Gyms Fight To Stay Alive Amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Friday, March 20th 2020, 4:40 pm
By: News On 6

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected several businesses in Green Country with closings.

Other gyms have had to alter their training schedules and classes.

Mike Doolittle, the owner of Styrka Tulsa, said it's been a tough couple of weeks.

"We have lost quiet a few members, which is completely understandable because everybody is in a financially stressful time," Doolittle said.

Owners at Green Country gyms are struggling to keep members happy and healthy after city officials forced several businesses to close due to COVID-19.

Doolittle is urging the city to let them find new ways to stay open.

"What we would like to see is creative thinking in terms of how we could operate. Could we do time blocks where we are able to manage large crowds effectively where people can reserve times to come into the gym?" he asked.

City of Tulsa leaders stress that personal training is still allowed with "limited scope, and should follow CDC guidance for disinfection." 

"What I'm afraid of is that the landscape of small businesses could change in a very short amount of time, in my view, not for the better," he said.

Some at Styrka have offered to keep paying member dues even though they can't train inside the gym.

"I spent a good chunk of yesterday just crying at my desk, watching all of these emails come in and people telling me how much we love the community and the gym here and they want to do whatever they could to keep it open," he said.

Blake Barnes of Prime Performance in Broken Arrow hasn't seen a drop in members, but his team is doing whatever they can to keep their members active.

"We are trying to do everything we can online. We are giving videos for member workouts and demonstration videos, still trying to keep the community intact."

Survival is everything at a gym, and at Prime Performance, they are allowing their members to check out equipment at home as Oklahoma deals with a global pandemic.

"We still want them to work out. We encourage them to keep doing their workouts. It's harder whenever you are by yourself and they are working out the best that they can."

Blake Barnes has taken it a step further by offering a 21-day at-home challenge where 100 percent of the proceeds go to gift cards to help support small businesses. 

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