Local gym and distillery company prepare to re-open

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Businesses are eager to start getting back to a sense of normalcy. Restrictions are gradually beginning to ease across Alabama allowing them to reopen or expand their services.

Many believe it’s too early for these changes, but local owners say business must go on.

The owner of 24 E Health Club, Wayne Alford said, “Personally, I don’t think  we should have ever closed anyway, I think health clubs are a part of the answer.”

Founder of Dread River Distilling Co., John Cubelic said, “As far as whether we should or should not be open that’s a decision we get to make as a business.”

Cubelic also says he is excited to re-shift his business.

“We’ve been focused completely on making hand sanitizer that’s sort of how are business has made do in the last couple of weeks,” said Cubelic.

He adds that due to Covid-19, he and his staff will work even harder to keep their space clean.

“Fortunately for us we have a pretty large space, so social distancing even inside the space shouldn’t be too difficult, so we are going to go maybe more towards a reservation based,” said Cubelic.

Although, the Dread River Distilling Co. was able to find an alternative to keep business going, some facilities were not as fortunate.

Despite receiving PPE loans, things haven’t been the same at 24 E Health Club.

Wayne Alford, owner of the 24 E Health Club says they have had no revenue over the past 7 weeks.

Staff say they have been hard at work cleaning and disinfecting the facilities they have throughout the area. The gym is following health guidelines set forth by the Alabama Small Business Commission Emergency Task Force.  

“We are just going to have to ask people to maintain a 6ft distance. I know for our group fitness classes we have placed marks on the floor to maintain a 6ft distance between each participant. Everyone’s excited and we are ready to open the doors,” said Alford.

Both facilities will only be letting in about 50 percent occupancy.

The Dread River Distilling Company plans to start letting people in next Friday and Saturday.

The 24 E Health Club will open its doors again on Monday.


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