By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The former, owned by Sam Adams since early last year, announced a two-day closure last week but did not reopen on Saturday as promised; later Saturday, a representative of property owner John Pietromonaco announced that they’ve taken over and will open the facility as a new club.
First, the newest update, received this morning from that representative, Dan Lehr, who is managing the transition to WS Health Club and says it is “moving faster than expected.” He describes the points below (unedited, as we received them) as “updates from my staff”:
Opening date still up in the air but at this rate late week is very doable. We need to get the staff up to speed on how to handle membership questions and that is up in the air right now.
Phones by Thursday
Club being painted in pool area and men’s locker room as well as kidz club grounds being cleaned Thursday
Computers up by Wednesday or Thursday after security system is re-instated
Payroll being set-up by Wednesday
Still trying to get membership information so memberships can be extended for days the club was closed website – hopefully by end of the Wednesday
New equipment ordered will start arriving in two weeks. Over 40 pieces of new cardio – 300k
All equipment organized
All trash collected.
Window ledges wiped.
Reception desk (2) thoroughly wiped and cleaned.
All exercise equipment disinfected and wiped.
All weights put back in order.
Vacuumed and Dust Mop ( Will damp mop Tuesday).
Moved furniture – Put furniture back in uniform in offices etc.
Will buff out heel marks on floor area of Aerobic Room (Tuesday)
Power sprayed and disinfected utilizing a deodorizer both Men’s and Women’s locker rooms showers. All Floor areas machine scrubbed and cleaned.
Will start carpet cleaning some areas of the 3rd floor later Tuesday evening as cleaning crew closes shift. We will also use a good deodorizer on carpet.
(Monday) almost everything was cleared from the front lobby. Almost all equipment was put to back together that had all the nuts and bolts. All the working spin bikes were put back into the spin class. Working equipment was all moved to the third floor too. It looks a lot better no gaps except for walking space. Dumbbells were put on what remaining dumbbell racks we had left and workout plates were loaded on equipment, due to no weight tree’s to stock them on. The housekeeping storage was cleared out, all supplies was stocked into the house keeping area. All machines were wiped down and almost all trash has been picked up. The locker room and shower areas were also kai vacced and auto scrubbed. We made sure to also clear out the women’s only area. The only thing we have left in women’s only is broken equipment and heavy machines that need to be broken down because there too heavy to put on the piano dolly’s. All floors were vacuumed and most floors were dust mopped/mopped. Mirrors were cleaned among other things.
If you missed our first report about the transition, published Saturday night, see it here – it includes Lehr’s first report on what happened and what’s ahead.
Meantime, as for the prior ownership: Neither we nor members, by any account, have received any information since the Thursday/Friday closure was announced in an e-mail to some members (a few of whom forwarded it to us) last week. (The building’s new management makes it clear that they are a separate operation, starting from scratch.)
The state Attorney General’s office says it’s not uncommon for health/fitness clubs to abruptly close. So not uncommon, in fact, the AG’s website has a specific page with information about your rights, and how to file a complaint – here’s the direct link. A key point: “If the health club closes permanently, and the owner does not have a comparable facility within 10 miles of the club, you can cancel and receive a pro-rated refund of your initiation fee.”
There’s no new paperwork as of this writing in the online file for what had been an eviction action – “unlawful detainer” – against the club’s previous ownership. As we had originally reported earlier this month, a deadline of October 24th, last Friday, had been set for a $1.1 million payment due (mostly back rent) to the property owner, to hold off eviction. The court documents had said that Adams’ company expected to get that money from a loan for which it said it had a contract. But as of midweek, property owner Pietromonaco said that money hadn’t been received and that he had “a plan” if it didn’t arrive. What’s happening now is apparently the execution of that plan; state corporate records show that Pietromonaco created the West Seattle Health Club LLC on October 17th, one week before the deadline.
The eviction action originally was filed in May, but on the eve of a scheduled hearing in late June, it was put on automatic hold when Adams and his wife filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy organization. That hold – a stay – was lifted after they missed a court-ordered August deadline for payment of some back rent.
Now the Chapter 11 filing itself is in jeopardy, according to the newest paperwork filed in the federal bankruptcy case. The US trustee says that Adams has not filed a single one of the monthly financial reports required since the filing, so she is asking bankruptcy court Judge Marc Barreca to either convert it to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing or to dismiss the case entirely, which would mean that the Adamses lose the various protections conferred by a Chapter 11. The motion is set for a November 14th hearing.
Another recent action filed in the bankruptcy case was from a financial-services company that wanted to be added to the list of creditors, saying Sam Adams entered into a contract, less than a month before the Chapter 11 filing, selling a certain amount of “future receivables” to the company, for a six-figure sum, but not notifying it about the subsequent filing. The Adamses’ bankruptcy lawyer filed a response to this last week, saying that the “future receivables” deal actually wasn’t struck by Sam (A.) Adams, but by his father Sam E. Adams, acting on that particular day as a representative of the company. The document also notes that Sam E. Adams lives in Texas.
And in the moments before publishing this, we checked the bankruptcy-case records one more time. The couple from whom the Adamses were buying a waterfront Kirkland home on a rent-to-own basis are seeking a court order requiring rent payment, which they say hasn’t happened for some months. Their motion notes that with the fitness club closure – described as “deemed rejection of … the lease” – and the aforementioned motion to convert the bankruptcy to Chapter 7, “Mr. Adams’ prospects for reorganization appear even more dim than they were before.”
Sam A. Adams, a former pro-football player, bought the club during bankruptcy proceedings for the former operation, Allstar Fitness; we chronicled that transition and the previous bankruptcy proceedings in stories archived here (reverse-chronological order), October 2012-January 2014. The coverage of now-defunct WS (Athletic) Club will have its own archive shortly.