Gyms ordered to close, not all are

Gyms ordered to close, not all are
Gyms ordered to close, not all are amid COVID-19 closures in AZ (Source: KOLD)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - All indoor gyms are to be closed, but not everyone is following the rules and some are finding ways around it.

At Revolve Cycling, loud music and a nightclub atmosphere normally kick off workouts. But now, the studio is empty with half the bikes and no one riding them. After Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order to close all indoor gyms and fitness facilities for 30 days, they shut their doors for the second time. The news of the order was a shock for the owners, Tony and Susie Stevens. They were teaching classes when the news hit.

fun is in the atmosphere, but now—the room is empty after Governor Doug Ducey mandated all indoor gyms and fitness facilities close for 30 days due to increase spread of COVID-19. It was a shock to Tony and Susie Stevens, owners of revolve fitness when they found out.

“We just got through those classes we were teaching, and you’re overnight making a plan (for what’s next),” said Susie Stevens.

While they closed their doors, some fitness centers have continued to operate. Orangetheory Fitness has continued in person, indoor classes. On their website, they lay out their philosophy for “the workout” patrons do, saying “Orangetheory is a total-body group workout that combines science, coaching and technology to guarantee maximum results from the inside out.” Thursday people were seen heading inside for class at the Marana location.

The executive order specifically lays out for 30 days, “indoor gyms and fitness clubs or centers” should cease indoor operations. The Governor’s office, in a correspondence with the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, defined a gym as “being operated to assist patrons in physical exercise,” and that “the establishment should pause all indoor operations.”

KOLD News 13 reached out to Orangetheory Fitness for comment, but have not heard back. The City of Tucson said in a statement that enforcement of the Governors executive order would “focus on education and voluntary compliance.” The city said they would work with the Pima County Health Department on this issue and the Tucson Police Department would address violations while working with the other regulating agencies.

Many gyms and fitness centers are now looking to find a way to continue to operate—and that means moving outdoors.

“(We’re) toying with the idea of teaching some outdoor classes in our courtyard,” said Tony Stevens, owner of Revolve Cycling.

It’s something other fitness studios have toyed with too. Yoga Oasis started doing outdoor classes at the beginning of the summer.

“That’s been really well received. There are some who prefer the at-home scenario, and some that really prefer the outdoors,” said Rachel King, manager at Yoga Oasis.

A spokesperson for The City of Tucson said that while the executive order does only apply to indoor facilities, “Any gym operator that would think about moving their equipment outside would need to consider how to meet all physical distancing, and/ or face covering, and hygiene/cleaning guidelines to ensure that they were able meet the intended goal of slowing the spread of COVID-19. They would be encouraged to speak with their attorney to ensure that they were in compliance with the Governor’s EO and that they were not in violation of any other City regulations.”

Gym closures have also sparked a high demand for at-home exercise equipment. Store shelves are near cleared of items, and online, weights and machines are posted for sale. A couple of people are even offering to rent out their home or garage gym for a cheap, hourly price, however, the City of Tucson said without a business license, this would not be legal.

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