Written by Samriddhi Sakunia
With the state government reverting to its earlier evening curfew rules, gymnasium operators are expecting a major loss of revenue, with many wondering if their business will be able to survive the latest round of restrictions. As per the state government norms which came into effect Monday, gyms are supposed to operate at 50 per cent of capacity, shut down at 4 pm, and function without air-conditioning.
Gym operators as well as others whose livelihood depends on the business say that repeated changes in restriction norms have badly hit the fitness business, and have worsened uncertainty during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rakhi Saxena, a trainer at Shree Gym & Swimming Pool in Viman Nagar, said that although her establishment had seen a rise in the number of patrons in recent weeks, the latest move by the government will undo that gain. “Now, with the new guidelines, people will think twice before signing up for a gym. With the new timings, only those who can spare a few hours in the morning and those who are fully vaccinated will sign up for a gym. This will result in huge losses for us,” said Saxena.
At another popular gym, N-vie Fitness, trainer Saudagar Langar says that he is not expecting even 50 patrons to show up daily. “How are we even supposed to survive without any business? The owners are all following the guidelines but there should be a way out for the businesses to run smoothly,” says Langar.
“The members are complaining because they have signed up for plans and are not getting the desired service in return,” he adds.
Shantanu Sable, the owner of Abs gyms, said business has gone down tremendously. “The gym is making only 30 per cent of its usual income. There have been no new subscriptions lately,” he says.
Operators of gyms which cater to employees of the IT sector fear the worst and wonder if their business will survive the latest round of restrictions, as their patrons visit the gyms only in the evenings. “These new guidelines are only adding to the misery. In recent months, we were witnessing some improvement with IT employees coming back to Pune. The footfall was going up to 350-400 a day. Now, with the evening lockdown, I wonder if even 50 would turn up. We don’t expect to do any business at all,” says Tukaram Naik, the operator of Dotfit Fitness.
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