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The YMCA of Greater Waukesha County also reopened its four Waukesha County locations in Mukwonago, Waukesha, Menomonee Falls and New Berlin on May 20. Its two Milwaukee County locations, in Wauwatosa and Greenfield, reopen May 22 per county regulations. The organization said it has designed a phased reopening based on CDC guidelines.
"You can get far away from other people in our clubs and you can work out easily there," he said. "We might have 75 people in our clubs at any given time and you might not notice it because the buildings are so big."Goldman said having the capacity to social distance (and sufficient resources to keep that space clean) is a major differentiator between health clubs and smaller boutique fitness studios these days. But having less space and offerings to work with may also have its advantages. "We have 15 minute cleaning intervals between each class we have throughout the day," said Kevin Scharnek, Orangetheory Fitness Wisconsin developer and franchisee. "I think it's going to be easier for a structured environment like that to manage that process, which is super labor intensive, verses the open concept of a big-box (gym)."
Scharnek owns all the Boca Raton-based Orangetheory studios in Wisconsin, except for its Mequon location, which reopens May 26.
His studios in Waukesha County will be reopening within the next couple of weeks, and he's awaiting guidance from local officials on reopening his studios in Milwaukee County, which include Wauwatosa, Shorewood and the Historic Third Ward.In addition to following respective local guidelines, all Orangetheory studios across the U.S. must meet a set of corporate criteria before reopening for classes, including stocking up on necessary supplies and training staff on new safety protocol. About 200 of the company's 1,100 locations have reopened as of this week, said Scharnek. Operating in the new normal will require modifications to Orangetheory's 60-minute, high-intensity interval training classes. All treadmills, rowing machines and various strength-building equipment will be wiped down by staff before, after and during the class as members rotate from station to station. With class capacity cut in half, members will occupy every other piece of equipment to create safe social distance. "That's where I think the benefit is, to control that process because we have the class-based verses the random workouts," said Scharnek. While its studios have been closed, Orangetheory has offered its daily workout sessions via its website, free of charge for both members and nonmembers. It will continue the virtual offering as studios gradually reopen, knowing there are some members who aren't ready to return to in-person fitness classes just yet. But overall, Scharnek has confidence in the Wisconsin membership base. "Based on what we're seeing at other studios around the country, we feel really good that a majority of our members are going to come back and join," he said. "The reality is, people have hopefully realized, 'I need fitness in my life'... and having someone there who's pushing you and motivating you is something that I've missed for sure."