Atilis Gym co-owners Frank Trumbetti and Ian Smith told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto that even though this is a win, there’s still a long way to go.
“We still have a long battle ahead of us but it’s a step in the right direction,” Smith said. “We have a lot of legal issues to resolve and some legal issues of our own with Gov. Murphy. But it’s certainly a step in the right direction.”
The owners previously reopened their gym without consent from the governor who revoked their business license after months of pushback. Atilis Gym countered Murphy’s response by teaming up with U.S. Senate Candidate Rik Mehta and deeming the gym an official campaign location.
A police officer issues Atilis Gym co-owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti summons outside their gym in Bellmawr, N.J., Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
“Since they took our business license away from us, everybody comes in and signs up to be a volunteer for the campaign and we do different things throughout the day,” Trumbetti said. “And we allow everyone to exercise their rights while they are here.”
Trumbetti said the fine to operate without a license is approximately $15,497.76 per day which has come to nearly $300,000 in total.
Technically, since Atilis no longer has a license to operate, the gym is not included in the Sep. 1 reopening. But Smith said they will be open anyway.
“We’re going to stay open,” he said. “We’ve suspended all commerce. We haven’t charged any members since April anyway. This wasn’t about just reopening the gym and making money. From the beginning, this is about taking a stand for what we believe are gross violations of due process and our constitutional rights… Gov. Murphy got his way and got us, quote, ‘out of business’ but we’re still open.”
Atilis Gym co-owners Frank Trumbetti and Ian Smith react after meeting with a police officer outside their gym in Bellmawr, N.J., Monday, May 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Gov. Murphy argued the reason why gyms have been extensively left closed is due to the high risk for coronavirus spread. Trumbetti commented that there’s no data to back up his reasoning.
“I think from the beginning it was just a joke,” he said. “They had… statements with no signs of data… Since June 16th, we’ve had over 28,464 visitors come to our site and we don’t have a single case of COVID and we have not required them to wear masks.”
“I just hope that all the gym owners out there that have been closed… take the precautions that we’ve taken and they take it very seriously… and follow the guidelines or else they’re going to find themselves being made an example of,” Smith said.