Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Area gyms worry about clientele after closing due to COVID-19

Some local gym owners say they are grateful to have loyal customers during these uncertain times.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

FARMINGTON, Ark. — Gyms across the area are taking a different approach with how to deal with monthly memberships after Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered all gyms to temporarily close due to COVID-19.

Some local gym owners, including Stan Karber, say they are grateful to have such loyal customers during these uncertain times.

“They understand that this is going to be tough for all of us and they’ve continued," Karber said. "We haven’t had any fallouts yet and as we go through this is we will be willing to cross that bridge when we get there. We’ve always been really accommodating.”

Karber co-owns 1 Day Strength and Conditioning in Farmington and says the worry grows the longer their doors are closed. He says he understands this is the right thing to do.

“As a small business owner you kinda start to stress a little bit but as an Arkansan and as a human being, we clearly understood,” Karber said.

The gym has 150 members and Karber says everyone has continued to pay throughout the month, Jeremy Woody being one of them.

“I would not want them to be affected because of this," Woody said. "This is a part of their livelihood and I understand that so as long as I am able, I will. I know that doesn’t mean that everybody is but as long as I’m able I’m going to continue to do everything I would.”

A trip to the gym was as much a part of the daily routine as breakfast or work for many, and it's a hard adjustment for some.

“I can’t get the same workout in because I’m constantly fighting with myself as to whether I’m going to quit or not," Woody said. "It’s just not the same when you’re working out next to somebody it’s just easier to do it, faster, harder all that good stuff.”

Woody and Karber both agree that gyms have become more than just a place to workout.

“I know it’s a cliche, but it’s very much like a family and we are helping each other out,” Karber said.

RELATED: How to find COVID-19 cases where you live

RELATED: Arkansas coronavirus live updates: 508 confirmed cases, 7 deaths, including one in a nursing home

RELATED: Ways to give back to local community non-profit organizations during the coronavirus outbreak