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Roundtable Recap: The Path to Reopening


On April 29, REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine presented the fourth installment of a weekly virtual roundtable series aimed at helping clubs navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, sponsored by Sports Solutions

Panelists included Landon Burningham, the founder, president and CEO of Physiq Fitness; Mike Alpert, the president and CEO of The Claremont Club; 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.

The following is a summary of top takeaways from the discussion, including tips on applying for the PPP loan, new member cleaning policies, “social fitnessing” tips and more. 

Financial Tips

For those operators who haven’t had luck applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), panelists suggested going through lenders such as Lendio, Kabbage or American Express, versus your primary bank, as these lenders are sometimes able to process applications much more quickly. In addition, they suggested applying through multiple lenders, as only one will be approved. 

In addition, be strategic about using your funds and plan ahead. Consider holding onto some funds in case you need them down the line. 

Utilize forecasting — make a business model that’s sustainable over the next six to 24 months. Some debt can be deferred, but ultimately won’t go away.

Social Fitnessing 

Instead of the terms “social distancing,” Burningham’s clubs are calling it “social fitnessing.” 

The Claremont Club is implementing new membership agreements that outline new member guidelines/rules. Active Wellness is also implementing new member rules and regulations, which they’re calling a “Citizenship Agreement.” 

Two days a week, The Claremont Club will reserve certain hours in its salon and spa for older adults or those with compromised immune systems. 

Additional Tips 

“People are afraid of other people in a way they haven’t been in the past,” said McBride. As a result, the value of personal space is increasing. 

According to McHaney, you have to evaluate the “voice of customer” throughout this entire process to ensure you have a pulse on member’s expectations. 

Once clubs reopen, think through how you’ll respond if someone tests positive at your facility (employee or member). Think through all potential scenarios and create a response plan. 

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

UPCOMING: Don’t miss the fifth installment of our virtual roundtable series, “Successful Strategies for Shaping Your Future: Reopening Revelations” on May 6 at 2 p.m. EST, in partnership with REX Roundtables and Club Solutions Magazine and sponsored by Certified Clean-Site. Limited seats are available. Click here to reserve your spot.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

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

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