Syracuse-area gym sues state demanding right to reopen

Regional News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A Syracuse-area fitness club is suing Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State because it, and other gyms, have not been included in any of the state’s reopening phases.

Aspen Athletic Club, with four gyms in the Syracuse area, filed the lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Onondaga County on June 29.

Nikki Polos, owner of Aspen, had shut down her facilities, like most gyms, when the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to Central New York.

“Being unable to open our doors with COVID conscious guidelines in place is preventing us from servicing our members in a way that is meaningful and a way that is effective for them and a way to maintain their health,” explained Polos.

Over the course of the 117 days her doors have been closed, Polos hasn’t received much guidance from the state or county, sparking her to take legal action.

We had no choice. In order to salvage our business, in order to rehire our 160 employees and in order to continue providing affordable exercise health solutions to our members, we filed a lawsuit.

Nikki Polos, Owner, Aspen Athletic Club

Central New York is now in Phase Four of the state’s phased reopening plan. Indoor shopping malls, which had been excluded from Phase Four initially, are now permitted to re-open if their ventilation systems have the required air filters. Movie theaters and gyms remain closed.

In its lawsuit, Aspen says Governor Cuomo’s executive order that shut gyms down violates its constitutional rights and denied the business due process under the law.

The goal is to get a verdict and to get her doors back open safely and responsibly, all while hoping her business can land back on its feet.

I am doing what I can to get my business on the other side of this and to be excluded from every single phase, and now we’re a whole two weeks past Phase Four, malls have been able to reopen, and there’s still no talk of health and wellness. There’s still no date in site.

We need to be given a chance and we need our doors to be allowed to open.

Nikki Polos, Owner, Aspen Athletic Club

A separate class action lawsuit is also being filed from several different gym owners throughout the state.

At this point, New York State has not yet responded to Aspen Athletic Club’s attorney.

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