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Arkansas gyms see steady business despite COVID-19 surge

The gym is a big resolution for many whenever a new year begins. With it being January, it got us thinking – how are gyms doing during the current omicron surge?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — January brings plenty of things – the beginning of a new year, and the beginning resolutions. 

For many, the gym is their January destination, but it got us thinking – how are gyms doing during the current omicron surge?

"Omicron seems to be a little more business as usual, although there's still a high level of caution in the process," said Frank Lawrence, CEO of the Little Rock Athletic Centers.

Lawrence knows the highs and lows that can come along with a fitness journey. In his time as CEO, he's also learned how the pandemic can sideline all of that.

"Obviously it was very challenging in 2020," he said. "2021 was better once the vaccines started rolling out, and it's been good since then."

It may have been good, but you'd expect January to be great for them as everyone capitalizes on their New Year's Resolution.

"I think this is maybe a typical January for us. People are still very, very engaged," Lawrence said. "People are still continuing to come to the club."

While the Little Rock Athletic Club wasn't empty Friday, it certainly wasn't jam-packed. Lawrence said he's not sure if the pandemic is keeping people away or encouraging them to come out – it's hard to say.

"Maybe a little bit, but at the same time, people are finding that being active is the key to continue to try and be healthy," he said. "Even if you do get sick, it helps you recover quicker as well."

Lawrence said part of the reason why they've stayed consistent could be because of the things his gym and many others are doing to keep people safe such as: constant cleaning, new filtration systems, and having hand sanitizer readily available.

So even though this January might not bring the typical boom, Lawrence said that's fine, adding that the next couple months could be even better.

"I also know there are a lot of people that are sick, have different symptoms, are not engaged in the club currently," Lawrence said. "So February, March, April, that may change if this does continue down the path the way it appears it's going."