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Roundtable Recap: Reopening Revelations


On May 6, REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine presented the fifth installment of a weekly virtual roundtable series aimed at helping clubs navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, sponsored by Certified Clean-Site

Panelists included Virginia Holding, the owner of three Workout Anytime franchises; David Bailey, the owner of Bailey Health & Wellness Center; Cole Christensen, the regional manager and owner of Mesa Fitness; Bill McBride, the president and CEO of Active Wellness; and Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM and owner of WORX health clubs. The discussion was led and moderated by Brent Darden, the founder of Brent Darden Consulting and chair of REX Roundtables.

Following is a summary of top takeaways from the discussion, including insights on what clubs are experiencing that have reopened and what to plan for. 

Highlights from Discussion 

  • You never know how people are going to respond to your club reopening — a lot of it depends on the climate/general attitudes in your area. For example, Holding’s club in the city of Atlanta had a more contentious opening, with lots of media attention. However, her country facilities opened with no incidents. Take the time to think through a variety of responses when making your reopening plans. 
  • Some best practices for reopening based on panelists’ recommendations: 
    • Implement a new member agreement that outlines the member’s cleaning and social distancing responsibilities. 
    • Most are checking temperatures (if a member or employee has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more, they can’t enter the facility). However, think through your process for handling those who do have high temperatures. 
    • Clubs will need to have staff on the floor to monitor and make sure people are meeting guidelines. 
    • Create a FAQ page on your site. 
  • Some of the biggest push-back panelists have received involve requiring members to wear masks. This will be contingent upon your state’s guidelines, but think through how you’ll enforce and address this among your membership. 
  • The panelists whose clubs have opened have found the demand for cardio is down — most people are coming in for access to strength equipment. 
  • Clubs that have opened are seeing about one third of the people coming in than they normally would. In addition, clubs that have opened are seeing a surge in membership sales. This may be due to pent up demand and people being stir crazy. 
  • In addition, some members are stopping by not to workout, but to see how the clubs are operating and determine if they’re comfortable coming in to workout. As a result, consider making a “What to Expect” video outlining your new safety precautions and cleaning practices. 
  • For clubs that are open, they’re continuing to live stream classes for members that aren’t yet comfortable coming back, and are adding a virtual-only membership option. Most clubs can’t do Group X classes yet. 
  • Think through how you’ll handle non-complying members. Role play a variety of scenarios. Whatever approach you take, be sure to show empathy. 

To access the on-demand version of this webinar, click here

UPCOMING: Don’t miss the sixth installment of our virtual roundtable series, “Successful Strategies for Shaping Your Future: Reopening Revelations Continued” on May 13 at 2 p.m. EST, in partnership with REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine and sponsored by FITLIFE. Limited seats are available. Click here to reserve your spot.


Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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