A candid look at how one fitness center is faring in a COVID-19 world.
We're catching up with Suzanne Merritt, president of Lenox Fit, Inc. in Lenox, MA about the challenges and obstacles facing her fitness center since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.
What was/has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic?The biggest challenge we have faced during the pandemic is how to manage cash flow to cover what we need to cover during a time of such huge and extended financial uncertainty. Most people have no idea about what the overhead is like for a full scale gym. It’s daunting when your income has been cut by 94%.
What are you experiencing now that you've opened back up for outdoor sessions?
Tell us what's different at LenoxFit now vs. LenoxFit pre-COVID-19.Pre-COVID we were thriving. We have had to readjust to Personal Training by Zoom for the clients who have wanted to maintain their schedules. We also, right away started putting classes up on our LIVE feed on Facebook. We decided to make them free for everyone as a gesture to our community. We are so out of our element now since what we do and cater to is a personal experience.
How are your members responding to returning to the gym?
A few members are scared - more older and immuno-compromised clientele but for the most part, people just want us to be open again and have some feeling of normalcy back with their exercise routine. It’s so important.
Have you adopted any different ways to structure memberships?We have lowered the price of our monthly membership option for people who can’t afford to pay up front. We already have a ton of options for people so that was really the only missing piece for us.
Have you done any re-configuring inside of the club?We have not reconfigured at this time and are really waiting to hear what the expectation will be for who can come back, how many people can be in our building at a time, etc. Then we will make the necessary adjustments. We may shut down every other machine on our cardio deck, or have gym members come at appointed times. Our Governor will determine how we do all this once he gives us more information.
Tell us about your sanitation and cleaning plan changes. What kind of safety measures have been put in place/are being considered?We have purchased a Protexus from Zogics and plan on using it to sanitize throughout the day and after equipment is used. We have upgraded our wipes in the classroom to the strongest ones you carry, we have a steam cleaner that sanitizes in contact for deep cleaning especially in bathrooms and showers, we have sanitized all carpets in the building, stripped and waxed all floors, redid the wood floors in our studio, we have installed hands free faucets and soap dispensers in the locker rooms, we have taken apart all cardio equipment and cleaned inside the machines, we have replaced all mats in the building and thrown out the old ones and have also replaced a giant area on our floor where the trainers work with brand new rubber flooring.
How are you communicating with members?
Anything else you'd like to share with us?
Once we are able to open our doors again we want our members and guests to know that we will work around the clock to assure that they are in the cleanest facility. We know that our gym members and guests have a choice for where they go and we want them to know we appreciate that they choose us and will do our very best every day to do right by them!
We're happy to serve you, Suzanne, and we love hearing about your comeback from the current crisis, and of course we love having you as a member of our Zogics community.
Want to learn more about Lenox Fit? Check them out on their website, Facebook and Instagram!