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Oxford Gym Stays Open, Owner To Fight Massachusetts Reopening Plan

OXFORD (CBS) – The owner of a gym in Oxford vows to stay open, even though it could be an expensive fight because it goes against Governor Charlie Baker's reopening plan for Massachusetts.

After receiving a written warning for opening on Tuesday, Prime Fitness owner David Blondin was hit with a $300 fine for opening on Wednesday.

Prime Fitness gym
Prime Fitness gym in Oxford. (WBZ-TV)

Gyms in Massachusetts aren't allowed to open until phase three of the governor's plan, which is at least six weeks away.

The state says after a verbal and written warning and three fines up to $300, the next step is a cease and desist letter.

Blondin plans to keep on fighting and says he will go to court if necessary. He's prepared to pay with help from his supporters.

david blondin
Prime Fitness owner David Blondin. (WBZ-TV)

"We've had over $5,000 donated so far," he told WBZ-TV Wednesday morning. "It's from people all over. People are donating from other states, other gyms."

In nearby Worcester, Frank Nash, the owner of Stronger, a personal training studio, said he's been surviving the shutdown by offering virtual training, but he wants to open his doors to clients soon.

"We are probably not going to wait if it is set in stone 'til late June, July. I'm going to go through the appropriate forms of communication first. I would love to speak with the governor himself, the lieutenant governor, I would love to plea our case," he told WBZ.

Nash said they have rearranged equipment to enable social distancing, and they wouldn't allow more than 10 people inside at a time. Staff are mandated to wear masks and gloves.

"We want to be smart, we want to be effective. But we want to get our community again, not just for physical health, but for mental health too," Nash said.

He hopes to have a phone call with the lieutenant governor this week and plans to make the case that personal training studios should be included in phase two and, therefore, be allowed to open sooner.

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