CHATTANOOGA, TN — Manny Butera, who owns Fuel Fitness, closed one of his Chattanooga locations last week. Fuel Fitness filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December, but Butera had kept open all of his Tennessee clubs until last week. He had already closed his Alabama, Colorado and Atlanta clubs.
On Feb. 28, Butera told Club Industry’s Fitness Business Pro, “We are looking to keep the facilities that we currently own, which will allow us to continue to grow into end of 2007.”
He continued by saying, “I’m not a high net worth individual. I had investors who had very good net worth and when they couldn’t personally and professionally [continue to finance me], I had one of two options—shut down facilities, which I’d never do, or two, to look at the options—one of which was Chapter 11.”
The company notified members by mail a week prior to the closing that the facility would no longer be in business but that they could continue their memberships at a second location in Chattanooga. That location will not be closing, a manager for the closed facility told News Channel 9, a Chattanooga TV station.
In the past two years, Fuel Fitness has had six complaints filed against it with the Better Business Bureau, according to the news report. The club was given an “unsatisfactory” rating by the Better Business Bureau after management failed to respond to the complaints, most of which related to contract issues, the report stated.