By Jamie Leary

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – The list of Summit County businesses able to move to level yellow restrictions under the 5 Star Program is growing. The program recently opened to places like gyms, salons and barber shops.

Unlike the restaurants, not everyone is jumping to apply. Summit County Public Health said last week, only three personal services had signed up for the program.

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In an email, Summit County’s environmental health manager, Dan Hendershott, told CBS4 most places will benefit some. For many businesses, square footage plays a role.

“Some places are finding that they will not gain from the bump to level yellow capacities (50%, 50 per room) because they are already at 50 maximum today,” he said.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations (BGV) is one of the handful of recent personal service applicants. It not only operates fractional ownerships and a hotel, it has many amenities, some of which include spa services.

The company decided to certify its spas under the 5 Star Program. While a move to level yellow won’t change the number of guests they can book, BGV says it’s still worth it.

“We have the equipment. We have the technology. We have the staff that’s incredibly trained at this point,” said Kimberly Tramontana, VP of Operations for Breckenridge Grand Vacations.

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When BGV reopened its properties in June, it was ready. In addition to the CDC recommended guidelines, the spas were working to install air ionization technology into the ducts and were working on installing sanitizing UV lights into individual service rooms.

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BGV says the 5 Star Certification is a bonus.

“I have to say, I feel safe,” said Heidi Regan, Manager of Soothe Spa in the Grand Lodge. “I’m proud of our 5 Star certification. I know that it doesn’t change our occupancy or what we’re able to do, but looking towards the future I think it’s going to be really beneficial for our business.”

Regan said she feels safe, and clients do as well.

Costs to make the upgrades to qualify for the certification could be a setback for some. The program requires businesses to make HVAC improvements, or have HEPA filters appropriate for the space.

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In 2020, BGV spent around $2 million in labor and equipment across all its properties to make the safety upgrades through a program it created last year called BGV shines.

While it sounds like a huge investment, the company has had no outbreaks reported among spa patrons. Tramontana says the investments have paid off and she believes the certification only serves to emphasize that.

“I think that it gives our employees and owners and guests the added assurance that we’re very comfortable operating with the higher standards required by participation in the program.”

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LINKS: Map Of 5 Star Certified Businesses In Summit County | 5 Star Program

Jamie Leary