Gymnastics Gym Owners Given Green Light To Open
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Some gymnastics gym owners got a very welcome call when they got the green light from the Salt Lake County Health Department to open their doors.
This also meant businesses like dance studios, martial arts studios and similar businesses could open their doors, according to health department officials.
“We have told facilities that if they can successfully follow all the guidelines outlined under (the) ‘orange’ (phase), they can operate,” said Nicholas Rupp, spokesperson for the Salt Lake County Health Department.
Ryan Kirkham, who owns Olympus Gymnastics in South Jordan, was wasting no time preparing for opening day. He was planning on opening Wednesday morning.
“We are thrilled and we are really excited,” said Kirkham. “I told [the health department] their swift action is actually saving so many businesses like mine around the Salt Lake Valley, and we really appreciate it.”
Kirkham had actually opened his doors on Friday, considering himself in the same category as a fitness gym. But he was quickly told to shut down by the Salt Lake County Health Department.
He joined forces with other gym owners like Heather Fullmer, who owns the Gymnastics Training Center in Millcreek to fight the decision.
The health department argued gymnastic gyms and similar businesses like dance and martial arts studios fall into the category of “team or group” activities and therefore could not open according to the “orange phase.”
A major reversal: Gymnastic centers can open their doors. The change of heart from the Salt Lake County Health Dept @KSL5TV at 6:30 pic.twitter.com/Rcui9nJ854
— Dan Rascon (@TVDanRascon) May 6, 2020
But Kirkham and Fullmer argued they are not a team sport, but an individual sport that could operate as any fitness center.
On Tuesday afternoon, the health department ruled in their favor.
“It’s a sense of relief,” said Fullmer. “I actually asked for it in writing and they are working on that. Just to make sure we are okay to open. We want to follow all the rules.”
“It saves our business. Gymnastic facilities, in particular, require so much space, so the overhead to operate a facility like this is a lot of money to operate something of this magnitude,” said Kirkham.
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