Local News

Peak Fitness confirms it's closing more clubs

Posted June 18, 2009 5:29 p.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2009 5:46 p.m. EDT

— 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.