BUT CASINOS ARE OPEN? Arizona Gym Boss Faces Jail Time for Reopening

In this day and age, it is OK to run from police at violent protests, but not on a treadmill inside an Arizona gym.

Mario Arce, a manager at a Mountainside Fitness location in Scottsdale, was cited with a class 1 misdemeanor for keeping his gym open despite the state’s recent order to close gyms, bars and waterparks in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. These venues had until Monday night at 8 p.m. to close.

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The Washington Examiner reported that city police visited the gym on Tuesday morning to “provide education” and hope that the business decided to close on its own. But when officers returned later in the day, the place was allegedly still open.

Arce faces up to six months in jail and a fine up to $2,500. The Examiner reported that he was not taken into custody.

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Arizona, like other states, has seen an increase in coronavirus cases and decided to implement new guidelines in an effort to respond. Critics say these states seem to enjoy targeting small businesses while largely turning a blind eye to violent protesters who’ve taken to the streets in the name of social justice.

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ABC 15 reported that Mountainside Gym filed a complaint against the state’s governor over what it says is unfair treatment.

Tom Hatten, the owner of Mountainside Fitness, told Fox News in an interview Thursday that the gym followed orders from the government in March about shutting down for the first time due to the coronavirus outbreak. He said that his business was told it was too big to get PPP funding from the government.

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Hatten said that the new executive order from Gov. Doug Ducey “arbitrary” without any real clarity. He said that the governor’s office only asked a few kinds of businesses to close. Hatten said that his position has been that gyms should be considered an essential business in states because maintain physical fitness and mental health plays a major role in a person’s wellbeing.

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“Because we have members and not customers, we’re able to control social distancing,” he said. “We’re able to clean all products and work together with our members to keep it a safe, healthy environment and being part of the solution. Not being told arbitrarily that we’re part of the problem.”

John Kiesewetter, a member of the gym, told ABC15, “It seems to be unfair that things like casinos are still open but gyms, they are not.”

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