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Unpredictable power outages routinely force Baton Rouge gym to close

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BATON ROUGE - With bench presses, stair climbers and pull-ups, folks are supposed to feel the burn. Working out with no AC during power outages is causing customers of at ABA Personal Training Studio to break more than a sweat. 

Owner Harley Wiltz says this summer, the warehouse-style gym has been plagued with power outages. 

"Our electricity has gone out 15 times in the past two and a half weeks," Wiltz said.

Equipment is squeezed tightly in the warehouse space, a large garage door stays open during hours of operation and fans are scattered throughout the gym. Those fans are the only things keeping the place cool on a day with power. When those turn off, clients aren't pumped. 

"If the power goes out, we have absolutely no airflow at all, whatsoever," Wiltz said.

The unpredictable outages combined with excessive heat are prompting some customers to throw in the towel. Trainer Patrick Mims says people don't always stick around. 

"I've had several clients actually cancel or change their time," Mims said.

Witz says he's reached out to Entergy about the outages, but wasn't happy with the response. 

"When Entergy does respond, they just tell me that it's 120 of us that are affected, but they never give a solution," he said. "They just let me know that I'm not the only one."

At Wednesday's Public Service Commission meeting, the board focused on getting Entergy to more openly communicate with customers during outagesaside from routine text messages. One Entergy executive insisted the company could certainly do more to reassure customers that they are paying attention.

"We see everything that occurs and happens. Often time we don't say 'Hey your neighbor did this. A drunken driver did this.' We say 'Hey we damage. This is what we did. It's more generic.' We can do a better job, making sure we communicate with you all," the executive said.

For Wiltz, it isn't just communication with the company. He wants to know he will have power.

"Whenever we do have to close down, we're losing hundreds of dollars," he said. "It does affect us because we're a small business, and every dollar counts."

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