July 14, 2024

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Financial impact of pandemic forces Strides Health & Fitness Club to close

Financial impact of pandemic forces Strides Health & Fitness Club to close

Strides Health & Fitness Club will be closing for good on Nov. 17. (Healey photo)

MAIN PHOTO: Strides Health & Fitness Club will be closing for good on Nov. 17. (Healey photo)

ELMSDALE: The president/owner of Strides Health & Fitness Club said the toll taken from closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic are still rippling for her business and as a result she has no other choice but to close for good.

Leslie Wilber-Campbell said three-plus years after the pandemic, there is no recovery in sight and therefore they are closing their doors. A letter was sent to members announcing the business would officially close on Nov. 17.

She wanted to thank the loyal, consistent, and wonderful members they have had.

“It is because of you that Strides has been a success for so many years,” she said. “My emotional connection to you and our staff is the only reason we continued to fight the past three years.”

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Wilber-Campbell wanted to make some highlights regarding the closure.

It will not impact Strides Spa & Wellness Centre, which will remain open as will all the business in the MacMillan Centre.

Strides Health & Fitness Club will be liquidating all commercial grade gym equipment and related accessories.  Those interested may contact her at: (902) 221-5568.

“Closer to November 17, we will hold a Yard Sale for smaller items and gear,” said Wilber-Campbell.

She said for people to watch Strides’ socials for details on that.

(Healey photo)

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Wilber-Campbell said in March 2020, the provincial government shut all fitness facilities down three times for a total of just over six months, due to the pandemic. Strides was not eligible for financial assistance from the government.

“Like so many other small businesses, the financial impact was profound,” she said. “We knew the real financial recovery would last three to five years once we reopened (June 28, 2021).”

In January 2023, Strides had no choice but to raise their membership prices. 

“This was simply to cover the costs of inflation for maintaining status quo but unfortunately did not help us mitigate the financial impact of COVID,” said Wilber-Campbell.

She said she built the business out of the love for fitness and an eagerness to provide a quality gym for our community. 

“This September marked 17 years of business for us,” she said.

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Since the news came out that Strides Health & Fitness Club would close there have been many emails to her.

“I’m humbled by the amount of sweet and thoughtful emails from current and past members and staff members as well as community members,” said Wilber-Campbell.

“I thank the community of East Hants who have supported our club over the years.

She’s proud of what she has been able to build over the past 17 years.

“As a resident of Enfield/Elmsdale for all my life, I’m proud of what we have built and made available to our community for 17 years,” she said. “I would like to welcome NAPA Auto Parts, who will be taking over the majority of the space.”