Vt. gyms signing up members as COVID surges on
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Many people pledge to start working out at the beginning of a new year, and local gyms say they are seeing that interest in new memberships despite record COVID infection rates in the state.
“The new year, that brings in a lot more new people too, trying to get in those new year resolutions,” said Haley Lassen with Infinite Health & Fitness in Rutland. She says there has been an increase in members since January and that masks are a personal preference. “People are starting to trust each other more.”
Mark Triller, a member from Rutland, says he’s happy to see new gym-goers. “This has been great, and people have got their shots -- two vaccines and a booster -- so it makes me... I think others feel more comfortable,” he said.
At The Edge in South Burlington, they required vaccines back when they came out. It’s not required to wear a mask but some people still choose to. “If you feel like wearing a mask, like I am today, there’s no stigma,” said Anne Keable of South Burlington. She has been coming to the gym for years and has noticed more people working out in the past few weeks. “People are realizing exercise is good for you despite the COVID restrictions.”
“It’s kind of a tight-knit community when you think about it,” said Calvin Banas, who spends a lot of time in the weight lifting area. The Burlington resident says when he goes to the gym, he sees a lot of familiar faces. “It’s hard for people to start lifting new this year because of omicron, because thinking about everyone else in the gym is probably just going to be more stressful for them.”
Michael Feitelberg, The Edge’s owner and CEO says there has been an increase in members. “Omicron is affecting how many people are coming to the club right now, but we’re certainly encouraged by what we’re seeing month over month,” he said. He says people are asking a lot of pandemic procedure questions before making their decision. Business is still not the same as pre-pandemic, but one of their busiest days was this past Monday. “These are very challenging times I think for all businesses. And certainly, COVID has impacted the health and fitness industry dramatically.”
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