Daniel Root opened his first fitness studio in February, one month before the novel coronavirus upended his business plans.

Now he’s hoping that enhanced cleaning and social distancing procedures will entice customers back after two and a half months closed. The 57-year-old owner of a City Row location in Boca Raton, Fla., reopened on June 1 with a schedule of intense rowing workouts for $25 per class.

He says the next few weeks will be crucial. In the three days since his location reopened, it’s offered two or three classes a day, with nine customers each, compared to four or five with 18 spots. Four were sold out, Root says, and the rest were about 75% full.

“It’s a little different vibe than you’re used to,” he says, noting that members can no longer linger in the studio before and after class to socialize.

However, everyone who came back has understood why changes were made, Root notes. “I haven’t had any pushback, or anything like that, from anyone.”

City dwellers who have been cooped up in tiny apartments for the past three months are eager to resume their regular workout routines. But when luxury fitness studios do restart, the experience will be drastically different.

About two-thirds of states, including Florida and Illinois, are allowing gyms to reopen. But high-density cities in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., are still closed while officials contemplate strategies.

Along with Florida, a key state to watch is Texas, which allowed gyms to resume operations on May 18. Equinox, a high-end chain with 105 locations nationwide and 35 in New York City, has reopened clubs in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Tex. The company’s SoulCycle brand, which offers cycling classes for $36 each, has reopened five of its 99 locations, including sites in Houston, Dallas, and Vancouver.

The company is using these locations as test grounds to see what a gradual return to normal will look like. Beyond increased disinfecting and social distancing protocols, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. “The Covid crisis is highly dynamic, and we are looking at this daily from a local perspective,” says Judy Turchin, Equinox’s chief operating officer. She says there is currently no concrete plan to reopen clubs in New York.

Turchin says that an internal exit poll survey, 96% of members in the newly reopened clubs said Equinox met or exceeded their expectations on cleanliness. A majority of regular members has returned.

First « 1 2 3 4 » Next