Syracuse Gym Owner Fears Second Shutdown Syracuse Gym Owner Fears Second Shutdown

Reporter: Rob Miller has been a Powerhouse Gym Syracuse member for four years. He has other gym memberships but says this one is his favorite.

Rob Miller: It’s just a close group of people you know you see pretty much the same people everyday. You get to know each other, almost becomes more of a family.

Reporter: He says coming to the gym is more of a hobby and is great for his mental health.

Miller: When I’m able to come here, I’m just, my mind is free, I know what I’m supposed to do when I’m here, I don’t have to think about those other things.

Reporter: Miller’s home gym didn’t compare when Powerhouse closed for nearly six months because of the pandemic.

Miller: I have kids at home. I have a wife at home. You know, when you have that stuff, it kind of just, your mind isn’t where it needs to be at that time. You know, you’re thinking about other things.

Reporter: The gym had 550 members before the pandemic. Now, there are less than 200. The gym owner says another shutdown would close their doors permanently.

Helen Green: Landlord wants his rent. That doesn’t go away. I mean, you know, and bills need to be paid. Those don’t go away either, but with no income coming in, and I’m not, you know, what else can I do you know?

Reporter: Miller says he doesn’t like to think about this possible reality.

Miller: I am kind of preparing, you know, I’m doing a little bit of work at my house to try and, you know, build up my home gym and make sure I stay active if it were to happen, but I try not to focus on that or really think about it cause it’s not something I want to see.

Reporter: Green says she’s not making profit but will stay open as long as she can for her members. Reporting from Syracuse, Caleb Britt, N-C-C News.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)- Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s March gym shutdown order didn’t come as a surprise to Powerhouse Gym Syracuse owner Helen Green.

Green noticed that less members came in because of COVID-19 concerns.

At the time, Green thought the gym would only be closed for two weeks, which didn’t seem bad to her.

“We would get optimistic that maybe something would happen,” Green said. “We kept waiting and it kept going on and on and on, so we realized we weren’t opening back up.”

The gym owner said March to August was hard because she didn’t charge her members for the months the gym wasn’t open, which meant no income.

“I was able to help my trainers, who are independent contractors, file for unemployment,” Green said. “For us, there wasn’t anything.”

At one point, Green was told gyms weren’t going to re-open until January 2021 or until a coronavirus vaccine was available.

Powerhouse Gym Syracuse re-opened in August, but Green said business has been difficult.

“People are scared,” Green said. “They’ve been told that gyms are not the place to be during COVID.”

Even though gym memberships have gone down, Green said she’s following health and safety protocols.

Members check their temperature at the door and grab a bottle of sanitizer and a rag before they start their workout.

Gym members are responsible for sanitizing their equipment before and after use.

Green said she has had 7,000 check-ins since re-opening and hasn’t reported a COVID-19 case.

“Our standards are way up above restaurants and bars,” Green said.

Along with the physical benefits, Green believes the gym is great for her members’ mental health.

She said she hopes the gym can stay open to continue to serve them during and after the pandemic.

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