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Boutique yoga and pilates studios struggling during the pandemic take equipment and classes outdoors

Club Pilates Rancho Mirage

Another type of business hurting right now because of the pandemic are yoga studios.

News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay met with the owner of a yoga and a pilates studio who shares how they’re moving operations outdoors in order to survive.

“We in the fitness industry and at least the boutique fitness industry feel like exercise should really be considered an essential business right now because it does help your immunity and your health,” the owner of Club Pilates in Rancho Mirage and YogaSix in Palm Desert Chris Dordell told News Channel 3.

He shared the struggle his businesses have faced since the start of the pandemic.

“We had about 100 of our members or about one-third of our members cancel and a lot more went on freeze or put their account on hold so clearly we took a huge hit as far as revenue,” Dordell said.

They first closed their doors in March and tried offering classes online.

“We did reopen for about a month between mid-June and July 14 but many people were uncomfortable coming back and so our revenue has shrunk by 70 or 80 percent per month so we’re at a point now where we’re trying to do something, anything to survive,” he said.

In order for them to survive, they moved classes outside this week with socially distanced yoga mats.

Due to the heat, right now they’re only offering three classes in the morning instead of their usual nine or 10 classes per day.

Another frustration, his studios fall under the gym category.

“We petitioned as a boutique coalition to not be considered a gym and be considered a personal service,” he said.

Dordell has written letters to the governor, reached out to the local city government and the county.

“We don’t understand why small studios like ours who can have six or eight people at a time in the studio can’t be open right now," Dordell said. "We’re much different than a large gym. We are by appointment only and we can really control the number of people in the studio,” he added.

With no luck, his businesses are adapting and waiting until they, along with larger gyms get the green light to open indoor operations.

“It’s going to be a long time before our business can recover," he said. "Small fitness centers like mine are really feeling the crunch right now. We feel we can be safe, just as safe as a hair salon or some of the businesses that are open right now,” he said.

To learn more about these studios you can reach out to:

Business Matters / Coronavirus / News Headlines / Top Stories

Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.


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