CHARLOTTE, NC – Coronavirus has been devastating to many companies that have had to temporarily close or restrict access to customers. Gyms and gyms are among the industries hard hit by the pandemic, but now that people have been vaccinated and restrictions have been eased, is fitness making a comeback?
“It will just look different,” said Skycycle instructor Sarah Pitts.
Pitts used to work at Flywheel, a cycling studio that has been permanently closed due to the pandemic. Now Pitts and a group of instructors have opened Skycycle, a rooftop outdoor cycling studio in Dilworth.
“We felt like people were ready for the community again,” said Pitts.
“I was very willing to come back, it’s outside so it offers an extra level of security,” said cyclist Beth Reisinger.
Reisinger was eager to get back to training in person, like so many other people she did to keep fit with virtual classes at home.
“It was very depressing to be honest with you because you not only lost your athletic training, but the people as well,” said Reisinger.
While Reisinger is ready to drive again, some people are not.
Almost 70% of those who started using an online fitness program will continue long-term, according to a survey by consulting firm McKinsey and Company.
“We can’t compare to what it was because it’s a different scene now,” Pitts said. “Priorities, expectations are just different.”
Experts say smaller fitness companies like spin and yoga studios are still having to recover at the same pace as large gyms. Crunch Fitness reports an increase in membership.
“We predict the big boom will begin in September, when we are through the summer, the kids are back to school and things are back to normal when businesses reopen,” said Jim Rowley, CEO of Crunch Fitness Worldwide.
Skycycle is in the early stages of opening with two classes per day. The drivers wear noise-canceling headphones through which they can listen to the instructor and the music.
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