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As Restrictions Begin to Ease, Anthony J. Ellrod Publishes Guide for Health Clubs Preparing to Operate in the New Normal

Founding Partner Anthony J. Ellrod has written a comprehensive guide to the financial, legal, and operational issues that health clubs, owners and managers will need to address in order to minimize legal and financial exposure and emerge from government-mandated closures as strong and safe as possible. Published by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the guide is meant to enable club operators to lay a solid foundation during the re-opening process, one that will ensure their clubs continue to grow and adapt as they build upon it under the vastly changed circumstances of the new normal. With the first states now allowing clubs to start reopening, this guide couldn’t be more timely.

Mr. Ellrod, who heads the firm’s Sports, Recreation and Attractions Law Team, has been representing the health club industry for more than 30 years. The impact of the current pandemic on the industry has been quick and brutal, with health clubs some of the first businesses ordered to close by various governmental entities. In some jurisdictions, they may also be among the last businesses allowed to re-open. Everywhere they face uncertainty over how quickly their members will return and what the impact of new measures to ensure the safety of their customers will be.

The guide covers a broad range of issues facing health club operators, including how to find and obtain financial assistance offered through government programs, business interruption insurance and other insurance types that are valuable in this pandemic, strategies for negotiating rent relief, force majeure provisions, revisions to membership agreements and other policies and procedures to minimize legal exposure. As Mr. Ellrod writes in his conclusion, “[t[hings will likely never be what they were. There will be a new normal. Those businesses that can adapt will thrive, and those that cannot will likely not survive.”

This guide is a valuable resource for health club operators as they begin the process of adaptation that will be crucial to their future success. The full guide can be read at IHRSA’s website.

Mr. Ellrod, a founding partner of Manning & Kass, holds an AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and is an Associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He was named a 2012, 2013 and 2014 Top Business Litigation Attorney by Pasadena Magazine, as well as a 2005–2010 and 2016–2020 Super Lawyer, and a 2009–2010 Super Lawyer – Business Edition. Leader of the firm’s Sports, Recreation and Attractions Law Team, Mr. Ellrod has been representing health clubs for over 30 years in every aspect of their business.

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