REGION — Two North County gyms have moved their equipment and their members outdoors after recent countywide shutdowns forced them to halt indoor operations due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of all indoor operations at gyms, churches, non-critical offices, person-care facilities, hair salons, malls and barbershops in counties on the state’s monitoring list.
Soon after the announcement, Boombox Crossfit North in Escondido decided to make the move outside, using their parking lot and patio area to offer physically distanced workout classes.
Brittani Ramirez, owner of Boombox, told The Coast News that almost all of their members have come back, and they’ve even gained 20-30 new members just in the last month.
She added that, because of Escondido’s new temporary measures that allow businesses to expand outdoors as part of the city’s Business Recovery Strategy, Boombox was able to quickly get a permit and begin outdoor operations right away.
“We had been operating throughout the closures remotely, through Zoom and online classes, so all of our members were really wanting us to stay open in any way that we could,” Ramirez said. “We do still have people working out at home if they’re not comfortable coming into the gym, but the people who are comfortable coming to the gym were really looking for a way to do it safely.”
Double Barrel Fitness in San Marcos also transitioned outdoors after the new restrictions were announced.
The fitness facility used to offer group classes as well as personal training services and an open gym. Now, Double Barrel is mainly offering group workout classes to maintain the appropriate safety guidelines outlined by county health officials.
Amy Nguyen, the director of operations at Double Barrel, said they have been able to operate outdoors thanks to temporary zoning and development measures implemented by the City of San Marcos in May.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone is excited to have a little sense of normalcy and to be able to work out and be active with other people that keep them motivated,” Nguyen said, “We’ve even had a lot of new people join.”
Both gyms said they have implemented the necessary safety requirements, including physical distancing, increased sanitizing and cleaning measures, personal equipment, contactless reservations and more.
“We understand that this could last longer than we had originally hoped, so we are trying to make this as comfortable as possible for our members,” Nguyen said. “We’re making sure they have options in terms of classes and we’re providing them with the equipment they need, while also making it as safe for them as possible.”