Life Time complies with Ducey’s order, Mountainside Fitness remains open

Jul 3, 2020, 1:37 PM | Updated: Jul 4, 2020, 7:47 am
(Facebook Photo/Life Time)...
(Facebook Photo/Life Time)
(Facebook Photo/Life Time)

PHOENIX — Life Time has decided to close their fitness facilities through Monday evening to comply with Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order, while Mountainside Fitness will remain open.

In a letter to members provided to KTAR News 92.3 FM, Life Time says the closure of fitness floors, studios and gymnasiums allows the company time to meet with Ducey’s team and collaborate a way to reopen the amenities.

Other services at the club, including the salon, spa, food service, kids clubs, and pools, will remain open at this time, according to a press release from AZDHS.

Meanwhile, AZDHS says it will move forward with “seeking to enforce its Emergency Measures” against Mountainside Fitness.

Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten said in a press conference Friday they will remain open until they have their day in court.

“If we are allowed a stay, we will move forward until our full case is heard,” Hatten said. “If the court does not allow a stay, we will comply and respect the court’s decision. We will deal with being closed again.”

The Arizona Department of Health Services set a noon deadline on Friday for three Valley gyms to close before filing civil action against the facilities.

The executive order required bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks to close until at least July 27 in order to bend the curve of increasing coronavirus cases in the state.

Mountainside Fitness at East Sahuro Drive in Scottsdale, Life Time at West Ruby Drive in Tempe and Life Time at East Camelback Road in Phoenix received Demand for Compliance letters from AZDHS, according to an email the health department sent KTAR News 92.3 FM, after failing to close after’s Ducey’s executive order on Monday.

Life Time stated it’s safety protocols are “beyond that of any other business” and believes the health department will come to the same conclusion once it has the opportunity to review the company.

Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a press release the closure of Life Time fitness facilities are in the best interest of all Arizonans and, “we look forward to partnering with Life Time Fitness on developing public health best practices for the fitness industry. We appreciate their willingness to protect Arizonans and provide their time and subject matter expertise.”

If the facilities had failed to shut down, AZDHS said its civil action against the company would include seeking a temporary restraining order, preliminary and injunctive relief and declaratory relief.

Action was already taken against Life Time as the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control announced on Wednesday it had suspended Life Time Biltmore’s liquor licenses for continuing to operate Rooftop Bistro and Life Café & Lounge.

Mountainside Fitness CEO Tom Hatten, meanwhile, said Tuesday he had been cited in multiple metro Phoenix cities for defying Ducey’s executive order.

Ducey spokesman Patrick Ptak said in an email to KTAR News, “The governor’s executive order is clear. Gyms and other indoor fitness clubs or centers, regardless of size, shall pause operations until at least July 27th.”

Hatten said he believes Ducey’s decision to close gyms was “random” and “reckless.”

“It’s not about Mountainside,” Hatten said in a press conference on Tuesday. “It’s about our businesses and our civil liberties and where our leadership is taking us at this point in time.”

The Arizona health department reported 4,433 new coronavirus cases and 31 deaths Friday morning, bringing the state’s documented totals to 91,858 cases and 1,788 fatalities.

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Life Time complies with Ducey’s order, Mountainside Fitness remains open