Gyms frustrated over lack of assistance under new restrictions

Posted at 11:31 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 23:31:20-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As Lexington gyms take drastic steps to adapt to Gov. Andy Beshear's new restrictions that went into effect on Friday, some are frustrated with the lack of assistance offered by the state.

On Wednesday, Gov. Beshear announced gyms would have to cancel group classes and cut capacity to 33% through December 13. His new restrictions also require restaurants and bars to stop indoor service for that time.

The governor announced a $40 million fund for assistance to bars and restaurants, but gyms don't qualify for the fund.

"There hasn't been anything for fitness centers who are also impacted," said Katie Herndon, Co-Founder of Reach Fitness in Lexington.

She's decided to adapt, moving to mostly private or semi-private instruction for her clients.

"It's been a challenge, had to get our gears turning but I think we have a good plan," Herndon said.

Still, she has concerns about what this will mean for her staff.

"For our instructors, that's awful," she said. "That's their paycheck."

And other gyms have decided to close altogether, like Legacy All Sports, a gymnastics and cheer gym in Lexington.

"When you take a facility of 1,000 students it's not feasible to do one on one training," Owner Lanice Kaiser said.

Her students took all precautions, she said, and no cases of COVID-19 originated at the gym.

"I think they feel like it was all for nothing," she said.

She's concerned about what the closure will mean for her business.

"Will we get help? Do I have to go to my landlord and ask if they can delay my rent?"

Both women hope three weeks is enough time to get the virus under control and lift restrictions.