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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Owners of small, boutique gyms are asking Gov. Tim Walz to let them open on June 1.

Julie Gronquist owns Balance for Life Fitness Center in Arden Hills. She started a petition on behalf of boutique fitness studio owners in Minnesota, asking Walz and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to categorize them differently than big box gyms.

The petition has over 1,600 signatures. Gronquist says not all gyms should be put under the same umbrella.

READ MORE: Fitness Centers Prepare For Reopening In Post-COVID-19 Landscape

“There is a big variance in our industry. For example, one of the women that I spoke to the other day owns a Pilates studio, and it’s just her and one other person that work the,” Gronquist said. “But they’re being clumped in the same category as a very large, 200,000-square-foot health club.”

A group of Minnesota CrossFit affiliate owners gym owners are on a similar mission. They also don’t think they fall in the same category as big box gyms, and want to open June 1. Matthew Meyer, owner of CrossFit Sabertooth in northeast Minneapolis,says he’s also ready to go. Tape marks on the floor section off areas where each person will stay while they work out. He says CrossFit gyms are a 100%-controlled environment.

“When an athlete walks in, they have a spot to go to. They’ve got all their equipment they need there. They have their sanitation equipment there,” Meyer said. “They are going to pre-sanitize their gear before they work out. They are going to post-sanitize it afterwards. And a coach is going to be there to guide them through the class. So we’ve got control over the flow of things.”

Owners can also limit how many people come and go with class registration.

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