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Nevada Interrupted: Reno gym owner hopes to keep momentum amid closures

Tabitha Mueller

The Nevada Independent

Alejandra Salas, owner of Reno Aspire Fitness, is interviewed inside her gym on March 19, 2020.
Photo: Joey Lovato
EDITOR'S NOTE: "Nevada Interrupted" is an ongoing series of stories launched this week by The Nevada Independent that features interviews with businesses and workers about how they are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic’s realities. This story first published March 24 on The Nevada Independent website and is republished here with permission. Read more in the Nevada Interrupted series: At Reno’s Wild River Grille, survival could hinge on duration of shutdown

RENO, Nev. — Alejandra Salas, known as “Allie” to her friends and clients, started her gym a year and five months ago is worried about lack of income from people canceling the gym classes she teaches.

“I want to look out for the community. So that’s why I canceled my bootcamp classes. I want to stop the community spread. So I’m doing the best that I can, but of course I have to stay afloat,” the owner of Allie Salas Fitness (aka Reno Aspire Fitness) said. “I’m good for March for a month, but I don’t know how long this is going to last.”

Salas has had to get creative, livestreaming her bootcamp sessions at night and trying to remain optimistic.

“I’m super tech savvy, so I’m super thankful that I have that on my side,” she said. “I’m going to keep on trying and figuring out how to do an online base if I have to, because it’s important to stay healthy.

“I know we’re in quarantine, but we gotta keep the movement going.”

When she started hearing about the coronavirus, Salas said she established rigid cleaning policies in the gym located at 651 E. Moana Lane, and had people maintain CDC-recommended distances.

“I have Lysol, so I try to spray to disinfect the area after clients leave and before they use the equipment … we’re just being super cautious,” she said in an interview on March 19, the day before Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all “non-essential” businesses to shut down, including fitness studios. “Luckily, I don’t have to share space with anyone.”

Even though Salas has been following recommendations, she said she still feels lost.

“I want to set an example for the community, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling scared or confused,” she said. “I feel alone right now. I’m a little business owner, what’s gonna happen? I’m not a huge corporation.”

The Nevada Independent is a 501(c)3 nonprofit news organization. The following people or entities mentioned in this article are financial supporters: Steve Sisolak – $3,200