Thursday, 30 July 2020 13:16
By Opal Jessica Bogadon | News
Gyms Still Facing Economic Hardship

BALLSTON SPA – Nearly a month into Phase 4 of reopening New York and local gyms are still not allowed to open their doors.

For one gym in Round Lake and Ballston Spa, those doors will never open. Global Express Fitness planned to open their doors to a new location in Malta in early January. With less than two months of being opened, the gym was forced to shut the doors at their previous location in Round Lake, with no plans to reopen them.

“We did close our Round Lake location due to the impacts of COVID-19. We appreciate everyone who kept their membership during this time. Unfortunately because of the amount of people who decided to cancel, we just could not sustain both locations,” Express Fitness Owners wrote on Facebook. “Four months without a gym is unbelievable.”

All workout equipment has moved to their new facility built in Malta. Any memberships will be valid at the new Malta location once they’re allowed to open their doors. Vent Fitness, a regionally owned gym, had to close their doors in downtown Saratoga on Broadway. Saratoga Peak Performance, a locally owned gym, wanted to open their doors in Phase 2, when “specialty gyms” were allowed to reopen. 

“For the time being, we will abide by the state guidelines for Phase 4 opening…It’s putting myself and our great staff of personal trainers at great economic hardship and simply makes no sense when you
consider the hundreds going into big-box retail stores daily, yet we can’t open with just eight clients,” Bryan Briddel, owner, wrote on Facebook.

As of July 20, each of NY’s 10 regions have reached the final phase of the four-phase reopening process. To date, movie theaters, gyms, and gatherings with more than 50 people are not allowed. With outbreaks increasing around the country, Governor Andrew Cuomo has not mentioned a Phase 5 when the remaining industries will be allowed to reopen. 

The strength studio called Evolution Strength and Performance moved to the virtual world when the pandemic began, and their online on-demand training portal has been successful since. Not only did the gym change the face of its
company, they also expanded the gym and rebranded themselves to be called Kettlebell Works. 

“Back in May we restructured everyone’s gym memberships. We made the decision to predominantly become a remote based business with minimal in-person work, and that’s our direction moving forward,” owner Chris Abbott said.

The new studio is double the size of the old one, and has been ready to open since April.

For fitness centers and gyms that cannot move classes and workouts online, moving outdoors is another option. The City of Saratoga Springs’ Commissioner of Public Works Anthony Scirocco announced this week that Saratoga Springs based gyms, fitness trainers, and yoga studios are able to use Congress Park, High Rock Park, Geyser Road Veterans Memorial Park, and the Waterfront Park to host workout sessions without paying rental fees. The proposed rental and use policy was unanimously approved by the City Council at their July meeting. 

Gym classes and workout are not the only thing to move outside, as street dining has seen a massive increase this past month. The Village of Ballston Spa, downtown Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville announced this week they will expand outdoor seating options. Moving outdoors allows fitness centers to adhere to the general requirements of reopening and can help more gyms not close their doors permanently. In order for a business to reopen they must meet general requirements such as strict cleaning and sanitation, mandatory face masks for all employees and customers and coronavirus cases must be traced, tracked, and reported to regional public-health officials. 

Kettlebell Works is located at 26 Commons Blvd. in Clifton Park and can be reached at 518-235-3896. Global Express Fitness is located at 43 Round Lake Rd. in Ballston Spa and can be reached at 518-400-1428. Saratoga Peak Performance is located at 30 Gick Rd. in Saratoga and can be reached by phone at 518-505-9542.

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