SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — After being fined nearly $10,000 for reopening before they were allowed, Altitude Trampoline Park and Fitness Center in Spokane Valley is open again.
After receiving warnings, a visit from an inspector and then fined thousands of dollars, the family entertainment center continues to test the limits of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
"There's not really a good basis for not us not being considered an essential business and we are," Owner Brandon Gadish said. "We definitely feel like we're open legally."
Owners claim it isn't fair they are still forced to be closed because they maintain all distance regulations, hired a full time staff member to clean constantly, and have a full auditable safety program, Gadish added.
He is continuing to fight back against Governor Inslee's coronavirus reopening plans. He said the recreation center opened on January 6, despite being prohibited by the government.
The business got their fine in November for being open. At the time, they were classified as a family entertainment center. They argued that they are a fitness center, a business that was allowed to be open.
"No regrets, but there's probably things that we would do differently," he said, referring to his business decisions. "But we definitely would not have stayed closed."
Gadish shut down all entertainment parts of the business and only kept the trampoline activities. But still the business wasn't allowed to be open.
The business couldn't reopen legally without a license saying it was a fitness center, so owners got one.
"You can actually, with the state, you can have multiple classifications, believe it or not," he said. "We've added some classifications to our business license."
His legal documents show he was approved for three different classifications. The park now falls under health care, social assistance & service organization and indoor fitness center health and wellness center, in addition to their original recreation license.
However, regardless of that classification no matter all indoor activity was still prohibited by the state.
Starting January 11, indoor trampoline private rentals for individual households will be permitted. Gadish didn't want to wait until that date because he said he was following the guidelines already.
"I think a lot of that is really up to interpretation," he said. "If they would have said, 'it's going to be the 11th, and that's the day you can do this,' we would have waited for sure."
Gadish said business owners never know what the correct dates for reopening will be because it's a moving target all the time.
With little to no contact from the Governor's Office, Gadish said he made a decision and he stands by it, despite an underlying anxiety.
"We're worried about a lot of things," he said. "We're worried about never being able to reopen again."
They are risking a potential $35,000 fine, but say its worth it to be there for their community and their business.