E-mail signed Sam Adams: ‘The West Seattle Club has closed … For falling short, I apologize’

For the first time since the fitness center at 2629 SW Andover closed last Thursday – billed as a two-day closure but then extended by an ownership change – members on a mailing list from the former ownership received a message this afternoon. This is the entire unedited text of the e-mail:

It is with great sorrow that I write to you that the West Seattle Club has closed. The landlord will be taking over shortly and the club will be back open as soon as possible. I am sorry that I was unable to turn the club around from its first bankruptcy and I take full responsibility for its failure. The strain on the relationship with the landlord became too much as he refused to fix anything structural or mechanical in the club. I invested money into systems and structures that are typically not the tenants responsibility. The landlord refused to fix the following:

The HVAC system. This caused the system to always broken. It was either too hot or too cold.
The swimming pool filtration system was always broken.
The electrical wiring was in adequate in the building which caused fires and the voltage spikes. These spikes would cause the pool and hot tub control equipment to always blow up, fail, or catch on fire. Thus the hot tub and pool are always out of order. These spikes also blew up a lot of the cardio equipment. That is why a lot of pieces were always down.
The pool is not VGB certified and was supposed to be certified back in 2011. By draining the pool the landlord can get this fixed so the pool is to code.
The sprinkler system in the locker rooms are too short so we could not put a ceiling up in the locker rooms.
The air exchange system in the locker rooms is broken so the ceiling do not always dry and they collect water which leads to the mold.
The air exchange system in the pool does not work properly and should be replaced. That is why the walls are dripping with rust.
Landlord needs to tear out the shower walls so mold and water will not continue to go into the shower walls.
Landlord needs to replace all of the leaky windows.

I have also taken out most of my equipment and will hopefully be able to finish removing the remaining pieces in order to make room for your new owner to purchase newer equipment for the club. The club was not attacked or sabotaged. The swimming pool was drained so it can be repaired, the drains brought to code, and painted. There was no vandalism and there was a lot of good equipment left. I left the carpet shampoo machine, tile cleaning machine for the bathrooms, and many other cleaning supplies. All paper towel dispensers were left on the walls. The club needs cleaning from the move, upgrades in equipment, supplies purchased. All of which is a small investment by your new owner John Pietromonaco. If you have any question you can contact him by clicking on his name or you can call his office at (206) 232-7502 .

All of your membership and credit card information has been removed from the premises and will be destroyed. If you would like to sign back up at the club you will have to email John or stop by the club. Your memberships are officially terminated and you will not be charged again by the West Seattle Club. Some of you have not been charged for the last two months as we have been in transition with our new management software CSI. You will not be charged for those two months. For those of you that have been charged before the club was closed down or you joined less than 30 days ago, you will be receiving a full refund. If you have any questions please feel free to email us from the website at www.westseattleclub.com. We will be using the contact information that we have on file to send you your refund.

There are also many mistakes that I made that I will learn from. West Seattle is a great community and deserves a great club for people to reach their fitness goals. For falling short I apologize. Good luck and God Bless.

Sam Adams

The denial of sabotage is an apparent response to what the property owner’s representative, Dan Lehr, said in a message we published as part of our Saturday night coverage.

Meantime, a new document in Adams’s bankruptcy-case file confirms what had been mentioned in other documents the past few days – what technically happened is that he sought extra time to decide on whether to extend or “reject” the club lease, a decision required as part of the proceedings, and last Friday, the judge turned down the request, so the lease was “rejected” as of this past Monday. The newest information from the new ownership/management of the 2629 SW Andover facility is in this story we published Tuesday afternoon; we’ll update this with anything else that comes in this afternoon/evening.

4:21 PM: While the message suggests e-mailing “from the website,” we haven’t found an e-mail address on it so far. A couple layers in, we did find this form; let us know if you use it and get a reply.

39 Replies to "E-mail signed Sam Adams: 'The West Seattle Club has closed ... For falling short, I apologize'"

  • FJ October 29, 2014 (4:16 pm)

    what a dick. He charged my card the DAY before vacating. I cancelled my card and I’m disputing my charge. “your membership terminated and you won’t be charged again by the club”…. oh, except I took your money for the next month, sorry ’bout that! opppsss!!!grrrr.

  • Bradley October 29, 2014 (4:28 pm)

    Paragraph after paragraph of BS. Former members need to file complaints with the attorney general’s office in case Mr. Adams attempts to try to open a health club in this state again. He certainly shouldn’t be allowed to scam people in the future and call it a learning opportunity. Too bad he couldn’t have been arrested for the obvious sabotage to the facilities.

    • WSB October 29, 2014 (4:37 pm)

      Bradley – that would be/would have been up to the property owner to press charges. I asked Dan Lehr during our initial exchange if they were going to do that and he said no.
      .
      M – It seems it wasn’t a full-club mailing list, as the same list received the e-mail mentioning the Thursday/Friday closure, but people said in comments then that they didn’t all receive it. It has an option for viewing in a web browser – http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=f026d0c1b708e495d8cc17b58&id=ae440302ce

  • m October 29, 2014 (4:30 pm)

    I used that form three days ago and never heard back from him. I also did not get that email you listed above.

  • Steve October 29, 2014 (4:35 pm)

    Sounds like he still wants to blame everyone else.

  • HEADS UP PEOPLE October 29, 2014 (4:38 pm)

    The website link Sam Adams provides as a portal for people to directly email them does not land on the page with the “CONTACT US” menu.

    To have actual access to actually “Contact THEM” using their website email function, people must either

    1) hit “Home” tab and Then pull down CONTACT US tab/menu and for site email.

    OR people can go directly to http://oregonathleticclubs.com/

    and then pull down CONTACT Us tab/men and fill out form.

    If I were you folks, I would fill out this form twice with two different emails and provide the mailing address for refund checks. Twice.

    AND.

    I would also write out a few paragraphs of all misapplied and misappropriated funds in detail in the comments. Dates, amounts, and every phone conversation and in person or telephon conversation you had with any of Mr. Adams’ representatives.

    AND

    I would PRINT OUT A COPY OF THOSE COMMENTS I HAD JUST JUST TYPED into that form BEFORE I send it

    and

    I would capture a the screenshot of those comments I had just typed in before I sent it.

    Make sure you get all the details in before you hit send.

    And then I would contact the Attorney General’s office and file a complaint or whatever procedures they have awaiting you.

    And of course at this point, each of you has changed your credit card with your banks and requested charge backs, yes?

    Because that CSI software Mr Adams blames, seems to have a mind of its own. I would divest myself of any risk there.

    It will be interesting to see whether all of the remaining facility conditions Mr. Adams asserts exist will be addressed by the new manager and same owner without doubling the membership fees. I think it is interesting that the new manager has not mentioned any of those conditions listed by Mr. Adams once in his clean up.

    Caveat Emptor.

  • LP October 29, 2014 (4:41 pm)

    First time I heard about the “new club” I knew it would be shutdown in the same pattern as the last one.

    If any of what sam says is true, I suppose if he had payed the landlord rent he would have been able to fix the list of items that needed attention. 1.1 million(IIRC)… did he ever pay rent??

  • Martha October 29, 2014 (5:09 pm)

    Sad to see this place go down the tubes.. I was a member about 6-7 years ago and I really liked it. Hope someone will restore it to its former glory!

  • JS October 29, 2014 (5:42 pm)

    I’m confused. While Sam did do bad things (not paying employees, not fixing broken workout equipment, continuous membership billing discrepancies, not fixing pool issues, pathetic towel service, etc etc)…what if some of the allegations against the new owner are true? Typically in lease agreements, building maintenance is the building owner’s responsibility. What if John Pietromonaco chose not to fix problems which caused us members to suffer? For example, with the HVAC not being fixed, I can’t tell you how many evenings the studios would get so hot that members were almost passing out. What if John P. chose not to fix those problems he is responsible for and he is just a jerk like Sam is? I wonder who is lying…

  • tm October 29, 2014 (5:52 pm)

    I’ve read the lease agreement as it was submitted in the bankruptcy case. As I recall its says the lessee/tenant is responsible for facility maintenance and fixes not the landlord.

  • pupsarebest October 29, 2014 (6:22 pm)

    Never set foot in this gym, but it sounds like it was an absolute pit in its declining year or two.
    Gotta say, Westwood 24 Hour Fitness men’s locker room could sure use a deep clean, and then daily maintenance going forward. At least the workout areas are relatively clean though, and the equipment works.

  • Gail October 29, 2014 (7:33 pm)

    To date:
    No notice at either of two address. Know the old club records have at least one good address as they have sent me letters there before.

    No email of any kind before or after closure.

    If my credit card company is disputing the last charge as I asked them to, Mr. Adams doesn’t need me to email him any more personal information. All he has to do is ok the credit card company to reverse or cancel the charge.

    Whoever tossed the T-shirts, boxes and TP in the pool was sabotaging. Maybe that wasn’t Mr. Adams, but someone had done the deed by Friday night because isn’t that when members saw this? Some members took pictures.

    Also who charged credit cards early? Someone who had the information on 10/20 to 10/22. Maybe this wasn’t Mr. Adams, but it would have to be someone he employed.

    I appreciate what Mr. Adams is saying are serious issues in the building’s structure. Never understood the lease arrangement with this place. Also not my problem. I do recall Allstar entities complaining about the lease arrangement in a similar way to Mr. Adams though.

    And why wouldn’t the landlord press charges if the tenants departure created a lot of damage costs?..unless they are just sick of each other and sick of battling it out for so long.

    So many curiosities…

  • concerned member October 29, 2014 (7:45 pm)

    The lease Sam singed was an as is lease, meaning the only things the landlord would need to help with would be things that improve the outside look of the building. Any and all fixes inside those doors were up to Sam and Sam only. If Sam wants to point fingers, he needs to do so at himself, and himself alone.

    And people getting refunds, really; does anybody actually believe that? Not me, Specially with many employees still missing paychecks, and I spoke to a couple instructors who said they have not seen a paycheck yesterday when it was there payday. So Sam is breaking the law again with not having paid people on there payday.

  • Bradley October 29, 2014 (7:52 pm)

    @pupsarebest: the men’s locker room at the Westwood 24 Hour Fitness has been frightening for many years. I’ve seen things in that men’s locker room that I can’t even print on here. I hope that if enough former 2629 Andover members descend on the Westwood 24 Hour Fitness, they will be forced to finally get their locker rooms cleaned and squared-away.

  • Jj October 29, 2014 (7:52 pm)

    From what I understand, it was a bad lease. But adams signed it. Now, the building owner is going to have to spend all that money anyway to get the club up to snuff and spend money (or more accurately not make enough money) as he slowly build up billing.
    Adams shouldn’t have signed that lease and this building owner should have offered a lease that was manageable.
    They both got what they deserve. I bet that building owner wishes he had taken care of his building himself right about now. He’s out over a million in lost rent and probably another couple hundred grand getting it working again.

  • Erin October 29, 2014 (7:54 pm)

    Oh, great. All membership records will be destroyed? I paid in full through next June! Ugh!

  • AlkiGrl October 29, 2014 (8:02 pm)

    Hmm. Well, at least we got a statement. I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle between Sam and Dan’s statements. No point in speculating further. Since I joined 2 WEEKS prior to closure, I should be expecting full reimbursement. We’ll see. Will report if it happens. If not, I’ve already challenged it with my Amex as fraudulent.

    I hope it reopens… down with paying month to month, location is super convenient. And no way I’m dealing with parking headaches at the Junction or driving too far. Pleez, pleez let it be ok when/if it opens again!

  • pd October 29, 2014 (8:22 pm)

    I wrote to Sam a couple of days ago and he reaponded with the uost professionalism and offered to refund all monies for memberahip beyond the date of closure. Inobtained hia email addresa from an earlier poat in the West Seattle Blog. Give him a chance. Try this address Sam@westseattleclub.com. Good luck. If you treat him professionally I suspect you will receive the same in return.

  • tm October 29, 2014 (8:44 pm)

    I’ll be interested to know if Sam refunds membership dues given he hasn’t paid the people that worked for him.

  • concerned member October 29, 2014 (9:23 pm)

    pd, while I am buying he might have responded to you. Lets be honest, you are trying to make him sound like a great person and he is not. He has been stealing thousands and thousands of dollars from everybody for months including you, while at the same time not paying employees on time or at all for some of them, or repair people that came in doing work.

  • Alki4 October 29, 2014 (11:36 pm)

    For those people who have not been to this club, while things were not good esp in the last month when most of the cardio equipment was breaking down and not getting fixed, it was not the horrific mess that some are portraying. Marcus, the manager, made sure the club was cleaned regularly and staff were always friendly and courtesy.

    I’ve been with the club for nearly 10 years and I hope that it does reopen.

  • Mel October 29, 2014 (11:53 pm)

    That statement is CYA at its best. I think Adams apparently realized he could go to the Gray Bar Hotel for some of the things that have transpired, and needed to make a mea-culpa/that’s-not-the-intention-at-all statement.
    .
    Let’s take for example the pool. There was all kinds of crap tossed into the pool when Adams left – that much you could see with your own eyes from outside the windows – and apparently TP clogging the filters. But according to Adams, he was doing the new owners a FAVOR by draining the pool “so he can get it up to code.” No matter that Adams was happy to offer his full-price-paying patrons a pool that was apparently illegal.
    .
    I could pick the rest of that letter apart line-by-line…but it’s water under the bridge for me now, and for those taking action against him to deal with.
    .
    It’s a sad ending for his business…and likely not the end for Adams himself, as member and state actions will probably be ongoing for months and years to come.

  • cb123 October 30, 2014 (7:36 am)

    If the building had so many issues then why did he even enter into a lease agreement? That ‘apology’ email is just a means to malign the building owner and tout his fantastical version of the truth — that he is somehow the victim in all of this. Sam Adams has only one person to blame – Sam Adams.

  • m October 30, 2014 (9:04 am)

    I think he only did a half hearted apology after he knew Kirotv was going to cover the issue on the 6pm news last night. When Kirotv asked him how he would notify members to get refunds, he told Kiro it is none of your business.

  • tess88 October 30, 2014 (9:09 am)

    I actually have not been charged for two months. A lot of us have not been charged for at least two months. What about that? It sounds like he took the blame himself to me. As I recall the state owned the club after Bob Padgett filed for bankruptcy and the lease was signed with the building unseen. We will see if the email is untrue or not. All of those things that were mentioned do exist. Whose job is it to fix? I for sure wouldn’t pay the rent if the landlord wasn’t fixing the building. Not paying employees. Really? No employees were paid. Listen to you people. You have to be a clown to honestly think employees are not paid in today’s society!

  • Seymore October 30, 2014 (9:29 am)

    I disputed my October charge with my bank. We’ll see how that goes.

    So, when is the club reopening? It sucks that there are not any other options in west seattle and ill have to go back.

  • Kim W October 30, 2014 (9:48 am)

    To date: Have not received email or mail from anyone regarding the membership charges to my CC. I became a member 9/26/14 paying initiation fees and first month dues then a secondary charge was assessed on 10/20 with the club closing its doors on 10/22. I have had not access to the club since 10/22/14

    At no point during my initial meeting with Sam Adams Employee (representative for his health club) did he say there were any issues. He just signed me up , said he would email copies of documents to me and gave me my access key chain tab. I have the email with the receipt. Kind of contradicts what Sam said above about not charging Members for the past 2 months……..

    I would like to be reinversed for all charges and terminate contract with Sam Adams West Seattle Athletics Club. I am very disappointed the way this played out. Very sad reflection and experience. Did see this mentioned on news this morning (channel 7).

  • joezaloom October 30, 2014 (10:23 am)

    @tess88. People don’t get paid all the time. I personally know a handful of people who have not been paid for their work over the years. I’m not sure why “today’s society” should hew to a more exacting moral standard than any other; in fact, I would venture that the reverse is true.

    • WSB October 30, 2014 (10:29 am)

      Also re: Tess’s comment (by the way, there are court and tax claims involving the nonpayment of employees, public record) – (a) The state never owned the club. A federal bankruptcy trustee was accountable for a while during the Allstar Fitness bankruptcy. (b) Adams did NOT buy the club sight unseen. In our report on March 22, 2013, when the bankruptcy judge in that case announced she would approve the sale to Adams, we noted that he was one of six prospective buyers who had toured the club. http://westseattleblog.com/2013/03/allstar-fitness-bankruptcy-hearing-judge-will-approve-sale – TR

  • allison October 30, 2014 (10:32 am)

    Woth all that being said we are still to believe that everything will be fixed, brought up to code, and fully staffed by Fri. I’m not that stupid I sure hope nobody else is. It sounds to me that both sides ate full of it

  • Alice October 30, 2014 (10:43 am)

    The instructors at this club have been great. And yes, Tess, they have worked without pay from time to time. On the evening of 10/22, I arrived at the gym and saw all classes were canceled. But I went upstairs and overheard a spinning instructor saying she came in anyway. Just because she was committed to her regulars!

    Also, I emailed Sam today at the address someone provided above and heard back quickly. I’m now waiting for confirmation of a reimbursement… Fingers crossed!

  • Wsrez October 30, 2014 (10:53 am)

    The headache of going through all of this, likely isn’t worth the two months in dies. If I were a member there, I would cut my losses, move on and spend my energy on something more useful. This guy obviously doesn’t have the highest level of integrity.

  • employee October 30, 2014 (11:38 am)

    Do any employees want to be part of the L&I claim, also file with the A.G. for our paychecks that we were suppose to receive on Tuesday; and have yet to see? If there is nothing in the mailbox when the mail comes in later, I am turning in the paperwork.

  • Brewmeister October 30, 2014 (11:39 am)

    @Allison- Don’t think anyone said “everything” would be fixed by Friday. I think the plan is to get enough in place and fixed to simply reopen. It’d probably gonna take months to fix everything.

    Not sure why everyone is demanding “perfection” before they go back. These people were attending the club under Sam’s ownership and things were far from satisfactory.

    At this point, the only options are to move on to another gym or give the owner a chance. What other choice do you have?

  • Dick October 30, 2014 (1:09 pm)

    Both?

  • fluffy October 30, 2014 (1:38 pm)

    I am just looking forward to the gym reopening. I will form my own opinion once I can get back in and get a visual on what has been done or not done. You cant expect this place to be in tip top shape in days after years of running it into the ground. Folks have to be realistic in what the expectations should be.

    • WSB October 30, 2014 (2:18 pm)

      Quick update before I write the full story – Just talked with Dan Lehr by phone. He says they’re now hoping to open Sunday. They also should know by end of the day if they can “port over” the membership information.

  • Jj crump October 30, 2014 (6:43 pm)

    So many employees haven’t been paid and what about the health insurance premiums he took out of our paychecks, only for people to go to the doctor, some for serious health issues only to find out their insurance was canceled, mind you after taking premiums from paychecks. Who does that? Hope the attorney general goes after him and his sidekick Dana and he goes to prison. He just ripped everyone off and now tries to blame others.

  • Bradley October 30, 2014 (8:29 pm)

    I remember when I was a bus driver 27 years ago and was severally attacked by a mental patient. The police said they couldn’t prosecute the attacker because he was in the mental health system so they had him apologize to me before they whisked him back to the mental hospital. I feel like I’m reliving that incident vicariously through the scammed members with Mr. Adam’s “apology”.

Sorry, comment time is over.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann