'We can't keep losing money': Clay County gym owner plans to reopen Clay Fitness Center on Monday

Posted at 4:40 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 20:54:25-04

MANCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — In less than a week, several industries will be allowed to reopen, as detailed in Governor Andy Beshear's Phase 1 for reopening Kentucky.

However, gyms are not on the list. Despite that, the owner of Clay Fitness Center in Clay County, Taye Napier, plans to open his gym on Monday.

He said he must reopen or be forced to close the gym indefinitely.

"We can't keep losing money," Napier said. "[We're] spending money every day, not taking any in."

Napier said he had spent $10,000 on bills from rent and utilities to other operating costs, but he has only brought in $1,800, with $1,000 of that coming from an SBA loan.

Napier said he understands why the State had to take measures to protect people from the coronavirus, but the cost to his business is reaching a tipping point.

"Don't let the cure be worse than the actual disease," Napier said.

When he reopens on Monday, Napier said there would be several precautions in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

For example, he said hand sanitizer would be next to each machine, and members would be responsible for sanitizing the machines after each use.

Employees would also clean the entire gym throughout the day.

He also said there would be several rules in place, such as no spotting and preferably no 'supersetting.'

The gym would also be kept to 50% capacity, or even limited to a ten-person maximum, if necessary.

"The other idea is blocking off or laying out certain individual spaces for the social distancing rule. We're more than willing to do that."

Members would also have to sign a waiver that explains the risks of the coronavirus and the new rules of the gym.

Governor Beshear has said that gyms may open during Phase 2 but has not yet given an estimate on when, exactly, that could roll out.