BLDC-funded fitness studio Row House featured in Wall Street Journal

“We didn’t plan on being outdoors beyond Nov. 15, but people asked us to,” said Gyee O’Malley, co-owner of Boston’s Row House, a rowing-themed fitness studio. She and her staff roll 15 ERG machines and a stereo system to a patio on Lovejoy Wharf for each session. Classes have happened with the temperature as low as 28 degrees.

The studio moved some classes indoors when restrictions eased in the fall, but many members said they weren’t comfortable going back inside, she says. In mid-December, Boston banned indoor classes, and Ms. O’Malley reverted to an all-outdoors schedule. “My new motto is, ‘If you keep showing up, we’ll keep showing up,’ ” she says.

Winter fitness warriors have always powered through frigid weather. But to survive, gyms need to attract more than just the die-hards. They need to convince less enthusiastic customers, the casual exercisers who would happily stay home.

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