Defiant Valatie gym owner reopens against state orders

Dan Levy & WNYT Staff
Updated: May 23, 2020 06:17 PM
Created: May 22, 2020 05:47 PM

VALATIE - A defiant gym owner opened his doors for business Friday afternoon, despite town opposition. It's a move that will force him from the exercise room into a courtroom.


Soon after the doors were unlocked ClubLife gym at 1 p.m., people began showing up. Each and every one of them not just exercising their muscles, but exercising defiance at the same time.

The club owner, Alex Rosenstrach, declined an on camera interview, but told NewsChannel 13 reopening his business in the face of Governor Cuomo’s PAUSE order is a matter of protecting his civil rights.

It prompted Kinderhook's code enforcement officer to issue a cease and desist order.

Kinderhook Supervisor Patsy Leader says both she and the code enforcement officer took an oath to abide by the law, and that's what she has done.

Leader points out 127 Barnwell Nursing Home residents have tested positive for coronavirus, along with 40 staff members, and she wouldn't be surprised if some of the staff works out at Rosenstrach's gym.

Rosenstrach insists his equipment is cleaned regularly. There's a tag system in place to identify clean machines. In addition, social distancing is enforced and masks are handed out if needed.

Not only does Rosenstrach face a fine of up to $1,000 a day for each day he defies the shutdown order, but any individual inside who refuses to leave is subject to the same $1,000 fine.

Rosenstrach is due in court June 16.

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