Layoffs Force Hospital to Close Gym

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PORT ST. LUCIE, FL -- Layoffs at St. Lucie Medical Center have forced the closure of the fitness center at the Port St. Lucie (FL) Community Center.

The gym, which is scheduled to close Dec. 4, has 430 registered members, according to media outlet TCPalm.com.

Of the nine people who were laid off at the hospital, three ran the fitness center. The hospital is expected to save about $500,000 from the layoffs, TCPalm.com reports.

St. Lucie Medical Center has rented the 2,000-square-foot space since the community center opened in 1998, reports TCPalm.com, which added that the contract that ends next January requires the hospital to pay more than $70,000 a year in rent.

A spokesperson told the Web site that St. Lucie Medical Center was losing thousands of dollars a month on the fitness center and could not continue to operate it. She added that the gym at one time had more than 500 members, but that number decreased to 376 prepaid memberships this year in part because of other fitness centers opening in the area. Prepaid members will receive a refund, she said.

Port St. Lucie officials say they are considering offering members temporary use of the city-run gym.

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