SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said five regions across New York are set to open Phase Four on Friday. Those regions include Central New York, the Southern Tier, the North Country, the Mohawk Valley and the Finger Lakes. It was assumed that entering Phase Four would include all entities and businesses—in a reach for normalcy again.
Unbeknownst, there were three main things that did not make the cut to move forward with business on Friday: movie theaters, malls and gyms.
This week, Central New York’s Regional Control Room found out that Cuomo had decided not to go ahead with these businesses. While Onondaga County leaders have asked the state to reconsider this decision, Cuomo said they’re still researching what has happened in other states when things like malls and gyms reopened.
With just a few days’ notice, many owners across Central New York, who were fully planning on starting back up this weekend, are frustrated with this decision. One of them was Ryan Vollmer, the owner of Edge Strength and Conditioning in Syracuse.
“We were all excited and ready to open. We were about to blast it on social media like ‘hey we’re going to open this weekend,’” said Vollmer. “And when you get the news that that’s not going to happen indefinitely, it’s like a punch in the stomach.”
Not only were Vollmer and his other trainers prepared to get back on their feet, but it has left a sour taste in the mouth of his trainees as well.
“A lot of people have reached out to me individually because you become friends with the people that come here,” said Vollmer. “They have expressed to me how frustrated they are. They are going through their own personal stresses in a time when they probably need a gym.”
Edge Strength and Conditioning consists of multiple trainers who personally train people and a lot of times leaves open space in a fairly large facility. Vollmer said that it’s frustrating that the state lumps them into the same category of large gyms when it’s not the same.
“I think a big thing with gyms is they put us all in one category. They look at my gym the same way they look at something like a Planet Fitness with hundreds of people packed in, going on treadmills,” said Vollmer. “I understand gyms are at a higher risk because of heavy breathing and sweating, but we have already planned on limiting the occupancy … and we have plenty of space.”
What is tougher for Vollmer and other gym owners is that they understand how tough of a time it has been on people, and a lot of times people use the gym as a stress reliever—not only for others but the owners themselves who can’t do much to help.
“It’s hard for me not to be able to help them out,” said Vollmer. “I created this gym as a service to the community, and I can’t do that now.”
As for a reopening date, there has been no timetable given by the state as to how long these places will be kept closed. Vollmer and his trainers are preparing to get started back up as soon as they get the green light.
As for movie theaters, The Movie Tavern in Camillus is getting creative while still closed. To accommodate for not opening, they will be doing curbside pickup for their popcorn this weekend.
For any further developments, head to NCC News online for more information regarding Phase Four reopenings.