Georgia is the first state rolling out the gym mat to LA Fitness and other exercise facilities that were forced to close in March amid the global coronavirus pandemic. LA Fitness has some 40 gyms in the Atlanta area and will begin reopening on Friday (May 22), according to its website and media reports.
The top-performing fitness franchise by revenue, LA Fitness will open its doors in most Georgia locations, but with the implementation of new hygiene conventions as a way to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.
New safety protocols include contactless check-in; additional staff tasked with sanitizing equipment; medical screening of employees; protective gear for workers; occupancy limits; and less equipment.
The company sent an email to its Georgia members to let them know the doors would open as a “preview period” through May 31 so that members could review the new safety protocols. Members won’t be billed during the preview period.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said fitness centers and other businesses could reopen on April 24, but with restrictions in place. LA Fitness considered a May 1 opening, but decided against it, Decaturish reported.
“We’ve been working on changes aimed at making our clubs the safest place you can work out,” LA Fitness wrote in an email to members, as reported by AJC.
“As we continue to receive approvals from government officials and guidance from health authorities, we’ll start to reopen our clubs on a timetable that we believe strikes the proper balance between our desire to help you resume your workout routine and the desire we all have to remain healthy.”
There won’t be group classes until June 1. Billing also resumes in June, the company said.
For the time being, LA Fitness said its spas, saunas, basketball courts and children’s clubs will not reopen yet.
LA Fitness is asking that members adhere to public health guidelines for social distancing and hygiene. Anyone who isn’t feeling well, or was in contact with someone with the virus, should stay home and call a health professional.
Fitness centers suffered from sudden revenue drops as on-site operations ceased amid the pandemic, but they may be able to build new business strengths with creative approaches and the support of payment partners, according to a recent PYMNTS feature.
As the country begins to slowly reopen, PYMNTS interviewed more than 12,000 consumers over the past 10 weeks to track the shifts in their behaviors and priorities.