Gyms latest group of businesses to go outdoors

Posted at 4:23 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 19:23:37-04

SAN DIEGO — Governor's Gavin Newsom's order on Monday shutting down indoor operations at San Diego County gyms, hair salons, and malls set off a mad scramble. Businesses able to move outside had to figure out how to make it work - in order to make it through.

North Park's Last Real Gym on University Avenue is one of them.

On Wednesday, owner Frank Koll and a few of his staffers moved equipment out onto Iowa Street. It was the only way to survive - because Koll exhausted all of his Paycheck Protection Program funds that got him through the first shutdown.

"Closed again is something physically, financially and mentally something I can't do, and I won't do, so I will be like a chameleon and adapt to anything that this governor throws my way," Koll said.

The gym moved the equipment on the sidewalk and also has an interior outdoor space to utilize. By Wednesday just after 12 p.m., a half-dozen people were working out on the sidewalk, including Felicia Brown, a regular who drives all the way from Spring Valley.

"I think it's just businesses being creative and saying - 'You know what? We can't afford another shutdown for two, three, four months,'" she said.

The county says impacted businesses are able to operate outside or under well-ventilated tents. That rule, however, doesn't apply to salons due to state regulation, which says they can only cut hair inside.

The city of San Diego has acted to give restaurants and retailers more leeway to expand into the street.

The governor has not given a date for when his latest restrictions will lift.