bay area reopening delays

The Future of Fitness Studios in San Francisco Seems Uncertain

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Fitness studios trying to hang on through the pandemic say they are at the end of their rope.

Working out on the street isn't exactly working for small fitness studios in San Francisco.

“When the landlord comes looking for rent we're not gonna have it,” said Dave Karreker. “This is a band aid.”

He owns MX3 fitness and says that during the pandemic, he has closed a yoga studio, laid off trainers and is taking on debt.

With no reopening date for fitness studios on the table, he and other studio owners are facing a grim reality.

“I'm not exaggerating when I say this entire business sector could collapse within one month,” said Karreker.

He is part of the San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition.

The group says 60 small studios with 700 employees should be allowed to safely operate inside, just like physical therapists are allowed to.

“I can actually train one client at a time, stand 30 feet away,” said Karreker.

Fitness studio owners took their concerns to the Small Business Commission Monday, pleading with San Francisco's health officer to allow them to open before they close for good.

Doctor Tomas Aragon says he is hoping the state is in the process of changing reopening guidelines that will focus more on risk factors instead of specific industry.

“I can't give you a rational reason why a physical therapist can and someone else who can mitigate risk can't,” he said.

The San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition says city leaders aren't providing specifics about why the studios must remain closed or how to safely reopen and it is considering taking legal action.

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