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Workout studios navigate shutdown, reopening amid coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

Scarborough's Crisp Studio and Portland's Jibe Cycling Studio, like many other small workout facilities across the state, have been challenged by the coronavirus.

MAINE, USA — Editor’s note: You've probably heard the term ‘flattening the curve’ as a way to stem the tide of coronavirus cases. The above video explains what that means. 

Across the state, small businesses are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdown.

That includes small gyms and workout studios, which normally rely on people walking through their doors for classes.

Jibe Cycling Studio has rented out all of its studio bikes to folks and is streaming virtual classes to clients.

It has been very successful, but Jibe owner Joanna Pease says that the new business model only generates a quarter- if that- of the studio's typical revenue.

In Scarborough, Crisp yoga, cycling, and boot camp training studio is also producing virtual classes.

Crisp owner Deb Duryee says she'll continue to do online classes for the foreseeable future because even when gyms are permitted to reopen, businesses won't be the same.

"Even for the month of June, we can only have 10 people in a class. Going back to our business plan, 10 is our bottom line. If we have 10 people in a class we can do it, we can pay our bills, but 10 is that magic lowest number."

In addition to online classes, Duryeee is offering customizable virtual small group sessions. 

"You can really tailor these classes," says Duryee. "If you don't want it to be hot yoga, ok, don't turn the heat on! If you want to listen to Led Zeppelin the whole time, fine, the instructor will make you a Led Zeppelin playlist!"

Under Governor Mill's slow-reopen plan, gyms are permitted to partially reopen in June. Even at that point, workout studios and gyms will look and feel different. 

Pease says Jibe has invested in making the studio as safe as possible for riders. 

"We've installed a hospital-grade air purifier, we've installed a commercial-grade dehumidifier, we've increased our ventilation," says Pease. 

Duryee says she will have to change the way she interacts with her clients and greats them.  

"We always joke, I'm a huge hugger! When people come in, I can't greet them the way I'm used to greeting them. I also adjust people a lot in yoga. I'm going to have to sit on my hands so I'm not touching anybody!" Duryee jokes. 

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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