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New Auburn gym owner excited to open Monday under strict new state guidelines

Brad Swartz, the founder of Fitness Quest and also the former owner of Vision Quest, said he knows people are itching to get back into the gym setting.

AUBURN, Wash. — A new gym is getting ready to open its doors in Auburn as the state enters its new "Healthy Washington" reopening plan Monday. 

The Department of Health released a report Friday showing no regions are ready to move to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee's "Healthy Washington" plan, but the new plan does allow for some fitness centers to open under Phase 1 guidelines. 

The Washington Fitness Alliance said Saturday, "It is accurate that none of the regions will move to Phase 2 on Monday. However, for the first time since shutdowns started, fitness is allowed to open at 1 person per 500 square feet. This will allow for minimal operations for bigger clubs but devastating to small studios as they will have no ability to operate under these guidelines."

Brad Swartz, the founder of Fitness Quest and also the former owner of Vision Quest, said he knows people are itching to get back into the gym setting.

He anticipates almost all of his clients will be returning to his new gym at the Outlet Collection Mall. He said he is ready to operate under the state's strict Phase 1 guidelines.

"It is essential to get rid of the stress and work out. I think it's secondary of 'here is my goal to lose weight' or 'hey I want to get ready for the sporting event.' It's number one; 'I want to get in there, I want to move, and I want to get rid of the stress of this COVID thing,'" said Swartz.

Swartz also owns a training studio in Puyallup. 

"It was heartbreaking to hear a bunch of our members calls and then say there's nothing we can do we have to close down," Swartz said.

He and his team decided to transition to virtual training and online nutrition when the shutdown happened.

"We've had contact with every single member that got involved in our pre-sales so we are very confident, very confident that we are going to have close to 100% that are coming back," said Swartz.

Swartz said his team is taking extreme lengths to make sure members are staying safe and healthy while they exercise.

Temperature checks will be done at the door, members will be working out 15 to 20 feet apart, and four people tasked with cleaning will be using medical grade supplies to keep the facility sanitized throughout the entire day.

Fitness Quest in Auburn is planning on opening its doors on Monday.