EoS, Life Time indicate they may reopen in Arizona before July 27

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A rack of weights at the EOS Fitness Phoenix location at Cactus Road and Tatum Boulevard. (Photo: EōS Fitness)

Two gym chains, Life Time and EoS, have told thousands of members in Arizona that they may reopen before the governor’s shutdown order expires July 27, though they don’t explain how.

Both chains have closed their Arizona gyms after initially balking at the governor’s June 29 order to close gyms, bars, theaters and water parks to slow the spread of COVID-19, which is on the rise in Arizona and shrinking hospital capacity.

EoS told members after the order came out it only would close for a day, although the chain has kept all 22 Phoenix area gyms closed in compliance with the order.

But in a Tuesday email to members, EoS CEO Rich Drengberg said the gyms may open before July 27.

“We will continue to abide by the Governor’s Order, and work with their office and ADHS to develop a plan that will allow us to reopen prior to the scheduled July 27th reopening date,” the member email said.

EoS memberships have been “paused” during the shutdown.

A public relations firm representing EoS declined to offer any assurances the company has gotten from the governor’s office or the Department of Health Services that its gyms will be allowed to reopen before the 27th.

Life Time, with five gyms in the Phoenix area, stayed open until the state suspended liquor licenses at two locations and it agreed to close its fitness areas, studios and gymnasiums while keeping open its salons, spas, food services and pools.

On Wednesday, some Life Time members got a similar note about possibly reopening before July 27.

“We continue to be hopeful that our rigorous protocols will prompt these officials to allow the re-opening of the temporarily closed fitness areas of our clubs sooner than the current order, which expires July 27,” Life Time Gilbert General Manager Kari Neubauer said in the email.

The message included an option for members to “opt in” to paying prorated dues to access the open areas of the clubs, otherwise they won’t be charged until the fitness areas reopen.

The governor’s office said Wednesday it has not indicated to the gyms there will be a reopening before July 27.

“No, we have not indicated that,” Ducey spokesman Patrick Ptak said. “We are working with gyms to ensure the proper public health guidance is in place for when the order is lifted.”

Other chains, such as LA Fitness and Planet Fitness, obeyed the order and closed June 29.

Mountainside Fitness remained a holdout until a judge decided Tuesday that it had to close its 18 gyms while its legal challenge to the governor’s order is pending.

EoS also sued, and its case was consolidated with Mountainside.

Yet another suit from comes from Xponential, a California-based company that runs 50 exercise studios in Arizona, including brands such as Pure Barre, CycleBar, Stretch Lab, Club Pilates and Row House.

A lawyer for those gyms said last week they all remain closed during that litigation, but The Arizona Republic found at least six of the franchises remained open this week.

Reach reporter Ryan Randazzo at ryan.randazzo@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-4331. Follow him on Twitter @UtilityReporter.

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