SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash — Altitude Trampoline Park and Fitness Center Spokane reopened in September, despite Governor Jay Inslee's orders to remain closed. Two months later, the business was given a $10,000 fine.
Park owners said they knew exactly what they were doing and said they understood the risk of getting fined. They did not care, Altitude General Manager Kenadee Gadish said.
"Because for us, It doesn't make sense to stay closed - we've already been closed for six months," Gadish said. "And at that point, we just decided that it was time for us to be open."
After losing six months of income, she said the owners reopened the indoor park on September 10. Less than a month later, an inspector showed up with a warning.
"They told us that we needed to shut down, just because of our business classification," Gadish added. "We were in their system as a family entertainment center instead of a fitness center."
To meet the classification for a fitness center which was allowed to be open, the team shut down all family entertainment parts of the business. They only kept the trampoline activities.
But Gadish did not realize the classification change would require a new business license, which is a lengthy process she was not prepared for.
"It was a lot harder than originally we thought," Gadish said. "We also knew that we were going to follow all the guidelines, all the restrictions and everything like that in order to be open."
The Washington Labor and Industries did not agree with their method. Their fine showed up.
They owe $9,639 for operating against the state reopening guidelines, according to their invoice.
"It's devastating getting a fine like that, especially knowing that we're doing everything we can," Gadish said. "We're in compliance for keeping our employees safe and our customers safe."
And although they knew the potential consequences, Gadish is bothered that no other business in Spokane came close to their fine amount, especially because the park was fined for operating their business, but the other three were fined for not wearing masks and other safety violations.
"So to see [our fine], at close to $10,000 and other businesses around $2,000, It was definitely a shock to me," Gadish added. "We're requiring masks, all of our employees wear masks and everything like that."
The owners hired a lawyer and plan to fight the fine, according to Gadish. For now, the business is closed.
They say they have been continuously reaching out to the Governor's Office, but have "barely" heard back.
During a phone call they received in mid-November, they were told if they do not comply with the state, their next fine will be around $35,000.
"It's definitely a setback," Gadish concluded. "It does suck, but we were expecting it."