When told by the Province that we could re-open our doors back in July, my inbox and social media were blowing up with messages from members and new members asking questions and expressing their excitement. That said, it was also getting its fair share of hold and cancellation requests that were consistent with the survey I had put out about a month earlier. Some were willing to “wait and see” and some just were not confident enough to come back.
As the second wave emerged, the restrictions escalated and the general confidence of the public and members about the state of our COVID situation began to wane. Going into Red was essentially like finishing strong. We were simply finishing what we had started when we re-opening.
During lockdown I have been busy strategizing with my industry group, on calls with officials in the Premiers office and following the news trying to assess public sentiment. This second re-opening is a lot different than the first. We have been through the colour gamut of restrictions, the medical community is NOT in favour of opening and I have received more e-mails requesting that memberships be held or cancelled in the event we do re-open. The vaccine roll out is not going as planned, we now have 4 COVID variants in Canada and the experts are already suggesting there will be a 3rd wave/shutdown as a result of those variants. I think the writing is on the wall and the vast majority of people are not comfortable with re-opening…yet.
The fitness industry is in the business of helping people improve their health and well-being and earning a living while doing so. Trying to convince people that it’s safe to visit the gym, and losing money because we cannot serve enough people because of the restrictions is simply a losing battle. Industry wide, it’s been proven that gyms lose more money, create unnecessary stress for staff and lose more members trying to serve general memberships while open in RED than we do staying closed. We have learned that just because you can open, doesn’t mean you should.
The “Red” battle simply depletes resources that can be used for a stronger re-opening when the time is right. That time is NOT on Tuesday February 16th 2021. Body Fit will keep all memberships and payments on HOLD/FROZEN. When the Region opens in ORANGE, we will open our doors for general membership.
However, there are options that we can viably accommodate. One on One Personal Training and Semi Private/Small Group Training will be available for those that are interested. Current training clients will be contacted by their trainers to discuss options and we will offer new budget friendly small group training services in the week ahead. Those that wish to sign up will be able to do so.
In closing, I want to thank everyone for their continued support. I know that by not opening right away there will be some disappointed people. But please know that Body Fit is in this for the long haul and the decision to remain closed to general membership is the right one for the business, my staff and for the majority of people that just aren’t ready to get back to the gym. I look forward to hitting the ground running when the time IS right and that time will come sooner than later.
Yours in Health,
Owner, Body Fit Health Club