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Gyms turn to high tech to get customers back

CycleBar locations in Richmond Heights and Creve Coeur will employ a tactic to fight virus fear: ion air purification
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — There will be drastically fewer bikes at Paul Schnapp's two CycleBar locations: about 30, down from 100.

Temperatures will be taken. And cyclers at the boutique gyms won't be able to enter the building until customers from the previous class are gone.

It's all being done to comply with new St. Louis County rules on the operation of gyms in the COVID-19 era. Monday is re-opening day.

But franchisee Schnapp said his CycleBar locations in Richmond Heights and Creve Coeur will also employ another tactic to fight virus fear: ion air purification.

Schnapp said he spent about $5,200 for iWave Air technology for the gyms. The air purifying device produces ions that Maryland Heights-based iWave says break down passing pollutants and gases "into harmless compounds."

"I wanted something relatively economical to operate, cheap to maintain, but does something that adds another layer of protection for our staff and customers," Schnapp said. He said even if it merely boosts customers' confidence, the expense is worth it.

The ion technology is just one businesses across the country are employing against COVID-19. Magnolia Bakery in New York will expose customers to far-ultraviolet light. Some businesses are utilizing HEPA filters, those that remove 99.97% of certain particles, or others, like MERV 12 or MERV 13. Another in-duct air purifier, REME HALO, from a Florida firm, sends out ionized hydro-peroxides. 

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