Gyms prepare to reopen Thursday
Gyms that are making plans to re-open Thursday might have to pump the brakes.
The state is appealing a federal judge's ruling that gave gyms the go-ahead to open meaning we'll now have to wait and see what an appeals court has to say.
Some gyms said they can't afford to wait on a decision from the court because they want to be ready *if* they're allowed to open so they are taking this week to prepare.
"Right now it's cleaning, it's planning, it's scheduling floor plans and get the most bang for the space," said Walter Crockett, owner of Mind Body Symmetry.
Mind Body Symmetry is one of the many gyms and studios reopening this Thursday, but with limitations.
"You will see different arrows of walk patterns so there will be entrances and exits," said Crockett. "Everyone who enters the gym will have their own spray bottle and towel, not all the cardio equipment will be on at one time, and there will always be a space in between."
While Mind Body Symmetry finalizes its floor plan, Crunch Fitness of East Lansing is using this week not only to clean, but to meet with other gyms to figure out the kinks to reopening.
"We have had a full week of operational meetings and debriefings with our team around what we will be doing and won't be doing," said Kevin Laferriere, of Crunch Fitness.
Grand Rapids U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said for gyms to reopen, they must follow workplace safety standards laid out in Governor Gretchen Whitmer's executive orders.
Crunch Fitness plans on reopening to about 50% capacity on Thursday but says they are not worried about spacing or turning anyone away.
"From the time they walk through the door they will be distanced from the front desk, but our locations can hold up to 1,000 people based on fire code," said Laferriere. "We will never have more than 500 members in at once so will be well under the 50%."
Although gym owners are excited to get back to business, Crockett feels slightly torn because the call didn't come from Gov. Whitmer.
"I'm on board, on board with monitoring Michigan so that's its not a hot zone (for) COVID, but coming from entrepreneurs like myself, we have worked 18 years to build this business and we don't want to see it end because of this so we are doing our best to keep up with health and keep our dream alive," said Crockett.
As for masks, staff at Mind Body Symmetry and Crunch Fitness will be wearing them at all times. For now, they say they are not requiring customers to wear one.
Although Mind Body Symmetry and Crunch Fitness are planning to reopen Thursday, that's not the case for all of the gyms and fitness centers in the Lansing area plan to do so.
Firefly Hot Yoga has been closed since March and plans to remain so until more recommendations come from the state. For now, they'll continue to hold pop-up outdoor classes around Lansing with other studios to keep their business going and keep the community active.
Staff members say outdoor classes allow for larger groups, but if they reopened their indoor studio, they'd have to significantly reduce capacity.
"We would be reduced, I think when I last counted, it's maybe nine people in the room so that is about a third of what we would normally have. So as far as reopening, we are still waiting for the governor to give a go-ahead so we are going to sit tight a little bit longer," said Abbey Weston, of Firefly Hot Yoga.
Firefly Hot Yoga said it hopes to reopen sometime in mid-July. Previously, Gov. Whitmer said gyms could reopen statewide by July 4 if the downward trend in COVID-19 cases continued.
At this time, there's no word if or when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the state's case.