Anytime Fitness re-opens after state gov­ernment shutdown orders, and offers special mem­bership deals. Col­legian | Eliz­abeth Bachmann

Anytime Fitness re-opened its doors Wednesday, Sept. 9, after six months of lock­downs. Six-year patron Michael McCarthy said it means “every­thing” to bring back the schedule, workouts, and com­munity of the gym. 

“We opened Wednesday morning at 12:01, as soon as we pos­sibly could,” owner Brett Boyd said. 

Despite his frus­tration at the long quar­antine, Boyd said he is encouraged to see so many people already returning to the gym and so many new faces ready to open a mem­bership. 

Boyd and his team are offering special pro­mo­tions to foster excitement for their re-opening, including mem­ber­ships free of charge until January. They also offer free T‑shirts and gift cer­tifi­cates to their members. Finally, the gym will receive a new shipment of equipment in the next few weeks. 

Amidst the hype of re-opening, however, the Anytime Fitness team also focuses on working out and enforcing new safety pro­tocols, allowing it to keep its doors open for the long term. 

Pro­tocols include requiring members to wear masks at all times inside the facility, and sign a waiver upon entry to limit capacity to 25%. They also strongly encourage all their members to practice social dis­tancing and to dis­infect equipment before and after use. 

Anytime Fitness manager and trainer Tyson Car­penter oversees the imple­men­tation of these pro­tocols.

“It is a lot more work, and I don’t get to do every­thing I enjoy, which is having con­ver­sa­tions, greeting people, and training,” Car­penter said. 

Boyd, who also owns Biggby Coffee and Hillsdale Market House, said the success of his other two busi­nesses saved his gym from closing its doors per­ma­nently. 

“We were closed for close to 180 days. It was dev­as­tating, totally dev­as­tating to our business,” Boyd said. “But by the grace of God, we have the fortune to have other busi­nesses that did okay during COVID-19. If the gym was all we owned, we would have gone out of business.” 

During the lockdown, Boyd received a Payment Pro­tection Program loan, which he used to pay all Anytime Fitness employees during quar­antine. 

He also applied for the Michigan Startup Grant for $20,000 but was rejected. 

Boyd said he became increas­ingly frus­trated with the state of Michigan, espe­cially given that other states around him opened with the same pro­tocols the week prior. 

“We could have opened several months ago with the same steps to secure peo­ple’s safety,” Boyd said. “I under­stand the dangers, but we could have gone to work far before now using the same pro­tocols to keep people safe and allowing them to come in and destress and stay healthy.”