Dragonfly Hot Yoga launches GoFundMe in hopes of saving its four locations
Dragonfly hopes to raise $400,000 to pay back rent and cover summer expenses.
After a year of trying to find other ways to keep the business from closing, Dragonfly Hot Yoga’s owners have launched a GoFundMe asking for the community’s help.
“This plea for help is the last thing I thought I would ever have to write,” Owner Megan Tucker says in Dragonfly’s newsletter.
Dragonfly Hot Yoga, which started in June 2011, has four locations in the Madison area. Tucker says at the start of the pandemic, they thought government assistance, support from the community and launching online streaming platform, Dfly On Demand, would be enough to keep the business afloat. They tried to hold off on launching a GoFundMe.
Dragonfly received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, which helped get through two of the 14 months. There are no active government programs helping the fitness industry. In February, two representatives launched the Gym Mitigation Survival Act. The GYMS Act would provide a fund of $30 billion in grants if passed. Tucker encourages people to write congress representatives to support the act.
In addition to launching Dfly on Demand to help account for losses, Tucker says they closed Flyght cycling, wiped their savings, put a second mortgage on their home and borrowed money from family to help pay the bills.
“Many boutique gyms (like ours) actually run on small margins, so the pandemic poses a huge challenge on our very existence,” Tucker says.
The Studio on Williamson Street, Cyc Fitness, FORWRD Training and Inner Fire Yoga’s downtown location are among the fitness businesses that have closed the past year due to the pandemic.
We have been digging in and working so hard to come back from a devastating year. Our efforts have made us feel even…
Tucker says Dragonfly has lost more than $50,000 every month and haven’t been able to pay rent at any of the studios since September. She says she was personally sued by a landlord for $120,000 as COVID-19 shut down the studios and they couldn’t pay rent.
“I am so proud of our community and staff for getting us this far. Unfortunately, I don’t know what else to do. What I do know is that Dragonfly should survive. I do know that if we can just catch up on our rent, we will be back better than ever,” she says.
Tucker says they tried not to launch a fundraiser. In December, Dragonfly asked for support by using Dfly On Demand. Many people have kept membership payments despite the lack of being open as a way to aid Dragonfly.
Rent is a large part of the business’ overhead. In a non-pandemic year, she says the high rent for its locations makes sense. When the pandemic hit, Dragonfly lost 71% of revenue.
Dragonfly is hoping to raise $400,000 through GoFundMe to pay back rent on all four of the locations, pay rent this summer and pay legal fees for the lawsuit. For those not interested in using GoFundMe, Tucker says becoming a member, subscribing to Dfly on Demand, buying a gift card or purchasing a class pass.
“We made it through the worst of the pandemic and we just need to make it to fall, when we should be able to be fully operational again. Your past support covered paying our talented instructors and staff, but we need help paying rent to get us through,” Tucker says.
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