Businesses owners have had enough of the government playing God with their companies. Making up new rules, protocols, fines to pay, enough is enough. One man is fighting back in his own way.
Prime Fitness and Nutrition owner Dave Blondin has responded to authorities shutting off his utilities by ordering generators and Porta Potties so that he could keep his Minneapolis gym open. He said he’s already been hit with over $6,000 in fines over his defiance to the lockdown, though a GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $10,000 for his legal fees. WCVB reported he had racked up 18 citations, some fines as much as $1,000 daily.
“I’m extremely frustrated by it all. I’m extremely frustrated by the governor. I’m honestly embarrassed for the state of Massachusetts. We have a water tank and porta potties and generators on the way,” Blondin said.
He originally agreed with the order to lockdown but has since re-opened, in which his gym members have responded positively. The gym got its water and power shut off by authorities to which he responded with even more resistance. The gym was staying open.
Blondin put up signs at the gym calling the command a “bogus court order” but authorities would not stand down. They responded by changing the locks and posting the court order on the front of the gym. Members have recorded videos of the locks being changed at Prime Fitness in Oxford, which was with the cooperation of the building owner, who is not the gym owner. Talk about a power struggle.
Everyone overcrowds every place that’s open…so open everything back up so that the crowds balance out. If they are going to that extent, then shut down Walmart, Lowe’s, or Home Depot too. Those places are complete zoos and the social distancing guidelines have been kicked out the door.
A local reporter said that the members have continued working out despite the order. Can’t miss leg day! “This is people’s choice to come here. I’m not forcing anybody to walk through these doors. They are making their own choice to walk through these doors and as an American, it’s a free country. All small businesses need to take a stand and open their doors. This is impacting our businesses and our families,” Blondin said.
Gyms have currently been allowed to re-open under phase 3 of the coronavirus lockdown plan. Massachusetts, however, is still currently in phase 2. The gym had been operating at 50% capacity since mid-May.
Town officials said they intended to enforce the judge’s order to serve and protect the overall “interests of public health and safety.” Blondin was surprised to see a town such as Oxford rip down local businesses like that in an economy that is already crumbling.
Other gym owners have also expressed frustration over the extended reopening dates arguing issues such as mental health. They deemed gyms to be essential because they help keep individuals both physically and mentally healthy. How can a marijuana dispensary be deemed essential but not a gym? Especially if the facilities are all taking the same social distancing guidelines and following all sanitary procedures?
Blondin should just keep his gym open and call it a “protest.” He can give a short speech and bring some homemade signs…because if we’ve learned anything over the last few weeks, protests and rallies are 100% exempt from all restrictions.