Tampa Bay area fitness club owners protest, want to know when they can reopen

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Travis Labazzo took to the streets of Clearwater on Monday in protest.

Labazzo owns Amped Fitness and said it’s time for his business and others like it to reopen in Florida.


WHAT TO KNOW:

  • Florida is reporting 85,926 cases and 3,061 deaths
  • Florida in Phase Two of reopening
  • Cases have spiked in past week, Gov. DeSantis says due to increased testing

“There’s about 6,500 fitness businesses within the state of Florida. Out of those 6,000 locations, there are about 100,000 employees. We do about $1.5 billion in revenue per year, which is about 65 million in payroll taxes as well,” said Labazzo.

He’s had to lay off all of his employees. His fitness center has been closed since March 20 and Labazzo said he can’t understand why the governor is allowing some businesses to reopen and not others.

“For DeSantis to say he makes his decisions based on facts and figures, it sure feels like he’s up there throwing darts,” said Labazzo.

He’s not alone. Jason Bergstrom owns the Jungle Gym and said his customers want them to reopen now.

“Definitely most of our customers are ready for that, ready to get back at it, ready to see each other again,” said Bergstrom.

Craig Long owns Nine Rounds Fitness and says he’s not sure how much longer his business can survive.

“Is this going to go on for three more months? If so, I don’t have a landlord that’s willing to work with me. I have rent that’s due. I have other bills that are piling up. We need answers,” said Long.

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