by Christian Duque
When Joe Gold opened his gym, it was the beginning of the modern era of bodybuilding. It all started in a small no-frills gym and was all about hardcore training. One of the best historians of the time is none other than Ric Drasin, who had a show on IronMag TV. When Joe sold his gym, the owners opened a new location and created the most modern, spacious, and accommodating exercise facility in the world. Gold & # 39; s Gym Venice became known as the Mecca of bodybuilding, an award that continues to this day. Absolutely everyone who is someone in our sport has either visited (or is planning to visit), trained there and / or did a photo shoot there.
The flagship facility helped spread the gym nationally and internationally. Still, the fitness business is not for everyone. There will always be competition. For Gold’s it was always World Gym (Joe Gold’s second gym) and Powerhouse, but then there were the more corporate-sounding chain gyms like LA Fitness and Bally’s. Today, the yellow-purple giant that has brought countless mom and pop gyms out of business is none other than Planet Fitness. However, gold will always be safe because of its history, its undeniable connection to bodybuilding and its constant improvement in its game. The problem now, however, is that people don't train anywhere – because gyms cannot be opened. It's been well over a month, six weeks in some places where the gyms were completely closed.
Some gyms have frozen memberships, both because they don't want to lose their members and because they want to be considerate. This means that gym owners don't make any income. If gym owners don't get any money, will they suddenly be paid rent, utilities, equipment debt and / or franchise fees? Some dig into their savings; others have none, so what do they do? A lot of loyal athletes have insisted that their gyms accuse them of solidarity, but these are mostly isolated cases. The bottom line is that the world as we know it has come to a standstill.
The COVID19 pandemic was taken very seriously in the United States. President Donald J. Trump has worked tirelessly to ensure that the nation is on high alert in these very difficult times. In fact, the Trump Administration's White House Coronavirus Task Force has done an excellent job of keeping the American public informed. From there, governors and their administrations worked hard to do the best in their states and constituencies. While security is the number one concern, the economy has suffered a massive blow. Many Americans either work from home or receive unemployment benefits. Citizens have received incentives, but the corporate sector hurts. Every week gyms state that they reopen on a specific date and then postpone it for another 2-3 weeks. Gym visitors lose hope, quit membership, and most likely lose muscle and gain fat. It's just the reality we've been living in for six weeks.
Just because Gold & # 39; s Gym has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection doesn't mean the gym is going to shut down. Let me repeat again: the gym is not going out of business. If anything, they do what is responsible. With assets and liabilities of $ 100 million, they simply cannot afford to be in default. Many great empires have perished because they simply thought with pride, contrary to common sense. Filing this type of protection often leads to disorder among investors and franchisees. However, this should only be done if it is a product of misconduct or misconduct at the level of the board of directors or senior executives. The reason why so many companies are leaning against the wall today is the impact of a pandemic. This is really a very unique, unexpected and absolutely legitimate reason to be careful about the future.
In addition, filing Gold & # 39; s Gym International for protection under Chapter 11 does NOT affect franchise operators who operate 90% of the gym's facilities. This is a very important distinction that should continue to reassure gym members, employees, and the business world.
Unfortunately, Chapter 11 protection is not a free card to leave the prison. it comes attached with cords. For laypersons, it gives a company time to operate, time to assess its operation, and time to make up for debt payments. As part of the restructuring of the gym, 32 locations had to be closed, which undoubtedly has an impact on the real world. Members are evicted, employees may be unemployed, and further measures may need to be taken. However, Gold & # 39; s Gym International is expected to reappear on August 1.
Will things be normal by then? Who knows? What we know, according to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, is that there will be a second, far worse wave of the virus in the fall. In the meantime, we may have social distance, everyone is wearing gloves, hand sanitizers, masks in abundance, and only 50% capacity during the reduced hours. Does that sound drastic? Well, if you think that most gyms – as we speak – have been closed for six weeks, then the above sounds a lot better than when they're closed. If this is the reality for every part of the summer that these gyms are open, and then in the middle of the second wave of this pandemic in the fall, I ask, can gyms be profitable in these very likely circumstances? I think we have to wait and see. I will say I am optimistic because people have to exercise, eat better and live a healthier lifestyle. We can only abide by government guidelines and hope it gets better.
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