Allstar Fitness bankruptcy: What’s posted at the club

March 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm | In West Seattle news, WS Health Club/ex-Athletic Club/ex-Allstar Fitness | 37 Comments

(Click image for larger view)
As noted in our Friday coverage of the hearing in which U.S. District Court Judge Karen Overstreet approved the sale of West Seattle’s Allstar Fitness, the court-appointed trustee promised a notice would go up at the club ASAP with an update for members. Above is a photo of the resulting notice signed by trustee Richard Hooper, taken by a member and shared with us via e-mail. If for some reason you can’t read even the larger size of the photo, here is a key passage regarding the status of memberships:

If you are a member who signed and paid for a long-term, prepaid membership contract or prepaid personal training contract dated on or after August 27, 2012, that contract will be honored under its terms by the Buyer.

If you are a member who signed and paid for a long-term, prepaid membership contract or prepaid personal training contract dated before August 27, 2012, your contract will be rejected and terminated as of today. However, the Buyer is in the process of reviewing these contracts and is willing to discuss your continued membership with you. Please bring copies of your signed contract to the club for these discussions. You may have a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding and will receive notice of any deadlines related to the filing of claims.

If you are a member who signed and prepaid for a long-term, prepaid c membership contract dated before August 27, 2012, but the contract renewal date was not until after August 27, 2012, your contract will be rejected and terminated as of today. However, the Buyer is in the process of reviewing these contracts and is willing to discuss your continued membership with you. Please bring copies of your signed contract to the club for these discussions. You may have a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding and will receive notice of any deadlines related to the filing of same.

… West Seattle Athletic Club LLC has asked me to inform you that you are welcome to use the club, regardless of your status above until all of the contracts have been reviewed and it has had an opportunity to meet with you and discuss your individual situations.

West Seattle Athletic Club is what new owner Sam Adams told us, in a March 10th telephone interview, he would rename the club. He also spoke with WSB this past Thursday, and our report on that conversation is toward the end of this story. All of our coverage, dating back to our first report on the bankruptcy last fall, is archived here, in reverse chronological order.

SUNDAY MORNING NOTE: We received multiple messages this morning from people who said the club did not open at its usual 8 am Sunday time and that they waited for quite a while and finally left. We were about to start investigating this when commenter Kate posted just after 9 am that she called and the club IS open now. (Please let us know if at any point later in the day you find otherwise – we always welcome news tips by text or voice, regarding any West Seattle/White Center/South Park news, at 206-293-6302, 24/7, the fastest way to reach us.)

37 Comments

  1. what happened to all the equipment in the personal training area that was owned by one of the trainers? I thought it was odd a trainer was putting in likely 6 figures easily of his own money to provide equipment to the club.

    Comment by joel — 10:28 pm March 23, 2013 #

  2. @ Joel: that personal trainer recently retired and took his equipment with him.

    Comment by m — 10:47 pm March 23, 2013 #

  3. Need to visit tomorrow. Will they turn me away?

    Comment by onion — 11:52 pm March 23, 2013 #

  4. If you read the transcription and documents above, they say they are not turning anyone away till they have had time to get into the club’s records.

    Comment by WSB — 12:01 am March 24, 2013 #

  5. Joel, he don’t retire, he opened another studio. He specialized In goLf training exercises and was certified by the Titelist Performance Instite (TPI).

    Comment by mikepiz — 3:07 am March 24, 2013 #

  6. So if my membership was rejected back in August why has my credit card continued to be charged? I’ll be sending a copy of this letter to my cc company on Monday.

    This has been handled so poorly if not criminally.

    Comment by Neighbor — 9:49 am March 24, 2013 #

  7. The gym was closed without a sign or anything this Sunday morning. People were standing outside at 8:20; the gym was supposed to open at 8:00.

    Comment by JvA — 9:58 am March 24, 2013 #

  8. They’re open. I called to confirm. Sometimes on Sunday the opening person is late. Hopefully, the new owner will address this.

    Comment by kate — 10:04 am March 24, 2013 #

  9. According to a couple subsequent e-mail exchanges, others who called were told the Kids’ Club is closed today, though.

    Comment by WSB — 10:18 am March 24, 2013 #

  10. Thanks for following up. I know from experience that the weekend morning employees aren’t always punctual, but I’d never seen them more than 20 minutes late.

    Comment by JvA — 10:43 am March 24, 2013 #

  11. I called at 9am to talk to someone about my membership, so asked to call back after 10am, or maybe someone else would be there by 9:30am, she was the only one there at the moment. I called back again at 9:40am. Same person answered, was told she did not think anyone I would need to talk to would be in today. She said the owner would be in on Monday and I could come talk to him.

    I told her the noticed posted at the gym said to call this number and then to bring in our contracts. Her reply was, “Really?” she mentioned many calls had been coming in.

    We talked a little more, she was very nice, appoligized and we left the conversation with the understanding that I would call again Monday for some direction.

    And I know I’m welcome to still use the gym, even if my per paid contract has been “terminated” so, I WILL be in class!! :)

    Comment by S M — 11:28 am March 24, 2013 #

  12. SM – Thanks for the update. With the caveat that I have **no** official affiliation with this situation – just a journalist covering it – I would note that when we talked with Sam Adams two weeks ago, he said that if the sale was approved Friday 3/22 (which, as we reported from the courthouse, it was) he expected to take over Monday 3/25, and then start going through the records, so things might not be settled for a bit.

    Comment by WSB — 11:37 am March 24, 2013 #

  13. Yes, WSB I’ve been following along via your updates :). Thank you very much.

    I’m just going to keep using the gym and set up a time to meet with Management.

    Comment by S M — 11:44 am March 24, 2013 #

  14. All that great exercise equipment upstairs isn’t “missing”. It’s the property of former Allstar trainer Dom Viscardi, who has joined another former Allstar trainer, Thomas Alexander, at their own new gym: Equilibrium Fitness. No Web site yet but they can be reached at 206. 940-0451. The gym is a block away from the Alaska Junction.

    Comment by MJaros — 12:05 pm March 24, 2013 #

  15. Please give the new owners the same courtesy you would give any new business; a moment to work out the kinks. The current employees were originally given a clear direction that they could not work today, since the trustees employment ended yesterday and Sam Adams takes over tomorrow, the 25th. Since Friday, that changed but perhaps employees were unsure or not notified.

    The passion for this gym to survive is awesome and overwhelming all at the same time. Please try not to take your frustrations out on the staff who chose to stick around and make it work. Please know that it has been an incredibly stressful time to work at All Star, and we were all in the same position looking at the decline of the gym, potential loss of jobs and income, and the end of amazing customer/client/community relationships.

    Only time will tell what will become of this situation, but kindness, understanding and patience will go a long way in the journey for all of us involved. Remember that Sam Adams did not take your money, did not let this gym go, and can try his best to make it happen where another man could not. It is never easy to lose money or feel violated or “ripped off”. No one blames you for feeling duped and angry. Take a lesson from this wherever you can find one and move through as calmly as possible. Thank you for your continued support.

    Comment by All for Peace — 1:10 pm March 24, 2013 #

  16. I was there yesterday and was told copies of the notice aren’t available because they’re running low on copy paper! Also found a broken toilet upstairs, missing weights from the women’s area and no towels for wiping down equipment. I’m afraid it’ll get worse before it gets better, although I’ve been reassured that the pool testing and chemical application continues. (Fingers crossed that it’s true!)

    Comment by NeighborMom — 1:27 pm March 24, 2013 #

  17. To “All for Peace”
    Thanks for composing such a kind comment. It is good to hear from the employees, they have done a fine job under all the pressure.
    If we can all be clam and patient with one another,
    our experiences will improve. Kindness is contagious!
    Like smiling. I like the British adage” be calm and carry on”
    It sounds silly but true. I’m sure Mr. Adams will do his best.
    Think positive thoughts, this gym can use them right now.
    And so maybe can we.

    Comment by Floraista — 2:22 pm March 24, 2013 #

  18. Any note on kids club and the employees there? I do hope they can keep their jobs. The kids club is one of the best parts of ASF.

    Comment by Ashley — 9:17 pm March 24, 2013 #

  19. Joel: that trainer (Dominick) didn’t retire, he went to another studio in W Seattle. His focus was as As golf trainer, he was Titelist Performance Institute (TPI) certified.his yequipment
    was a good for a lot of training the equipment in the personal training are was his and it’s pretty empty without it.

    Comment by mikepiz — 9:41 pm March 24, 2013 #

  20. Everyone just needs to relax and give Sam a chance. He is not the bad guy here and you all are bashing him. He saved this club, without him the doors would be closed today. He has a strong community ethic and is committed to keeping members…members. The way people are hiding behind this blog and making comments about staff, the new owner is sickening. 99% of the staff was left completely in the dark right up to the end of this bankruptcy. Question asked were not ignored, they just didn’t have answers for you. So get your panties out of bunch, I truly believe Sam will prove all your negative attitudes wrong.

    Comment by alkigirl — 10:36 am March 25, 2013 #

  21. Any word on how things are going today?

    Comment by Hoxley — 10:39 am March 25, 2013 #

  22. Any idea when Sam Adams can/will start updating the club? I quit a few months back because I got tired of the place being so run down, now I am anxious to rejoin… after he starts the improvements.

    Comment by PigeonPoint — 10:47 am March 25, 2013 #

  23. Just called again, was greeted by a very friendly voice. She said today they are just taking names & numbers which is what I expected, but wanted to get on a list for call backs. :) She also confirmed I’m welcome to take classes as usual.

    Comment by S M — 11:35 am March 25, 2013 #

  24. alkigirl is 100% correct. stop hating on the new owner. wife and i are current members and glad that Adams is taking over. otherwise the club would just be closed and dead. if you are angry, hate on Bob Padgett the previous owner. Adams will have lots to clean up and fix there. we welcome the new ownership.

    Comment by pat carr — 12:33 pm March 25, 2013 #

  25. I just returned from the club. I had my contract in hand because it was my understanding that the club would be ready today to talk to the members that were in question. I was told that they were not ready to have discussions since today was their first day. I was asked to put my name on a “list” for follow up with someone from member services. I was told that they would call me. Of course I was reassured that the club was open for my use. My advice to the rest of the people in my situation is to get your name on that list. Don’t waste your time as I did to go down there & expect to take care of business. It isn’t going to happen. At least today it isn’t going to happen.

    I don’t think that everyone is bashing Mr. Adams. It is a frustrating situation for everyone. I don’t think that the line of communication has been the best. Once again I am hoping for a great outcome for all involved.

    I was told that people would be contacted in the order their names fell on the list. I am not sure; but I assume I will be contacted to come in for some kind of meeting with a representative. It would be nice if this could be taken care of over the phone since I have already made an appearance at the club to take care of business. I will be happy to comply with however the new owners would like to take care of business.

    Comment by Irish — 12:39 pm March 25, 2013 #

  26. Just spoke to the front desk. Month to month memberships, theoretically, will be unaffected by the changeover. Also, I’m voicing my support for both the staff and new ownership. The whole process has been rough, but there’s great opportunity here. Here’s to the future.

    Comment by revg — 1:11 pm March 25, 2013 #

  27. Although meeting and talking personally with each of 2100 members seems like a great idea, I think this opens the door for further issues. We each have a personal story and opinion about why our contract shouldn’t be terminated. But the common factor remains. All contracts should be honored. This is simple: post a sign on the front door or front desk saying all contracts will be honored and let’s move on. No one should have to fight for their membership. Not the senior who is on a fixed income, the federal or contract employees about to be furloughed or anyone else. Just do the right thing.

    Comment by Wendi — 2:11 pm March 25, 2013 #

  28. @WSB. Wow! Thanks much for your efforts in following this story. I was there this morning and check-in seemed fine. I signed up for 15 months in SEP, 2012, so I do not expect a problem
    It would seem to me that Mr. Adam is creating more of a problem with the August 2012 cut-off date than he can possibly gain. If he truely expects to actually disallow “only a handful” (10 Mar WSB Interview) of the long term contracts, then he is generating a lot of ill-will which will probably not be worth the cost of serving the handful of users that he eventually disallows, not to mention the cost of spending the time dealing with 2100 members “on the list”.

    Comment by Marth — 7:18 pm March 25, 2013 #

  29. Wendi,

    If you bought an existing business of any kind and found that around 30% of your customers had given the previous owner money for services that you would continue to provide, and expected free services for say, a whole year; would you blindly say yes to that and move on? Or would you want the opportunity to look at each situation and do what was best for the business in the long run?

    People seem to have a hard time understanding that Sam Adams has no obligation to honor the contracts that were basically a scam to get cash up front! The gym needs monthly revenue! This is why we all have to pay!! We can be angry about our decision to pre-pay and that the gym to which we joined at that time no longer exists, but should it really fall upon the new owners??

    Comment by SPS Parent Also — 7:48 pm March 25, 2013 #

  30. I really am not all that worried about the contract issue, even though technically mine is going to be canceled. If they have 2,000+ people to talk with then it’s going to be many weeks before it gets sorted. I will just keep going as normal until I hear otherwise.

    My main concern is the kids club. I really hope they keep the wonderful staff presently there. My son has been taken care of by those ladies since he was 3 months old (now 4yo) and my second boy is now happy as a clam in there as well. Do you ever notice that all the kids in there are happy and very rarely is there ever crying? They do an incredible job with the kids. No one can get a baby to sleep like they can. I would have to seriously reconsider my membership if they weren’t there because my kids’ happiness is most important. Just my two cents. Otherwise I’m happy with the new changes on the horizon and hope things only get better.

    Comment by Dee — 8:53 pm March 25, 2013 #

  31. In answer to your last question, SPS: Yes. It’s a fantasy to imagine that those of us with longer-term contracts would happily rejoin the club and start paying monthly fees if the original agreements were terminated. We wouldn’t. We’d go elsewhere.

    Comment by Bill — 9:12 pm March 25, 2013 #

  32. Thanks to all of the levelheaded people who are optimistic and supportive of the new owners as well as staff and instructors. It’s unfortunate that the prepaid members have to deal with the inconvenience of sorting out their contracts, but be realistic! The alternative was NO club. If All-star closed the doors for good, your prepaid contracts would be more worthless than they are today. Your anger is understandable but misplaced. Give Sam Adams a chance to do the right thing for the business and the community and in the meantime, calm down. See you at the gym.

    Comment by lizzle — 10:33 pm March 25, 2013 #

  33. I don’t know what to think right now. memberships renewed July 2012 for $1167. One month before the “screw you” date. Then I have $613 training I bought 2 weeks ago because they said they would honor it. So my membership is now cancelled but have training I paid for? Do they honor my membership through Feb. 2014 or refund my training?
    last year I paid over $3500 training ($75 a week) so I would expect they honor my membership. if not, it will cost them much more. Any other club would be happy to get $75 a week for personal training.
    Interesting that they were happy to sell a membership knowing they were filing for bankruptcy. That’s a pretty shady deal.
    If they do not honor my membership, they will lose all the training fees I will spend elsewhere and I am sure Visa will refund my membership.
    I shall wait and see.
    Smart business would say honor the membership of someone who pours lots of money into the club for training.

    Comment by adidasguy — 4:29 pm March 26, 2013 #

  34. FYI,

    just went to the gym and according to my contract I should have been canceled at some point in the near future. However, they honored my current contract of 1 year plus 6 free months. Just had to re -sign some paperwork and no additional charges. It was a bit of a traffic jam at the front desk but that’s to be expected given the circumstances.

    Looks like Sam is holding true to his promise.

    Comment by brewmeister — 5:25 pm March 26, 2013 #

  35. 1. I look forward to some better ownership. The previous owners were very good at convincing people to put in cash up front and running no-money-down-sign-up-for-life specials, but absolutely useless at maintaining their club so those people could actually use it.
    .
    2. I’m thinking there are a lot of people confused about whether they have one of the “terminated” contracts, and that notice was HORRIBLE at making it clear. It seems like Mr. Adams is honoring the yearly-renewal (or so) deals, but I would expect that the “invest in this other club we can’t afford to build and you get a lifetime membership” people will learn that nothing in business is truly for a “lifetime.”
    .
    3. About Dom and the “missing” equipment: that’s kind of a relief. I HATED that the PT staff was taking more and more of the fitness floor, and placing “do not touch” equipment in a common area.
    .
    4. All in all, I hope that this means a better club moving forward. Will they lose some customers? Yes, of course. But anytime something is as huge a mess as All-Star Fitness became, there’s going to be unhappiness with the resolution.
    .
    Let’s hope for less moldy, leaky changerooms, a hot tub that actually works (no, bubbling straight up is NOT how a spa jet works) and equipment that isn’t broken or dangerous.

    Comment by Mel — 6:31 pm March 26, 2013 #

  36. Thanks for the update, Brewmeister. Very nice to know Sam Adams is making good on his verbal assurances in his WSB interviews.

    Comment by JTB — 10:16 am March 27, 2013 #

  37. Thank you Brewmeister, I’m very happy to read your update!!

    Comment by S M — 10:48 am March 27, 2013 #

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