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Franchising Industry Updates

Weight Lifts Off Fitness Franchises in New Jersey as Gyms Reopen Tuesday

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(iStock/LightFieldStudios)

After nearly six months of being closed, gyms in New Jersey can reopen under new rules on Sept. 1. Retro Fitness, a fitness franchise with about 90 gyms in the tri-state area, said it will welcome back members while keeping people healthy and safe.

While yoga, martial arts and Pilates studios were allowed to reopen at 25% capacity in the state back in July, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said the time wasn’t right to reopen gyms. Murphy reportedly said in June, “I know from the health side, you’ve got sweating, grunting. You’ve got a lot of stuff going on, which not only are you indoors, close, et cetera.”

After that, Andrew Alfano, CEO of Retro Fitness, decided to testify at the New Jersey State Senate hearing. According to CBS, he said “Today in New Jersey, you can play tackle football … I could give you the ball and 10 people could tackle and pile on top of you, sweating and grunting, that is OK, but going to a health club is not.

“So it begs the question, at what point in time are you actually rooting against a specific industry?” Alfano asked.

Billy Olsen, CEO of 18 Planet Fitness gyms in New Jersey says members will see increased sanitation protocols, spaced out machine sand a contactless check in system. He told ABC News that this could have been done a while ago.

“It’s been a drain not only financially, it’s been a drain psychologically not to be able to operate and not necessarily knowing the metrics,” Olson said.

Gyms will reopen Tuesday in New Jersey under these restrictions:

  • Capacity is capped at 25%
  • Masks must be worn at all times
  • One person per every 200 square feet of space in group fitness classes
  • Logs of every person’s entry and exit for contract tracing
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