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Plainview gym owner responds to state lawsuit seeking shutdown

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Plainview Wellness Center

PLAINVIEW, Minn. (FOX 47) -- A Plainview gym that refused to close, has the state on its back.

On Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a lawsuit seeking a restraining order against the Planview Wellness Center.

The gym has stayed open since Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order that instructed fitness centers to close on Nov. 18.

Brandon Reiters

"I'm just kind of sad that we're going through this in this state, with this tyranny. And to me, it's an abuse of power," said gym owner Brandon Reiter.

He said the government shouldn't have the power to decide which businesses are more essential than others.

"I think it's very unfair and unjust that a governor can choose which businesses that he feels fit to stay open. I mean, a prime example is that we're coming into Black Friday here, with holiday shopping on Friday. And I can guarantee you, there's going to be more people going into those big box stores than, probably the population of the town that I live in," Reiter said.

On Wednesday night, there were at least five people working out in the gym.

Liam Olive

"The RAC's closed, all the other gyms are closed. Once I heard this place was open, [I figured I] might as well hop on," said gym member Liam Olive.
"I like working out. I'll do what I want to do. I'm American."

Olive said gym members do their best to stay away from each other.

"We're all trying to be safe in here but also doing what we want," he said.

The gym also reopened in May, despite an earlier executive order instructing fitness centers to stay closed.

The Attorney General's lawsuit mentioned the previous violation of the order. It also states conversations between the office and Reiters:

The Assistant Attorney General explained that the Executive Order applied statewide regardless of whether a gym had experience with a COVID-19 positive case. He said “I’ll violate whatever I want. This is America."

Plainview Mayor, Roger Ziebell said the owner should comply with the rules. "If the other businesses can't stay open then I see no reason why the wellness center can't stay open either. He has to follow the regulations like the other businesses do."

Reiters said he is consulting with his lawyers on what to do next. However, a Facebook post on the gym's page Wednesday night doesn't mention anything about a possible closure.

"You can have every fast food open, every single big box store, a candy store. But yet, people can't go off and blow off steam and improve their well being by being in a health club? It makes no sense to me. I'm not forcing anyone to come into my gym at all. They come at their own free will because they want to better themselves," Reiters said.

RELATED STORY: Plainview gym sued for violating Walz’s “dial back” order

KaMaria Braye

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