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Locally and nationally, gym members reluctant to return

Updated August 25, 2020 - 8:51 am

Most gyms across the U.S. have reopened under strict state guidelines, though a new national survey found that only 30 percent of U.S. gym members have returned amid the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s according to RunRepeat.com.

Nicholas Rizzo, RunRepeat’s fitness research director and author of the survey, said overall confidence in returning to gyms is declining. The return rate of gym members by state ranged from 10 percent in Michigan to as high as 52 percent in Tennessee.

Rizzo said that of the 145 Nevada respondents, 37 percent have returned; 62 percent said they have no plans of returning in the future; and 55 percent said they have already canceled or are considering canceling their gym memberships.

“It puts the fitness industry as a whole in a really dynamic position,” Rizzo said. “I think the next couple months will be very telling in regards to what kinds of solutions are the most effective, what are helping gyms survive and still provide a service to the gym member.”

At one Life Time location in Henderson, the general manager said most members have returned.

“We’re starting to see many more people we were accustomed to see pre-COVID,” said Nic Rodriguez, general manager of Life Time Green Valley in Henderson.

The Henderson facility has seen roughly 80 percent of its overall active members return to the gym, Rodriguez said, though approximately 20 percent have either “ended their relationship with Life Time completely or gone on hold.”

Gov. Steve Sisolak allowed gyms and fitness clubs to reopen in late May as part of the state’s Phase Two directives.

“After the governor announced a longer-term, more understood plan, it really allowed us from a business side to operate a little differently and think a little bit more long term,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve been able to now welcome more people back, and we’re seeing continued growth with our programs.”

Life Time’s Las Vegas locations have offered outdoor workout equipment and classes for members. At the Henderson location, the club offers more than 100 classes each week as well as virtual training classes for members, Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said that before the pandemic, between 6,000 and 10,000 people had access to Life Time’s Green Valley and Summerlin locations.

The pandemic’s economic toll has presented financial challenges for many gym members.

“We are seeing a significant impact, and a lot of it is driven by the economic impact of the situation right now moreso than the fear of being able to come back into the club,” said Rodriguez.

Representatives of EoS Fitness, Planet Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and the Las Vegas Athletic Club did not respond to a request for comment.

Contact Jonathan Ng at jng@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ByJonathanNg on Twitter.

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