PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Several gyms in Arizona are staying open despite Gov. Doug Ducey's executive order to close all gyms for 30 days.
Governor Doug Ducey and state leaders announced pushing back the opening of schools in Arizona in the fall due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Gov. Ducey announced a "one-month pause" that forced the closure of bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks, and tubing rentals effective at 8 p.m. Monday.
Arizona's Family has confirmed Mountainside Fitness, Orange Theory and F45 are still open in the Phoenix-area despite the order. Lifetime Fitness plans to defy the governor's orders and completely reopen its gyms Wednesday, July 1. That's according to an email blast that Lifetime sent to its members.
Fit Body Bootcamp locations across the Valley closed Tuesday, but owners say they will be back open Wednesday to host classes. Aaron Robertson owns the North Phoenix Fit Body Bootcamp, which he calls a boutique personal training studio, not a gym.
"When I think of a gym, I think of a place you walk into and you've got the bench presses, and the squat machines, and the curl, and all that stuff, and rows of bikes and rows of equipment," says Robertson. "That's just not what we are."
When the state opened up, Robertson says he and his fitness coaches returned to work with new procedures to follow public health guidelines. He simplified workouts so they can be done within marked 8-by-8 foot zones designated for each student, staff sanitizes all equipment after every class and class size is limited to 15 people. Masks are optional. Robertson says his studio is safer than a grocery store.
"How many hundreds, maybe couple thousands of people are running through a grocery store on a daily basis and touch the same fruit, put it back, veggies put it back?" says Robertson.
Hours after Gov. Ducey announced that gyms would need to close, Mountainside Fitness CEO and founder Tom Hatten announced he would file a lawsuit against Gov. Ducey.
Hatten's company filed a notice of claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, against Gov. Ducey on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Gov. Ducey released the following statement:
"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. 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."
Gov. Ducey's spokesperson went onto say the order provides clear authority for local government to cite businesses as the order is enforceable under A.R.S. 26-317, which states: "Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or who knowingly fails or refuses to obey any lawful order or regulation issued as provided in this chapter shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. This provision does not apply to the refusal of any private organization or member thereof to participate in a local emergency or state of emergency as defined by this chapter."
The penalty for violating A.R.S. 26-317 is a class 1 misdemeanor and can carry a fine up to $2,500.
Arizona's Family reached out to every police agency in the Phoenix-area on Tuesday morning. Only Scottsdale Police said it cited a Mountainside Fitness location near 116th Street and Shea Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon. Every other agency who responded said they did not warn or cite any businesses since the order went into effect.