Gym owners from across the state have filed a civil lawsuit against the state demanding to be allowed to reopen.
Like many businesses, gyms have been closed for months, but gyms have been left out of the state’s reopening plan.
“So ultimately our goal is to just to be able to reopen,” said Erica Dix owner of Anytime Fitness Jamestown. “The gyms haven’t been given their due process and equal opportunity, essentially to be able to prove that we can open safely with the CDC guidelines that have been presented. He just completely shut us down with no reasoning really.”
Previously, the state said they’re exploring the use of special air filters that can filter out covid-19.
“Which really makes no sense, considering the stores that have remained open, or have since reopened, he’s never made claim that they need to update their HVAC units or anything like that,” said Dix. “And they’re running the same air condition that the gyms are running. So, I think he’s just kind of pulling stuff out of the air.”
Al Dunn is the owner of the Underground Gym in Orchard Park. His gym is one of the gyms participating in the lawsuit.
“The issue is gyms at hand, but there’s a bigger underlying issue, and I think everyone knows that, and it’s our freedom,” Dunn said. “I don’t even want this to be about the gym being open because that’s not the narrative, the narrative is that our basic freedom for all of us has been stripped.
“So, when it comes to the lawsuits, when it comes to gyms being able to do this and that, I should as a business owner be able to choose how I operate and make those decisions. And the community is going to base on how they want to respond. If the community says ‘hey I feel unsafe and I want to stay home and keep my mask on, and I can’t go to a gym and operate freely and I can use the equipment, my business is going to suffer and I didn’t even make those concessions.”