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Gym goers continue supporting Salem gym that defied Gov. Brown's freeze order

A Salem gym chain remains open, despite orders to close from the state and a $90,000 fine.

Posted: Dec 1, 2020 1:28 PM

SALEM, OR (KPTV) -- A Salem gym chain remains open, despite orders to close from the state and a $90,000 fine.

Monday, the gym appeared to be staying busy, with a stream of people going in and out of the Courthouse Club Fitness West location. The gym’s parking lot also remained full through the day.

People who were coming and going didn’t appear to be fazed by the governor’s orders for gyms to remain closed and for people to stay home.

Many people spoke to FOX 12, saying they were happy that Courthouse Club Fitness was not following the governor’s orders and they were staying open to the public.

Kandi Quackenbush told us she comes to the gym to exercise in the pool and has been a member for years. She said when she first heard the gym was going to defy the governor, she was actually against the idea.

“I was opposed to it, but I’ve seen how much they work on the place. Constantly, they’re constantly cleaning. So, I don’t feel bad about it at all,” said Quackenbush.

According to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Courthouse Club Fitness has been fined $90,000 by the state. OSHA inspected the business after a post on the gym’s Facebook page, saying it would defy the order. OSHA found Courthouse Club Fitness in violated of Governor Kate Brown’s two week freeze executive order.

The inspection resulted in $17,500 fines at each of the gym’s four locations for violating the executive order, then an additional $5,000 at each location for ignoring “Red Warning Notices” that were posted at each location.

The fines have sparked outrage in the community. Someone even created a GoFundMe to help cover the gym’s legal costs and penalties.

People at the gym Monday said they do not agree with the gym owner being financially punished.

“That was unfortunate, it really was. But I’m going to support them now,” said Quackenbush.

The state said daily fines could be possible for the gym owner if he does not come into compliance with the executive order.

FOX 12 tried to reach out to the owner for comment, but did not hear back.

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