The owner of Omni Strength in Moline has opened back up his gym, and will keep it open despite receiving a cease and desist letter tonight from the Moline Police Department.
Chris Ninotta says he’s doing it because he “Has nothing to lose.”
“I’m at a point where right across the river in Iowa, other gyms are opening up and I’m expected to stay shut down throughout this,” Ninotta says. He says he’s lost half his gym’s clientele during the pandemic, and hopes the reopening may get them back.
Ninotta says that while he will be doing business, he’ll still be wiping down his equipment after use, and limiting fitness class sizes.
“Keep the class max at 6 right now,” Ninotta said. “Even if 10 is the recommended guideline, or I don’t even know I can’t keep up with what they are anymore.”
A fitness center that isn’t open right now is the Speed Attic in Rock Island. They’re holding out hope for a June 1st opening to resume their training courses for high school and youth athletes.
“Gyms are not just for people to work out to get their physical health,” Shannon Morse, owner of The Speed Attic said. “It’s always a workout for their mental health also.”
Morse says her and her husband usually keep The Speed Attic open for kids to train, many for little to no cost, which in part makes their business staying shut down such a difficult task.
“We don’t pay ourselves any salary,” Morse said. “So that people who come down here have the ability to come down here and work out. But any more time that we have to pay out of our account…This place will cease to exist.”