Billings gym owner awaits a date to reopen

Posted at 6:23 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 11:29:00-04

While many bars, restaurants and casinos in Montana reopen their doors Monday, gyms have yet to receive an exact date of when they can reopen.

Yellowstone Fitness owner Don Christensen said Monday afternoon he receives messages from members every day asking when the gym will be open and what can be done to get them open quicker.

“Now more than ever, people need this, and people know it and miss it. People want to get back in here because this is what keeps them mentally healthy and physically,” said Christensen.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock declared gyms would open in phase two of the state's reopening plan. He has said that Montana will enter phase two after the state has shown continued decline in COVID-19 cases. Bullock has also declined to give a date for the state to enter phase two.

Christensen said sanitization has been up since the gym has been closed, a plexiglass barrier has been placed at the front desk and every other cardio machine has been shut off to keep people distanced.

“We will have face masks available if people want to wear them… I’ve just been purchasing a lot of stuff to be prepared,” said Christensen.

Christensen said he is a part of the petition, started by the owners of Billings CrossFit, to get gyms reopened. He said the petition has since spread to multiple gyms across the state of Montana and has also seen support from some at RiverStone Health.

Christensen said he respects the decision of anyone who does not feel comfortable coming into a gym at this time due health concerns.

“We definitely want to be respectful of them, and if they don’t feel comfortable, they don’t have to come in. But, let's open it up and let the healthy people come in,” said Christensen.