COVID-19 & Blue Moon Fitness
March 27, 2020
To all Blue Moon Fitness Members:
Thank you to all the members who have expressed support for our efforts and to all the wonderful staff members who have worked to help us navigate this challenging time. As we look across our nation and the world, we see leaders making quite different decisions who share one common desire; to make the best choices they can. There is no one right answer at this time.
I make two promises. I will make mistakes, but I will always do my best to make decisions that I believe serve our members, our staff, our vendors and our communities.
In 1996 the Surgeon General released a historic report in conjunction with the CDC and the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention on Physical Activity and Health. Since the release of that report we have learned so much about the need for and benefits of exercise. The bottom line is that we now know that Exercise is Medicine.
It is in that spirit that we remain focused on trying to dispense that medicine to the best of our abilities. More than ever, the need to exercise to maintain physical and mental health is apparent. The team at Blue Moon Fitness is trying to get creative while maintaining a safe environment that meets or exceed CDC and local guidelines.
And while I can understand the logic behind many states putting liquor stores and even pot shops on the list of essential services, I honestly do not understand why health clubs are not also on that list. Many of our members have expressed extreme gratitude for having a place to exercise. We are honored to help contribute to the health of our communities.
We continue to pivot as we look for new ways to serve our members, our staff and our communities. In Nebraska, where gatherings of 10 or less are allowed, we maintain minimal staff in the clubs, allowing us to use the limit of 10 to serve as many members as possible. Members can use the facilities for up to 30 minutes at a time. Initially we tried to allow people to reserve spots and planned on cycling people through every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour. That didn’t work for our members, so we have shifted to a first-come, first-served basis with one exception. We are allowing first-responders an opportunity to be prioritized in that we are reserving two spots at the front of the line for ANY first-responder, with first-responders who are members getting priority over non-members. Of course, if we do not have any first-responders at a facility those two spots are open for members.
We are also working to provide outside exercise classes, led by a qualified instructor. Some of us have experience as consumers of this type of class from our time in the military, others remember good old gym class. These classes will be very flexible; we want anyone of any fitness level to be able to join us. It is important to note that these classes will exceed the suggested social distancing guidelines, extending the 6 feet requirement to 8 feet and we will adjust staffing as we learn what kind of demand we have. We are prepared to schedule as many staff members as necessary to meet the demand. Our teams want to serve their communities.
We are also open to non-members joining these outdoor classes if there are spots and instructors available. Even most of the states with shelter-in-place orders acknowledge the need for people to get out and exercise. Humans need to move to thrive. Being able to socially interact with other people is also very important – but at a safe distance.
Blue Moon Fitness has yet to lay anyone off, but we are very restricted as to how we can operate so some of our team has nowhere to work. As we navigate the new CARES Act that has yet to get to President Trump’s desk, these people are in a sort of limbo. My goal as founder and CEO is to find ways to keep as many people on our payroll as possible. This requires finding creative ways to keep them employed and engaged, while following the most current guidelines. That said, we are not requiring any of our staff to work if they decide that is the best choice for them and their family. Some have chosen to leave and I completely respect their decisions.
On a personal note, I am trying to guide Blue Moon Fitness adhering to the pragmatic axiom; hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I expect that we will soon have data that allows many of us to make much more informed decisions about what life looks like in the upcoming weeks, months and years. I suspect our lives will be changed forever by this pandemic, but I am not smart enough to tell you how.
I am confident that I am not the only one who feels as though they are trying to solve an equation with 20 plus variables, with most of those variables being unknown and some of what I think are known variables being turned upside down almost daily. We are all doing our best.
The remainder of this update was previously posted but is still relevant.
Currently our Nebraska clubs continue to stay open with modifications to protect our members and staff, all in line with the most recent CDC and local guidelines. We hope, pray and expect this to be a very temporary measure. It is our intention to continue to pay all salaried staff as well as other essential personnel during this shut down. Our hope is that you will continue to support us and our dedicated team through this shared crisis.
We have come up with a variety of solutions to help you get through this challenging period. Our first solution is, if you are not comfortable coming to the club but still want to maintain your exercise program, we have secured a partnership with Les Mills International to allow you to stream over 95 different workouts directly into your home for the next 2 months.
Click on the link below to access the free workouts. You do not need to provide any additional personal information or subscribe to use these classes.
Next, we will be staying open regular hours but there will be no access to lockers or showers in an effort to streamline the process and minimize spreading germs. If you want to use a mat, please bring your own.
We are restricting club access to members and first-responders only for now.
For the safety of our staff and members we are continuing to screen everyone and asking the following 3 questions of anyone using our facilities:
- Have you travelled internationally within the past 14 days?
- Have you been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID19?
- Do you have a fever over 100.4 OR cough, difficulty breathing, etcetera?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, we respectfully ask that you not enter our club or participate in our outdoor classes at this time.
Furthermore, we continue to provide Facebook Live workouts from our trainers and group fitness staff. We want you to be able to access these from any internet-based device.
We will be staffed all hours of operation, so if you have additional questions please reach out to the club and they will be happy to assist you. Please recognize our phones have been ringing non-stop and we do not want to require any more staff to be in the facility than necessary so that we may make room for more customers. Thanks for your patience and for your continued support as we work through this difficult time together.
We understand that looking back some will point to mistakes that we made in how we approached this unprecedented situation. We will make mistakes, but we promise you that we will continue to do our very best to serve our members, our employees, our communities and our fellow man.
To our Battle Creek Members:
Governor Whitmer’s executive order, which took effect Tuesday, March 24, requires most businesses and organizations to send their employees home until April 13. Originally, we had planned on parking lot classes, but even those are not currently permitted. We had our staff working diligently to deep clean the club in preparation for opening, but even that has been paused.
Now more than ever, yours in health,
Joel Potter, CEO
Blue Moon Fitness
You are NOT alone!!!!!