How Many Local Gyms Will Survive?
The Battle Creek Family YMCA is not unlike most other public health and fitness facilities across Michigan. It’s faced a year and a half of rigid shutdowns and restrictions imposed by the state due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. But there is one key difference with many others. It is still open.
Many other fitness clubs and gyms throughout the state have closed for good. They won’t be coming back. One of the first in this area to permanently close was Blue Moon Fitness. The owner of that club tried to defy Governor Whitmer’s closing orders last year. Only to get a visit from local authorities and a threat of legal action without compliance. It wasn’t long after that the club closed for good. Owner Joel Potter commenting that it never should have happened.
Marshall State Representative Matt Hall at the time was the chair of a State House of Representatives committee watching over the mess. He was blaming Governor Gretchen Whitmer for bias against health clubs.
Since the middle of last year, the number of gyms forced to close has increased every week. Just like the hundreds of restaurants forced to close around Michigan. One of the factors is people who had memberships and wanted a place to work out were refused. So they looked for alternate methods of working out. Many have been turning to equipment they can set up and use at home. Not the same as a gym, but it is a workout.
One of the bigger names in the home equipment fitness field now is Peloton. The Company is busting at the seams. It's breaking ground on a new manufacturing facility in Ohio to turn out its popular internet-connected stationary bikes and similar equipment. Many others are either expanding or starting up. We see their ads regularly.
The big picture is some business experts are predicting within just a year or two, big full-service fitness facilities may be hard to find. But leaders of community YMCA’s and facilities connected to medical outfits like the Ascension Health and Fitness Center in Kalamazoo tell us they aren’t going anywhere.