From SoulCycle To SLT, New York’s Boutique Fitness Industry Fights For Survival As Other Gyms Reopen Today

September 02, 2020 by Forbes

From posh sweat studios to gritty boxing gyms, the boutique fitness industry in New York City is feeling the financial crunch with orders to remain closed while regular gyms are allowed to reopen today.

As gyms across the country await state-by-state reopening rules, companies like SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, Mile High Run Club and ConBody are just some of the 2000 studios banding together to fight for indoor classes to resume in the boutique fitness mecca of New York City, where many of these brands launched before expanding to other regions.

“These are typically businesses in direct competition with each other but now we’re very united,” says Amanda Freeman, founder and CEO of SLT.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo gave gyms the green light to open as early as August 24th, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed the opening date for city-based gyms to September 2nd. These exercise multiplexes and health clubs are allowed to open today at 33% capacity as long as specific guidelines and safety rules are followed. They must also pass a virtual health inspection.

While NYC gyms can reopen, indoor group fitness (yoga, Pilates, spin, boxing, etc) cannot. This prompted Freeman and her peers to mobilize and form the Boutique Fitness Alliance. “We’ve been patiently waiting for gyms to reopen and then to find out that gyms can but group fitness studios couldn’t was shocking and disappointing,” says Freeman. “We have been having to pay rent as long as possible, while fighting with landlords to stay in our buildings.” The fitness group has launched social campaigns and rallies to push for immediate reopening.

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