With an unsteady pace and the certainty that it could be reversed, some items began to open in the new “intermittent quarantine” like gyms and party halls. But those at the bottom of the list and with little hope of being among the activities excepted in the short term remain the same: appealing to ingenuity in order to succeed.
The owners of gyms, bowling alleys, theaters, and event rooms know that they will be the last to open because their operation represents the turnout of a lot of people. Although there were protocol tests in other parts of the world for these items, solutions are often unprofitable or difficult to implement.
In this context, the first ones that had to be reinvented were gymnasiums, not only to try to support the greatest number of partners but because of the demand of those who wanted to continue doing physical activity from home.
“We do classes opened by Facebook and Instagram and exclusive to partners by Zoom. We adapt the routines to the elements that each one has in his house”, says Facundo Omar, owner of Active Club, Castelar and Padua. Although the value of the quota fell, of the nearly 400 members who had 100 left and, because of the fixed costs, they had to permanently close the branch of the town of Merlo.
Without a certain re reopening date, they have already begun to think about the protocols to divide the gym into squares in which each partner could work with its elements and keep the distance. “When we open up, we think the partners are coming back and new people are coming. But there are also people who caught him the pleasure of training at home so let’s continue with virtual classes,” advances Omar.
Other gyms chose to rent their equipment to members. “The most requested were fixed bikes, which we have 30 and rented them all. And we also put together dumbbell kits. With this we at least get to cover some fixed expenses, but not the rent,” says Maximo Prez, owner of Decathlon Gym, a gym with more than 50 years of history in Castelar.
Bowling, on the other hand, found it more difficult to reinvent themselves, but they try to stay in place and active on social media. For example, Roca Bruja de Ituzaingó makes live broadcasts on social networks with local DJs so people can watch and dance from home. “We’re closed and banqueting it, understanding that’s what we get. It is the main focus of contagion and is probably the last thing to open,” laments Francisco Arrom, one of the partners.
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The ban on parties caused the salons to postpone all the events they had since March and, given the uncertainty of the date on which social gatherings will resume, they are not having any new reservations either. This also affected all providers engaged in providing services at these festivities.
“We had a lot of events scheduled, but everything was postponed. Now we receive an order for November, but to confirm because we do not know if it can be made and also the budgets that we can give are estimated”, says Memi Pagani, partner of San Feliz, a company setting for social and corporate events of Hurlingham.
Faced with the uncertainty of not knowing when he will be able to return to work with the events he launched Casa Sabia, a new venture of sustainable products for the house. “We’re developing that to have a back-up in case the events are still postponed,” he says.
For her part, Lorena Blanco, owner of Beautiful Party, a company that organizes candy bar for children’s parties, says that she delivers birthday decoration and pastry to the festivities at home. “We do everything mini, for the members who live in the house and it also looks nice and decorated for the meets by Zoom. The babies are very excited about their birthdays and that’s why it’s good that they can celebrate,” he says.
The theaters and cultural spaces of the West are still active on social networks with different proposals for viewers but with few options to generate revenue. Some, such as the Haedo Shed, come to request for “cap” contributions to help local artists, raise money to support the place and also help those who need it most. Others such as Auditorio Oeste, a classic of rock recitals in the West, on Saturdays become a fair of organic fruits and vegetables, with a strict protocol.