After 32 years, COVID-19 forces closure of Howell Gold’s Gym
Sadly, the list of businesses that have gone under because of the coronavirus pandemic keeps growing. The latest casualty is the Gold’s Gym on Route 9 in Howell.
According to the Asbury Park Press, the gym, which first opened in 1989, will shut its doors forever on March 25. Gold’s Gym parent company filed for bankruptcy protection last May and announced the closure of 30 locations, but those were company owned stores, which make up just a small fraction of the 700 Gold’s Gym locations; the bulk are owned by franchisees.
Gyms were initially shut down in March of last year and were allowed to open, subject to a 25% capacity limit, in September, and that is apparently not enough to sustain many of them. The owner of the Howell location, Mark Steinfeld, told the Asbury Park Press that memberships never recovered from the shutdown and are now at less than fifty percent of what they were pre-pandemic and that it would take two years to recover. Steinfeld said some people still are wary of working out with other people and some customers don’t like exercising while wearing the state mandated masks. Members were given 30 days notice of the closing.
The equipment will be auctioned off next month. Gold’s follows Tilton Fitness which closed all seven of its New Jersey locations, and 24 Hour Fitness, which also filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, closing its New Jersey centers. Steinfeld also owns a Gold’s Gym in Long Branch that is unaffected by the Howell location’s shut down.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.