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Tuesday
Nov132012

Health Clubs Aid Those Affected by Hurricane Sandy  

Health clubs across the country pride themselves on functioning as the center of their communities. Many strive to be a resource for local residents in good times and bad, a place that people can count on.

© Mechanik - Fotolia.comHow did clubs respond in those areas of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut that were hit hard by hurricane Sandy?

No doubt, there are hundreds of stories to tell. Here’s a little sample:

In Connecticut, Planet Fitness, which has 26 locations in the state, opened its doors to both members and nonmembers so they could use the showers and locker rooms, at no charge.

The Tennis Club of Trumbull, in Trumbull, Connecticut, welcomed residents and disaster workers, working with the Monroe-Trumbull Health District.           

Club Fit and the New York Sports Clubs (NYSC) in the New York City metro area did the same for people without running water; NYSC did the same in hard-hit Manhattan and Long Island.

Likewise, the NYSC in many New Jersey communities opened its facilities to local hurricane victims for a “stress-relieving” workout or a shower. Officially, the offer ended on November 14, but the chain said it would continue offering it “until everyone is back on their feet.” Because thousands were affected, some of the facilities asked that people call and let them know they were coming; others accepted “walk-ins.” Relevant information was posted on the company’s Website.

However, the chain’s facilities in Hoboken, New Jersey, were flooded, and couldn’t provide the service.

With flooding and power outages in many areas and water in short supply, cell phone and laptop charging and bottled water were also highly valued services that many clubs provided, often in addition to showers.

More than half—11 of the 19—Equinox Fitness locations in Manhattan remained operational after the storm, and opened their doors, in most cases, to members and nonmembers. Some guests sat on the floor next to the fitness equipment while they charged their phones.

However, as one might expect, with much of lower Manhattan blacked out, the demand became overwhelming. At one point, Equinox felt the need to limit its aid, putting members first. The company sent a blast e-mail to its customers that read, in part, “As you know, we’ve done our very best to remain open during regular hours in all clubs with power … We’re getting unprecedented usage and, in an effort to better serve our members, we cannot accommodate guests until the situation stabilizes.”

Patricia Amend, p.amend@fit-etc.com

Reader Comments (1)

With all the negative articles on the web about health clubs and gym owners, it is so refreshing to have something to read that paints our industry in a good light. I know there are so many good things that gyms do and are capable of doing and the East Coast gyms are such a good example to follow.
November 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLawrence

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