Gyms reopening- statements from NJ Planet Fitness owners

Below are statements from two Planet Fitness franchise owners in New Jersey in response to Governor Murphy’s announcement that gyms may reopen as of Tuesday, September 1st.

 

Hon. Craig Benson, former Governor of New Hampshire and Planet Fitness Board Member and franchise owner in New Jersey who operates 18 gyms. Governor Benson is a New Jersey native 

“Fitness centers are critical to the mental, physical and financial health for New Jerseyans, and we are grateful that Governor Murphy has announced that we can reopen with safety protocols in place. Throughout the reopening process, we will continue to collaborate with local, county and state health officials to ensure that our members can work out again in a safe, clean, and welcoming environment, and our staff can get back to work.

William Olson, a Planet Fitness franchise owner who operates 18 gyms in New Jersey

“The health and safety of our members, our staff, and the local communities we serve is inherent to our mission and values. We want to thank Governor Murphy for working with us so that we can safely reopen with strict guidelines in place, which will empower us to help our members improve their physical and mental health during these challenging times. Investing in the health and safety of our communities is the most important role we play and we will always treat that with the seriousness it deserves.”

BACKGROUND

  • There are 64 Planet Fitness locations in New Jersey, which combined have 491,000 members and employ more than 3000 people. Planet Fitness gyms represent approximately 30% of the fitness center market share in the state
  • Health and safety protocols being implemented at Planet Fitness gyms in NJ include:
    • Limited capacity to comply with social distancing
    • Advanced air filtration systems with high-grade filters
    • Masks required at all times
    • High-tech electrostatic disinfecting sprayers for the gym and equipment
    • Touchless check-in
    • Reconfiguration of equipment to ensure each machine is at least six feet apart and is in a forward-facing direction (decreasing face to face risk)
    • Well-stocked cleaning stations with hand sanitizer
    • Posters explaining best- health practices displayed throughout gym
    • Cleaning of machines before and after each use
    • One-way flow for foot traffic
    • Temperature checks for staff members at the start of each shift in addition to health questionnaire
    • Ample supply of PPE equipment for staff and members including masks and gloves
  • A recent CDC study found one in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 say they considered suicide because of the pandemic
    • More than 40% of those surveyed say they experienced a mental or behavioral health condition connected to the COVID-19 crisis
  • A recent statewide survey of New Jersey voters found 57% want gyms to reopen with strict safety protocols in place
    • After voters hear the specific safety precautions that those venues will follow, as well as other factors, support for reopening gyms in NJ grew to 69%
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