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Peak Fitness confirms it's closing more clubs

Posted June 18, 2009

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— A Charlotte-based health club confirmed Thursday that it is shutting some of its clubs in the Triangle area.

"Due to several financial factors, Peak Fitness will be closing some of our locations in the Raleigh market," Laura Haid, the company's vice president of operations, said in a statement.

According to its Web site, there are nine clubs in the Triangle area – a downtown and a north Raleigh location, two in Chapel Hill and one club each in Cary, Knightdale, Durham, Fuquay-Varina and Garner.

Haid said in her statement that one club in Chapel Hill, as well as the Durham and Fuquay-Varina clubs would remain open.

"Members of those facilities being closed will receive written notification providing information about their options moving forward," she said.

Attempts to reach Haid for further comment were unsuccessful.

The Knightdale and Garner clubs shut down earlier this year. The downtown Raleigh location abruptly closed earlier this week. A sign on its door directed members to another location.

Peak's Elliot Road location in Chapel Hill, as well as its North Raleigh and Cary clubs are slated to close by June 30, employees at those clubs said Thursday afternoon.

Lifestyle Family Fitness, out of St. Petersburg, Fla., announced Monday it would transfer memberships from the Raleigh and Cary locations to its area clubs.

It's unclear if members of the Elliot Road location would transfer to the Peak Fitness Club on Farrington Road or to the one in Durham.

Chris Zoubek, owner of the Farrington Road location, confirmed Thursday afternoon that his club will remain open and that he would like to try to honor any Peak memberships from the closing locations.

"We want to make sure that people know this is still a place they can work out," he said.

Zoubek said he recently took over ownership of his club and that he plans to change the club's name, although he did not say when that would happen.

The Peak Fitness brand has received negative publicity in recent months.

In January, a Superior Court judge ordered the chain to change its operating practices in response to hundreds of complaints over the past five years. The club also agreed to maintain appropriate bonds for each health club to be used to pay refunds to members if a club closes.

In April, Peak Holdings, a subsidiary of Peak Fitness, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

When the chain's bondholder canceled its bonds in May, Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a second lawsuit against the company. Peak Fitness then agreed to stop selling prepaid memberships and collecting other advance payments until it could secure replacement bonds.

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  • White Eagle Jun 19, 2009

    The only good thing about the Durham Peak is it's location. There are so many pieces of equipment that are broken and in need of repair that sometimes it makes working out difficult. If they plan on staying open, they need to keep things in working order.

  • ncarmody Jun 19, 2009

    "The fuquay location will stay open? I went there today to workout, and there is a notice on the door that says anyone who enters the building is trespassing, and is breaking the law. They haven't paid their rent, and the owner of the building has filed an intent to evict the gym. What in the world??"

    I went there later in the afternoon the same day you did. I too saw the sign about Peak not paying the rent the previous day. But yesterday afternoon, there was a new notice. The notice stated that Peak did have some difficulties with the owner of the building but everything has been worked and that the Fuquay location will not close.

    Hopefully this is true.

  • Lead by Example Jun 19, 2009

    It keeps getting better and better, I'm never joining another gym. Gonna buy my own weightset and just run outside from now on.

  • fireman3014 Jun 18, 2009

    All I can say is don't waste your money on any gym. For $150 you can buy the p90x program and get excellent results. I love p90x and so does everyone I know who uses it.

  • live_the_truth Jun 18, 2009

    The fuquay location will stay open? I went there today to workout, and there is a notice on the door that says anyone who enters the building is trespassing, and is breaking the law. They haven't paid their rent, and the owner of the building has filed an intent to evict the gym. What in the world??

  • raldude Jun 18, 2009

    I wonder why they will keep some clubs open? Gym rely on new memberships to stay open. Who in their right mind would even join Peak?

  • racherb Jun 18, 2009

    You know you don't have to stay to finish out your contract. You can cancel with 30 days notice. We just did that at Peak and went elsewhere. The managers were RUDE and wouldn't listen to me when I went in to talk to them calmly. Initially, I wanted to stay there just wanted to move to one club. They refused to move me to a single club membership and keep 2 members (because my location in Knightdale had closed) so I told them to cancel it altogether then, along with my fiances. Glad I did. Much happier somewhere else. It's a shady company getting away with closing and not notifying members even after the AG gave them those rules to follow.

  • somey Jun 18, 2009

    I was in the one at Waverly Place when about 8 cops came in and told everyone to leave. Lucky I only had a few months left, I had a buddy that just signed up for 5 years!