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New Jersey gym's license pulled after violating COVID-19 closure order repeatedly

Atilis Gym kept reopening despite an order from Gov. Phil Murphy on non-essential businesses. The owners were even arrested once.

BELLMAWR, N.J. — A New Jersey gym that repeatedly defied a state order to close its doors during the coronavirus pandemic had its business license revoked by city leaders Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The Bellmawr borough council near Philadelphia voted 5-1 to pull the license of Atilis Gym.

Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order in March ordering the closure of non-essential businesses. His order included a list of exempt businesses of which gyms were not included.

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The owners reopened the doors in May, starting a legal battle over whether Murphy’s order was constitutional. The owners have said they have taken steps to ensure social distancing, including taping off workout stations and operating at 20% of capacity and were also taking patrons' temperatures and requiring them to wear masks unless they were in the middle of lifting weights.

Owners Ian Smith, 33, of Delanco Township, and Frank Trumbetti, 51, of Williamstown were arrested on July 27 and charged with contempt, obstruction and violating the Disaster Control Act.

Five days later, they reopened the facility -- breaking down plywood surrounding the gym and allowing 40 to 50 customers in for workouts.

Smith was in the hearing room Tuesday when the council voted to rescind the license. The hearing included attorneys for the gym and the borough, a few police officers and 10 members of the public.

“Anybody who didn’t already have their minds made up would have made the right choice,” Smith said outside of the hearing, according to NJ.com.