The Spring Grove Fitness Center did not re-open in mid-June like the rest of Minnesota’s fitness centers. Fitness centers and gyms were closed by Governor Tim Walz in March due to COVID-19.
“The Spring Grove Fitness Center closed its door in response to the Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order 20-04, stating all fitness centers were to close on March 17, 2020, at 5 p.m. During the prolonged closure, Spring Grove Communication’s Board of Directors reevaluated operations and made the decision not to re-open the Spring Grove Fitness Center under the management of Spring Grove Communications. It was decided to release an RFP (request for proposal) for lease agreements,” shared Spring Grove Communications Director of Business and Community Affairs, Jacqui VanMinsel.
Spring Grove Communications owns the building that has housed the Spring Grove Fitness Center for the past 16 years. The Fitness Center is fully equipped with state of the art equipment.
VanMinsel explains that “the Spring Grove Fitness Center was created by Spring Grove Communications as an amenity in response to community interests. The fitness center opened in 2004.”
For a town with a population of 1,272, according to the 2018 U.S. Census, located in the middle of a farming community, community members proudly supported the fitness center through memberships without any financial support from the City of Spring Grove.
The company is actively seeking a management company to lease the fitness center. The lease period is for one to no more than five years.
The current economic climate and the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Governor Waltz added additional layers of work and possible expenses that had to be completed before fitness centers and gyms could re-open. The document contains nine pages of guidelines that facilities and staff must implement and adhere to.
The first requirement is the creation of a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that needs to address all the components outlined in the Industry Guidance for Safely Re-opening: Gyms and Fitness Centers. These plans can range up to 400 pages long. According to the guidelines, the business “must ensure the plan is evaluated, monitored, executed, and updated under the supervision of a designated plan administrator.” The plan must be made readily available to members.
One section is devoted just to workplace building and ventilation protocols, including guidelines for starting mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life safety, and other systems after non-use and assess the building for indications of pest and vermin infestation. A checklist for ventilation system start-up and day-to-day operations is included in the manual. These requirements could be a deterrent to a potential management company. VanMinsel noted that the Spring Grove Fitness Center meets the requirements outline in the state’s COVID-19 manual, and additional work is not necessary to re-open the center.
In addition to the above mention guidelines, the lessee will be responsible for the familiar temperature checks of staff and members, policing the wearing of masks, washing hands, the procedure for disinfecting equipment, and social distancing. Modifications, such as moving equipment, will be addressed to ensure that the fitness center can comply with the state’s guidelines.
If a lessee is not found to manage the fitness center, what are the Board’s plans?
VanMinsel explained that “We are hopeful the space will remain a fitness center. If no proposals are received, the Spring Grove Communications Board of Directors will need to evaluate where to go from here.”
VanMinsel goes on to state that “We are very hopeful that an eager entrepreneur will take this opportunity to operate a fully-equipped, established fitness center in a beautiful town. A town bursting at the seams with opportunity.”
“We are hoping this provides an interested party the opportunity to operate a fitness center without a large capital investment – the building is here, the machines are in place. Our goal is to work with any and all interested parties, with the intent of maintaining an appreciated community amenity. We encourage anyone interested to reach out for additional information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Due to the supportive nature of the community and Spring Grove Communications, the Spring Grove Fitness Center is a once in a lifetime opportunity for an inspiring entrepreneur.