Pa. gyms reopen, but many find customers are slow to come back

Staff using wet wipe and a blue sanitizer from the bottle to clean treadmill in gym
Photo credit neptunestocks/Getty Images
By KYW Newsradio 1060

“Only about 32% of gym members have returned since the gyms have reopened,” Rizzo said. 

Rizzo’s group conducted a gym-reopening study in 50 states and several other countries, and he said the future of the gym industry is in flux.

“I think the biggest thing for gym members now is how do you keep your gym members actively engaged when they're not comfortable coming to that place and location,” he explained. 

Like many other small studios and gyms, Lydia Parker, the owner of Seduction Dance Studio in Philadelphia, has turned her attention away from her brick and mortar building and focused on the online experience. 

Although she may be losing money from in-person business, she's able to make it up in other ways, like online tutorials.

“I have a student from California that's been watching my Instagram and she now comes to class every week,” she said. 

Parker said being able to adapt to the customers’ needs, even if it's not in person, is key to weathering this storm.

Shanell Raison, who previously went to the gym multiple times a week, is getting comfortable with new ways to work out while social distancing.

“What I'm doing at home, actually what I just did, is follow a YouTube video.

Despite tempting offers gyms are making, Raison may soon join that growing list of people canceling their membership.

“What I'm seeing is that I don't really need the gym,” she said.