Fort Lauderdale: Keep gyms closed after all

SFBW reported earlier on a confusing situation with Florida’s governor and the city of Fort Lauderdale announcing gyms would reopen, but Broward County opposing the move. Now, the city’s mayor, Dean Trantalis, has given in to the county.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis gives a state of the city address in February

Here’s the text of an email he sent out Wednesday:

When we launched the reopening of Fort Lauderdale this week, we wanted to allow residents to return to gyms as well as restaurants, retail stores and salons.

Gov. DeSantis had given the green light to communities across the state of Florida to follow this course of action. It was to be part of the first phase of relaunching our economy in light of the recent downturn in the COVID-19 infection rate.

But shortly after the city issued an executive order Saturday that included gyms in the reopening plan, Broward County government swooped in and undercut our efforts. The county administrator ordered gyms to remain closed despite the governor’s actions.

It marked the first time that the county directly contradicted an order of the governor during the COVID-19 response efforts. There were even threats to fine gym owners up to $15,000 and to make arrests.

Lawyers disagree whether the county or city order takes precedence. But given the standoff, Fort Lauderdale is advising gym owners to keep their establishments closed for the time being.

We don’t want anyone fined or arrested because of this intergovernmental quarrel. We continue to work hard to persuade the county to change its stance.

It makes no sense to keep gyms closed. Our efforts to fight COVID-19 have worked well. We met all public health measurements to move into Phase 1 of reopening.

The infection rates have steeply declined in our community. We went from a high of 13% of test results being positive during the week of April 11 to under 4% each of the past two weeks. Testing is now widely available, and our hospitals are again operating normally.

Gyms, in fact, can open safely and have done so in other large cities in Florida, including Tampa and Orlando, as well as in neighboring Palm Beach County.

Fort Lauderdale’s plans includes cautious and prudent safeguards to protect public health, similar to those instituted for other businesses. A blue-ribbon working group of business executives, neighborhood leaders and medical professionals developed the ideas.

Their recommendations are that gyms not exceed 50 percent of their capacity. We require employees to wear face masks and have health checks before they start work each day. Patrons are required to have their temperature checked upon entry and denied access if they have a fever. Machines and equipment stations are to be spaced six feet apart and sanitized after each use.

In addition, fitness classes are to maintain the six-foot distancing requirement between participants. Showers are to be closed. Hand sanitizer must be provided at all entrances, and all patrons and employees are to sanitize upon entrance.

Exercise and maintaining good health are important components in the fight against COVID-19. I continue to hope that we will be allowed to open our gyms – as well as our beaches – in the near future.

You May Also Like

Clamor Grows for More PPP

Anticipation is growing for Congress to free up another batch of PPP loans for small businesses as part of additional legislation to respond to the economic fallout from the COVID-19

Heroes of the Pandemic

By Clarissa Buch and Sally-Ann O’Dowd • photography (where indicated) by Eduardo Schneider “It’s so terrifying because as a pregnant female, I’m considered immuno-compromised. If I get infected, my immune

Business as usual

In the aftermath of our spring feature on how companies were dealing with the shutdown, businesses from all over South Florida continue to share their pandemic stories with SFBW. Here

Business as usual

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] By SFBW editorial staff Kevin Sheehan Jr. President, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Business backstory: The only two-night cruise sailing from the

Other Posts

“Workations”—i.e., Blended Travel—Is the Hot New Perk

With remote work seemingly here to stay, vacation days have entered a nebulous zone and become ever harder to track, while traveling has dropped into the most ambiguous space of

What Vitruvia Offers Is Medical Innovation: Personalized, Minimally Invasive Treatment

“Dr. Abhinav Gautam was one of the first people I met when I moved to Miami,” Christian Seale recalls. In 2015, the two were introduced by Dr. Narendra Kini, a

How the Pandemic Solidified Expectations of Work/Life Balance

“On or about December 1910 human character changed,” Virginia Woolf once wrote. The COVID-19 pandemic changed us as well. Behind the bold red cover of this issue lies a beating

Drew Limsky
LoKation Real Estate Offers Something Different, and Lucrative, for Agents

Jeremy Beard already had several successful careers under his belt when he joined LoKation Real Estate in 2015, and he draws wisdom from each of them now as the company’s

Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.