Gyms make tough decisions with new COVID-19 restrictions in place

Alex Jokich
Updated: November 24, 2020 01:34 PM
Created: November 23, 2020 06:02 PM

Gyms across Minnesota are having to make 'tough decisions' with another four-week closure now in effect.

Minneapolis-based Alchemy 365 has now shuttered two of its seven fitness studios and plans to sell off excess equipment in a Black Friday sale.

"It's not easy, selling equipment like this that really is the backbone of our company," said Grace Bettino, chief marketing officer at Alchemy 365. "We're definitely eventually going to have to reorder it again, but we're looking at it as an opportunity to move some equipment, get some cash in the bank and give us the best opportunity to really survive."

Bettino called the sale a 'life raft' for their business. The company will sell everything from gym benches and mats to barbells and plyo boxes. 

"These are not going to be outrageously low prices. They're going to be pretty close to what you'd find anywhere that you're fitness equipment shopping. We're really looking at this sale as, how can we get a big influx of revenue that will meet our demands for the next couple of months now, so we know we don't have to close next week," Bettino said. 

Some believe state shutdown of gyms will do more harm than good

She said the new restrictions that went into effect in Minnesota on Friday, closing gyms and fitness centers for four weeks, are a big setback for their industry, but she understands the need for safety measures as COVID-19 continues to spike.

"It definitely wasn't easy to hear the news that we were going to be shutting down again, but at this point we were definitely prepared for it. Running a small business, it often feels like it's just a series of really difficult decisions that you have to make. You hope that if you make enough of the right hard decisons that you're going to be around for the long haul," Bettino said.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS learned other fitness chains are petitioning the state to reconsider the new restriction. Self Esteem Brands, which includes Anytime Fitness, Basecamp Fitness and the Bar Method, sent a letter to Governor Tim Walz and other state leaders laying out new steps they can take to cut down on COVID-19 concerns, such as putting time limits on equipment and expanding social distancing to ten feet.

Alchemy said, for now, they are running on-demand classes online and offering a discount to those who sign up this week.

They hope their upcoming equipment sale can also be a win-win, helping not only their business but also people hoping to set up their own home gyms during the pandemic.

"Fitness equipment is extremely hard to come by right now, everything is out of stock online, plus you have to pay a lot of money to ship it, so by coming here and by picking up what you need, it takes that shipping cost out of everything," Bettino said. "And during these really difficult times, just support the small businesses that you love."

The equipment sale will be happening this Friday through Sunday at Alchemy's studio in Uptown. It also includes a large amount of fitness apparel at discounts of up to 75% off. Click here for more details.

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