Arizona suspends liquor licenses at Life Time fitness Biltmore location

Jul 1, 2020, 6:00 PM | Updated: 10:11 pm
(Facebook Photo/Life Time)...
(Facebook Photo/Life Time)
(Facebook Photo/Life Time)

PHOENIX — A Life Time fitness center in Phoenix has had two liquor licenses suspended, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control announced on Wednesday.

The licensing agency said in a press release that Life Time Biltmore, located on 24th Street and Camelback Road, had its liquor licenses suspended for Rooftop Bistro and Life Café & Lounge.

The Biltmore venue offers more of a country club experience than other Valley Life Time clubs and charges regular adult membership fees of $199 per month.

On Monday, Gov. Ducey issued an executive order that mandated indoor gyms and fitness clubs or centers — along with bars and other specified businesses — to close until July 27 in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

After Ducey’s order, Life Time said it would close its fitness floors and studios to comply with the governor’s order, but keep other amenities open such as its cafe, pools, hair salon, kid areas, tennis courts, locker rooms, saunas and steam rooms. However, the company followed up by saying it would reopen its fitness areas on Wednesday.

According to the licensing department release, Life Time Biltmore violated the governor’s order by remaining open Tuesday and the action taken by authorities was done so “to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”

“The department took action against the liquor licenses of the two businesses as each presented one of a number of enticements to continue regular operations at Life Time Biltmore,” Arizona liquor license department director John Cocca said in the release.

Life Time Biltmore’s Rooftop Bistro and Life Café & Lounge alleged violations include:

  • Failure to maintain the capability, qualifications, and reliability for licensure.
  • Failure to comply with department statutes and rules both existing or modified under the governor’s executive order.
  • Failure to take reasonable steps to protect the safety of a customer when the licensee reasonably should have known of the danger to the person.

Life Time issued a statement saying it didn’t understand why the licenses were suspended.

“Life Time operates full-service, fast-casual LifeCafes within our destinations under a Series 12 restaurant license, and not the Series 6 or 7 bars that were ordered to ‘pause operations’ under the Governor’s Executive Order,” the company said in an email.

“As such, we’re working to clarify the basis for the suspension of the license and are confident our operations have been — and are — in compliance with the Governor’s Order since it took effect.”

Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona’s top health official, cited a CDC study on indoor activity and coronavirus transmission while defending the state’s order to close gyms on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.

Valley gym chain Mountainside Fitness also defied Ducey’s closure order and has filed a lawsuit opposing it.

Life Time said that while it supports Mountainside’s lawsuit, it is not a part of it.

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Arizona suspends liquor licenses at Life Time fitness Biltmore location