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Canberra gyms prepare for post Coronavirus reopening

Canberra gyms prepare for post Coronavirus reopening
May 22, 2020

Fitness centres in the ACT are reportedly preparing to reopen as of next weekend.

With the ACT due to proceed to stage two Coronavirus restrictions on 30th May, gyms will be among facilities be allowed to open for up to 20 people at a time.

As reported by the Canberra Times, Viva Leisure, operator is currently awaiting reopening advice with a view to a staged reopening of its gyms.

The group is considering options including purely opening some facilities for group fitness, while others would open just their gym spaces.

It is also going to implement a virtual customer counter, allowing members to check if a gym is reaching restricted capacity before they visited.

With gyms closed since the end of March, Viva Leisure Head of Fitness, Matt Eikenhout said staff were excited to get back to work, explaining “we had 14 or 16 hours notice to close doors of 80 sites around Australia.

"About 1000 staff were affected. JobKeeper and JobSeeker came along which was great, but it was very stressful... It hit hard for a lot of the staff.

"People working in this industry are pretty active themselves, so there's huge excitement and anticipation to get the facilities reopened."

The company's Australian National University aquatic facilities are reportedly set to open tomorrow (Saturday) while hydrotherapy facilities at the Canberra International Sports & Aquatic Centre were expected to open on Monday.

F45 Belconnen owner Sam Issa says he will open his gym as soon as it's allowed - even if it isn't financially viable for just 20 clients at a time.

Having moved to Zoom classes and worked to maintain interactions with members, this week, the gym started holding outdoor sessions for 10 clients at a time.

Issa advised “for us it's about keeping our clients engaged.

"We need to come out the other end with a client base intact.

"If that means a cost to maintain customers into the future and do the right thing by them, we're wearing that."

Under stage two of the national plan, businesses like gyms, galleries, and zoos may be allowed to open for up to 20 patrons at a time.

In an announcement to the ASX in the middle of last month, Viva Leisure advised that it had secured a $6 million overdraft facility from its bank and a deferral of repayments for six months on its $10 million Market Rate Loan facility, providing a cashflow benefit of approximately $400,000 per quarter.

It also advised that all equipment finance suppliers had agreed to deferred payments for six months.

Related Articles

22nd May 2020 - NSW Deputy Premier expects gyms to be open again by July

21st May 2020 - Genesis’ reopened Western Australian clubs deliver supervised group fitness

21st May 2020 - Fitness Industry launches comprehensive operations framework for safe reopening of gyms

13th May 2020 - Life Fitness helps guide safe reopenings of fitness and wellness centres

8th May 2020 - Fitness Australia welcomes Federal Government’s Coronavirus relaxations that focus on importance of exercise

6th May 2020 - Fitness Australia survey finds Australians keen to renew gym memberships

4th May 2020 - Fitness and wellness Industry organisations publish reopening guidance

7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed

26th March 2020 - Viva Leisure sheds more than 1,000 staff in 48 hours

2nd March 2020 - Viva Leisure reports ongoing growth and reveals new boutique brand

14th February 2020 - Viva Leisure opens new sites and completes Fit n Fast Health Clubs acquisition

17th December 2019 - Further growth for Viva Leisure with enhanced keyless club entry and launch of dedicated DAB+ radio station

2nd December 2019 - Viva Leisure looks to raise new capital as it announces acquisition of 13 Fit n Fast clubs

12th November 2019 - Viva Leisure expands Queensland operations with addition of two more Healthworks clubs

16th October 2019 - Viva Leisure enters Queensland market with acquisition of eight Healthworks Fitness Centres

28th August 2019 - Viva Leisure 2018/19 financial results exceed prospectus forecasts

8th August 2019 - Viva Leisure launches new app to offer keyless entry into clubs


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