Smaller gyms in Clark County that offer a sense of community and guided classes are seeing an increase in customers, especially with the mask mandate ending.
A hot-yoga studio in Uptown Village called Yoga6, 1700 Main St., opened in March 2021 and had to require masks beginning in August. The mask mandates caused some of the customers to freeze their accounts, said general manager Katya Ortega.
“Since last month, we’ve seen a big boom in interest coming back to the studio,” she said. “The fitness and having a sense of community is important.”
Yoga6’s neighbor, CycleBar, a boutique-style gym that offers indoor cycling rides, also saw a dip when the mask mandates hit. But once the mandate was lifted, more customers have been coming through the doors, said general manager Aly Hendershot.
People who are returning to in-office work are also helping bring in customers, Hendershot said. She’s had to add early morning classes to accommodate people working downtown. Some people are even coming from North Portland, she said.
“With the mask mandate going away, people are getting back into the office, or school schedules are changing,” Hendershot said. “Some people coming into the studio are coming to look for a community. This is where people come to hang out with friends and enjoy exercise together. It’s a big part of mental health too.”
Northwest Personal Training, 1011 Broadway St., is also seeing a boost in new and returning clients, said CEO Sherri McMillan.
“One positive spin on the pandemic is people are focusing on their health more,” she said. “If they get COVID or another disease, they want to be prepared.”
Throughout the pandemic, group activities and classes were limited at Northwest Personal Training. Now, McMillan is looking forward to bringing back some of those activities.
“We specialize in one-on-one training, but we do offer lots of classes,” she said. “We’re seeing people being more comfortable with group activities again, unlike the past few years.”
Lots of people have signed up for an upcoming six-week spring challenge, and the business will offer its weekly free community boot camp class this summer after a two-year hiatus.
“The community boot camp is our way to give back to the community and introduce people to who we are and what we do,” she said. “It’s a fun way to get people together. We’re really excited to get it started again.”
As more people get back into exercising as the pandemic wanes, McMillan said she looks forward to having more clients who use Northwest Personal Training’s services year-round.
“Take the last couple of years as a reminder about how important your health is,” she said. “If we don’t have our health, what do we have? Let’s continue to focus on eating clean and healthy, exercising frequently and building up our immune systems.”