NILES – Commit To Be Fit Fitness Center opened on March 16, 2020 – the same day that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all nonessential businesses to close because of the pandemic. As a new fitness center without a membership base, this was devastating news, says owner Darin Ward.
The fitness center reopened on May 27, 2020, but faced many more challenges. It was denied every state and federal relief grant it sought, Ward says.
Fear of COVID-19 also kept people from going to fitness centers. So Commit To Be Fit implemented a universal mask policy for employees and gym members, sanitized the equipment regularly and asked customers to wipe down their machines before and after use.
“This drove up consumer confidence and our membership base began to increase,” Ward says. The mask policy was eventually lifted but the gym’s philosophy of treating members like family remains intact.
“People go to gyms to not only work out but to enjoy the interaction with other customers and employees,” Ward says. “It’s like a bar, only healthier.”