Fitness center opens outdoor gym

WWNY Fitness center opens outdoor gym

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s an innovative way to stay active during the pandemic. While gyms remain closed, a local fitness center has found a way to keep the Alexandria Bay community moving.

"Everybody knows me as the gym guy," said Gary Bass, co-owner, Thousand Island Fitness Center.

But Bass' family-owned gym closed its doors in March for the first time in its 21 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It was scary. I mean, we lost a big part of our income. It was hard for us to tell our members that we had to close," he said.

It was especially hard for member Parker Garlock. He's been going to gym for years.

"It kind of became a getaway for me," he said.

A getaway that was stripped from him until he got the call that Thousand Island Fitness would be opening an outdoor gym in its parking lot.

"It's kind of like working out on Route 12, but as you get out here, you don't think about that. You put your headphones in, just focus on the people you're working out with here. I think it's been really innovative," said Garlock.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, Jefferson County Legislature Chairman Scott Gray says the county received a complaint about this gym.

However, Bass says his business isn't open; his gym should be seen as an outdoor recreational activity like a playground or basketball court.

"We want as many people to come by and enjoy this and do some safe outdoor recreational activity as put out their by the governor. That we can do," he said.

Non-members who want to use the outdoor gym do have to sign up when they get there and then can join the gym when it reopens.

"If you look and you see, you know, people showing up and using the stuff and the toots, the horns, the waves, it's very rewarding," said Bass.

A business owner who is thinking ‘outside the gym’ to try keep his community active.

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