Mercedes gym owner says gyms should re-open like other businesses

Local News

MERCEDES, Texas — As more businesses get ready to open up this Friday, gyms will remain closed.

One Mercedes gym owner says the decision is unfair as larger establishments get to open while gyms have always been practicing hygiene and sanitary guidelines.

“It’s tough it really is and for us small business gym owners, not corporate gyms, those of us that just have one owner, two owners, we don’t have a that major help we can use, so we rely on our monthly income for our expenses,” said Jason Martinez, an IFBB Pro who owns The Grind Gym in Mercedes.

The Grind has been shut down for six weeks now and after Gov. Abbott’s announcement did not include gyms to reopen, Martinez says he’s frustrated.

“I’m passionate about this, I’ve been in the industry almost 20 years,” said Martinez.

The 5,000 square foot gym had to let go of their employees since the shutdown.

“I made sure they all filed for u employment, they are all receiving unemployment,” said Martinez.

The gym had to reimburse members for all of April and they haven’t charged anyone for the month of May.

For Martinez, the frustration remains on how larger establishments like movie theaters where people exchange tickets and food daily, can open back up this week, but his gym remains closed.


“It’s not fair places like in larger crowds, movie theaters are allowed to open how are they gonna manage that,” said Martinez.

Even before COVID-19, The Grind Gym already had protocols in place to make sure every member wiped down their equipment before and after every use.


“We have hand sanitizer throughout the gym we can use also. we’ve always had a protocol,” said Martinez.

He applied for the PPP loan through the Small Business Association, but they ran out of funds for the first time.

He’s since applied again is awaiting a response.

We reached out to Gold’s Gym and Tru Fit gyms as well.

“Gold’s Gym has been the world’s trusted fitness authority for more than 50 years, and we’re absolutely not going anywhere. While the COVID-19-related closures have caused us to reassess the viability of some company-owned locations and make the difficult decision to permanently close about 30 gyms, we know that we will emerge from this stronger and ready to grow. This decision affects only company-owned gyms, mainly in our St. Louis, Alabama and Colorado Springs markets, and does not have an impact on any of our franchise-owned gyms. Our focus is and always will be on our members in nearly 700 gyms in 29 countries around the world, and we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as it is safe for our members, team members and communities.”

In a statement TruFit said:

“In follow up to our letter yesterday, we wanted to address you ASAP as Governor Abbott announced the businesses approved to re-open in phase one of his plan to lift the COVID-19 restrictions placed in our great state.  We regret to inform you that Health Clubs, like your neighborhood Tru Fit, are not on that list. Our hope, as we continue to offer our support and thoughts to all the people and businesses struggling in our communities, is that we have the opportunity to re-open our doors in the next phase of the Governor’s plan. 

As many of you have pointed out in your outpours of support for our place in the community, Tru Fit is a business founded upon the Health and Wellbeing of that very community. In the spirit of maintaining that priority, we stand ready to do our part when our name is called. We’ll be busy cleaning, disinfecting and rearranging our facilities so that when the time comes, we are ready for YOU.”


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