Double Diamond Athletic Club Renovates During Shutdown, Continues to Pay Employees

Mike Shirley, owner of Double Diamond Athletic Club in South Reno, is using the shutdown to ramp up a renovation project that started before the pandemic.
Monday, April 20th 2020, 3:32 AM PDT by Chris Buckley
Updated: Monday, April 20th 2020, 3:34 AM PDT

Double Diamond Athletic Club Renovates During Shutdown, Continues to Pay Employees
For Mike Shirley, who’s owned Double Diamond Athletic Club in South Reno for nearly two decades, seeing it empty is a little eerie.

“There would be about 150 people in here right now and about 15 staff people on a normal day,” he said. “We only close two days a year, so to walk in day after day and see it like this is kind of sad, but that’s the way things are right now. Stick 100 people in here, put some music on and it will jump right back to life.”

In the meantime, he’s using the shutdown to ramp up a renovation project that started before the pandemic.

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“You’ll walk in the door and it’s all brand new,” Shirley said. “The whole downstairs is going to be all freshened up from the lobby back to the pool, so it should look pretty spectacular. I’ve been looking at the drawings for about a year now, so to see it all come together now is pretty exciting.”

Right now, they’re doing some online classes and he’s still paying his staff.

“The day we shut down I promised them, hey I’ll get you guys two paychecks,” he said. “We’ve done that; I just paid 100% of the payroll. Now we’ve applied for our SBA loan and we’re just waiting on news from the bank so I can hopefully continue paying people. But it’s just an unknown thing right now, so just trying to do what’s best for the club, my staff, our customers. It’s a balancing act but generally I’m positive things are going work out well for us.”

And while the future is uncertain, one thing he’s counted on for years is the support of this community.

“It’s tough, I’m writing huge checks right now between remodel and payroll and really doing that on faith and confidence that we’re going to get reopened and just continue to have the great support from Reno that we’ve had for a long time,” Shirley said. “So I’m moving forward, I’m confident, I think we will get back to normal and life will go on.”

The club has a very loyal following.

“We’ve got three generations in here and a lot of those folks have been around here a long time,” Shirley said. “I’m in contact with members and staff every day, making sure everyone is doing okay and most folks are they’re just hunkered down, passing time. I miss my work family and to see my staff and customers back, that’s the biggest thing I’m looking forward to. And to have a brand new, shiny, spotlessly clean facility is going to be even more exciting.”

 

This piece originally appeared on KTVN.