Some Tucson gyms get the green light to reopen while others are denied

Some Tucson gyms get the green light to reopen while others are denied
Some Tucson gyms are hoping to reopen as the Arizona Department of Health Services begins opening procedures for businesses. (Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Some businesses are getting the green light from the Arizona Department of Health Services to reopen while others are getting denied.

The department approved more than 100 businesses and denied more than 200. On Tuesday, the department announced some gyms, movie theaters, bars and water parks in Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties could possibly reopen by Thursday. 

“The maximum capacity for the square footage for my gym is at least 80 people at a time,” said Lawrence Simeza, owner of Power and Exercise Fitness Owner. “I applied way less for 12.5 percent which they denied, there was no guidelines on their website.”

Simeza is eager to welcome his clients back. He’s now reapplied and dropped his capacity request to 10 percent. He’s also renovating the gym to provide even greater social distance between guests and is hopeful his latest application will get approved.

"It's very scary," he said. "If we go another month, I don't know how I'll survive this."

Meanwhile, some Tucson gyms have reopened. The owner of In Balance Pilates, Shawna Beardsley, was approved by the state health department.

"I was pretty confident because our studio has been set up this way for the past seven years with six feet between each reformer and we're really good about cleaning," she said. "Really they just wanted us to limit capacity."

Beardsley lowered her capacity from nine to four people and tried to provide as much detail as possible in her application.

"From the moment you park and walk in the door, to where you go and how everything works," she said.

She's thankful to get back to business and thinking about other business owners, like Simeza, still waiting for that letter of approval.

“I wish the best for any and all other business owners that are just struggling right now because it’s so hard and so scary,” Beardsley said. “The times are just so uncertain and I just pray that everyone will be able to reopen safely soon.”

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