(SCOTTSDALE) – Mountainside Fitness announced it will file a lawsuit against Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Tuesday after he arbitrarily selected health clubs to close again for a period of at least a month.
Mountainside Fitness CEO and Founder Tom Hatten made the announcement after he learned of Governor Ducey’s new order from watching his press conference.
“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 Tom Hatten. “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.”
Hatten says he has no plans to close his doors this time and he has partnered with the Goldwater Institute to file the claim. Other national health club franchises like Lifetime Fitness, Orange Theory and F45 will remain open as well.
Hatten said there has been no evidence or direct link between Valley health clubs and COVID-19. The decision to arbitrarily close health clubs state-wide, but yet still allow restaurants, heavily populated casinos, and packed stores like Walmart and Home Depot to remain open does not make sense.
“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,” Hatten said. “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!.”
Wanting to do its part both financially and responsibly, Mountainside Fitness made a $100,000 donation to the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund during the two-month closure. The locally owned and operated fitness center also partnered with Patients Choice to offer a series of antibody testing sites for several weeks outside several of its 18 locations. They also set up a fund to help his employees who were financially impacted during the first closure.
After re-opening a little more than a month ago, Mountainside Fitness implemented a series of safety measures, including training staff on Covid-19, installed sanitizing stations throughout the club, continuously disinfecting frequently touched areas and equipment throughout the day with CDC-approved disinfectant.
Cardio equipment is spaced accordingly with every other machine turned off. All employees and staff are wearing masks. Towel cleaning temperatures have been increased to 150 degrees. Group Fitness classes have been decreased capacities and more classes have added to the schedules to offer guests more options.
All employees have their temperature checked prior to each shift and are required to wash their hands every hour. Disposable face masks are also available to staff. Children entering childcare have their temperature checked and any child with a temperature above 99.9 degrees will not be permitted.