Valley fitness center CEO describes reopening, social distancing plans

May 13, 2020, 2:45 PM | Updated: 3:17 pm
(Facebook Photo/Mountainside Fitness)...
(Facebook Photo/Mountainside Fitness)
(Facebook Photo/Mountainside Fitness)

PHOENIX — The founder and CEO of a metro Phoenix fitness center chain said Wednesday he has developed a plan for enhanced social distancing in preparation for reopening next week.

Tom Hatten of Mountainside Fitness said his company’s more than 20 locations will open Monday with new guidelines aimed to halt the spread of coronavirus following Gov. Doug Ducey’s decision on Tuesday to reopen gyms.

That includes keyless check-in, increased distance between cardio machines, more sanitation stations and limits on the number of people allowed in group fitness classes.

“We definitely have [customer] safety in the front of our minds,” Hatten told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

Hatten said he expects guidelines at his locations to be fluid as they adjust to their new normal.

Mountainside Fitness and gyms across the state have been closed since March 20.

Ducey said gyms could begin reopening Wednesday, but Hatten said they needed extra time to retrain staff and make sure social distancing measures were in place.

Most of Mountainside’s 1,500 employees were furloughed following the closure, Hatten said.

As for customer numbers upon reopening, Hatten expects it will take some time for the majority of people to return and feel comfortable.

Mountainside waived membership fees until June 1.

“I expect there’s going to be a new sense of what people want to feel and see before they come back to the facility,” Hatten said.

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Valley fitness center CEO describes reopening, social distancing plans