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North Texas gyms, studios grapple with whether to reopen Monday

The governor said gyms can reopen May 18, with 25 percent capacity.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Before the pandemic hit, a typical workout at Crossfit Deep in Deep Ellum involved lots of interaction, physical guidance from coaches and even social gatherings before and after class.

But when the gym reopens Monday, “That’s all going to look different,” said owner Eric Rosenstock.

Rosenstock is one of the gym owners taking Governor Greg Abbott up on his offer to let gyms reopen at 25 percent occupancy next week, but he’ll be doing so with major precautions, like much smaller classes, temperature checks at the door, designated waiting areas and constant cleaning.

Life Time gyms also sent letters out to members in Dallas and Fort Worth this week, letting them know they would reopen and would be taking precautions. Click here to read. 

“All the protocols we make, they need to be really strict and they need to be iron tight because the success of my business and the future of my business relies on us doing this correctly,” Rosenstock said Wednesday. “It’s no easy decision to reopen under these circumstances.”

RELATED: LIST: Gym and fitness studios that plan to reopen on Monday

It’s a decision Amy Baker isn’t making yet.

“We just don’t feel like it’s time,” said the owner of Urban Yoga in Fort Worth.

She told her members this week their doors would remain closed for now.

“We don’t feel like the science has proven that it’s safe for us to come back together,” Baker said. “In fact, I’m seeing opposite of that.”

She knows those who are reopening will do so safely, and that every gym has different circumstances. But for now, even with profits cut in half compared to this time last year, Baker said her studio will continue to invest in online streaming and try some very small outdoor classes. 

WFFA asked what needs to happen before she’d open back up.

“I really don’t know,” she said. 

Rosenstock said his decision to reopen was driven by his coaches and members, who voiced that they really wanted to return. He went on Facebook Live this week to talk about his gym’s new normal and how things may get even stricter as they navigate what Crossfit looks like in a socially distant world.

“There are so many unforeseen things that could occur—I just want them to be aware changes could come quickly,” he said.

Click here to read the state's recommendations for gyms.

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