WOODLAND (CBS13) — A gym in Woodland has been slapped with a hefty fine for refusing to follow state orders and cease indoor operations.
Last week, Fit Republic Gym was fined $2,500 for continuing to operate. The gym is the first business in the county to be fined, according to Yolo County Public Information Officer Jenny Tan. She says the fine came only after the gym’s owners were given several chances to comply, but wouldn’t.
“The county tried multiple times to educate and work with them on how to be compliant with local/state regulations and when the state of California required gyms to close,” she said.
Tan said the county’s first approach is always education.
“We understand that there may be some barriers, such as lack of information or resources and we try to assist as best we can. We also give businesses time in case they cannot make changes right away. After trying to work with a business on multiple occasions, if the business is still willfully noncomplying, we will let the business know of what possible actions can be taken, including sending a letter with those options,” Tan said.
On July 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a big step back and ordered the closure of indoor gyms, bars, indoor dining, and other activities across the state.
Fit Republic tells CBS13 that they have implemented several safety protocols and have made changes required by the county but plans to continue operating indoors despite the fine.
The gym has signs posted on equipment to accommodate for social distancing. Multiple gym members also tell CBS13 that the fitness center has a 34 person capacity, requiring members to wait to help limit the number of people inside of the building.
“I personally believe people should be allowed to choose if they want to go out…if they want to go to the gym and risk it. But really for the business owners, they have so much to lose and adding a fine to it just seems like the opposite of what the government should be doing that’s not a solution, that is just adding more issues to someone who is already struggling” said Woodland resident, Matt Pine.
Some think that all businesses should be listening to the current health orders to make sure everyone is protected.
“I think everybody should adhere to the rules and keep everybody safe,” explained Steve Lucero. “They should do it outside like everybody else. You go outside to eat, there are several gyms outside. Everybody is doing everything outside,” he said.
According to Tan, more citations could be coming after trying to educate other businesses as well. Zachary Zanzow is not concerned. He has made it his mission to not be on the county’s watch list.
“We went over and above all the protocols we had to do,” he explained.
The Burger Saloon is keeping their doors locked, only allowing customers inside to use the restroom. They have also eliminated menus. Instead, customers order off an app with the ability to select a time slot of when they would like their food to be ready for dining on their patio or for to-go orders.
“It’s what we have to do. It’s for our safety, this thing is serious. So, I want to protect myself and my business,” he said.
Some gym members say they support the gym staying open and feel safe. However, multiple people working out Monday said they were unaware that the gym was not allowed to be operating inside.
According to the county’s health order, Fit Republic could be issued a misdemeanor or be forced to close by either the county or court order.