Local representatives urging state to reopen gyms, wellness centers

Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttonschon have written a letter to the Governor asking for gyms, fitness and wellness centers to reopen.

Posted: Jul 30, 2020 5:45 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2020 6:17 PM

Gyms, fitness, and wellness centers have been closed since March. They were expecting to open during the Phase 4 reopening plan, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo changed his mind. Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, has been in contact with a number of gyms and knows going months without that income is taking a toll.

"On a level of zero to 10 they’re at 15. The frustration is something that… because as you know they thought in Phase 4 that they were a part of this aspect and then when all of the sudden they weren’t, they have to scramble," she said.

Some have tried to continue operations outside but have been shut down. Others have resorted to online classes, but that’s just not the atmosphere many are willing to take. Tim Skjellerup is the owner of Rome Fit Body Boot Camp.

"I know of some local gyms that very well may not be opening their doors back up, and that is heartbreaking," he said.

Tim tried contacting the governor’s office and has gotten nowhere. He’s turned to local representatives for help, and is optimistic about being able to reopen.

"It’s been a tremendous financial hit for us, but we are not giving up," he added.

Sen. Joe Griffo and Buttonschon have written a letter to the governor, but encourage everyone to express concerns through a website called Ask New York. Griffo, R-47, talked about why it makes sense for these facilities to reopen.

"You have an activity that’s a health and wellness activity which can contribute to hopefully keeping you healthy. There’s never any assurance or guarantee, but I think that is something that you want to encourage right now," he said.

For businesses like Rome Fit Body Boot Camp, time is running out.

"If we are able to continue the way we’re going, we are probably looking at a matter of months optimistically, but I’m truly hoping that it doesn’t have to get to that before we would have to shut our doors permanently," said Skjellerup.

Any business owner still looking to reopen, is asked to contact the governor’s office through the website Ask New York, or they can call directly at 1-800-260-7313.

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