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Decision to Keep Fitness Facilities Open Varies in Rain-Soaked Houston

The owner of West U Fitness in Houston, Texas, decided to close his studio Tuesday in the interest of safety, but other Houston gyms remained open with business as usual.

West U Fitness Owner Brent Gallagher woke up Tuesday to standing water around his studio after nearly 11 inches of rain fell overnight in Houston, Texas.

"We had to shut the gym down," he said. "It is too dangerous for our community and employees. It was an easy call to make."

Gallagher, a Club Industry IdeaXChange columnist, told Club Industry on Tuesday that the standing water is receding in the streets around the club, and he plans to reopen for normal business hours on Wednesday.

Floodwaters closed some interstates in the area, and his club is about four miles from the intersection of I-69 and I-610 on the western side of Houston.

Officials at the University of Houston initially planned to open the campus late at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday before making a decision to close the campus for the day. Closure includes the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center. Like the University of Houston, West U Fitness planned a delayed open at 10:30 a.m. before deciding to close for the day.

"We reached out to our team and clients with phone calls, e-mails and text messages," Gallagher said. "I don't think anyone woke up with the idea of 'I'm going to the gym.'"

At other facilities, some did.

Located near a saturated bayou, The Houstonian, a resort-style club, was open. Business was much slower Tuesday morning due to the weather, but it picked up in the afternoon as floodwaters receded and local roadways became more passable, according to Houstonian Club Assistant General Manager Cher Harris.

At Life Fit Personal Fitness Studio in southeast Houston, the club posted a photo on its Facebook page of members posing during a workout Tuesday morning.


Everybody but these individuals received advisory messages of extreme flooding on their cell phones.

Posted by Life Fit Personal Fitness Studio on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Studio Fitness in North Houston let its members know it was still open with a posting on Twitter.

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