The State of Reopening: California Affiliates Face an Uncertain Future

May 3, 2020 by
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At the high water mark, at least 89% of all affiliates worldwide were closed. In the United States, the number reached a staggering 96%. States and some countries are beginning to ease restrictions and allow gyms to open as long as certain safety protocols are followed.

The big picture: Two trends in the affiliate reopening environment.

  1. The situation is very fluid. As Georgia and Beijing just showed, the situation can change very quickly. Businesses like gyms are at the behest of state authorities, many of which consider gyms to be high contact areas.
  2. Just because gyms are in phase one of the president’s plan to reopen America, doesn’t mean state governors have to follow it. As we’re seeing play out in California, gyms were moved to stage three offering a grim picture for California’s massive affiliate population.

One really big thing: California Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision last week to move gyms to stage three of the state’s reopening plan, which he estimated was “months, not weeks, away,” is very alarming for the state of CrossFit.

  • California is home to 771 affiliates (11.1% of the U.S.), all who cannot legally open their doors without subverting local laws.
  • The big question: California affiliates have been closed approximately 45 days since the governor issued the nation’s first stay at home order. Can businesses keep enough clients to stave off closure for at least another 45 days, essentially three months or one full fiscal quarter?
  • One southern California affiliate owner said they lost a chunk of members immediately after the governor’s “months, not weeks” comment.

Stat de jure: 47 affiliates have now permanently closed since we began tracking on April 13. Some of those gyms expressed that they were already close to closing before disaster struck, but that’s a lot of gyms in a month-and-a-half.

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