Gyms and ski centers are struggling to recover from health restrictions

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Gyms and ski centers are struggling to recover from sanitary restrictions

The months of closure imposed on fitness centers during the pandemic have resulted in notable losses of income for the sector.

Hard hit by health restrictions that prevented or limited their operations during the pandemic, entertainment and leisure businesses saw their operating revenue increase overall by 1.9% in 2021. But not everyone benefited equally from the end of health restrictions.

According to an article published Wednesday by Statistics Canada, entertainment and leisure companies whose peak season is in the summer or which could maintain their activities outside did better financially in 2021 than those whose main activities take place in winter or mostly indoors.

Among the companies that saw their revenues decline in 2021, sports and fitness centers are struggling to recover from the months of closure imposed on them by public authorities due to COVID-19.

Due to a rapid spread of the virus in the community and outbreaks at some fitness centers, online and home workouts remained popular, Statistic finds Canada.

As gyms have been closed for extended periods, many customers have opted to purchase fitness equipment at home in addition to gearing up for various sports and activities.

Fitness equipment sales increased 5% in Canada in 2021, while sports equipment sales climbed 15% over the last same period.

Conversely, operating revenue from sports centers and gyms fell 11.4% last year to about $3 billion. Factoring in spending by these companies of $3.1 billion, the industry ended 2021 with a negative profit margin of -0.9%. Which is nevertheless better than the -1.7% balance posted in this sector in 2020.

Remember that gyms were closed for long periods in 2020 and 2021 in many many provinces, including Quebec, where they were unable to operate for a total of 15 months before finally being allowed to reopen in February 2022.

The ski resort industry saw an 18.8% drop in revenue in 2021.

But it's not just gyms that have struggled to restore revenue in 2021. Ski resorts across the country have suffered an 18.8% drop in revenue to $924 million. for last year.

The decrease was mainly attributable to losses recorded in British Columbia (-$109.3 million) and Quebec (-$50.6 million). dollars), underlines Statistics Canada.

Border closures, sanitary measures affecting dining rooms, locker rooms, periodic closures due to COVID-19 outbreak and adverse weather conditions are the main factors responsible for this drop in income, according to the federal agency. .

Ski resorts nevertheless ended 2021 with a profit margin of 8.5% taking into account a decrease in their operating expenses of 16.4 %.

Amusement parks and arcades, meanwhile, saw their revenues increase in 2021, but not to where they were before the pandemic.

After recording a sharp decline in 2020, operating revenue for amusement parks and arcades rebounded 46.9% to $499.4 million in 2021. However, they remained significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels, showing a 35.5% decline from 2019, writes Statistics Canada.

The sector's profit margin stood at 0.4% in 2021, a significant recovery from the -23.5% balance posted in 2020.

The golf industry saw marked increases in equipment sales in 2021.

Unlike to ski resorts, golf courses and country clubs have seen business pick up in 2021.

Golf was among the first permitted activities, which has been beneficial for golf course and country club operators, analysts point out.

The fact that the practice of golf allowing for social distancing – and that it was one of the first activities to be reinstated – has also helped attract new players to greens across the country, as evidenced by sales of golf equipment. golf which jumped 58.4% in 2021.

Golf course and country club operating revenue meanwhile rose 23.4% to $3.2 billion in 2021. year with a profit margin of 14.1%.

In all provinces, operating revenues for this industry surpassed pre-pandemic levels, notes Statistics Canada.

As for 2022, Statistics Canada expects the economic recovery to continue this year in entertainment and recreation due to the abolition of the vast majority of health restrictions.

The surge in inflation that is weakening the purchasing power of Canadians could, however, be felt as households have less money to spend on leisure when energy prices, of housing, transport and accommodation are also increasing markedly.

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