Patrick Moussignac, WHECTV
Updated: April 26, 2021 06:45 PM
Created: April 26, 2021 12:09 PM
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday announced capacity restrictions would be loosened for several venues ranging from gyms and fitness centers to casinos and outdoor stadiums.
Here's a breakdown of the list the Governor outlined:
The changes for the first three venues will take effect on May 15, while the outdoor stadium guidelines take effect on May 19.
The announcement comes on the heels of the New York State Fair's planned return in August.
Gym owners previously called on the Governor to expand the capacity to 50%, as they said the centers are safe, they have the data to back that up, and if they can't increase capacity and let more people in, those who haven't already gone bankrupt—will.
In regards to further expansion of capacity rules, Cuomo said "the arrows are pointing in the right direction."
News10NBC talked to a couple of gym operators to find out if the boost will actually help as many industries continue to move forward toward normalcy.
Operators say the increase is a step in the right direction, but it's still not enough with other COVID-19 restrictions still standing in the way.
Ever since gyms and fitness centers were allowed to reopen back in August they've operated under a capacity limit of 33%. Athletic Apex Health Clubs CEO Jeff Sanders says he's happy for any new changes, but this increase still poses lots of challenges.
"You know again we're grateful, but you know this isn't going to help the smaller studios as much. They still need to have a certain capacity to be able to pay their bills, you know and to break even," Sanders said.
He also says smaller facilities would need 66% capacity, and bigger ones would need 75%. He's disappointed that the fitness industry is lumped in with what he says are significant risk factors.
"I mean we're rated four-times safer than a lot of these industries and yet you know we're opened since August, and we're just now getting an increase to capacity. You know other industries have recently just opened, and they're already increased to match our capacity," Sanders said.
Regardless of the capacity increase, Blink Fitness Area Manager JJ Potrinkus says social distancing rules still pose a challenge.
"All of our equipment is still spaced out at 6-feet, but it's a matter of just I guess consumer and public confidence that they don't have to worry as much about whether the gym is going to be full when they get here," Potrinkus said.
He finished by saying, he'll take anything his industry can get.
"This just gives us definitely more wiggle room, and the ability to do more fun things within there," Potrinkus said.
Both gym operators say as soon as the industry's capacity is increased to about 75%, they can then open more amenities such as spas, and saunas for their members.
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