(SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE FROM NEW MANAGER IN COMMENTS)
7:52 PM: The fitness club at 2629 SW Andover – closed since Thursday – has a new name: West Seattle Health Club.
And we’ve just found out a lot more from the man who says property owner John Pietromonaco has hired him to run it, Dan Lehr.
He expects it to remain closed at least until the end of the week.
(added) First, from an e-mail Lehr sent just before our conversation, this is what he says has happened, and what he says is being planned:
As you are well aware Sam vacated the premises Friday night and left the club in a state of disarray. Even stooping so low as to sabotage many of the clubs systems and equipment – most seriously of which is the pool, threw employee shirts and toilet paper into the pool filters and drained the pool of water.
He removed most of the cardio equipment and anything that was left was either in a state of disrepair or already out of order. Most of the free weights have been removed as well as most anything else that wasn’t nailed down, including computers, phones, sound systems and all membership records. Fortunately most of the selectorized weight machines (have weight stacks & pins) were left behind and are in good working order. In short most anything that could be easily removed was taken.
HRP Properties has a vested interest in the property which was designed solely to be an Athletic Club. We fully intend to continue to operate the property as a full service athletic facility and are committed to restoring the club to its former “fully operational state”.
Some of the items that will be addressed immediately will include the following:
Club HVAC systems will be repaired – this is to begin Monday of this coming week.
The entire club will be deep cleaned from top to bottom – locker rooms, carpets, shower areas – everything.
Cardio equipment will be either repaired or replaced with new
Free Weights will be replaced with new
Stereos and TV’S – replaced with new
Numerous other miscellaneous fitness and operations items replaced with new
Grounds will be cleaned
Pool areas will be renovated as needed
Our phone conversation went a lot further, including where West Seattle (Athletic) Club memberships stand, and more, including Lehr’s background. Adding that shortly.
ADDED 9:31 PM: Lehr says he’s “been in the health and fitness industry for 25 years as a club owner,” including “Redmond Athletic Club, which I designed and built from the ground up.” Again, he says property owner Pietromonaco is now the owner – and that, he says, is rare, for a club operator to own the land and building – and he has been hired to manage and basically rebuild it. He says he generally operates with a “relaxed culture” and wants to “build up morale, get a new culture in there, that starts to emanate to the members – the past two operators have left the members high and dry.”
About the members: Where do they stand?
Lehr says they are “trying to get the membership information, it’s hosted on a cloud site, we’re working to obtain all that. If we can get that, we can start crediting people, extending (their) information because of downtime, but without that, we can’t take care of those folks. But what we will do is start up another club they can come and join for no startup fees. We’re going to try to come up with a dues structure. We’re still gathering information on what (the previous operation) had been selling. We’re going to come up with one that is competitive and still viable to make the club profitable.”
Lehr says he is not entirely sure what the status was as Adams left – was he formally evicted? did he officially hand over the business? Just one thing: “(Adams’ club) is no longer operational. State law requires him to find a comparable facility (to keep members) within 10 miles and he has not done that, so he cannot bill members again.” He says Adams is using “nearby” storage for what he removed from the club.
“We’re going to do the right thing. I’m not sure what that is yet. My past experience, I’ve taken over clubs before. We want everyone to stay. We want the chance to show them (what we can do). … If I can get membership and dues information, then I’m in a seamless situation. If I don’t have that, I can’t.”
He said they hope “to be operational sometime near the end of next week.” (The pool could take up to 4 weeks, since he says they will take the opportunity for some HVAC improvements, repainting, etc., in that part of the club.) “But we have to have a lot in place – a point of sale system, new member contracts,” and they will be meeting with staff. He says they want to be completely “transparent” as they move through the process of opening the “new” club and promises daily updates.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Since it’s been a busy day with windstorm aftermath, Harvest Festival, etc., we don’t have a new standalone story, but did note that the new manager has posted this in comments tonight.