25 Percent of U.S. Health Clubs Permanently Closed Since Start of COVID-19 Pandemic, Per IHRSA

Twenty-five percent of U.S. health clubs and 30 percent of studios have permanently closed since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to research from IHRSA. In addition, more than 1.5 million jobs in the industry have been lost in the country.

The data was collected from third-party payment processing companies that cover about 95 percent of the U.S. club and studio market.

Closures will likely continue into the second quarter due to the omicron variant of COVID-19 stunting the usual January influx of new members for many clubs, according to IHRSA.

IHRSA President and CEO Liz Clark said: “Congress must act now to save America’s community gyms and studios. With each wave of the pandemic the small business owners in our industry keep getting knocked down, and because of past failures by Congress, each time fewer of them get back up. We can’t wait anymore, especially with the rise of additional COVID variants.”

IHRSA is seeking relief for the U.S. fitness industry through the GYMS (Gym Mitigation & Survival) Act, which is House bill 890 and Senate bill 1613. The bill would provide federal grants to clubs and studios that were forced to temporarily close due to COVID-19 restrictions.

IHRSA, which is the trade association for commercial clubs and studios, has a one-click campaign to urge more members of Congress to sign onto the bill.