Tucson gym finds a way to stay open

Posted at 3:16 PM, Jul 29, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. — An executive order closed indoor gyms and fitness facilities across Arizona, but one in Tucson says they have found a way to safely stay open by moving all gym activities outside.

The members of Tucson Strength say they are happy to get some exercise, even if it means being outside in the Arizona heat.

“At least we have tents, so we are not getting sunburned,” Jessica Vanasselberg.

Owner Daniel Sawaya says they can stay open if gym activities stay outside.

“The governor’s mandate specifically uses the adjective indoor gyms,” said Sawaya.

Sawaya started investing thousands of dollars in tents, fans, and evaporative cooling equipment right after the first shutdown.

“This is something I jumped on right away. I knew we would be shut down again in June and I already made these calls to get this set up. So, within 72 hours of shutdown, we were open outside.”

There are even plans to expand the outdoor facility another 2,000 square feet.

“Where I can adapt and shift, I will choose to do that. To save my business, to keep my employees employed, and to keep our members healthy and safe. So many have told me this is what is saving them.”

The people we talked to say it is a matter of risk versus reward. For them, an outdoor gym seems like a healthy choice.

“I really feel good when I come here,” said Defeverf. “That period for about a month I didn’t work out and I could really tell physically and mentally so I am grateful for this place.”