Gym owner upset over not being allowed to reopen

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - Gyms were originally in the governor's plan for Phase 2. However, under a modified version of the phase, they will not be allowed to open this Friday.

Many, like Greg Lassiter, the owner of Champions Health and Fitness Center in Greenville, expected the gyms to re-open as a part of Phase 2. Ahead of Friday, Lassiter had renovated the gym and was excited to have members see it when they opened.

"I cannot tell you the sad faces I had to face last night while we were doing our open house," he said. "It was very hard as a business owner to have to face these people after we've been telling them that we're opening Friday at 5."

Others, like Avery Kist, were more understanding of the decision. As someone who has people who are more vulnerable to the virus in her life, like her grandmother and her boyfriend with Lyme disease, she said this is a step we have to take to protect them.

"People not going out and doing the things that they desperately want to do right now, to save some of these people that I love...I'm doing it for those people that they love. I just think that's important," explained Kist.

With the unexpected news, gym-goers are now having to get creative.

"I'm having to work out in the mail room in my apartment complex," said Matt Claiborne, who said he would normally work out 5 to 6 days at the gym. "At home, it's not easy getting motivated to do in-home workouts when the couch is right there, the TV's right there, Netflix is right there."

One gym in New Bern, Sound Fitness, however, will be opening anyway on June 1st because the owner said, "No longer have the option to stay closed".

The governor's new orders say gyms will now have to hold off on re-opening until Phase 3, which is 4-6 weeks away.