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.”