Monday, 03 August 2020 09:56

Gyms Still Facing Economic Hardship

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BALLSTON SPA – Nearly a month into phase 4 of reopening New York and local gyms are still not allowed to open their doors.

            For one gym in Round Lake Ballston Spa, those doors will now never open. Global Express Fitness opened their doors to a new location in Malta in early January. With almost two months of being opened, the gym was forced to shut doors at their previous location in round lake, with no plans to reopen them.

            “We did close our Round Lake location due to the impacts of COVID-19. We appreciate everyone who kept their membership during this time. Unfortunately because of the amount of people who decided to cancel, we just could not sustain both locations,” Express Fitness Owners wrote on Facebook. “Four months without a gym is unbelievable.”

            All workout equipment has moved to their new facility built in Malta. Any memberships will be valid at the new Malta location once they’re allowed to open their doors.

            Saratoga Peak Performance wanted to open their doors in Phase 2, when “specialty gyms” were allowed to reopen.

            “For the time being, we will abide by the state guidelines for Phase 4 opening…It’s putting myself and our great staff of personal traners at great economic hardship and simply makes no sense when you consider the hundreds going into big-box retail stores daily, yet we can’t open with just eight clients,” Bryan Briddel, owner, wrote on Facebook.

            As on July 20, each of NY’s 10 regions have reached the final phase of the four-phase reopening process. To date, movie theaters, gyms, and gatherings with more than 50 people are not allowed. With outbreaks increasing around the country, Governor Andrew Cuomo has not mention a Phase 5 when the remaining industries will be allowed to reopen.

            The City of Saratoga Springs' Commissioner of Public Works Anthony Scirocco announced this week that Saratoga Springs based gyms, fitness trainers, and yoga studios are able to use Congress Park, High Rock Park, Geyser Road Veterans Memorial Park, and the Waterfront Park to host workout sessions without paying rental fees. The proposed rental and use policy was unanimously approved by the City Council at their July meeting.

            Gym classes and workout are not the only to move outside, as street dining has seen a massive increase this past month. The village of Ballston Spa, downtown Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville announced this week they will expand outdoor seating options. In order for a business to reopen they must meet general requirements such as strict cleaning and sanitation, mandatory face masks for all employees and customers and coronavirus cases must be traced, tracked, and reported to regional public-health officials.

The strength studio called Evolution Strength and Performance moved to the virtual world when the pandemic began, and their online on-demand training portal has been successful since. Not only did the gym change the face of its company, they also expanded the gym and rebranded themselves to be called Kettlebell Works.

“Back in May we restructured everyone’s gym memberships. We made the decision to predominantly become a remote based business with minimal in-person work, and that’s our direction moving forward,” Owner Chris Abbott said.           

The new studio is double the size of the old one, and has been ready to open since April. Kettlebell Works is located at 26 Commons Blvd in Clifton Park and can be reached at 518-235-3896. Global Express Fitness is located at 43 Round lake Rd in Ballston Spa and can be reached at 518-400-1428. Saratoga Peak Performance is located at 30 Gick Rd in Saratoga and can be reached by phone at 518-505-9542.

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