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Clubs in Arizona Mandated to Re-Close; Mountainside Fitness Files Suit

Mountainside Fitness

On June 29, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced an executive order mandating that gyms, bars and other businesses close for 30 days as the state reports a rise in COVID-19 cases.

In response, Tom Hatten, the founder and CEO of Mountainside Fitness, announced during a press conference he plans to file a lawsuit alongside other businesses against the governor.

“Governor Ducey gave us less than 5 hours to alert all 100,000 members and figure out how we can keep 1,500 employees on the payroll,” said Hatten, in a statement.  “We are not a small business. We didn’t qualify for the Payroll Protection Plan. Our employees still need a paycheck and rely on our medical benefits. We have been forced to file this suit and we are asking the courts to issue a stay of the order.”

In addition, Hatten explained he does not plan to close any Mountainside Fitness locations at this time. According to a press release by Mountainside Fitness, LifeTime Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness and F45 plan to remain open in Arizona as well.

“We are just as concerned about this virus as everyone but singling out and closing health clubs, after we sat closed for two months, is not going to keep the virus from spreading,” continued Hatten, in a statement. “Every business in America should be concerned that our civil liberties are being compromised and taken from us. The randomness of these decisions have no factual basis and the lack of transparency to all the information to support this is non-existent.”

During the press conference, Hatten explained the fitness brand has taken the pandemic seriously, donating $100,000 to the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund over the past two months. In addition, several of the brand’s location served as antibody testing sites in partnership with Patients Choice. Numerous safety measures have been executed upon each location’s reopening, including the installation of sanitizing stations, socially distanced equipment, staff temperature checks and more.

Mountainside Fitness has partnered with the Goldwater Institute to file the claim at 12 p.m. MT today. The brand is locally owned and operated and boasts 18 locations in Arizona.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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