Council Bluffs gym prepares to re-open

Posted at 10:16 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 00:27:29-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) - — In just a few days, local restaurants, retail stores and fitness centers will be allowed to re-open for business.

Mollee Heath-Preston owns Crossfit Vise. The gym has a location in Council Bluffs and Downtown Omaha.

The stillness of an empty gym is an eerie feeling for her.

Heath-Preston hasn't been able to work out with her fellow coaches and clients (people she calls extended family), so the gym just doesn't feel the same.

"On St. Patrick's Day we got told we had to shut down, fully by our noon class," Heath-Preston said. "So we had our 5 and 6 a.m. [class] that morning and then we got told we had to be totally done and out of here by noon."

Heath-Preston tells us classes moved online and they allowed members to check out equipment in order to continue workouts from the safety of their home.

"We put all of our memberships on hold so during this time we did not any of our members to worry about paying for a gym membership," she said.

Now, the gym is preparing to see its members again, following Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' announcement that certain businesses can reopen in 77 counties across the state, starting Friday.

"I am very careful about opening," Heath-Preston said. "We were already doing precautions before we were told to do them, our community is our number one priority so we're making sure we feel 100 percent confident that things aren't going to get worse in the community first."

Heath-Preston says she's ready to get back to work, but her main concern is safety, so, both locations will reopen on Monday rather than this Friday.

"Yes we want to get back in the gym as soon as possible but once again, we're not driven by just getting people's money and getting them in here," Heath-Preston said. "We want to make sure they're actually going to be safe and we're actually going to be able to handle all the situations."

She says they've taken several steps to ensure a clean and safe environment inside the gym.

"We're going to have equipment already set up for them in their area so they're not having to go mingle or go where ever with other members," Heath-Preston said. "We're going to have tons of hand sanitizer available, [and] we're trying to locate some sanitizing wipes right now, and some masks just in case someone chose to use those."

She tells 3 News Now the gym will stagger its classes. For now, they'll only allow 3 classes a day with no more than 10 people at a time.

Heath-Preston says they expect to be operating at full capacity by the end of the month.