JoyRide is closing.
Amy Hochhauser and Rhodie Lorenz — co-founders of the popular cycling, Pilates, barre and fitness center — will shut their Westport doors September 2.
COVID — and big banks — are the reason.
In an email sent this afternoon, Amy and Rhodie say:
“The past 2 ½ years have been an incredible struggle for many folks. As small business owners in the fitness sector, we’ve been hit particularly hard. Although we were able to survive many of the twists and turns related to the pandemic, unfortunately our industry failed to receive enough government aid. The business is simply unable to overcome the substantial losses incurred during COVID and the related studio closures.
“Westport was our first studio, and will always hold a special place in our hearts. Over the past 11 years, we’ve welcomed over 30,000 riders and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charitable organizations. Together we formed an incredible community – our beloved JoyFamily – with whom we’ve shared the ups and downs of life. We take comfort in knowing that many of these friendships will last a lifetime.
“We hope JoyRide Westport is remembered for its core values: Inclusivity, Positivity, Community, Teamwork and Giving Back. Our goal has always been to build a place that would allow individuals to come together through fitness and build strength to live ‘big joyful’ lives. We still believe deeply in these pillars, and we hope that the JoyCommunity carries them forward as they face the many challenges of life.
“To our Westport Team — past and present — thank you from the bottom of our hearts. From our instructors to desk staff to our landlord, we’ve been so incredibly lucky to work with the best in the business. Without you all, there would have been no JOY in the Ride. Your talent, passion and commitment made us better each day. We were so lucky to share this space with you all.
“We thank you all for joining us on this epic adventure. We will cherish the incredible memories and we will miss you beyond measure. We hope to pop-up again in some form in the coming months. So, stay tuned. In the meantime, remember: Life’s a trip. Enjoy the Ride!”
Beyond that email, Amy told “06880” that despite always paying on time, she and Rhodie are being held personally liable for bank loans that were put in default simply because they could not afford to reopen all locations during the pandemic.
“Our industry has truly been decimated,” Amy notes. “In addition to our closure, we’ve heard of a lot of our competitors closing recently.
“The GYMS ACT never passed — and the fitness industry is left in shambles. Despite business improving, it’s impossible to generate enough revenue to cover the costs of the many months we were closed, and the repercussions / ripple effects.”
The owners encourage people to use remaining class or gift cards in their account.
Meanwhile, JoyRide’s New Haven studio remains open, at 199 Crown Street. It’s on the market. Anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, Amy says, she and Rhodie hope to do a deal with another gym or facility in Westport, to carry on the JoyRide brand and bring their great instructors in to teach classes. Feel free to reach out at the above email.
“06880” promises to share some hoped-for good news.
(NOTE: An unlimited “last hurrah” package is available, for $99. Click here for details. Click here for the JoyRide website.)
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