Area gyms reopen after COVID-19 shut them down for months


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – Gym owners in the St. Louis area can finally get back to work, and customers can begin working out again. The Covid-19 closure is lifted.

During the past few months, different gyms took different routes in efforts to reopen earlier. All of them failed.

House of Pain opened without approval and the courts shut it down. Monday, the owner said he will move forward, rebound and he advises people to patronize local businesses. Otherwise, on the advice of his lawyer, he had no comment.

No comment also from Anytime Fitness. It filed suit in federal court and lost.

At Burn Boot Camp, the owner tried to find an agreement with the county officials to open two weeks ago. He was rejected. Ted Theodoropoulos said, “I wish the outcome could have been different.”

After his business made a big change. Employees continued to receive a paycheck while customers kept paying. Employee Kira Nolan said, “They kept us going and we turned this business overnight into a virtual gym.”

Theodoropoulos added, “Our revenue didn’t go to zero, luckily like a lot of gyms did, so we were never in danger of extinction.”

Customers were glad to get back, some believed the county was too tough on gyms, that they could have safely opened earlier. Mary Kaye Cody, a customer, said, “I would have been comfortable coming back a few weeks ago.”

If this ever happens again, the owner wants better communication between county leaders and business owners. Theodoropoulos said, “We wish it could have played out differently. We hope if there’s ever a next time we hope it unfolds very differently than this one.”

He said he wants better communication. He said being told your business is closed indefinitely makes it difficult to plan for the future.

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