Gym chain growing during pandemic

Posted at 11:27 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 23:27:16-05

CAPE CORAL, FLA — At a time when some have had to shut their doors, others are breaking ground.

The president of Crunch Fitness's Florida Clubs Geoffrey Dyer says they're building a gym in Cape Coral, in a pandemic.

And it's not the company's first time doing this in our state.

"We finished 2019 with 20 clubs open and we had eight planned in 2020," he said.

To their surprise, in 2020, they were able to open every single one of those planned locations, with new COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Dyer says he thinks people continue to come in, because of the pandemic.

"People are coming to the club, realizing that 'Hey a vaccine may not be enough,' or 'I can't get the vaccine, I'm under 65 and I need to get in there and start exercising,'" he said.

Tom Smythe, a finance professor at Florida Gulf Coast University tells me it's a trend that makes sense since most people don't have time and money to maintain gym equipment at home.

But for businesses where there are alternatives, like movie theaters and malls, foot traffic is still low.

Smythe says in order for them to survive the pandemic, they're going to have to change the way they do business.

"Industries like that may try to alter the experience such that it's not just the movie anymore and it's not just popcorn, but maybe dinner and a movie, wine and a movie," he said.

Dyer says he has this advice for other businesses looking to bring in customers:

"Just acting responsibly and making sure you've got a hygienic environment where members or patrons feel comfortable going in there," he said.

Dyer says the new Cape Coral Crunch Fitness location is set to open in August.