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2020 Recap: This Year’s Top-Read Stories

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2020 recap

Club Solutions Magazine’s 2020 recap of top-read stories. 

The end of the year has always been a great time for reflection. And to say there’s a lot to reflect on over the last 12 months would be an understatement. In many ways, 2020 was historic due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the first-ever cancelation of the IHRSA trade show, nationwide gym closures, unprecedented change and more. 

Throughout the past 12 months, what has been top of mind for fitness leaders? For insight, following is a 2020 recap of the top-read stories published by Club Solutions. 



March: How the Fitness Industry is Responding to the Coronavirus

Back in March, COVID-19 was just beginning to make headlines in the U.S. On March 4, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency, which was the first indication the IHRSA trade show and convention may be impacted. On March 12, the show was officially canceled. During this time, many fitness leaders were also announcing new cleaning and safety protocols to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. Read more.

April: Prepping for Reopening 

In April, many clubs across the U.S. were weeks into mandated shutdowns. Some operators were able to reopen in April, and shared their stories of how they were keeping members and staff safe through PPE, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, and more. Read more.

May: COVID-19 Sparks Creation of California Fitness Alliance

In May, members of California’s fitness industry joined together to form the California Fitness Alliance (CFA) with the goal of safely and responsibly initiating the reopening of clubs and fitness facilities throughout the state. Since, fitness alliances have formed in more than 15 states, and have become an important tool as operators seek to gain a seat at the table with policy decision makers. Read more.

July: The Fight for Gyms to be Essential

By July, it had become very apparent the fitness industry had a perception issue among policymakers and certain media. This led to a rallying cry in the industry revolving around the essential aspects of fitness businesses, the importance of taking back control of the narrative surrounding the industry at large, and why fitness leaders must get involved at the local, state and national levels. Read more. 

September: Planet Fitness to Reopen Under Essential Business Classification

In September, those clubs in states with tighter restrictions, such as California, were seeking ways to reopen. Planet Fitness franchises in Kern County, California, were allowed to reopen after obtaining certification as an essential business. Kern County 

Public Health Services classified the gyms as an essential public health service after they joined the Medical Fitness Association. Read more.

November: Fitness Facilities Excluded from Chicago Stay-At-Home Advisory

By November, many gym operators realized the power that could be had in third-party groups — in particular medical professionals — advocating for gyms. This was showcased in particular in Chicago, when gyms were excluded from a stay-at-home advisory initiated by Chicago Major Lori Lightfoot, after the Chicago Medical Society advocated on the industry’s behalf. Read more.


Of course, this is just a sample of the many historic things that have happened throughout this year in the fitness industry. If you were to create a 2020 recap of your own, what else would you include? Let us know in the comments.  

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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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