Despite easing restrictions, Mesa boxing studio unable to reopen
PHOENIX — As many businesses prepare to reopen throughout Arizona, some will remain closed permanently.
Ann Marie Piatt, owner of Jabz Boxing Fitness for Women in Mesa, finds herself in this situation.
“We didn’t know how we could sustain the business,” Piatt told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday, explaining her and her husband’s decision to shut down the facility located near Val Vista Drive and Southern Avenue.
Before Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued his stay-at-home order in March, Piatt was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. A third party then became interested in taking over the studio so she could focus on going through treatment.
But then coronavirus happened, and the deal fell through. She and her husband tried to keep the business going by pivoting to an online platform and offering online workout sessions to members.
“Surprisingly, we actually did not lose very many of our members,” she said. “We had a very, very committed community, and they were sticking with us.”
Things were going relatively well, although revenue was dropping.
“Then once people started realizing that this was going to go into May, possibly June, July, August – who knows how long – I think people started getting a little bit nervous,” Piatt said.
“We did start to see people putting memberships on hold.”
And with no financial assistance to help keep the business going, the bills began piling up.
“There we were trying to sustain this online platform and having essentially no relief in any of our bills,” she said. “So we were still running at 100 percent operating costs but probably 50 percent of our income, of our sales.”
Priatt said she and her husband ultimately decided it was more important to focus on her health than on trying to keep the business afloat.
“We still don’t know if we made the right choice” she said. “But as far as my health and my stress levels go, it was the only choice we thought we had.”
The business officially closed April 30.