Pandora Fitness gym closing after mass tech layoffs

Mass tech layoffs have had a trickle-down impact on downtown Seattle small businesses.

SEATTLE — Several small businesses in downtown Seattle are beginning to feel the effects of the most recent wave of tech layoffs.

Pandora Fitness is located on the corner of 8th Ave and Virginia Street, just steps from the headquarters of Amazon and companies like Meta.

The tech giants announced layoffs in November.

Amazon announced mass layoffs amid growing concerns about the broader economic environment. They have followed Facebook’s parent company, Meta, which has announced the layoffs of 11,000 employees, or about 13% of its workforce.

The layoffs had a trickle-down impact on Pandora Fitness’s bottom line, where 80% of customers work in the tech sector.

“We’ve probably had, my god, maybe 8-10 percent come in and say, hey, in just the last four weeks, I’ve literally lost my job,” said David Israel, owner of Pandora Fitness.

Despite borrowing $250,000 to survive the pandemic, where gyms face some of the most severe COVID-19 restrictions, business is still down 65%.

Israel owns a second gym in the Belltown neighborhood but he plans to choose the South Lake Union site as the top until working-from-home life becomes a more permanent reality.

“Our host Hudson Pacific is very, very supportive but these buildings are empty because everyone wants to work from home,” said Israel, who pointed to shrinking class sizes that were once packed with people. Go to the gym before and after work.

Israel says his members are like family and he’s free as much as possible to prioritize fitness. But that leaves fewer and fewer customers available and can help keep doors open.

“After four and a half years, you don’t believe it’s over,” Israel said as she moved the gym equipment out.

Pandora Fitness will officially close on Sunday. Pandora Fitness gym closing after mass tech layoffs

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