Valley fitness center CEO says Ducey’s modified order lacks industry clarity
PHOENIX — The founder and CEO of a Valley-based fitness center said Friday he is frustrated Gov. Doug Ducey’s modified “stay-at-home” order didn’t provide clarity for his business or the industry.
Tom Hatten, head of Mountainside Fitness, said he was part of a group of about 50 Arizona business owners that was communicating regularly and offering guidance to Ducey’s office prior to Wednesday’s announcement.
Hatten said Ducey’s modified order, which outlined reopening measures for parts of Arizona’s economy, lacked answers for the fitness industry.
“It’s frustrating to say the least because we don’t really have any true guidance,” Hatten said Friday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show. “We don’t really know. We’re really just left out there.”
Hatten said he expected to get answers about the next steps for his business because of the communication with Ducey’s office.
Mountainside Fitness has had to furloughed 1,350 employees since closing its doors at the end of March due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Hatten.
He will soon have to make a decision on 200 additional employees despite no concrete plan for the future.
“Without a true plan or metric we can all look at, it’s really subjective and closed mouth right now,” Hatten said.
Hatten said discussions about the future of fitness clubs in Arizona remain ongoing, although no answers are immediate.
He said he plans to institute preventative measures at Mountainside upon reopening including taking employees’ temperatures, wearing masks and social distancing in group fitness classes.
“Up until [Wednesday] we had direct conversations with the governor’s office about what the leadership group was thinking, what our concerns were and what we were looking for in the press conference,” Hatten said.
“To basically see none of this happening was extremely disappointing. It just seemed very gray and that would be putting it mildly.”