A chain of fitness clubs in the Lehigh Valley area shut all its doors Tuesday night with apparently no communication to employees and patrons, and now the Pa. Attorney General's Office is urging customers to file complaints.
Lehigh Valley Racquet and 24-7 Fitness Clubs in three locations in the area were quiet with no one answering the phones.
An employee at the West End location at 4636 Crackersport Road in South Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co., said the other two locations in Bethlehem and Trexlertown have also suddenly closed, and she, alongside other employees, were asked to gather their belongings and leave the premises.
"I'm surprised because I really enjoyed coming here, I liked the atmosphere. I'll have to find somewhere else for me and my son to work out," said Ruben Rodriguez, who found the doors closed when he came to the fitness club after work Wednesday.
"Disappointment, absolutely disappointment. Loyal member, we expected some kind of notice," said Ralph Diaz, another member. "This is not a cheap membership, so for what the members pay here I would expect some kind of heads-up."
"I got a call from our CEO telling me that he had been ordered to close the clubs immediately by the banks," said John Brinson, the former owner, adding that a bank in Tennessee most recently owned the clubs. "Here's what I think happened. The banks got a buyer for the clubs, but the buyer apparently is only interested in the real estate. There's nothing anybody could do about it, but apparently it's legal."
69 News reached out to the CEO and has not heard back. Attempts to reach officials for comment on the matter have not been successful.
Whitehall Township police were on the scene around 8:30 p.m Tuesday as a precautionary measure.
The club also has locations at 6900 Hamilton Blvd. in Lower Macungie Twp., Lehigh Co., and at 1441 Schoenersville Road in Bethlehem.
On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office released the following statement:
"The Office of Attorney General is looking into the status of the financial security and is in contact with the FDIC. In addition, we are gathering information about the universe of club members who have prepaid memberships. We encourage club members to file complaints with our Bureau of Consumer Protection either through our website or by calling 1-800-441-2555."
Meantime, some local clubs are offering deals to former 24/7 members.
Full Circle Training, at 3894 Courtney Street, Hanover Township, Northampton County, is offering 1 month free membership and and a free week of power house training to all 24/7 Fitness Club members. This would usually be a $75 deal.
OxyFitGym, at 6480 Alburtis Rd in Macungie, is offering 24/7 members $50 off processing fees. The gym will also waive first month dues.
St. Luke's is offering a one-week free pass to any of its fitness facilities to anyone with a 24/7 Fitness Club key tag/membership card.
St. Luke's operates the following facilities:
- Bethlehem: 77 S. Commerce Way (near St. Luke’s North)
- Allentown: West End Medical Center – 501 Cetronia Rd
- Bethlehem Twp/Easton: Anderson Campus Medical Office Building, 1700 Riverside Circle
Northwood Racquet and Fitness Club at 3738 Northwood Ave., Easton, says 24/7 Fitness Club members who join their club will receive the summer for free. They are also waiving tennis and racquetball guest fees through April 30th. It's $5 for a daily pass to try our Cybex Workout Room through April 30th.
LVHN Fitness is offering facility tours, blood pressure screens and a free one week member pass at its Allentown and Bethlehem locations:
- 1243 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Lower Level (Allentown)
- 1770 Bathgate Road, Third Floor (Bethlehem)
The JCC of Allentown is offering, free of charge through the end of the month, access to several types of fitness classes as well as use of their pool, gymnasium, racquetball courts, fitness center, yoga studio, fitness studio and cycling room. Those interested should stop by the welcome desk at the JCC, located at 702 N. 22ns Street, for a free pass.
The Allentown YMCA-YWCA is offering a $30 per month membership with no joining fee to former Fitness Club members. They ask that those interested come tour the facility located at 425 S. 15th Street in Allentown or call them at 610-351-9622 for more information.