Local News

Cary Athletic Club Closes Without Warning

Posted July 27, 1999

— When you sign up for a service, you expect to get what you pay for -- especially if you are making monthly payments. Some Cary residents are demanding some answers after the Cary Athletic Club shut down with no prior notice this week.

When the Cary Athletic Club first opened in the early 80s, it was the only full-service health club in Cary. But several new facilities have opened in recent years.

Club owner John Adams says increased competition forced him to declare bankruptcy, saying "we fought the battle as long as we could."

But that was news to both employees and members who showed up as usual only to find the doors locked and a sign on the door saying the club is no longer open.

"There were rumors, there were rumors. That's about all. There were all various rumors," says employee Amy Cowell.

"It was something you could see coming, but I sure didn't think it was going to happen like this," says employee Kevin Kotek.

Kotek says he and other employees did not find out that the club was closing until it did Monday night. Now he would like to get back inside to get his things.

"He has not only locked the place, but he's totally changed the locks," says Kotek. "I have no way to get in touch with this man to see if I'm going to get paid, I have no idea. I feel bad [because] last week I was selling memberships to people."

In a telephone interview, Adams said he has not sold memberships since the first of the year. Club member Joan Hooks would disagree. She says she just renewed her yearly membership on June 15.

"Well I'm upset that he probably knew he was in trouble in June and he was still taking yearly memberships and that bothers me," says Hooks.

It also bothers the landlord of the property who says Adams owes him rent. Tom Dickson says he is already looking for a new tenant.

"We would hope that it would work out to have a group of investors come in and reopen it as a health club and a racquetball club," says Dickson.

TheAttorney General's Officesays the Cary Athletic Club was registered as a month-to-month facility, so it was not bonded. That means people who pre-paid their yearly memberships could be out of luck.

Anyone who paid for a membership can make a claim in writing to: Cary Athletic Club ClaimsJeb Jeutter4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 400Raleigh, N.C. 27607

Attorney Jeb Jeutter says under the bankruptcy law, either a new owner must be found or the assets of the business have to be sold.

"So at this point, I'm pursuing both options," says Jeutter. "We're presently in the process of scheduling an auction toward the end of August and in the event we don't find a buyer by th end of August, then all of the assets will be auctioned off."

Club members would likely get only ten or 20 cents on the dollar -- after secured creditors are paid.


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