Small gym owners in SF demand answers from city officials as to why they can’t reopen

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – “As soon as our landlord comes to ask for the full rent, we won’t have it,” Dave Karraker, MX3 Fitness co-owner said. 

Small gym owners in San Francisco are demanding the mayor and city health officials turn over the data they’re using to keep them from reopening.

The San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition says dozens of gyms in the city are just days away from filing for bankruptcy or walking away from their leases forever.

“I can literally have one client, one trainer in this giant gym of 1200 square feet observing all the COVID safety protocols. Why is that not safe and the city hasn’t been able to tell us that,” Karraker said. 

The San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition says their questions about why they cannot reopen have not been answered by the city.

Dave Karraker owns MX3 Fitness and is offering services online and now on the sidewalk, doing what he can to try to stay open.

“What we have been able to achieve out on the sidewalk is a bandaid on a gaping wound. It’s mentally inspirational, it gives us something to do and it gives us hope but as soon as our landlord comes to ask for the full rent we won’t have it,” Karraker said. 

DIAKADI Fitness is also struggling with its 14,000 square foot facility once trained 200 clients a day.

Now, they’re working with a very small fraction of their clients outside but say it’s not enough.

“Well honestly with no end in sight, to the closure period, we were forced to try to figure out a way to do something outdoors,” Billy Polson, DIAKADI Fitness owner, said. 

The small gym owners say they will follow all guidelines but just need to know what they need to do and are asking for the city to respond to their request for records and the data that is keeping them from reopening.

“I’m not exaggerating when I say that this industry is about to crater. We have not been able to reopen in any substantial way since March and landlords are coming now looking for the rent and the city has been so focused on keeping restaurants open retail open and struggling to get hair salons reopened, that they are ignoring an entire business sector that used to be a very vibrant part of San Francisco’s economy,” Karraker said. 

We reached out to the city health officials and to the mayor, but have also not heard back.

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