Town Sports, the fitness club operator which owns Washington Sports Club, New York Sports Clubs and gyms in Boston and Philadelphia, has announced it will give government workers free passes to its facilities for as long as the government shutdown persists.
The shutdown, which began Oct. 1, has left about 800,000 government workers without paychecks and jobs to report to. The company hopes the promotion will give these struggling individuals much-needed opportunities to de-stress.
"We believe that working out is a great way for people to reconnect with themselves and blow off some of the steam," club spokesperson Lisa Hufcut told The Huffington Post.
By showing government identification at the door, government workers can access the company's facilities during non-peak hours to workout - or even just to take a hot shower. They also get free entry to group fitness classes.
Not only is the promotion a way to support government workers, it's also an opportunity to bring in new customers, Hufcut explained.
"We don’t expect people to join right way, but we hope that when they do think about joining a gym, they’ll view this experience positively," she said. Town Sports offered a similar promotion after Hurricane Sandy last year. The response from both from victims of the storm and club clientele, was very positive, Hufcut said.
Other companies are showing their support for furloughed workers as well. Several Washington, D.C. bars are offering special discounts to furloughed government workers, The New York Daily News points out. Automaker Hyundai is also offering assistance to government workers during the shutdown by allowing them to delay car payments, Daily Finance reports.