YMCA Calling It Quits Due to Pandemic Impact

AM800-NEWS-YMCA-CENTRAL-PARK-FRONT-ENTRANCE-JUNE2015

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another local business.

The YMCA located at Central Park Athletics is permanently closing its doors stating pandemic conditions have created an "unsustainable operating model."

This from Southwestern Ontario Regional Manager Andy Sullivan who is calling the decision heartbreaking.

Sullivan says most gyms reopening are seeing very low return rates.

"We thought about potentially opening and seeing what the response would be, but seeing what's happening in the other communities with only 30%, 40% or 50% of the members returning we didn't want to be in a situation that we would have to bring everybody back and three months from now have to eventually do this anyway."

He says they did everything they could to mitigate the negative impact.

"It's tough. It's been really hard on the industry worldwide. We're a pretty tight-knit group in Windsor. We all support each other in the fitness industry. I, personally, have talked to a lot of gym owners and leaders and it's a really hard time on the fitness side of things."

Sullivan says, on a positive note, the YMCA's community programming will still continue in Windsor-Essex.

"We are fully committed in Windsor to out newcomer settlement program, our child cares, our after school programming, our day camps and any other way that we can serve the community. We had to make this decision to make sure that all of those other services were still going to be strong for a long time to come."

The facility at Central Park Athletics opened in 2016 and at its peak had more than 3,200 members, but has since seen a significant membership loss due to the pandemic.

All current memberships will be cancelled immediately with no additional action needed by current members.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides