“Visits trends are proving that the idea that gyms somehow lost their appeal during the pandemic is fundamentally false,” Ethan Chernofsky, VP of marketing at Placer.ai, tells GlobeSt.com. As COVID restrictions are lifted across the country, data from the firm shows that gyms are seeing a rapid increase in foot traffic.

In March, gym visits increased 45% over the same time in 2020, when restrictions began to settle into place. Compared to 2019, which Placer.ai says is a better comparison, visits were down only 21%, the lowest decrease in foot traffic since the start of the pandemic. The numbers are increasing rapidly. From February to March, foot traffic grew 26.8%. “The sector has a clear value to provide, and even the rise of at-home exercise is likely more complementary than a true, direct competitor. The key factor driving the return of visits is reopenings—when gyms are open, people come back. A secondary element to watch is the continued return of work and school routines,” says Chernofsky. “Many gyms are frequented because of their proximity to workplaces, so as these ‘normal’ routines return, the impact could drive an added boost to the sector’s recovery.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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