NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Gyms and fitness boutiques were some of the first businesses forced to shut their doors when COVID-19 hit Tennessee back in early March.
On Friday, gyms in more than 89 counties across the state were finally able to re-open. Many major companies lost big bucks, but locally-owned gyms were hit even harder.
Bryan Nichols is the owner of Macon Iron Fitness in Lafayette and built his business from the ground up, back in 2017. The last six weeks have been extremely difficult, with the gym losing half its members.
“We are in a small town and we weren’t the only business having to shut down, so if those people don’t have a job, they can’t pay for their membership,” said Nichols.
But now that their doors are back open, Nichols said that they’re seeing a steady flow of people.
“All day long people will call and say they want to come in, but ask how many people are here. I’ll tell them there are about 4-5 people and the reaction has been good,” added Nichols.
There are strict health guidelines for all gyms to abide by including; no use of water fountains, cleaning equipment readily available, and social distancing. With more than 9,000 square feet to work with, Nichols said the equipment is spread apart, and it’s been easy to monitor members and to keep things clean.
Nichols said, “When you walk in our door there is a sign that says ‘Go Wash Your Hands,’ and if you go to use something, clean it and move on. They have done that and I’m lucky. Most people do what you ask them to do if you just give them the chance to do it.”
Right now, Macon Iron Fitness is only permitted to operate at half capacity, but Nichols said he is blessed to have his doors open, celebrating the gym’s 3-year anniversary on this very day.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.