reopenings

Gyms Closed in South Florida, But Owners Say Smaller Gyms Need to Reopen to Survive

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Gyms in South Florida have not reopened, which owners of so-called "micro gyms" say is putting pressure on their smaller establishments that don't have the backing of corporations.

"It's been a primary concern of mine and many local micro gym owners since pretty much the beginning," said Jessica Bergman, the owner of Downtown Strength and Conditioning in Miami.

Her 2,100-square-foot facility primarily used for CrossFit. It's about the fraction of the size of large corporate gyms like 24 Hour Fitness and Planet Fitness.

"Micro gyms are not backed by large corporations and private equity," Bergman said.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Thursday that reopening gyms will be tough, even though the governor gave the green light last week for the rest of the state.

But Bergman said the advantage of a micro gym allows them to maintain social distance and use cleaning protocols.

She’s working with more than 20 other owners to develop and submit safety plans to reopen sooner than later.

Other micro gyms include pilates studios. Bergman says they should be considered and treated like small businesses who must reopen now to survive.

"For people like us, we’re relying on that money every single month, and June 1 is going to come and go again, and thats going to be three months of dues we cannot collect," she said.

Bergman said she may have no choice but to open June 1 whether they're allowed to or not.

The county has formed a wellness committee to discuss ways to safely reopen gyms, but small gym owners say it's a little late.

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