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Local gyms eye Phase Two for reopening

The last two months have seen an influx of changes, trying to flatten the curve to slow the COVID-19 virus. Now businesses are looking to reopen their doors, including those in the fitness industry, such as Athletic Edge and Fitness Unlimited in Washington.

With North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order set to expire on May 8, gyms are part of Phase Two of North Carolina’s reopening. May 22 is the goal date, with May 29 being Plan B.

Laura Horton, owner of Athletic Edge, said no members were charged for memberships during this time, and the gym has had an opportunity to finish up renovation projects.

“First of all, we’ve not charged any of our members — no fees or anything like that since we’ve been shut down. We won’t charge anybody until we open back up,” Horton said. “We’ve heard either the 22nd or the 29th of May. Gov. Roy Cooper said we could open two to three weeks after Phase One begins. We don’t know what rules there will be as far as opening up goes, we don’t know what limitations we might have, but we’re excited about opening up. We’ve cleaned everything thoroughly, sanitized everything; finished off a lot of our construction, too. We’re working on our smoothie bar and things like that, so that’ll be ready when everybody comes back, too. We’re just excited to see our members back.”

Similarly, Amy Gerard, owner of Fitness Unlimited, has been busy making sure all workout machines are up to par, and has continued to use online tools to interact with members by working out online.

“This Friday, I am opening our smoothie bar back up. That is after the stay-at-home order expires, so that makes me feel better. But, we’ll continue to practice social distancing,” Gerard said. “I had an equipment guy that was here for a week, doing an uplift on all of our equipment, making sure everything was working, and if it wasn’t, we’ve fixed it or gotten the parts ordered. That way everything is back and working when everybody comes back. So it was good we had an opportunity to do that.”

Gerard also said the online fitness classes and participation they’ve had in those have been encouraging.

“I have been shocked with it. For the members, I made a members-only group page, which allows us to do fitness classes from home. We’ve had a lot of people participate that wouldn’t do it at the gym. So a lot of people are glad they gave them a chance,” Gerard said. “I can’t wait to see our members again. I want to be able to provide the service that, for 20 years, I’ve invested myself into.”