Followup: West Seattle’s Allstar Fitness put up for bankruptcy-prompted sale

February 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, WS Health Club/ex-Athletic Club/ex-Allstar Fitness | 30 Comments

Three weeks ago, we reported on the court-appointed Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee for West Seattle Fitness, the official name of the company operating West Seattle’s popular Allstar Fitness, and the likelihood he would be preparing the club for a potential sale. This week, trustee Richard A. Hooper is telling members that the club is indeed up for sale; he announced it via a letter available at the club’s counter. A member scanned the letter and sent it to us. At the heart of the letter (here’s the full scan):

… West Seattle Fitness has only one mission and that is to providea safe, clean, and enjoyable facility for use by its members and guests. Since the club opened, the staff has worked hard to make sure that this standard was met.

I have met with the management team of the club and we have discussed the mission as stated above and they have all assured me that they will continue to work to this end.

The facility is suffering from economic stress due to a number of factors that are complicated and will be difficult to sort out in the short term. As a result of this economic stress the only solution is to place the club for sale to another operator at the earliest possible date.

I am currently meeting with prospective buyers who would operate the club and who would bring funds necessary to repair and upgrade as needed for equipment and facilities. I think the process of locating a buyer, obtaining the necessary court approvals, and closing will take 60 days or perhaps slightly more, depending on hearings and legal issues. …

The letter says future updates will be available as “handouts” at the front counter. After we received the scanned copy of this one, WSB’s Katie Meyer spoke again with club manager Ramon Velasquez, who confirmed the letter’s distribution and the sale plans, saying there are at least three “very interested parties.” We first reported about Allstar’s bankruptcy filing back in October.

30 Comments

  1. The Y should buy it.

    Comment by Wet — 3:35 pm February 5, 2013 #

  2. Hard to imagine how this turns out well for all the members. Not much choice in West Seattle.

    Comment by JWT — 3:43 pm February 5, 2013 #

  3. I hope the prospective owners have a clear understanding of the issues — things have been rough lately. Most notably, the pool just reopened after being shut down by the health dept for more than a week. I’m sticking with Allstar in hopes that a new owner can refurbish this facility. It’s large, with great group exercise classes and a 25m pool. It just needs some love!

    Comment by NeighborMom — 3:48 pm February 5, 2013 #

  4. I hope it turns out well as my wife loves the place.

    Comment by Stud Muffin — 4:03 pm February 5, 2013 #

  5. There goes my New Year resolution! :)

    Comment by onceachef — 4:03 pm February 5, 2013 #

  6. Sounds like it’s time to put a hold on membership until this gets sorted out, or, more likely, the club is sold without regard for members. When we joined, there were at least 3 clubs from which to choose. Now just the one, and its facilities are a health risk. Really sad.

    Comment by Carraig na Splinkeen — 4:10 pm February 5, 2013 #

  7. Wondering why people say only 1 club….isn’t there one in Westwood Village? Also, it seems like every few weeks there is another small gym opening in West Seattle. Plus LA Fitness coming to the “hole”. Too bad they didn’t buy this location and fix it up and let something more interesting come to the hole.

    Comment by coffee — 4:42 pm February 5, 2013 #

  8. The pool is yards not meters…I doubt the new owners will extend the length to conform with the metric system.

    I wonder what will happen to those that pre-paid a full year if no owner is found?

    Comment by Dizzle — 5:40 pm February 5, 2013 #

  9. I don’t go there anymore, but man I hope they can rebuild. I feel bad for all the people who currently work out there – it is a great space and there aren’t many options to get fit in West Seattle.

    Just curious: if someone pre-paid for a year membership and the club closed, would they get a refund for the unused months?
    When I moved down to Tacoma for a year they wouldn’t do me that courtesy although I was a member there for 4 years (always prepaid).

    Comment by Sara — 6:47 pm February 5, 2013 #

  10. Not surprised the pool was shut down by the health department. The current conditions of the club are discusting and I have not been in a few months after getting sick. I have a pre-paid membership and I would rather go run outside in the rain than go use my membership at the gym. I have been a member since 2006 and wont re-new my membership.

    Comment by Mr.Face — 7:30 pm February 5, 2013 #

  11. I just re-joined about 2 weeks ago. No mention was made of the pending sale. I noticed, however, that the repairs that were “in process” about 18 months ago…are still in process. I’m hoping the gym can turn things around. Great space, convenient, and a commitment to fitness.

    Comment by CEA — 8:08 pm February 5, 2013 #

  12. We were members for a year. I joined because of the pool hours. Every time I went there the pool was murky and cloudy, band aids floating around, hair balls on the bottom, eww! I always asked about it, one person even told me it was the lighting that was causing the pool to look cloudy…ummmm, no, I don’t think that is the case. I’m glad we got out when we did I was highly disappointed .

    Comment by Pool — 8:20 pm February 5, 2013 #

  13. My prepaid membership is up in March. They called me in January with a 6 month free deal. I didn’t call them back and they never called again. I think I will go month to month until they sort this out :-(. The club has definitely fallen on hard times. I don’t think they have done any maintenance in 3 or 4 months. I am hoping they get a strong owner.

    Comment by Stu — 9:11 pm February 5, 2013 #

  14. I’ve been a member at Allstar since pre-ground breaking…. They have incredible potential, and I hope a new owner sees this… However, they suffer from the same things that really give the entire industry a bad reputation…. They focus solely on selling more and more memberships….. Seriously, they have over 7000 members at this gym?!….. and they are in the finacial peril we are reading about?!….They also need to focus more on the general membership than the high cost personal training. Every year since they opened, they continue to take space from the general membership, and claim it as “personal training only” space….. So full paying members get less and less….. Less space, less maintainence of equipment, less customer service….. The staff is friendly, and trying to put on a stable, professional face….. But they are in a difficult position… They can’t do what the membership deserves without support from above, and all they have been told to do the last couple of years is sell, sell, sell…. I hope this turns into an opportunity for for a re-commitment to providing a healthy, positive place to workout.

    Comment by Struggling — 9:35 pm February 5, 2013 #

  15. I really hope the club turns around with new owners and I hope the lower level employees can keep their jobs. As for the management and the owners, good riddance. They know nothing about keeping a customer, they only try to get new customers, which is WAY more expensive than keeping the ones you already have! They didnt realize there is only a finite number of people who would consider going to the gym based on proximity and once you piss all them off, you don’t have a business. Not to mention the owner’s “investment” opportunity that ripped off Seattlittes, what a scam!

    Comment by avrian — 10:40 pm February 5, 2013 #

  16. Twice I have been a member of a gym (two different ones) that went bankrupt, never was able to get reimbursed, seems to be SOP.
    I bought a barbell, medicine balls, balance board and keep them in front of the TV. I use them more than the ones at the gym, and feel better because of less rancor towards the gym owners’ shoddy business practices.

    Comment by bolo — 11:53 pm February 5, 2013 #

  17. I’m there 6 days a week and still think it’s a fine place to workout. Yes, it’s got some major repairs it needs to address immediately, but you’re not going to find better fitness instructors or class selection anywhere else around town and I’ve tried them all. The parking lot is always full during peak hours and the classes are well attended so I just can’t imagine them not being able to find a buyer. From what I’ve heard, the owner took money from the gym and put it into his new mega house and that’s where all the money has gone. If the gym closes the quality of my life, and many others, will go down.

    Comment by kate — 7:23 am February 6, 2013 #

  18. The major problem I saw with AllStar Fitness was that they had money for bling but not for the basics that would make the place sanitary. ALL of their gyms had problems with air and plumbing. Mold is a problem in the northwest and showers need air pumping through or the wet air encourages growth. They put particle board benches in the showers that were never thoroughly cleaned, the amount of slime under the benches was alarming.

    Comment by dhg — 10:45 am February 6, 2013 #

  19. I guess I will be learning my prepaid lesson the hard way. My membership expires this fall, and my husbands in spring of 2014 :( I really enjoyed going to several of the classes, and I always enjoyed the womens only area. I hope a new gym and get up & running quickly!

    Comment by EN — 12:48 pm February 6, 2013 #

  20. Hi, does anyone have proof about the pool being closed by the health department? Not meaning to be contrary just can not find any other citing on line.

    I have been an All Star member for five or more years. It has been dismal lately but I hope it finds a great buyer! The rest of the members make it a club worth keeping.

    Comment by JXD — 5:21 pm February 6, 2013 #

  21. I WANT OUT!!

    Comment by KCWELLS — 6:23 pm February 6, 2013 #

  22. I go to Anytime Fitness on California. No pool, no locker rooms, but it is open 24/7 and I love it.

    Comment by Ruth — 8:40 pm February 6, 2013 #

  23. I have only heard rumor the health dept. shut the pool down for 1 day and this was about 2 weeks ago. I don’t know who has proof. I asked the front desk when it would be reopened and they said they were doing maintenance and it would be opened soon and it was. I have been regularly swimming in the pool for 6 months (off and on before that) and it has been murky with bandaids and lots of hair floating around in it and after that closure (health dept. and/or maintenance) it was cleaner. I too have a pre-paid membership and hope for the best for all of us. There are only 2 gyms with pools in WS and I don’t want to join the Y again as I prefer to work out with adults and All-Star caters more towards adults and is super convenient for me. I too have been to Anytime Fitness and it’s small but good equipment and nice people. I hope for the best for us members and the trainers as we make All-Star.

    Comment by Anna Eileen — 9:42 pm February 6, 2013 #

  24. It has been clear that they are short on cash – the number of broken machines is on the rise, the showers are in need of re-grouting, they have not been able to replace Dom’s personal training equipment (which was a big selling point to new members) and they are now only offering month-to-month memberships.

    It’s not a bad place to work out – I still go 3x a week and have few real complaints. And our pre-paid membership was cheap. The lack of grout in the showers is a bit concerning – don’t want to know what’s growing between the tiles.

    Comment by Colin — 8:42 am February 7, 2013 #

  25. The main issue with the pool last week was the peeling paint from the ceiling. A few months ago the ventilation system for the pool room broke. The steam from the pool and the hot tub did not have a place to go so the whole swim area was thick with steam; you could barely see from one end of the pool to the other end. The theory is that the paint from the metal ceiling began to loosen, bubble, and eventually peel because of the heavy condensation that was created from the lack of ventilation. Sheets of paint were falling into the hot tub and the pool. The ceiling has been scrapped, but it has not been repainted. That part of the gym is where the lack of maintenance really shows.

    Comment by kate — 11:22 am February 7, 2013 #

  26. JXD – the staff informed me that the pool was shut down by the health department. My kiddo attends lessons, and a few weeks ago, they were canceled. The staff person said it had been shut down (no mention of the health department at that time) because the ventilation system wasn’t working and the air quality was unsafe. This happened a few months ago, too, I think. Then last week, lessons were canceled again, and I was told clearly that the Health Department had come and shut down the pool after a member had complained. They said the paint chips were falling from the ceiling, like another person mentioned. I called back repeatedly, because three different lessons were canceled during that stretch, and was told they were just waiting for the Health Department’s approval to reopen. They’re back up and running now.

    Comment by NeighborMom — 3:50 pm February 7, 2013 #

  27. Arena Sports just bought the Sammamish Club in Issaquah and they plan to invest in bringing the club back up to shape… maybe there is similar hope for All-Star.(?) Such a great club, with GREAT classes, childcare (HUGE perk), and active, regular members. Would be such a shame to see it go.

    Comment by dsc — 4:46 pm February 8, 2013 #

  28. I was a member long ago but left for reasons both mine and theirs. The club had good and bad points.

    Pro-Superb location, could hardly be better

    Con-All access cardio area had only the balcony door to admit fresh air, important when AC can seem insufficient in summer-

    Con-Entry desk supplement sales a poor indicator of club’s fitness beliefs. Fitness nutrition for nearly everybody doesn’t require this stuff. They may have changed it since.

    Pro- I was grateful to have decent coffee drinks available. I’m a hypocrite, no? As long as its not supplements ; )

    Pro/Con-Never used pool/can’t comment on it

    Pro-Never saw anyone shaving and bleeding in men’s showers, unlike other clubs I’ve tried. Who wants to shower standing in bloody drain water which may be infectious? Never saw that here.

    Con- Women-only workout area meant I was excluded from
    portion of club equipment/workout space

    Con-Climbing wall use cost extra

    Biggest reasons I left: -parking availability
    -at low personal energy level
    after grueling work shifts

    Comment by clwhmr — 11:51 am February 9, 2013 #

  29. I like going to allstar – previous commenter is right – other members make it a fun place to work out. Wkend spinning classes are motivating and fun. Front desk staff freindly. Lots of equipment, lots of choices. Unfortunately swimming pools & the showers are costly to maintain. I hope they keep it running, I signed for a 2 year term last summer! Joiners beware: don’t fall for “buy one year and get one free” because gyms don’t always last that long!

    Comment by anne — 2:40 pm February 10, 2013 #

  30. They are struggling.

    Gym has lots of issues.

    They already had to fire some staff, don’t believe them if they say of they moved; no they cant afford to pay them.

    If doors close and your pre-paid then your SOL on getting money back.

    If your m2m when new people come in, they do not have to honor your dues.

    And damn parking sucks, but only during busy times.

    Comment by john — 12:11 am February 11, 2013 #

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