PHOENIX — Despite an executive order to close for at least the next month, a handful of gyms, boutique fitness centers, and clubs in Arizona remained open on Tuesday.
Within hours of Gov. Ducey announcing his executive order closing gyms and other establishments on Monday, the CEO of Mountainside Fitness said he would file a lawsuit against the state. Life Time Fitness, some Orangetheory locations, F45 Training studios, and some Jabz Boxing locations in the Valley have also reportedly said that they would remain open.
Some believe that they can maintain social distancing and keep their gyms clean, therefore staying in line with Gov. Doug Ducey's previously set requirements, while others are more defiant, believing the order was made arbitrarily.
“If this is truly as bad as we are being told, I don’t think health clubs closing tomorrow is going to solve the problem. I don’t think tubing is going to solve the problem,” said Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten told reporters on Monday. “I don’t think closing a movie theater that hasn’t been open is going to solve the problem.”
In a news release, Hatten questioned why casinos and stores, such as Home Depot and Walmart, could remain open. Most, if not all, of the casinos in the Valley are located on tribal lands, which are considered to be sovereign nations and are not required to follow the state's orders.
Life Time Fitness said it would close its fitness floors and studios at its Arizona locations to comply with the executive order, but would keep its spa, cafe, pools, kids areas, tennis courts, saunas, steam rooms, and locker rooms open. In a follow-up note, LifeTime said it would reopen its fitness centers on July 1.
"We remain incredibly committed to your health and happiness, and will continue to provide updates as this situation evolves as we respectfully work to manage and comply with government orders and current guidelines," LifeTime said in a Facebook post. "Your partnership is greatly appreciated and, as always, we thank you for choosing to be a Life Time member."
On Tuesday, EoS Fitness also announced its plans to sue as early as Wednesday morning.
"The governor’s executive order is clear. Gyms and other indoor fitness clubs or centers, regardless of size, shall pause operations until at least July 27," said Patrick Ptak, spokesperson for the Governor's Office, on Tuesday. "This is a public health issue, particularly among our younger demographic, and we are looking for cooperation and compliance from our business community in the name of public health. We know this is a sacrifice."
Ptak said law enforcement can charge businesses with a misdemeanor who defy the order, which carries a max penalty of $2,500 if convicted. Though, education and compliance are the focus.