Bally Among Several Club Closings in the Industry

A Bally Total Fitness club in Pleasant Hill, CA, closed without notice on Monday night, one of several club closings in the industry this month.

Bally said it tried to negotiate lease terms with the Bay Area club’s landlord, but the landlord chose to terminate the lease.

“We are extremely disappointed by this outcome and apologize for any inconvenience to our members,” Bally said in a statement. “We will continue to pursue new Bally locations in northern California. Stay tuned for exciting news regarding new Bally locations.”

Bally Regional Director Don Cardona is expected to send a personal letter to the Bally Pleasant Hill members today. In the letter, Cardona says Bally had also discussed with the landlord the idea of building a new Bally Sport Club at that location.

“We were surprised by this action as we have never missed a lease payment, and in fact, we have been paying 150 percent of our monthly lease rate while we attempted to resolve our disagreements,” Cardona said in the letter to members. “I’m personally saddened to close this club, and I want to extend my personal apology for the inconvenience this causes you.”

Cardona added that the Bally members now have access to any of the company’s clubs nationwide, including the nearest club in Danville, CA, and that efforts are being made to find employment opportunities for the more than 40 Bally Pleasant Hill employees.

“We’re proud of our team and we will do our best to find them suitable alternatives at other Bally clubs,” Cardona said.

At least four other fitness facilities around the country have closed, according to various media reports:

  • The Club Marco Fitness and Tanning Center, Marco Island, FL, closed last Friday. The club had been open since 1991, according to the Marco Island Sun Times.
  • Plaza Fitness, St. Joseph, MO, closed last Friday. The club had been in business under various owners for 30 years, according to The St. Joe Channel. The current owners said membership had declined, and they could no longer keep the club in operation.
  • Larry North Fitness, Southlake, TX, closed on Aug. 5. Its namesake co-owner cited rent, the economy and competition with neighboring clubs—including Life Time Fitness, LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness—as reasons for the closing, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • The UPMC Hamot Wellness Center, Erie, PA, will remain open through Aug. 31 after a local club’s owners decided not to take it over. UPMC Hamot had announced it was closing the wellness center in June because of economic reasons, according to the Erie Times-News. The owners of iRock Fitness had planned to open the center as the Erie Health and Fitness Club, but they said they did not have the time to devote their attention to operating two clubs, the newspaper reported.
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