“At 7 am, we’ll be on the bridge”… A Parisian sports hall in the starting blocks

Côme, sports coach at La Montgolfière. – D. Bancaud / 20minutes

  • After eight months of shutdown, the sports halls will reopen their doors on Wednesday.
  • 20 minutes went to La Montgolfière, an upscale club in the heart of Paris.
  • In addition to drastic health measures, the club is counting on its new courses and on special attention paid to its customers to retain them and attract new athletes.

They were waiting so much for this big day. This Wednesday, after eight months of blinds down, the sports halls are finally reopening. A relief tinged with excitement for the employees of La Montgolfière, a high-end room nestled in the heart of Paris. “You feel the same adrenaline as during the launch. At 7 am, we will be on the bridge to welcome our members. I imagine that the most passionate will rush to come back, as they had done after the first confinement, ”comments Ruben Bertrand, one of the two founders. For several days, the team has been tireless to restore luster to this beautiful place: dusting and checking that the machines are working properly, last brushstrokes …

La Montgolfière employees during a pre-deconfinement brief. – D. Bancaud / 20minutes

Spirits have also prepared. This Tuesday morning, the employees are also posted in front of a big screen. Basile Lombard-Latune, the second boss, gives them a topo on subscribers, the different formulas available to them, the health measures put in place. History to refresh their memories. A brief followed by applause, which testifies to the enthusiasm of the employees at the idea of ​​reworking: “They were almost all on short-time working and scrutinized the calendar impatiently”, explains Ruben Bertrand. Out of fifteen employees, only two or three have resigned since September, the health crisis having given them desires elsewhere. And the club can also count on about twenty external collaborators.

“I can’t wait to find the members”

Côme Cholet, sports coach, is in the starting blocks: “Since the club closed, I have given some outdoor lessons, I trained, I trained in animal flow (sports practice inspired by movements of ‘animals) and dietetics. But I can’t wait to find the members ”. He already knows that not all will be in the same physical shape as a few months ago, teleworking having resulted in more sedentary lifestyle, even a few extra pounds. “I will advise them so that they resume smoothly, at their own pace, in order to avoid injuries,” he warns.

Ruben Bertrand, one of the creators of the sports club, La montgolfière.
Ruben Bertrand, one of the creators of the sports club, La montgolfi̬re. РD. Bancaud / 20minutes

The attention paid to athletes will also be essential to encourage them to come back or to make others want to register, September being (with January) the month when people subscribe the most: “Before the Covid -19, we had 1,700 members. We froze the subscription of those who were registered for the year, but we lost 500 customers, many of whom had opted for the non-binding formula, ”explains Ruben Bertrand. To hold out during the closure, the company, which is only three years old, has benefited from partial unemployment, the solidarity fund and state aid to cover its fixed costs. “Fortunately, our business was profitable before the coronavirus crisis. If she had arrived a year earlier, it would have been difficult to hold on, ”he continues.

A La Montgolfière gym in Paris.
A La Montgolfière gym in Paris. – The hot-air balloon.

Strict sanitary conditions to reassure

To remember the good memories of its members, La Montgolfière sent them a newsletter for the duration of the closure. It has also expanded its offer: “We have put new courses on the schedule, such as yoga for runners”, continues the boss. In order to attract athletes again, they will also need to be reassured. Hence an even stricter health protocol than the official instructions: “We will respect an area of ​​8 m2 per practitioner, versus the recommended 4 m2. And to ensure a physical distance of 2 meters between members, group lessons will be reduced from 25 to 16 people in the large hall, ”says Ruben Bertrand. Athletes will also be invited to download AllAntiCovid, in order to be able to scan a QR code at the entrance to the club. They will also have to register for the course beforehand, which allows each person to be traced, which is essential in order to be able to react in the event of contamination.

A safety deposit in one of the rooms of La Montgolfière.
A safety deposit in one of the rooms of La Montgolfière. – D. Bancaud / 20minutes

A short tour of the various sports areas reveals that the health precautions are maximum: plexiglass has been installed between the treadmills, cleaning solutions are made available so that athletes can clean their machine before and after their ride. practice, bottles of hydroalcoholic gel are placed everywhere. “We have also planned a cleaning service present throughout the day, and the windows will be open for fifteen minutes at the end of each session. In addition to the ventilation system, which allows a complete renewal of the air every 4 hours ”, informs the boss.

And La Montgolfière also relies on its magic boot to conquer other customers: its café-restaurant and its coworking space accessible to members. “With the Covid-19, we have all been deprived of exchanges, athletes will need to meet”, hopes Ruben Bertrand. “Before the coronavirus, people’s favorite classes were cross training, pilates and yoga. We’ll see if they want something else, ”adds Côme Cholet, who already dreams of offering them a warm-up.

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