NIPOMO, Calif. -- A Nipomo gym has moved its operations outside to comply with the recent state order that restricts indoor business for fitness centers.
The order went into effect on Thursday and includes several other business sectors, such as hair and nail salons, barbershops, massage and tattoo parlors, places of worship, and non-essential offices.
"We're doing what we can," said Anytime Fitness owner Chalyse Behm. "We decided it's time to overcome. We couldn't go through another shutdown again. Our members couldn't go through another shutdown again, so we just did whatever we could. Brought everything that we could possibly outside."
The gym wasted little time adapting to the order, moving equipment outside to the parking lot yesterday.
"It's been so well received," said Behm. "People have just been thrilled. Being able to work outdoors, it's actually kind of fun. We were worried about people feeling sad and the loss of the inside of our business, and moving outside has just been an outstanding opportunity to keep making healthy happen and make it work."
She added the opportunity isn't just allowing people to remain active, it's a lifeline for the business.
"If we weren't able to do this. If we weren't able to operate outdoors, we don't know what would happen," said Behm. "At this point, we've received as much relief as we can possibly receive, and at this point, we need to make it work, or we don't know what the future would hold."
After just two days, members are giving the new set up a big thumbs up.
"It's really nice to have this outdoor environment," said member Felix Hernandez. "It reminds me a lot of Muscle Beach down in Venice. We get the outdoor air. Fresh air. It feels really good."
To make it possible, Behm and her husband Tommy, have to pull out all equipment early in the morning before the gym opens at 6 a.m.
Later, at the end of the day, they have to move the equipment back inside.
It's a routine they will repeat daily, Monday through Friday.
"It's going to be a lot of work and we're already tired, but it's so worth it, just to see our members come in and responding so well," said Behm.
The gym is also strictly following all health guidelines that have been established for fitness centers.
"First and foremost, masks on all the time," said Behm "Everyone hand sanitizes the minute they come in. We have hand sanitizer throughout the facility, and we ask that everyone carries a bottle of anti-bacterial spray and a towel with them, and then they return on their way out, so we ask that all equipment is wiped down both before and after use, and beyond that, our staff is going through on an hourly basis and sanitizing absolutely everything from head to toe."
Behm pointed out health protocols were significant at the gym even before the pandemic started, and they have now been "amped" up even more.
"I feel comfortable," said member Alejandra Marquez. "Everything you use, you clean. They say you need to clean before, so it's double clean, so I feel safe using all the equipment."
Since it's unknown just how long the indoor restrictions will last, the new outdoor operations could be around for while.
"We'll keep adapting and growing if we have to. If we have to keep expanding out here. We'll do whatever it takes."