Large gyms push back against governor’s plan to reopen small gyms first

BRISTOL, R.I. (WLNE) – Some gym owners in Rhode Island are feeling left out after Governor Raimondo announced she is considering opening small gyms first.

On Thursday, Raimondo said her team is looking into creating a distinction between different sized fitness centers so they can open at different times.

“We’re trying to figure it out. I don’t have something to tell you now,” said Raimondo.

Now some larger gym owners are pushing back– claiming they can open just as safely as smaller gyms.

“We’re able to social distance and open up to keep our members safe,” said Julie Fostin, manager of Bristol Total Fitness.

Her gym is considered a larger fitness facility.

“We have three gyms. One is in Dartmouth, Mass., one is in Swansea, and one is in Bristol,” said Fostin.

They have been closed for eight weeks due to the coronavirus and are eager to reopen.

“The sooner the better,” said Fostin.

Fostin’s team developed a plan that would allow small fitness classes or personal training sessions to resume. Each person would be designated a 6’X6′ square in the facility to work out in.

“We have a couple of rooms where we could do that, one room where we could put 8 people,” said Fostin.

She said they will also temperature check each person who comes in and screen each person on their travel history.

Her team sent a letter to the governor asking to reopen at the same time as all fitness centers. She has not yet heard back.

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island