people concerned about COVID to know when it’s slow and what the percentage of capacity is, in case they choose to come to the center when it is less busy.

Residents may also find information on

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at, (801) 344-2910, Twitter


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