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Michigan fitness centers dealing with financial decisions as result of COVID pandemic

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Local fitness centers are hoping for customers to return as capacity limits are erased.

On June 1, the state of Michigan will end restrictions on outdoor events while allowing 50 percent capacity on indoor gatherings

With the coronavirus pandemic putting a limit on the amount of people allowed inside, these workout facilities were forced to deal with financial losses. 

“It basically crushed us,” said Richard Greenman, owner of Forge Fitness in Gladwin. 

Greenman said his business operates at 30 percent capacity. With capacity limited, many of Greenman’s customers elected to seek other ways of staying fit. 

“Everyone went out and bought equipment because we were shut down for so long,” Greenman said. “All the elderly population are all so afraid of this thing that they're not gonna come back out. It’ll be years before we see what we were seeing before.” 

Some people elected to workout from home, others opted to choose new gyms.

“Coming back, it was kind of a hit,” said Mike Burnham, general manager of Mountain Town Fitness. “Obviously like the box places and the bigger names got a little bit more than we did right out the rip.”

With increased capacity and revenue, advertising opportunities have also returned as one way to generate income. 

“What we’ve done in the past months, it’s allowed me to open up my budget for more things, for advertising and things like that again,” Burnham said. “With the rest of the businesses opening up, doing cross promotion is where I kind of excel at really the most and where we get our most business.”

Burnham said his business has grown since restrictions have been loosened.

The state of Michigan plans to eliminate capacity restrictions on all indoor gatherings on July 1.