Owner reopens gyms despite lockdown orders

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MOUNTAIN TOP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — One week from Monday, certain businesses in Pennsylvania will be permitted to reopen but must follow state COVID-19 safety measures. The order issued several weeks ago affects a wide range of businesses such as restaurants and gyms. Some gym owners in our region have already opened their doors.

The owner of 10X Fitness tells us he’s not trying to be defiant to any state order, but insists he opened, partly, because his customers wanted him to reopen.

“At this point it’s like, well, what do you have left? Either you’re going to lose your business or you’re going to take citations. So I’m taking the—the open the business up.”

Daniel Cronauer owns two gyms in the region, one in Mountain Top and a second one in Taylor. They reopened on Saturday, more than a week earlier that the January 4th reopening date set forth by Governor Wolf.

“Motivation behind it—always our members. People reaching out to us saying ‘I need to get in the gym, I’m suffering here.’ Like, ‘I want to enjoy my workout. Can you open up please?’ After you get a hundred of those messages,” said Cronauer.

Cronauer understands concerns about the spread of the coronavirus but insists:

“We’re basically filling the room with strangers, everyone has masks on. We’re spraying Clorox bottles like you see behind me and we’re still socially distanced. The equipment’s spaced out where you’re not next to somebody.”

The customers we spoke to say they are not concerned and want to make their own decisions on whether to come here or not.

“It’s kind of like your own choice. Like if you feel comfortable with it, honestly come. If you don’t feel comfortable it’s your choice, you don’t have to come,” said Nick Miller from Mountain Top.

Other gym owners who reopened in the last several days, who did not want to appear on camera, tell us they agree with Cronauer on reopening sooner than later.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office tells Eyewitness News they stand by the latest COVID-19 restrictions and say that any business that reopens is risking the safety and health of their customers and community. They also point out those business owners could face citations from state and/or local authorities.

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