THE REFINERY BARRE FITNESS STUDIOS was named Tallahassee’s Best Fitness Studio in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Our beautiful bricks and mortar studio was, in a word, breathtaking (and, if you were in one of our cardio classes, possibly literally breathtaking as well).
Then came the lockdown.
Like all good citizens, we closed our doors for nine weeks.
By the time the lockdown ended, the first science on any relationship between fitness and covid was emerging and it should have been good news for businesses like ours. The risk from facilities like ours was (is) nil. We knew, given our years of focus on in-studio hygiene and health, that we were as safe a place as you could ever find.
We shared the science and our hygiene protocols with local government.
They ignored the studies and us. They passed an emergency ordinance, which scared the heck out of everyone. Overnight, our in-studio class attendance plummeted, and never recovered.
They promised to review the ordinance every meeting and tweak as needed.
They did neither.
The “emergency” ordinance remained in place 10 months and ended only after the Legislature granted the governor the executive power to end it, which he promptly did.
Immediately after the “emergency” was declared, we began to move classes online.
For those who may wonder, let’s ask it clearly. Who wants to wear a mask while exercising, when they can exercise without a mask, online?
In response, we have opened a new “video studio” facility in the beautiful Georgia Mountains, where we can instruct, train, record and broadcast classes, and more. (Here’s a photo of the video studio, and you can find more on our Refinery social media.) Yes, the two studios look like “sisters.”
Unfortunately, we were still paying all the costs for a beautiful studio that was sitting almost unused. Eventually, the simple economics of the situation forced us to put our resources exclusively in our Georgia facility.
It was heartbreaking to see a lifetime goal crushed by “political science.”
Now, we move on.
Over the past year, we have built our online class portfolio, which grows larger every week. It’s exciting, it’s rewarding, and it’s our future.
Also in our future: in-studio training certification, and in-person classes. We can even fix you up with a beautiful log cabin for your stay in the mountains. Here’s a photo of instructors on the porch of our mountain studio during a recent training week. (Please note the puppies in the background.)
So, we keep evolving, always striving to serve our wonderful clients and customers. Come what may, you’ll always be able to say: “I trained at a PROFESSIONAL barre studio — The Refinery Barre Fitness Studios!”
Say it with pride!