In just a little over a week, gyms and fitness centers will close for two weeks as a way to limit people’s mobility and reduce the spread of the virus.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – In just a little over a week, gyms and fitness centers will close for two weeks as a way to limit people’s mobility and reduce the spread of the virus.
“I don’t think we saw it coming but we felt it coming,” said Planet Fitness Franchise Stephen Lukin.
Gym owners tell ABC 6 they were worried there would be some type of restrictions targeting them. They don’t think it’s fair considering all of the strict cleaning and screening protocols they’ve put in place.
“So it’s upsetting to us because we’ve tried so hard,” said Julie McKenna Alavian of Burn Boot Camp.
As a way to adapt, small gyms like American Muscle Corps in Pawtucket and Burn Boot Camp in Warwick are planning to pivot to virtual classes.
But owners say that completely changes the social aspect of working out that members crave.
“Reduce our capacity. But don’t close us outright because there is a significant difference on our business,” said McKenna Alavian.
“It’s a really scary time for everyone. And this helps,” said Lukin. “Not everyone can afford therapy but they can afford Planet Fitness and come here and workout.”
As they try and once again figure out what’s best for their members, they also struggle with a grave reality – how they will survive another shut down.
“The thing is I don’t know how this is going to get under control, but I don’t think that shutting down the businesses is going to change it,” said Gail Bolden of American Muscle Corps.
“I don’t know. It makes me emotional honestly to think about closing the doors,” said McKenna Alavian. “But we don’t know!”
These owners are holding out hope that whatever funding the governor alluded to providing next week will be put out quickly.