WEST ELLICOTT — The owner of a local gym feels crushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision not to include gyms in his phase four reopening and it has her questioning his decision making.
Erica Dix, co-owner of Anytime Fitness, told WNYNewsNow Cuomo’s decision is arbitrary.
“It’s all been arbitrary, I feel. It’s soul crushing, our members are suffering,” Dix said.
The impact goes far beyond the loss of business, she said.
“Working out boosts immunity and it was just sort of ripped away from us,” she said.
Asked what she would say directly to Cuomo, she was quick to reply.
“Good thing you’re asking me and not my husband because he might not be so nice,” she said. “I would just ask him for clarification and I would give him the reasons why gyms should be open. It (working out) builds immunity, it fights the COVID Virus, it fights the Flu, it builds strength, it helps mental stability, it fights depression. There’s all these things that working out does for you and he’s just taken that away from the entire state.”
Dix said a lawsuit is possible and that she has discussed such action with her attorney.
“I just want our members to know we love them. Our members are our family and we miss them,” she said.
She keeps in contact with members and stream some workouts, but that isn’t as good as in person workouts, she explained.
“We try to keep each other focused and motivated there, but you don’t have the personal cheering session you do. It’s different. It’s not the same as in person,” she said.
Her gym is clean and safe, she said, and has always used comprehensive cleaning standards.
“For our gym, we’ve always had a cleaning process implemented. Members wipe off the equipment when they’re done with it. We clean it thoroughly daily, its not a dirty gym.,” Dix said. “And now for the governor to say it’s because of the air conditioning quality, Home Depot has air conditioning, Wegmans has air conditioning, liquor stores have air conditioning. There’s just no rhyme or reason.”
In addition, cardio equipment has been set up to ensure social distancing, as is most of the equipment in the facility, she said.
“There’s nothing after phase four so I don’t know how he’s (Cuomo) picking and choosing. He’s just completely, arbitrarily making decisions as he goes,” said Dix.
Asked what she will do if there is no official opening after Phase 4, she said “Wait. I don’t know that we have any option.”
She said she has emailed local politicians, all the officials in state development and Cuomo’s office. The state response was “a cookie cutter basic response.”
Expenses continue and they have cut where they could, she explained.
“We still have rent, we still have utilities. although the utilities are less than usual because we suspended services, we turned off the heat and the air.”
“We haven’t charged our members since April first and we’ve had several members say ‘Take our money, take our money, but we can’t take money for a service we can’t provide,” she said. “It’s not just us, as the business owners that are effected, it’s everybody from our instructors to members to everyone that’s involved.