Grand Rapids gym owner prepares to reopen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Along with muscle, Grand Rapids City Gym owner Jeff Phillips is building trust with his lifters.

“It’s not going to be what we say to them. It’s going to be what we do,” Phillips said.

Phillips welcomed back a select few a week ago. He’s now preparing for more after a Grand Rapids federal judge ruled last Friday all gyms may reopen Thursday, despite Gov. Whitmer’s executive order.

“We’re taking everyone’s temperature as they come in, and we’re going to be walking around cleaning,” Phillips said. “We’re going to do whatever we can. We’re not going to require a mask, we’re going to make it highly recommended to wear a mask.”

Grand Rapids City Gym. (June 22, 2020)

Gym goer, Justin Seitz, will be back at the gym Thursday, making sure he wipes down everything he touches.

“For me, it’s like a necessity. I want to come, I have to come,” Seitz said. “If anything, I feel like the gym will help you fight off the virus.”

As Whitmer works to repeal the ruling that allows gyms like the Grand Rapids City Gym to reopen, members said they’ll work with owners to ensure everyone exercises safely.

“Every step that can be taken to prevent the spread of the virus will be taken,” Phillips said.

Unlike Grand Rapids City Gym, the Grand Rapids YMCA is not reopening.

Workers said they are aware of the federal judge’s ruling but will continue following the guidance of state and local health officials.