Club Insider

COVID-19

The Re-Opening

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Here we are... one month deeper into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Crisis. How many months will there be? Now, a month later, some things have changed; other things remain the same. The case count and death toll has become numbing. At the end of each number, though, is a real person and other people touched by the loss, whether family, friends or co-workers. If you're like me, you have pinched yourself at least a time or two to make sure this is real. Unfortunately, yes, this is real, and we are living it day after day. Albeit a "new normal," when will we see "normal" again?

One of the first steps toward normalcy occurred on April 16, 2020 when the Federal Government released guidelines for the re-opening of the country. The plan released was methodical and careful, and it took into consideration the independent situations that would inevitably occur throughout the country (i.e. States and municipalities being in different stages of the pandemic). The plan consisted of three phases, each allowing for more and more industries/businesses to open or ease restrictions, as well as easing the social restrictions needed/required to prevent the spread and/or recurrence of COVID-19. Mostly importantly, prior to the start of the entire phasing system, and in between each step, specific "gating" requirements were defined, each with a time period of two weeks to determine if (A) the area to be re-opened was ready to do so and (B) as each area re-opened, whether or not there was a recurrence and escalation of the disease, in which case the area would not advance to the next stage (instead of having to completely shut down again).

However, this is the United States of America, and federalism is the bedrock of our political system. Thus, though Federal power can be absolute if insisted upon but prior to being challenged in the Supreme Court, States do have significant power, especially when absent of direction from the Federal level. The current situation is the latter. Though, Federal guidelines were issued, there has been no specific direction to follow them. So, led by Georgia, the individual States of the United States of America have entered the fray as each see fit and authorizing general opening guidelines. And, in many cases, it will be left to individual counties to authorize specific regulations for clubs to follow. Like our country, the opening guidelines are wide and varied, and in time, the results will be as well.

From the psychological perspective of habit and needing to get back to normal, not to mention restarting the economy, the desire and need to re-open is understandable. Related to the health and fitness club industry, though, the disarray of such an approach is easily seen. With "gyms" being defined as open during Phase One in the Federal plan, they are on the backburner of some State plans. The State-led re-opening movement is also vastly varied State-to-State in terms of what safety measures need to be in place for various types of business. Finally, the vast majority of States opening still have increasing case counts, while the Federal plan's gating procedures stipulated 14 days of decreasing case counts as one of the criteria. What does this mean for re-opened States two, four, eight weeks, months down the road?

All of that being said, Part II of Club Insider's two-part cover story on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Crisis focuses on the re-opening of health and fitness clubs around the country. Many whom you heard from last month and some additional great club owners and managers will share what they are expecting and doing to re-open. As you will see, several key themes and actions will be clear, but because of the varying States in which they operate, you will also see various differences.

I invite you to read on. But, first, from Club Insider's Justin Cates and Norm Cates, we wish you, your family, your staff and your members the best as we all live and work through this time. And, thank you so much for continuing to read and support Club Insider. As Derek Barton wrote last month, "We Got This!"

Chelsea Piers Connecticut

Greta WagnerGreta Wagner

Greta Wagner, Executive Director/EVP

Club Insider - When the time does come to re-open, what are some of the key issues you foresee?
Greta Wagner - We suspect that there will be new guidelines associated with social distancing. We imagine that there will be different capacity and space guidelines. Clearly, we will also be offering members and customers extra self-cleaning tools within the club, as well as doubling down on our own cleaning staff and procedures as we did prior to closing. This is a community problem, and therefore, to fight this and continue a positive trajectory to full recovery, we all need to be vigilant about cleanliness.


Cincinnati Sports Club

Mary Frank, Sales and Marketing Manager

Club Insider - When the time does come to re-open, what are some of the key issues you foresee?
Mary Frank - Our key issues will be keeping the members and the staff safe! The club's re-opening strategy will include many of the 3Ds (increasing Distance, reducing Density and constant Disinfectant) practices that were happening prior to the Ohio Governor mandated closure. Our focus will be on those 3Ds. Some of the items being discussed for what the new normal may be includes:

  • Our new outdoor pool adult-only deck will go from 200 chairs to 120 chairs.
  • Our main pool outdoor deck will go from 300 chairs to 200 chairs.
  • Temporarily suspending all social events for the rest of the year or until virus solution is found.
  • Evaluate fitness/group exercise and monitor member spacing.
  • Temperature scans on all entering the facility.
  • Move some cardio equipment outside, as well as any available group exercise class.
  • Times to use the club for over 65 and under 12.
  • Age 65+ employees wearing masks at work.
  • Modifying the club check-in system, looking at two check-in stations based on the size of facility.
  • Self-scan member check-in.
  • Members reserve time for pool and club usage.
  • Extend hours to earlier in the morning.
  • Private changing room attendant to wipe down after each use.
  • Lockers/showers may be off limits for short-term, unless we can get attendants.
  • Steam/sauna/whirlpool may all be temporary closed (too small) or limit the number of people.
  • 14-day quarantine rule from coming to club if member or someone in household has traveled to a COVID-19 hotspot.
  • UV sanitizer for pens, other small business office items, etc.

The Claremont Club

Mike AlpertMike Alpert

Mike Alpert, President/CEO

Club Insider (C.I.) - How will you create social distancing: For Fitness Equipment, in Group Exercise Studios, Locker Rooms, etc.?
Mike Alpert (MA) - We will have signs posted reminding members to exercise proper social distancing. Group exercise classes will only go for 30 - 45 minutes, and we will have a 30-minute break between classes to allow for disinfecting and sanitizing. This will also eliminate large groups from forming outside the studios and rushing in after the previous class is finishing. We expect to have fewer classes due to this, so we will continue to add to our virtual library and live streaming videos. We will limit the number of members in the weight room to 35 - 40. The locker rooms present the largest challenge because most of our lockers are personal ones for which we charge members monthly. The dilemma will be how to prevent more than one member at a time from using their locker when there might very well be several people whose lockers are in the same row.

C.I. - What's not opening?
MA - We plan to open our club in three phases. During Phase 1 and probably Phase 2, Steam and Saunas will not be open. Showers will not be available in Phase 1. We have cancelled summer swim school, and we are not sure if we will be allowed to offer summer camps this year. We are not sure what the State mandates will be, but we will conform to whatever they are.

C.I. - Status of plans for Personal Training, Small Group Training, others?
MA - We intend to offer Personal Training and Small Group Training at opening but with strict adherence to social distancing. We will limit the number of members, including personal trainers in our weight room and studios, and they will be required to wear masks and gloves. All members, including those who are personal training will be required to wipe down and clean the equipment they use (i.e., benches, seats, etc.). Pilates studios will also be limited to the number of members and the number of instructors allowed in each studio at one time.

C.I. - How will you get members back ASAP?
MA - Although I believe that certain members will want to 'rush' back as soon as we open, there will be many who will be cautious and nervous, especially in Phase 1. They will want to "wait" and see. So, we will budget for a slow to moderate return and need to be prepared for more if that happens.

C.I. - How will you get Leaves of Absence to reactivate?
MA - We allow members to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) for either medical reasons with proper documentation. To date, we have approved 102 LOAs. We will continue to honor these leaves and encourage those members not to return to the club until they are cleared to do so by their doctor and are comfortable doing so.

C.I. - How will you get all comfortable with cleaning levels, temperature checks, masks?
MA - We plan to take one week prior to opening for staff training in conflict resolution and new operating protocols by department. All staff will be thoroughly trained on our new disinfecting and sanitizing procedures. I have communicated regularly and with full transparency with our members and outlining the changes that will be necessary, such as shorter classes, fewer classes, areas that will be closed, shorter club hours, changes in childcare areas, temperature checks, social distancing, etc. Most of our members are extremely supportive and appreciative of the measures we are taking to ensure our club is as safe an environment as possible during these most unprecedented times.

C.I. - How about prices going forward? How will you give credits if billed for full month but were open for partial-month?
MA - For the members who agreed to allow us to draft their dues in April, we will be paying them back for the two weeks in March and four weeks in April that we were closed via a 30% discount off their current dues going forward. We are also giving these members a 25% discount on all products and services for 30 days after we re-open and two family guest passes. For those who chose to freeze their dues, we will be drafting dues once we open. We are raising our dues for new members and those who cancelled and choose to come back.

C.I. - How will you now combine at-home virtual content with in-club?
MA - We currently have 239 videos in our virtual library and are adding to them daily and weekly. In addition, we have 85 Les Mills videos that we intend to continue to offer. We are also offering live streaming group exercise videos. All of these will be offered to members as a complimentary add-on. We will soon be offering live streaming personal training and Pilates that will be fee-based (at our regular rates) to our members who choose to either not come in to the club or who simply want to wait to come back in due to a medical reason. We do intend to offer these to non-members as an additional revenue source for the club.

C.I. - How will you deal with the check-in process (plastic shields, mobile app with no human interaction, reservation of time slots, etc.)?
MA - We are going to require a temperature check for all members and staff before we admit them into the club. We will have two staff doing these checks from different lines. Using our single platform mobile app, members can have their bar code scanned at entry. There will be Plexiglas shields in various locations at the front desk. And, members will use the app to reserve/book classes, weight room, cardio equipment and services.

C.I. - How will you deal with a member or staff member testing positive in the future?
MA - All staff must initial a COVID-19 Questionnaire prior to their scheduled shift. If they answer Yes to any of the questions, they will need to get a doctor's release to come to work. We will follow all State and Federal guidelines when handling members or staff who test positive for the virus.


Club Greenwood

Paula NeubertPaula Neubert

Paula Neubert, President/General Manager

Club Insider (C.I.) - How will you create social distancing: For Fitness Equipment, in Group Exercise Studios, Locker Rooms, etc.?
Paula Neubert (PN) - So much depends on what our local and State officials deem mandatory, but at this time, we are doing the following:

  • Group Fitness Studios will be limited to ten members. If allowed more than ten members, we will base on the total square footage of the studio with 10' on each side/front/back around the member. Blocks of space will be noted with floor markings.
  • Weight room equipment will be spaced out, and duplicate equipment will be removed. Capacity is determined by the square footage of the space allowing 6' around each member. There will be an entrance and exit to the weight room via stanchions with a staff member monitoring the number of members.
  • Locker rooms will be open with social distancing parameters. Available lockers will be marked with a Club Greenwood sticker (all spaced 6' apart).

C.I. - What's not opening?
PN - Unless mandated by the authorities, we will be opening all areas of the club except the dry sauna and steam room. This is based on the confined space and size.

C.I. - Status of plans for Personal Training, Small Group Training, others?
PN - We are currently offering online personal training, Pilates and boot camp for a fee. We will continue offering these services, both online and on-site, after we open. Pending approval from the authorities, we hope to offer on-site personal training, Pilates and SGT.

C.I. - How will you get members back ASAP?
PN - Thankfully we still have a portion of our membership that is contributing 100% and 50% dues each month we have been closed. We are very grateful! We have a portion of our membership that is on hold for the month of May and will move to full dues the first full month we are open. We have a portion who have canceled and we have been actively trying to get them back which has been difficult. Loss of job and worry are the two main reasons for leaving.

C.I. - How will you get all comfortable with cleaning levels, temperature checks, masks?
PN - This also depends on the mandates put forth by the authorities, but at this point, we are requiring all employees to have temperature checks prior to their shift and wearing masks and gloves will be required for all housekeeping staff and any employee who is cleaning. We are not requiring temperature checks for members. Masks for members will be highly recommended but not required.

C.I. - How about prices going forward? How will you give credits if billed for full month but were open for partial-month?
PN - We will not be prorating. Members who have placed their membership on hold will still have the benefit of using the club during the month in which they did not pay, if the club opens.

C.I. - How will you now combine at-home virtual content with in-club?
PN - We will continue with both after the club opens. Group fitness will be available on-site and via online live streaming. Personal training and Pilates will be available on-site and online private training. Programs may also be offered on-site and online. This is due to capacity if we are limited to a certain number of people in the club and also to continue serving members who are not ready to return to the club.

C.I. - How will you deal with the check-in process (plastic shields, mobile app with no human interaction, reservation of time slots, etc.)?
PN - All desks are equipped with sneeze guards. The check-in scanner is located on the outside of the sneeze guard. We will be cashless in Phase One and Two, and the credit card scanner will be located on the outside of the sneeze guard. All group fitness classes, lessons, etc. will be via reservation only.


Crunch Fitness West Florida/Atlanta

Geoff DyerGeoff Dyer

Geoff Dyer, President

Club Insider (C.I.) - You re-opened on Friday, May 1. What didn't open at that time?
Geoff Dyer (GD) - Group Exercise, HIIT, Sauna and Cycle all remain closed.

C.I. - Status of plans for Personal Training, Small Group Training, others?
GD - We are waiting on government approval for group activities. Personal training is up and running when we opened Friday.

C.I. - How will you get members back ASAP?
GD - Many are back after text and email alerts. Traffic over the three-day weekend was solid. Not up to pre-COVID-19 levels but solid. New joiners were higher per day than typical.

C.I. - How will you get all comfortable with cleaning levels, temperature checks, masks?
GD - We are comfortable after five days of in-club training and rehearsals. Members perceive they are safe, and the clubs are clean.

C.I. - How about prices going forward? How will you give credits if billed for full month but were open for partial-month?
GD - We billed in March and froze dues in April. For the time we were closed, members will get a cash credit on the next dues draft, or they can take 'in kind credit' (Retail/PT, etc.) and get 150% of their cash credit.

C.I. - How will you now combine at-home virtual content with in-club?
GD - We will continue to offer it to all members until things normalize.

C.I. - How will you deal with the check-in process (plastic shields, mobile app with no human interaction, reservation of time slots, etc.)?
GD - Crunch has an online reservation system for class activities. We have scanners, so members have hands-free check-in.

C.I. - How will you deal with a member or staff member testing positive in the future?
GD - We will send them home and follow State quarantine guidelines.


DMB Sports

Carol NalevankoCarol Nalevanko

Carol Nalevanko, President

Club Insider - When the time does come to re-open, what are some of the key issues you foresee?
Carol Nalevanko - We will not re-open from the same position of strength with regards to memberships, monthly revenues, etc. as we did before the closures. Some of our staff may have found alternate employment, so we will need to hire new employees for some positions. Members may be afraid to come back to the clubs, even after we have been given permission to re-open, due to the nature of our business with the close proximity of hot yoga classes, spin classes and other club activities.


Newtown Athletic Club

Jim WorthingtonJim Worthington

Jim Worthington, Owner
Linda Mitchell, Director of Public and Government Relations

Club Insider - When the time does come to re-open, what are some of the key issues you foresee?
Newtown Athletic Club - The key issues we are stressing now are twofold: (1) Communicating with our members to maintain the trust they already have in us, and (2) to display best practices, especially in the areas of facility sanitation, ongoing cleanliness and commitment to continually improving. Although we are struggling through extraordinary times, we are still committed to our expansions and renovations.

Linda MitchellLinda Mitchell

Upon re-opening, we realize that there will be a new normal, which may consist of taking body temperatures as members enter the club, spacing equipment further apart, placing markers on group exercise floors to denote where people stand, scheduling classes and programs to manage member traffic and more. Communication will be key during the first few weeks/months of opening to make everyone feel safe in our new environment. That is why we are continuing to build trust now through hyper-connectivity using all means possible: emails, social media, phone calls and more.



Saco Sport & Fitness

Scott and Beth GillespieScott and Beth Gillespie

Scott and Beth Gillespie, Owners

Club Insider - When the time does come to re-open, what are some of the key issues you foresee?
Scott Gillespie - Sanitation! Cleanliness! Sanitation! Did I mention Sanitation? Equipment and class spacing allowing social distancing. With reduced class capacity, incorporate sign-up systems. With fewer members and less capacity, we'll also look at our fees for increases or modifying to tiers. Removing, replacing all surfaces/equipment that are difficult to keep clean. Staff safety and member compliance related to sanitizing and social distancing. Removal of programs/profit centers that no longer fit. Unfortunately, leaning out our hierarchy and looking to tech to replace some staff functions. Using virtual fitness offerings to supplement membership value. It's a curse to be sure, but the blessing is a chance to reset. We get to ask ourselves, 'If I was going to open a club this summer knowing what I know now about the state of the world, the economy and with the resources I have, what would that club look like?'


Stone Creek Club & Spa

Larry ConnerLarry Conner

Larry Conner, General Manager

Club Insider - When the time does come to re-open, what are some of the key issues you foresee?
Larry Conner - One of our biggest concerns is the percentage of members who will return immediately upon re-opening. We're also concerned with the level of usage and the club's departmental services, making the correct adjustments to departmental hours, offerings and staffing. Opening at the start of summer also poses a challenge to us for hiring and training of summer staff, especially lifeguards. In addition, we know we will have to address members'/potential members' concerns or fears about cleanliness and sanitation. Cleanliness and member safety have always been top priorities at Stone Creek, and our members have recognized, appreciated and praised the facility's cleanliness year after year. We realize that the member and public expectation will be different moving forward, and we'll continue to do all we can to provide a safe, inviting and comfortable club facility and atmosphere.


VASA Fitness

Rich NelsenRich Nelsen

Rich Nelsen, CEO

Club Insider (C.I.) - How will you create social distancing: For Fitness Equipment, in Group Exercise Studios, Locker Rooms, etc.?
Rich Nelsen (RN) - We recognize that our members' gym experience is going to be very different for the foreseeable future, and we want to thank them in advance for their flexibility and patience as we navigate these uncharted waters together. We have implemented specific safety measures for members and team members to follow in order to keep our community safe.

All members are being asked to read and agree to a Member Agreement Waiver that outlines guidelines for members requesting that they social distance, follow cleanliness protocols, stay home if they have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, and we suggest wearing a face covering while in the club in order to help keep the VASA community safe. If members don't sign the Member Agreement Waiver, they are not allowed inside the club.

The clubs will observe limited hours of operation Monday through Saturday from 6 AM to 8 PM and Sunday from 7 AM to 2 PM. VASA will also limit the number of members in the club at one time based on the square footage of the club. Through our app for iOS and Android, members can book one-hour time slots at the gym to ensure they are able to work out when desired.

VASA has mandated face masks for all staff and will maintain strong social distancing with other staff and members, and break rooms and common areas will be limited. Our team members have been instructed to notify their supervisors immediately and stay home if they have symptoms or believe they have been exposed to the virus. VASA team members will also continue the vigorous cleaning and disinfecting protocols in place. After clubs close each night, a professional cleaning company will also do a deep clean in every club.

In terms of social distancing, VASA has implemented procedures to help ensure the guidelines are respected, including visual reminders, area closures and staff to monitor and enforce these rules. As one example, every other machine is turned off in our cardio area to help maintain distancing.

C.I. - What's not opening?
RN - VASA has reduced its monthly membership fee for all members to $9.99 and will not be offering group fitness, studio or team classes, basketball, racquetball and group training sessions. VASA will also not permit showers or changing and will only allow restroom use. Further, the pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub will be closed and child-care services will not be available. In order to reinforce the social distancing guidelines, every other cardio machine will be turned off, and a floor attendant will monitor all exercise areas and help to discourage close proximity workouts.

C.I. - Status of plans for Personal Training, Small Group Training, others?
RN - Group fitness classes are not being offered at this time. We will unfreeze all Personal Training contracts and resume billing on the day each club re-opens (same as membership dues). We will extend the expiration date for unused sessions for three months.

C.I. - How will you get members back ASAP?
RN - We are doing everything we can to make members feel safe and comfortable as they return to the gym. During our closure, we conducted a member survey to find out what would be most important for members to ease their transition back into the gym. In the survey, 52% of our members indicated that staying healthy would be more important than ever following the pandemic; and 41% of respondents said they would be back in the gym the first day we opened with 35% saying they would visit the gym within the first month of re-opening. We were very pleased to hear that 70% of our members indicated that they would continue their VASA membership for at least the next year.

C.I. - How will you get all comfortable with cleaning levels, temperature checks, masks?
RN - We've put a process into place that has been influenced by our member survey feedback, staff feedback and Federal, State and local guidelines to keep our communities safe. These new protocols are meant to ensure that members and employees feel and remain safe while at the gym. As previously stated, all VASA staff members will wear masks, and we recommend that members wear masks as well. Staff are doing frequent cleaning and disinfecting, and each club is cleaned by a professional cleaning company each night. We also monitor to ensure that members are cleaning equipment before and after use, amongst many other measures.

Through our survey, we learned that 98% of members expressed the importance of thorough cleaning practices in the gym; 81% said they thought social distancing would be important and that they were likely to increase their usage of wipes and hand sanitizer in the clubs. We have implemented policies that address their concerns and are very serious about enforcing our new social distancing and disinfecting procedures.

C.I. - How about prices going forward? How will you give credits if billed for full month but were open for partial-month?
RN - VASA froze memberships on March 17, the day of its closure. Billing will resume and accounts will be unfrozen once the clubs re-open. Because amenities are limited to keep people safe, all members' monthly dues have been reduced to $9.99.

C.I. - How will you now combine at-home virtual content with in-club?
RN - We will be creating more V Fit workouts to add to the page for anyone to use, whether they've decided to come back or are continuing to work out at home.

C.I. - How will you deal with the check-in process (plastic shields, mobile app with no human interaction, reservation of time slots, etc.)?
RN - To avoid a line at check-in and to enable touchless entry, we have asked members to sign our member agreement online or via our app prior to checking in and to have our mobile app for iOS and Android to simply scan their barcode for a touchless check-in.

C.I. - How will you deal with a member or staff member testing positive in the future?
RN - Our team members have been instructed to notify their supervisors immediately and stay home if they have symptoms or believe to have been exposed to the virus. If a member or team member contracts COVID-19, we will look into the last time they checked into the club and will notify members via e-mail who have checked in that day.


Active Wellness

Bill McBrideBill McBride

Bill McBride, Co-Founder, President and CEO

Club Insider (C.I.) - When the time does come to re-open, what are some of the key issues you foresee?
Bill McBride (BM) - One of the big items we are focusing on is staff training and member training, not just on courtesy behaviors by members and cleaning by staff but the psychological aspects of member fear of other humans. Conflict resolution; member courtesy, etc. This is first time in our lives where humans have been afraid of contact with other humans in society. Everyone is a perceived threat. Members will be on a spectrum, from righteous about how others should behave to carefree about risks. It will be a unique time.

C.I. - What's not opening?
BM - Child Care, Pools, Sauna, Steam or Towel Service in the beginning. We plan to move forward with studio classes by reservation only with markers on the floor. Personal Training and SGT as normal. Staff wearing masks and gloves. Members wearing masks where mandated.

C.I. - How will you get members back ASAP?
BM - We will welcome members back, but we expect some to come back slowly based on treatments and vaccination news as well as comfort level with club protocols.

C.I. - How will you get Leaves of Absence to reactivate?
BM - We will reactivate all members unless they request to stay on zero dues holds.

C.I. - How will you get all comfortable with cleaning levels, temperature checks, masks?
BM - We have instituted a thorough protocol of temperature checks, cleanliness, sanitation and disinfecting. Each staff member will have a cleaning bottle as well as sanitation stations near all member touch points. There will be temperature check stations, plastic shields, masks and gloves, self check-in; and reservations for workouts in some sites and classes in all sites.

C.I. - How about prices going forward? How will you give credits if billed for full month but were open for partial-month?
BM - We will continue to offer virtual programming for free for some period of time before considering charging. At this time, our dues will remain the same as before COVID-19.

C.I. - Will you now combine at-home virtual content with in-club?
BM - Yes, we have an extensive at-home programming product line now: Personal Training, Workouts of the Day, Live-streamed classes, Fitness Resources, Challenges, etc.

C.I. - How will you deal with a member or staff member testing positive in the future?
BM - For member or staff testing positive, we will follow CDC-recommended protocols.

C.I. - What's the status of government funds?
BM - Stimulus is still up in the air for many operators based on size, affiliations, need, etc.

• • •

To close out this cover story, I want to bring special attention to the efforts The Atlantic Club is making to literally redesign their club and their methods of operation during these times. Club Insider presents:

The "New" Atlantic Club

Pat LausPat Laus

Pat Laus, Owner & CEO
Kevin McHugh, COO

Club Insider (C.I.) - How will you create social distancing: For Fitness Equipment, in Group Exercise Studios, Locker Rooms, etc.?
The Atlantic Club (TAC) - The Atlantic Club - Manasquan is very fortunate to be located on a beautiful and spacious 44-acre campus where we have facilities that have allowed us to create a true Health, Fitness and Wellness Campus through our ability to repurpose areas across our entire complex. We also benefit from our ability to have access to outside areas for our trainers and members to train and exercise on our well-groomed grass fields. These 22 acres of grass fields also includes a one-mile nature trail for walking and running. It is very important to have available space within our club that is socially, or as they say, 'Physically Distanced.' With the use and access to our outside venues, we have been able to successfully create new opportunities for workout regiments.

Kevin McHughKevin McHugh

For Fitness Equipment: The New Atlantic Club, post COVID-19 closure, will now be featuring three large studios that includes the following:

  • One of the largest free weight studios in the industry with very responsible physically distanced equipment locations that will now be relocated from our main building to our fieldhouse where we will also feature our Technogym performance line of cardio equipment.
  • Located in our main club's fitness area with the moving of our entire free weight room to our fieldhouse, The Atlantic Club will now be introducing a physically responsible and significantly enlarged cardio studio featuring a special area for virtual classes with Life Fitness treadmills as well as our Stages Virtual bikes and our Expresso bikes. Our new cardio studio with physical distancing floor plan will be providing our members more equipment than our members enjoyed prior to COVID-19.
  • Added to the fitness room is a dedicated space for our Technogym selectorized circuit. This is adjacent to the cardio studio that still provides our members with both a cardio and strength workout in the main building. It also is an area where we can use the selectorized circuit for our mature adults as well as the projected new deconditioned population of new members that we will attracting in the future.
  • The Atlantic Club was very fortunate to receive outstanding support from our Life Fitness team, who worked with our passionate fitness leadership and operations team in developing new equipment planograms. These drawings will be utilized by our equipment moving specialists to complete the project before our re-opening of the club.

Group Cycling:

  • Our group cycling program has been relocated due to physical distancing from a smaller studio to a larger area that was achieved by repurposing one of our basketball courts. The new group cycling center is responsibly distanced for 26 bikes versus our prior studio which would have only accommodated 13 bikes.
  • Our prior group cycling studio is being refreshed to become our virtual training studio that will have scheduled classes throughout the day with classes that are 30/45/60 minutes.
  • Our virtual group cycling studio will feature a new sound system along with new video screens that will play the virtual cycling classes, as well as highlight their MYZONE effort levels.
  • Our members will also be introduced to brand new Stages group exercise bikes that will be installed prior to our re-opening.

Group Exercise Studios:

  • The Atlantic Club also made numerous enhancements during the closure to our group exercise areas. These changes will provide our members with the opportunity to enjoy new benefits and programs in spacious settings that were not available prior to our mandated shutdown.
  • Our two main studios have been refreshed with new sound systems that will improve the experience provided by our instructors.
  • Both studios are now equipped with new video screens and virtual programs throughout the day with a pre-programmed array of classes.
  • Reservations will be required to attend our live and virtual classes and will be easy to schedule on our app.
  • We added two new large studios on the campus for additional classes to be scheduled throughout the week.
  • We are scheduling one special large member event each week in our expansive studio so members have the opportunity to physically distance while in a social environment.
  • Outside classes are also being placed on the schedule with the option of an inside class, weather dependent. The offering of outside classes is an excellent opportunity to get our members refreshed.

Child Care/Nursery:

  • We converted our conference center into our new nursery, which has doubled the size of our prior nursery.
  • Reservations will be required for all children who will be placed into childcare with a two-hour limit.
  • Sanitization and cleaning schedules have been increased throughout the day with an aggressive spraying regimen, which will be done throughout the day.
  • All children will be checked for their temperature being below 100.4 degrees.

Café:

  • Limited offerings will be initially limited to protein and juice drinks and take out items, such as water, protein bars and take-out meals.
  • No grill service initially.

Locker Rooms:

  • Limited lockers: We are closing off 2/3 of the lockers.
  • Showers but no towel service; members must bring their own towels.
  • Physical distancing will be highlighted with signage in all areas that highlight space required for safe use of the locker rooms.

Indoor and Outdoor Pools:

  • Initially, we are planning to have our six lanes be scheduled with two swimmers per lane doing circle swimming. Within weeks of re-opening the club, we will add an additional six lanes for lap swimming.
  • Swimmers will be limited to 30 minutes and must be pre-registered with lanes being assigned different times throughout the hour: 0/10/20/30/40/50 minutes after the hour.

Sauna/Steam Room and Jacuzzi: Will not be opened in the initial phases.

C.I. - Status of plans for Personal Training, Small Group Training, others?
TAC - We are working on developing personal training centers on campus to provide options for members and staff to train, as well as outside options:

  • The three new fitness studios provide additional space for trainers to be able to have safe areas to train their clients.
  • Building strategies for regaining our growth in personal training is a priority.
  • Adding virtual personal training platforms that will be launched in the next 30 days.

C.I. - How will you get members back ASAP?
TAC - The Atlantic Club has been communicating to our members throughout the mandatory shutdown. Prior to re-opening, we will inform them of Sanitization and Cleaning Plan that encompasses strategies and commitments that will be ensuring our staff and members will feel safe and comfortable within all areas of the campus. We will inform members of our new sanitizing and cleaning products, and the equipment that we will be using, which are hospital grade as well as safe to use throughout all of our facilities. In addition, will be posting the MSDS Sheets throughout our facilities, providing full transparency to our members and staff. Our members will also be informed of our schedule of cleaning in each key area of the club. Prior to opening, members will also be informed of our new Social/Physical Distancing Plans. This effort will introduce all our members to the new group cycling studios, our re-configured group exercise studios, as well as our three new fitness studios. Our website will also host videos on our physical distancing and sanitization and cleaning efforts, as well as our policies. Lastly, we will clearly show our members that The Atlantic Club is safe for them to visit and enjoy an outstanding workout in a controlled, sanitized environment that is available on our campus.

C.I. - How will you get Leaves of Absence to reactivate?
TAC - Communication through all member advertising vehicles that initially focus on our new club enhancements in the areas of fitness and group exercise that are successfully addressing physical distancing as well as our new sanitization and cleaning strategies. Our efforts will focus on informing our members that The Atlantic Club is safe and that they can feel comfortable returning to their club. Through September, The Atlantic Club will also be providing the opportunity to suspend their account at no fee to avoid members from terminating and possibly getting lost. We will be able to stay in communication with our suspended members and will have a special marketing plan solely focused on these members returning to the club.

C.I. - How will you get all comfortable with cleaning levels, temperature checks, masks?
TAC - All employees will have their temperature checked before reporting to work and will be required to wear masks. All employees, upon returning, will have additional new responsibilities in their job roles as an Atlantic Club Team Member that include sanitization and cleaning. There will be increased monitoring and supervision in all areas of the facility to insure we, as a team, are meeting and exceeding our sanitizing and cleaning requirements.

C.I. - How about prices going forward? How will you give credits if billed for full month but were open for partial-month?
TAC - We will be opening with the strategy of charging full dues for the month that we re-open. If provided the opportunity to open mid-month, we will pro-rate the membership dues.

C.I. - How will you now combine at-home virtual content with in-club?
TAC - This is an area that The Atlantic Club will be focused on over the next 90 days and will provide our members with a virtual component to their membership. In addition, it will also include a personal training virtual platform.

C.I. - How will you deal with the check-in process (plastic shields, mobile app with no human interaction, reservation of time slots, etc.)?
TAC - The Atlantic Club is installing glass partitions throughout the Club where there is close human interactions. Employees will be provided plastic shields for key areas of the club, as well as masks. Our current mobile app will become very important, as well as a much more powerful app that will be introduced in the next 60 days after re-opening the club. This will be used for check-in, as well as booking all the classes. All live and virtual group exercise classes within the club, lap lanes in our pools as well as our nursery will require pre-registration: no walk-ins initially. Our club will utilize the scheduling and reservation software that is available within our member management system.

C.I. - How will you deal with a member or staff member testing positive in the future?
TAC - We will follow CDC guidelines as well as mandated policies that will be issued by our local Board of Health.

TAC - The Atlantic Club is grateful for all the support it has received throughout the COVID-19 closure from all sectors of the health and fitness club industry. It has truly been a time where the industry has come together and showcased its greatness and generosity to clubs of all sizes.

• • •

Last month, in the introduction of this two-part cover story, I discussed HOPE and PURPOSE, and of course, I said: WE are all in this together. Hope and Purpose will help us all persevere, and WE are all in this together. To that end, for their contributions across both parts of this cover story, I sincerely thank the following: Bill McBride, Carol Nalevanko, Donna Krech, Ed Williams, Geoff Dyer, Greta Wagner, Jim Worthington and Linda Mitchell, Joe Cirulli, Larry Conner, Mary Frank, Meredith Poppler, Mike Alpert, Paula Neubert, Phil Wendel, Scott Gillespie and Rich Nelsen. And, a special thanks to Pat Laus and Kevin McHugh for their in-depth breakdown of The Atlantic Club's re-opening plans. Everyone listed has taken valuable time out of their schedules while keeping their staff, membership and club(s) intact and ready to re-open to share what they are doing with you. That is: WE are all in this together.

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