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Blair’s POV: The GYMS Act and Mask Mandates


Each month Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXM, sits down with Rachel Zabonick-Chonko, the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine, for a frank discussion on the current state of the fitness industry.


HR 890: The GYMS Act

  • The industry has a goal of getting 200 co-sponsors for the bill. The bill is currently sitting at 76 co-sponsors made up of 60 democrats and 16 republicans.
  • Learn more about the GYMS Act on IHRSA’s site, which is updated weekly.
  • Blair is not surprised more democrats are supporting the bill, but the industry still needs to push and encourage for more co-sponsors.
  • How can gyms help? Be a part of your state alliance and participate. If you don’t have an alliance, know who your congressional district representatives are and reach out to them. Email and call their offices. Tell them your personal story and how the pandemic has impacted your business.
  • 20,000 emails have been sent so far in support.
  • Utilize the One Click Campaign.
  • Ask your representatives three things:
  1. Have you read the GYMS Act yet?
  2. Are you going to cosponsor it?
  3. If not, why?
  • Even if the bill doesn’t pass, but it gets a lot of cosponsors, it will still allow the fitness industry to be a part of the conversation now.

Top of Mind Thoughts:

  • Masks. Watching closely mask mandates drop, but gyms still enforcing them.
  • Overwhelmingly, 95 to 96% of people, according to MXM, have loved when gyms have a mask policy, and they appreciate if it is enforced.  
  • Even if the state says masks are no longer required, you have to remember you have a certain type of customer who have appreciated the mandate.
  • Mandates being dropped introduces a new customer who is coming back because masks aren’t required. This can be like mixing oil and water and cause conflict.  
  • Be mindful of how you marketed yourself during the pandemic. If you have been marketing yourself as safe, then suddenly you drop a mask mandate, your members may not like it.
  • When masks come down and people start seeing each other’s faces again there will be a positive change in the club and people will want to connect again.
  • Impressed with how clubs have been able to bounce back from the pandemic.
  • Wondering if virtual will still be big after masks are removed and people can interact with each other in the clubs again. It will be different for small clubs and large clubs.
  • Connect and network with other gym owners.
  • If you can in anyway, offer outdoor fitness.

For more insights from Blair McHaney and to learn more about MXM, the world’s leading experts on Operational Member Experience Management, visit mxmetrics.com.

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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