Gym operators facing bankruptcy over prolonged closure

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Gym operators said last night they are now facing bankruptcy and voiced fears over the long term damage to their industry which remains closed.

Speaking with Eyewitness News following Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ national address Sunday, Empire Fitness CEO Dr Kent Bazard said: “To be honest we’re facing bankruptcy. We’re facing closure. It doesn’t seem as though any rationale is being used and no one wants to come to the table and reach some sort of compromise.

“We have been asking that for months and no one has been responding. It’s not looking good for our business. The industry as a whole has taken quite a hit, not only the operators, but the industry’s image. Public trust has been lost.”

Bazard added: “There are studies in Europe and the United Kingdom that show that once the proper protocols are in place gyms are not high risk.

“It’s also a confusing message being sent when the underlying health conditions of persons who have died from COVID-19 [have] been issues such as hypertension and diabetes.”

Yesterday, Minnis gave no indication as to when gyms may be allowed to reopen stating, “We continue to consult with health officials to determine the appropriate time for the safe reopening of gyms, spas and other elements of our economy.

“Health officials will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 developments on New Providence and Abaco and continue to assess the health data.”

Matson Delancy, owner and head coach at Da Dungeon Fitness, told Eyewitness News: “At this point, I am barely surviving financially. This is just a further nail in the coffin for gym owners, not knowing when we will be allowed to reopen.

“No one is speaking to us or asking for our input. There is no financial backing for us to stay afloat. For them to continue to do this to us is a slap in the face. I don’t know how this can be justified.”