Life Time to Lay Off 301 Employees Amid Pandemic
Life Time’s club in Edina.

Life Time to Lay Off 301 Employees Amid Pandemic

The company’s real estate and construction units were hardest hit.

Chanhassen-based fitness chain Life Time Inc. plans to lay off 301 employees due to the ongoing economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The company will lay off 250 employees from its headquarters and an additional 51 employees from Life Time’s Millwork facilities in Chaska on August 18. Employees in the Millwork group build and refurbish lockers and cabinetry for Life Time’s clubs.

The job cuts were disclosed in Life Time filings with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The company’s letters to DEED detail the effects of pandemic closures on its business: “When we closed, we hoped the clubs would reopen quickly. Subsequently, it took nearly three months to reopen approximately two-thirds of our clubs with continued uncertainty around the timing for reopening the remaining one-third of the clubs.”

The pandemic has been particularly tough on the fitness business. On Monday, California-based 24 Hour Fitness filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to close 135 of its 445 locations. In early May, Dallas-based Gold’s Gym filed for bankruptcy.

“These shutdowns inflicted considerable negative financial impact on our company, along with the suspension of nearly four years of new club and business development. Additionally, it may take some months before membership growth and traffic resume to normal levels,” said Natalie Bushaw, a Life Time spokeswoman.

Life Time operates more than 150 clubs in 41 markets across the U.S.

“With this unforeseen business interruption and impact, we have implemented difficult, but necessary, action to reduce our operating expenses, including a 1 percent reduction in our total workforce,” said Bushaw. “The vast majority of this impact is in our real estate, architecture and construction departments given the temporary suspension of new club and business development.”

Bushaw noted that the layoffs were not immediate, and would not take effect until August 18. She added, “All team members will have the opportunity to maintain their company-provided Life Time club membership through December 31, 2020. Additionally, those currently participating in our medical and dental coverage will have the opportunity to maintain these benefits at company expense through December 31, 2020.”