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News and Press

YMCA of Greater Charlotte Announces Phased Opening

Designed to work with the state’s modified Phase 2 reopening plans

By Heather Briganti

May 22, 2020

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte announced today a staggered opening of programs and services that includes limited access to outdoor group exercise classes, select pools, and the launch of day camp and overnight camp options. 

With input from local, state and national resources and partners, the Y has created a framework of controls that monitors and minimizes risk using a layered approach. Additional safety measures for Y facilities and programs will include, but not be limited to: social distancing measures, smaller group size allowances, stepped-up sanitation practices, face masks for team members, and a health screening process for everyone coming through the Y’s doors. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Y closed the doors to its 19 branches and two overnight camps on March 17 and immediately realized a significant revenue decline. Membership and programs account for nearly 90 percent of the Y’s revenue. 

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our team, our members, our families and our program participants, and we’re committed to creating new kinds of experiences and summer programs in keeping with appropriate standards and mandates,” said Todd Tibbits, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Charlotte. “While we were disappointed to learn that our gym facilities would not be part of the state’s Phase 2 reopening process, we’ve designed a plan that will fit with the state’s current regulations, and will allow us to get back to what we do best – serve our community with the programs and services they enjoy and depend on.” 

Highlights of YMCA of Greater Charlotte’s first phase of reopening include: 

  • On June 1, the Y plans to launch reimagined and highly curated outdoor fitness experiences at six branches– Brace Family, Dowd, Harris, Keith Family, Lowe’s and Morrison Family YMCAs. Envision group exercise classes and fitness on rooftops, parking decks, outdoor pavilions and athletic fields.
  • On June 8, the YMCA will open with limited hours outdoor pools at Brace Family, Harris, Hemby Program Center, Keith Family, Morrison Family and Simmons YMCAs and indoor pools at Dowd and Lowe’s YMCAs. 
  • On Monday, May 18, the Y launched Kick Start Camp, a resource available for parents returning to work and in need of childcare. Kick Start Camp is open to all families and is an expansion of the Y’s original initiative to provide childcare to essential healthcare employees at Atrium Health and Novant Health. Kick Start Camp is available at Brace Family, Dowd (through May 29), Harris, Johnston, Keith Family, McCrorey, Morrison Family, Simmons and Stratford Richardson YMCAs.
  • Summer Day Camp will be offered at fourteen locations. Lincoln County, Lowe’s and Sally’s YMCAs will begin on May 26, YMCA Camp Thunderbird will begin on June 8, and an additional ten locations will kick off on June 15: Brace Family, Harris, Johnston, Keith Family, Lake Norman, McCrorey, Morrison Family, Simmons, Steele Creek and Stratford Richardson YMCAs.
  • The Y’s two overnight camps – YMCA Camp Thunderbird in South Carolina and YMCA Camp Harrison in North Carolina – will open on June 7 and June 14, respectively.

For additional information regarding access, programs, health and safety standards, and more, go to ymcacharlotte.org/maintaining-healthy-environment. 

“We know that the Y will look different on the other side of this pandemic,” said Tibbits. “And we recognize the responsibility we have to our community, our members, our donors and our volunteers to balance the economics and the equity of our programs, facilities and initiatives.” Decisions on when additional branches and programs will open and launch, including indoor health and wellness offerings, will be made in the coming weeks and in service to state mandates and to how the Y can best serve and care for members, families and communities across the Y’s four-county service area.


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COVID-19 & YMCA of Greater Charlotte 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Y suspended all programs and access to branches on Tuesday, March 17 and furloughed much of its team – approximately 240 full-time team members and 3,500 part-time team members.  The Y immediately created an Emergency Staff Relief Fund to support team members; created community initiatives like free childcare for essential healthcare workers; and encouraged members to convert their monthly membership fees to tax-deductible charitable donations to help support operations, community work and the team during closure. On April 20, the Y extended team furloughs; implemented an across-the-board pay cut for all actively working full-time team members; and eliminated 55 positions (approximately 12.5 percent of full-time staff) including several leadership positions. Most separated team members qualified for separation pay (based on years of service) and the Y made available to separated team members the Emergency Staff Relief Fund. The Y will continue to maintain benefits for all furloughed full-time team members through June. The Y anticipates a revenue loss this year of between 30 and 40 percent. 


About the YMCA of Greater Charlotte
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, comprised of 19 membership locations and two overnight camps, engages approximately 274,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Deeply rooted in the community for nearly 150 years, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. www.ymcacharlotte.org

For More Information:

Heather Briganti
Vice President, Communications & PR