In March, California Family Fitness had to close all 19 of its gyms due to restrictions across the state regarding COVID-19. As a result, Cal Fit furloughed 1100 employees and its members had to figure out how to come up with a new way to work out with their go-to routine now halted.
As the state starts to open back up, gyms and other companies across the state, including Cal Fit, Gold’s Gym, In-Shape and Orangetheory to name a few, have united to try to arrange a safe way to reopen gyms as well as look for ways to get federal and state help for fitness employees who were affected by COVID-19 shutdowns.
“We’ve had very positive feedback from our members. It’s a very important part of our mental health but we also want to do it in a safe and responsible manner. The majority of people want us to reopen,” Randy Karr, President and CEO of Cal Fit, said on May 18 of the reaction to the California Fitness Alliance.
Four thousand fitness business across the state were impacted by the COVID-19 shutdowns and now CFA is working to receive state and federal aid for employees as they look to put measures in place for opening safely.
“In the fitness industry, we often work more independently than collaboratively. Now, we look forward to working together and with state and local officials to reopen facilities in a safe manner,” said Francesca Schuler, CEO, In-Shape Health Clubs. “We are passionate about helping our community members live healthy lives, and we want to continue to support them on their fitness journeys.”
Along with reopening safely and advocating for its employees’ financial health, CFA is also looking out for gym members. One of their goals is to easy some of the financial burden on gym members by trying to get membership dues to be an approved pre-tax health benefit.
Currently, gyms are in phase three of Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen the state.
Gym memberships have been frozen at Cal Fit but members are still able to work out with new Zumba online workouts and other workouts three times a week, Karr said.
As gyms and the over 180,000 fitness employees across the state are waiting for the day they are able to safely reopen, Karr said that having business shut down was tough but that they are looking forward to regaining normalcy in the future.
“We want to get the clubs reopened and hope to see our members back in the gym as soon as possible.”