Gyms feeling ‘forgotten’ as other industries receive looser reopening guidance

New York State

LIVERPOOL N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As more industries receive looser reopening guidance, gyms and fitness clubs are still waiting for an update when it comes to their restrictions.

On Aug. 24, 2020 gyms across New York could reopen after being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, Nikki Polos, owner of Aspen Athletic Club, has been running her business at a max of 33% capacity.

“The occupancy is what is our biggest issue at this point,” – Nikki Polos, Owner, Aspen Athletic Club

Throughout the entire pandemic, Polos says Aspen has seen a huge number of membership cancellations, even when the doors to her business reopened.

“Thankfully, our cancellations have slowed, but they have not stopped,” she explained.

But another thing that hasn’t took pause once during the pandemic is the bills.

Every small business is hurting and we are still hurting, but we are fighting every single day. We are operating within the guidelines that we have. When you are given 33 percent occupancy, but you have 100% of your overhead, it is very challenging to make those numbers work.

Nikki Polos, Owner, Aspen Athletic Club

Across Aspen’s three locations, since reopening, Polos said there’s been more than 236,000 total workouts and there haven’t been any issues with COVID.

She believes much of that has to do with the strict safety protocols her members and staff need to follow.

Our members are following the guidelines; our team members are enforcing the guidelines and we’re having a lot of success. People are feeling better, they’re getting healthier. Their mental health, their physical health is all improving…it’s just getting people inside the door.

We need the government to start speaking up and encouraging people to take control of their health and wellness, to take the safety precautions that they have put in place, but to exercise.

Nikki Polos, Owner, Aspen Athletic Club

For now, Polos feels forgotten but she’s holding onto hope she can let more people back inside Aspen soon.

NewsChannel 9 has reached out to the Governor’s office to see if there are any plans to release new guidance for the fitness industry. We have not yet received a response.

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