As area gyms hope to reopen, study says up to half of members might not return

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) There is no precise date yet when gyms can reopen in the region. It’s categorized under Phase 4 in the recreation category, giving gym owners time to make adjustments. 


“Things are going to have to change,” says Rachele Maier, owner of Tangent’s Pole & Aerial on Anderson Avenue in the city.

March was a destined to be a profitable month for Maier, until PAUSE hit. Maier took out a couple of loans to stay afloat for now. She’s been ready for weeks to reopen, adhering to safety guidelines she says will come.

“We spaced apart classes, so people aren’t coming and going at the same time. There needs to be time to disinfect and clean in-between classes,” she says.

Popular chain gym Planet Fitness is doing the same. In a statement, a spokesperson for the franchise told News 8:

“The safety of our team and members is our top priority and we are working closely with our local franchisees to determine a reopening date with that in mind. As we begin to execute a thoughtful and phased reopening approach, we will take a number of steps to protect the health and well-being of our team members and members, which include enhanced cleanliness and sanitization policies and procedures, physical distancing measures, reducing physical touch points in the club, and more. Now more than ever it’s important to stay active, in order to stay healthy, and we look forward to safely and responsibly welcoming our members back to Planet Fitness.”

-Becky Zirlen, Senior Public Relations Manager

Even with all these new accommodations being made, a new study done by Run Repeat says over 50% of American gym members probably won’t return to fitness centers post-pandemic. Maier says the reasons could vary: a fear of contracting Covid-19 in gyms, and innovations made at home to stay in-shape. 

Maier is hoping for some kind of announcement from Albany this month on an open date before her base decides to fade away. “I had people who unfortunately purchased classes that didn’t even get to come because we got closed down. So they’re all waiting for us to open,” she says.

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