KIMT NEWS 3 – Bars and restaurants have many restrictions they must abide by as the dial turns a notch on June 1. However, gyms did not get the green light. So, when will they be able to reopen? That is still unknown with fitness centers being part of the last phase of the governor’s turning of the so-called dial.
“Some of the frustrations come from the back and forth. This is the fourth time we’ve been extended,” said Jameson Hanson.
Hanson owns Anytime Fitness in Byron and Stewartville. He is one of the many gym owners in the North Star State left wondering when they can unlock the doors.
“It’s too bad that we don’t even get the option to choose to open our business or for our members – they don’t even have the right to go to the gym if they would like and if they feel safe and feel comfortable.”
For workout enthusiasts like Catherin Coddington, it’s frustrating to not have access to an indoor workout facility. Coddington saying she misses the social interaction with like-minded people.
“I think that’s something I’ve definitely been missing,” she said. It’s just that kind of camaraderie in general. A lot of people are staying home and it’s easy I think to be a little bit sedentary. To kind of have people that keep you accountable, I think that’s huge.”
Hanson’s top concerns – people’s mental health and overall well-being.
“We’ve actually got some very scary phone calls and emails from members who are in a dark place and have a history of mental illness,” he said. “That’s what I want people to see is COVID-19 is serious and we completely respect and understand that, but mental illness, potential suicides, and mentally related damages are just as serious.”
Hanson and his staff have already rearranged the gym to allow for social distancing. He says he’s looking for a set date that they’ll be able to reopen.
“We make all of these plans and preparations and then it changes. It’s not a waste of time but we could be using that time to plan accordingly.”
In the meantime, Coddington and other gym gurus will have to continue getting their heart rate up in the outdoors.
“There’s a lot that’s still unknown with this virus and it’s good to take precautions. It also gets people outside and it’s beautiful lately.”
Adding to the frustrations for gym owners, Hanson tells KIMT News 3 it has been a six-figure loss for Anytime Fitness locations. He says that out of respect for the company name and its members, they have frozen membership fees during the pandemic.