Lincoln gym decides to stay open despite statewide pause

Blackstone Valley

LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — Maxx Fitness in Lincoln has nothing to hide, if you call – they’ll answer, and if you drive by – you’ll see they’re clearly open.

General Manager Stephen Couture says the state has already come by to talk to them, but that didn’t change anything, they’re still planning to open for business again on Wednesday.

“We’re going to make sure the gym is clean, we are going to make sure we keep you as safe as possible,” Couture said. “That’s our job, to make you feel safe to come here, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Gyms were told to shut down for two weeks during the statewide two week pause that started Monday.

12 News asked what led the gym to decide to stay open and defy the orders.

Staff explained that, as always, they are able to track everyone who goes in and out, and they are also taking everyone’s temperatures as they come in. 

“It was between all the owners, discussing the company and what was best for the company,” Couture said. “That’s what it is, it’s best for the company, it’s best for the members and staff, so all around it’s the best idea to do right now.”

He added the bottom line is the gym is an outlet for a lot of people during this difficult time, and believes staying open is the best thing for everyone’s overall health. 

One gym goer, Jadern Frias, said it was a little busy inside, but he was excited that he could go in.

“It’s clean, everybody has their mask on, no one is really doing anything they aren’t suppose to be, just like before,” Frias said. “It’s kind of the same thing as the last few months.”

Frias also added that everyone is wearing their masks inside and following the normal rules. 

The Maxx Fitness in Warren is also open.

“We’re ready to take whatever happens and go from there,” Couture said. “We got to do what’s best for the company, what’s best for our members and their overall health.”

When 12 News asked the governor’s office about the situation, we were referred to R.I. Commerce. A spokesperson there says they are aware the gym is refusing to close, but are not able to provide any further comment at this time. 

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