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City Waives Park Fee For Outdoor Fitness Studio Classes

Aug 20, 2020 04:56PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

A RydeFYR class held at Polliwog Park - Photo via RydeFYR

The Manhattan Beach City Council has moved to waive a $13-per-hour fee it had been charging local fitness studios that have been offering outdoor classes at city parks.

The effort was aimed at giving relief to fitness studios, and also to create parity with previous city actions to assist local restaurants. 

“This city council wants all our pre-COVID businesses to come through this pandemic and operate in Manhattan Beach for many more years," Mayor Pro Tem Suzanne Hadley, who had brought the motion forward at Tuesday night's city council meeting, told DigMB. "Our mom-and-pops especially are unique to Manhattan Beach. This council wants to support them. Waiving this rental fee for using park land is symbolic of our commitment."

The council had previously waived (even retroactively) the parking meter fees that restaurants had been originally charged for the privilege of outdoor dining and constructing “parklettes” in metered parking spots.

If the council waived fees charged to restaurants, noted Hadley, then it seemed fair to waive fees for local studios that conduct classes in city parks.

"Every Single Dollar Counts"

Currently, three local studios are using city parks for classes: Yoga Loft, RockIt Body Pilates, and RydeFYR, a heated indoor cycling studio.

"Every single dollar really counts right now," Chevy Laurent, the founder of RydeFYR, told DigMB. "That’s especially true given that we can only have a very limited number of participants per class in the local parks. And because we ride stationary bikes at RydeFYR, it’s definitely an added expense for us to hold rides anywhere outside of our studio. We have to rent a truck, load up the bikes, travel with all the cleaning supplies etc. So we’re grateful for any savings we can get. We’re just really thrilled to be able to get our community back on bikes again."

Laurent continued: "Despite all the odds, the mounting expenses, the ever changing regulations, I’m just doing whatever I can to keep our 'FYR Fam' community riding together, while also supporting the health and well being of members of Manhattan Beach, the South Bay, and the L.A. area. So this is just really great news for small fitness businesses like mine."

Yoga Loft, which has been offering classes at Bruce's Beach and at the Polliwog Park amphitheater, is in a similar situation.

"I think it’s another wonderful testament to the Manhattan Beach City Council and leaders who are bending over backwards to help small businesses like Yoga Loft survive during these unprecedented times," Yoga Loft owner Justin Randolph told DigMB. "We are extremely grateful for the support and leadership of Manhattan Beach City Council."

Rule Applies to Brick-and-Mortar Studios

Currently, Manhattan Beach businesses that have brick-and-mortar Manhattan Beach locations are eligible to conduct classes in the city's public parks without paying the former $13/hour charge. Fitness trainers, without a lease or a physical studio, will continue to pay.

Additionally, all Manhattan Beach businesses must obtain a permit in advance of the outdoor classes.

The Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Department maintains the master schedule of reservations for which studio is holding outdoor classes, in which parks, and at what times. The Parks and Rec management of these outdoor classes will remain the same.

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