Gym CEO plans to sue Arizona governor over mandated gym closures

Posted at 1:12 PM, Jun 30, 2020

The founder and CEO of a fitness business in Phoenix says he intends to file a lawsuit against Governor Ducey in response to his executive order closing select businesses.

The executive order said that as of 8 p.m. Monday night, gyms, bars, waterparks and tubing areas will all have to close to try to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Tom Hatten, Mountainside Fitness CEO, said during a press conferenceMonday that the governor’s move is "arbitrary" and lacks clarity.

“If this is truly as bad as we are being told, I don’t think health clubs closing tomorrow is going to solve the problem. I don’t think tubing is going to solve the problem,” Hatten said. “I don’t think closing a movie theater that hasn’t been open is going to solve the problem.”

Hatten also called for unity from the governor, saying that if the governor is serious about coronavirus, the executive order shouldn't be limited to bars, gyms, and movie theaters.

A representative for Mountainside Fitness says several other large gyms are taking part in the lawsuit as well, though that has not been confirmed with the other gyms.

Dozens of members showed up to work out at Mountainside Fitness as soon as it opened Tuesday morning.

Those like John Kiesewetter say they agree with the CEO's reasoning to remain open if other businesses aren't also forced to close. He says regular physical activity puts them in a better position to beat the virus.

"It seems to be unfair that things like casinos are still open but gyms, they are not. So, anyone who's healthier, who keep our distance, are the people who go to the gym and clean our equipment, so I think it was the right decision," Kiesewetter said.

Governor Ducey said Monday that local authorities will have the ability to enforce the new rules, with a focus on educating the public.

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