New reality: Gym owner reopens in San Francisco, but it's like 'starting from scratch'

ByReggie Aqui and Eric Shackelford KGO logo
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Gyms reopen in SF but there's not much celebrating
A Crossfit gym owner is back in business operating indoors, but now she's missing one thing: members.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On the surface, it appears to be a day to celebrate as gyms joined personal care services and tattoo parlors getting the green light to reopen indoors in San Francisco. But if you dig a little deeper you see a harsh new reality.

"It doesn't feel that different from last Monday to me. Six months has dug a pretty big hole that I'm not sure I can dig myself out of, " said Danielle Rabkin, owner of CrossFit Golden Gate.

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She opened her doors Monday morning after six months of being closed. No one was waiting outside. The phone wasn't ringing. It was just Rabkin and her dog.

Rabkin says 80 to 90 percent of her former members have left San Francisco, leaving her to basically start from scratch. On top of that, Rabkin just moved into a larger facility in November. She's run the gym for eight years.

Rabkin gave us a tour of CrossFit Golden Gate - they have 4,700 sq. feet on the ground floor allowing her to give people 18 feet between stations. Masks are required. They also have an outdoor area for people who are not ready to come back inside.

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"Just having people around you, having that energy I think will be really nice for people," Rabkin said. "People are pretty limited at home, there's so much more you can do (at a gym)."

Right now, gyms are only allowed to have 10% capacity meaning she is allowed to have nine people in the gym at one time. She said they'll start smaller with five or six and then start adding people to the capacity.

"It's not the end yet," Rabkin said before pausing to take everything in. "We'll see what happens. I'm not confident that we'll survive."

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