ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Gyms are one of the places that can't reopen during phase one in St. Louis and St. Louis County.
About 650 members exercise at Burn Boot Camp in Manchester. But for the last two months, the HIIT camps have taken a breather.
Owner Ted Theodoropoulos said as other businesses open up, gym owners want to do the same.
"We really want the county to reconsider us. Our members are dying to get back in," he added.
That's why more than 30 owners teamed up and sent a letter to St. Louis County Executive Sam Page. They asked for boutique fitness concepts to get the green light to reopen. Boutique fitness concepts are more instructor-led gyms with smaller facilities.
"About 4,000 to 5,000 square feet on average. We feel it should be differently managed by the county than the big box gyms," Theodoropoulos explained.
In the letter, it listed the safety changes made. You can read the full letter below.
Theodoropoulos actually owns three Burn Boot Camps, including one in O'Fallon, Missouri. That gym is currently open since it's in St. Charles County.
He said, so far, things are running smoothly there.
David Busker, franchise owner of Cycle Bar in Chesterfield, is one of the contributors to the letter. Besides financial concerns, he's also worried for his customers.
"Some people come every day, so it's an important part of their life ripped out from them. I think it's important for the health of the community and psychologically. A lot of group fitness is about community," Busker said.
And their message has been heard.
On May 20, there will be a meeting with Page.
Doug Moore, the county spokesperson, told 5 On Your Side:
"We are meeting with a few gym owners on Wednesday, as they help us work through guidelines, so we can get the fitness industry in St. Louis County back online and residents can get back to the workouts we know they are missing. As Dr. Page said today, gyms are great assets for our community. Exercise is good for our physical and mental health."
“We’re following the guidance of health officials. We’re sensitive to their concerns and we want to see them reopen, too, and we’ll have a plan to do so safely, in a way that protects their customers and employees," Page said Monday morning.
Theodoropoulos believes it'll be a conversation to see what can work out best for a reopen plan.
"They want to have a conversation and what controls we have in place. It sounds like they are very motivated to find a solution here, so that gives us a lot of hope," Theodoropoulos added hopefully.
As for the city, Mayor Lyda Krewson said she has no date on when gyms can reopen.