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The Woodlands gym owner to defy Gov. Abbott’s order, reopen this week

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – The owner of a local gym plans to reopen later this week, despite Gov. Greg Abbott saying Monday that it is not yet safe to do so.

Henry Walker said members can return to Legacy Barbell gym near The Woodlands on Thursday, April 30. The gym has been closed for weeks. Abbott’s statewide “stay home” order is set to expire on Thursday and Phase 1 of his reopening plan is set to begin Friday.

“I’m sorry. I support our leaders, but not if (it) comes to me losing everything I’ve worked for,” Walker said.

It doesn’t sound like he will face much pushback from Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough who said Tuesday that Abbott’s order was too vague to enforce and so all businesses may reopen in the county.

“The governor needs to say these businesses are closed until further notice. The order does not say that. It says the people shall avoid these businesses,” Keough said.

With the gym empty, Walker said people don’t want to pay for memberships they can’t use. He said it’s time to get moving again.

“If we sit there and wait for permission for every single person to tell us what we can and can't do, we're not going to make it,” Walker said.

The owner will make safety changes. Hours of operation will be limited, as well as capacity. Members will have to socially distance themselves and clean equipment thoroughly after each use. He also will not sign up new members for now.

Even if the governor clarifies his order, Walker said he still plans to reopen on Thursday morning.