The beauty of the boutique fitness industry are its intimate environments, which foster close-knit communities of clients: members are rooted in a commitment to personal fitness, and each other, where they draw strength and inspiration. This becomes less a blessing and more a curse in our socially distant COVID-19 world, especially given the public’s reduced confidence in being in enclosed spaces/indoors in close proximity to others.
Because boutique facilities are smaller spaces, they’re forced to whittle down class capacities and separate individual spaces with plexiglass barriers while finding ways to accommodate all member workouts, including the instructors who thrive on that interaction with them. Member connection to their instructor is powerful and a huge reason that people choose boutique facilities over the big box clubs. All of these factors prevent tremendous challenges to owners and managers.
But, says David Blitz, boutique fitness owner and co-founder of the Chicago Boutique Fitness Alliance, there’s plenty to be hopeful about.
“If nothing else,” he says, “this pandemic has better prepared us for future challenges and forced us to think about life, work and each other in new ways. We will come back stronger together.”