Fitness studio owners sue New York for preventing them from reopening with other gyms

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The trial was filed Wednesday by members of the new Boutique Fitness Alliance – which represents about 100 group exercise studios around the city – and the New York Fitness Coalition, which includes about 2,500 combined gyms and fitness studios across the city. State.

Last week, New York City gyms that complied with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus safety measures were allowed to reopen. But the mayor of Blasio clarified that group lessons were excluded from the reopening. He argues that they have a higher risk of spreading the virus.

Boutique Fitness Alliance founder Amanda Freeman and New York Fitness Coalition chairman and CEO Charlie Cassara say the mayor lacks a body of evidence that fitness classes spread the coronavirus more than other gymnasiums.

Freeman, who owns 26 Strengthen Lengthen Tone studios in seven states, including 12 in New York, has expressed frustration with the Big Apple continuing to shutdown Covid-19 as other cities and states like New Jersey neighbor lifted theirs.

“We were able to open studios in some states in early July,” Freeman told CNN Business. “In New Jersey, pilates and yoga classes were actually allowed to open before the rest of the gyms. We have been opened in other states and have had no [Covid-19] incidents. «

A spokesperson for Blasio’s office said city public health experts had determined that indoor fitness classes were a high-risk activity for coronavirus transmission and that preventing a resurgence of cases of Covid-19 was the mayor’s top priority.

“Other cities have shown us how quickly Covid-19 can return, and we are determined to heed these warnings,” Deputy Mayor’s Press Secretary Mitch Schwartz told CNN Business on Wednesday. “For now, that means avoiding high-risk activities that involve concentrations of people, breathing heavily, in small spaces. ”

Freeman and Cassara said current gymnastics guidelines give large gymnastics companies like Equinox and Planet Fitness a competitive advantage over smaller fitness studios, which Cassara says are mostly run by small business owners.

“It gives them a head start in attracting members when we are still mandated to be closed,” Cassara said.

Freeman, who said his fitness studio company generates around $ 15 million in revenue per year, says government shutdowns cost it about $ 7 million in lost revenue.

“It’s crazy to think that anyone will survive if this continues,” she said.

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