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RECAP: The Latest Fitness Industry News

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It’s been a busy week in the fitness industry. Read below for a roundup of the top news stories hitting the wire.

California Fitness Alliance Launches Legal Action Seeking to Restore Access to Fitness for All

The California Fitness Alliance (CFA) has filed legal action in Los Angeles County Superior Court, in an effort to restore reasonable access to indoor fitness.

According to a press release, the CFA believes government should not continue preventing Californians from having equitable and safe access to indoor fitness centers and the proven benefits, including maximizing their resilience to COVID-19, that exercise provides to their physical and mental health.

“We are not looking for a fight,” said Francesca Schuler, the CEO of In-Shape Health Clubs and co-founder of the CFA, in a statement to the LA Times. “We are committed to being as safe as possible. We are in the health business. That’s what we care about more than anything.”

According to the LA Times, the suit “accuses state and L.A. County officials of requiring gyms to close without providing evidence that they contribute to virus outbreaks and at a time when staying healthy is critical to California’s residents.”

Currently, a large majority of gyms in California are still relegated to outdoor-only operations.

Flywheel Sports Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Flywheel Sports, a boutique spinning chain and SoulCycle competitor, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Tuesday, September 15, according to court documents.

According to Business Insider, the company will now be permanently closing its 42 locations in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington state and Washington, DC.

The company was hit especially hard by the pandemic after coming off a two-year legal battle with Peloton, which required Flywheel Sports to shut down their in-home bike operations because of a paten infringement.

According to CNN Business, weeks after the pandemic hit the company was forced to temporarily close all studios and reportedly laid off 98% of its 1,200 staff members.

Town Sports International Files for Bankruptcy

Like Flywheel Sports, Town Sports International (TSI) has also filed for bankruptcy, according to CNN Business.

On September 14, TSI announced it and a number of its affiliates have filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions to restructure under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

TSI is the parent company of New York Sports Clubs, Boston Sports Clubs, Philadelphia Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Club, Total Woman, Around the Clock Fitness, and Lucille Roberts brands.

In a statement posted to members, TSI shared, “Town Sports intends to use the Chapter 11 process to engage in further discussions with their landlords and other creditors to successfully restructure their debts to best position the company for long-term success in the current fitness industry environment.”

Flywheel and TSI are joining the list of fitness chains that have filed for bankruptcy in recent months, including Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness.

ABC Financial Acquires Trainerize

On September 15, 2020, ABC Financial announced its acquisition of Trainerize, a Vancouver-based mobile fitness solution for personal training and member engagement.

“Trainerize powered by ABC” connects clubs, trainers and members to help people achieve their fitness goals in a number of ways, including instructional and workout content, on-demand and broadcast classes, virtual personal training and more.

ABC Financial will be adding the entire Trainerize staff to its team. The acquisition comes on the heels of ABC Financial’s acquisition of GymSales in July 2020. 

To read a Q&A with ABC Financial CEO Bill Davis, click here.

 

 

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