Springfield-area gyms, fitness stores weigh in on future amid pandemic

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The pandemic has presented challenges for some local gyms, but quite the opposite for some local equipment stores.

Angela Highfield, manager of Royal Barbell, says the virus is leaving gyms unsure of the future.

“For us we’re worried about where our members will go workout but also have that sense of community.”

With some cities in Missouri and nationwide imposing tougher restrictions in response to the pandemic, some which include closed gyms, it leaves Highfield and others in the fitness industry concerned.

”It is a concern what happens if we have to shut down. How will we survive? How will we put food on our table?”

With the uncertainty of gyms staying open, many stores, like Play It Again Fitness are booming with business.

”25-30 times a day. I don’t want to go back to my gym or I want stuff for home.” says co-Owner Jeff Newland.

Newland says since spring they haven’t slowed down. Play It Again’s most popular item is dumbells and they’re going fast. He says if you’re in the market for gym equipment you better get it soon.

Highfield says Royal Barbell has members who have both an at home gym and continue to come in.

“If it shuts down, I’m home. But coming here… I miss hanging around people and the community aspect.”

Both businesses say they’re prepared and staying positive in the case tougher restrictions are announced.

”We will go back to curbside,” says Newland.

”Not sure what it will look like. Hoping it doesn’t happen so we don’t have to go down that road,” says Highfield.

Royal Barbell says they continue to sanitize, keep members socially distanced and follow other health guidelines amid the pandemic.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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