West Seattle (Athletic) Club ‘is no longer operational’ – it’s becoming West Seattle Health Club

(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.

139 Replies to "West Seattle (Athletic) Club 'is no longer operational' - it's becoming West Seattle Health Club"

  • kate October 25, 2014 (8:15 pm)

    THANK YOU WEST SEATTLE BLOG!!! Your stellar reporting on this issue has been soooo informative. I know you guys have spent a lot of time on this topic. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Now, let’s hope the gym will be managed and maintained properly so we can all get back to keeping our community healthy and active.

  • Gah! October 25, 2014 (8:29 pm)

    Membership records taken? Seriously wonder whether I should cancel my credit card.

  • Nick October 25, 2014 (8:32 pm)

    Can anyone speak to the plans for those who do not wish to continue membership/affiliation with the club? Will the new club still try the afore mentioned tactics of billing people whos information they have on file?

  • Amy October 25, 2014 (8:40 pm)

    Not thrilled that I just got charged for paying for a closed gym but sounds like it might be wroth it long term.

  • Steve October 25, 2014 (8:52 pm)

    I disputed the most recent charge as fraudulent to my credit card company. They are charging for a service that is not being provided and they have no one to contact about billing. To me that is a fraudulent charge.

  • Joe October 25, 2014 (8:53 pm)

    What about all us employees who are expecting a paycheck on Tuesday? Seeing what Sam did, like we can really expect him pay us. Most of the employess depend on that money to survive on and pay there bills.

    Is the landlord planning on stepping up to the plate for that as well?

  • Ashley October 25, 2014 (9:00 pm)

    That’s nice and all, but I’m not staying. Too bad, too late, not enough.

  • kate October 25, 2014 (9:16 pm)

    The building has been deteriorating for years! It has not been properly maintained for years! Why is the owner of the building addressing the issue now?

  • Paul October 25, 2014 (9:22 pm)

    Thank WSB for being the best news source out there period. Glad to know something will reopen soon there but I will move to another club.

  • Rachel October 25, 2014 (9:35 pm)

    I am not surprised Sam left that club in a “disarray”. His business dealings were very suspect and shady.
    I was almost sent to collections about 6 months ago because they lost my cancellation notice from 2 years prior! Never got a bill or a phone call until I received a pre collection notice. It felt like financial blackmail and I didn’t have a choice, but to pay what they wanted (I was literally 5 days from closing on a house and couldn’t afford a negative mark on my credit.)

  • scout 15 October 25, 2014 (9:39 pm)

    Left prior to Allstar folding for obvious reason and surely did not take the bait on Sam Adams ownership. I will wait a few weeks and check out the new ownership, equipment and state of the pool.
    If it looks reasonable, may sign up. Having the owner of the site run and hire a manager is the best option in the last 4 yrs.

  • AlkiGrl October 25, 2014 (9:56 pm)

    Joe, wage theft is a criminal offense in Seattle. You and other employees can file charges. There is a new department forming through City of Seattle to enforce labor laws like Wage Theft, Paid Sick and Safe Leave and the $15 min wage. Technically wage theft charges need to be filed with SPD which isn’t effective given their capacity, hence the formation of this new department. I’ll see if there is another option for filing charges while we wait for the new enforcement arm.

  • hugh October 25, 2014 (9:56 pm)

    I absolutely would contact your credit card and stop any future charges from them. I’m not bothered that he went under… I’m moderately bothered that he collected dues each month and never paid his rent… I’m hugely bothered that instead of quietly walking out the door with this stuff, he drained the pool and damaged things like some punk who got evicted from his house and punched holes in the walls out of spite. The owner is going to have to pay a lot of money to buy water to fill that pool back up. Once it’s full, it will take days to heat it up. That’s assuming the damage Sam Adams did as he snuck out doesn’t delay that process.
    Sam Adams is a classless person and I won’t be upset one bit if the second half of his life is financially miserable.

  • AlkiGrl October 25, 2014 (10:01 pm)

    However, I don’t know how the wage theft factors in with bankruptcy. Anyone?

  • ChrisBean October 25, 2014 (10:03 pm)

    Thank you, WSB, for keeping us “members” updated. I am really hoping for the best, but will be using my free passes at all the local gyms just to test them out and get my workouts in while we wait. I called my bank and they said they will close the card that the Club has on file. I will also be giving my 30-day notice (to anyone who cares!) to the former West Seattle Athletic Club even though they gave most of us members zero notice. I’ve enjoyed the gym the last few years even with all of this hoopla going on. If Mr. Lehr and his team can get working equipment in, keep the awesome Class teachers, the childcare workers and other employees and make sure they get paid, then I’ll be back. Also, please make sure Emerald City Smoothie stays.

  • DD October 25, 2014 (10:12 pm)

    Even though the onsite membership records are MIA, some of us held on to our receipts for prepaying a year’s membership in advance. I am hoping the new club owner will let us provide documentation of that and credit us for some or all of our remaining months.

  • brian October 25, 2014 (11:01 pm)

    LookING forward to the doors opening again. Hope for the best. It’s a great place to workout!

  • Jennifer Hall October 25, 2014 (11:20 pm)

    I’m steamin’! What did that immature jerk get from wrecking the POOL, for crying out loud? A lot of us West Seattle folks depend on that pool to get the kinks out. What an ass!

  • Buyer beware October 25, 2014 (11:23 pm)

    I won’t even consider a trial membership at the new club until all the improvements are done. In the health club industry, talk is cheap. Promises are easily broken. I am waiting for LA Fitness to open.

  • Mel October 25, 2014 (11:28 pm)

    When you read that note, remember that Sam Adams also promised a lot when he came into the picture. And people were just as happy to believe his promises as some of you are now.
    .
    The club needs a lot more than a “deep clean” – the shower areas need to at the very least be stripped of paint and repainted, but more likely they need to be stripped to the studs. That’s one reason I’m skeptical. Also, no mention of/assurance to employees. Another bad sign.
    .
    I’ll wait to see how this new ownership plays out, but right now I give them the same chance of failure as I gave Adams.

  • joel October 25, 2014 (11:35 pm)

    Adams has the stuff he took in local storage – do you think he’s going to pay the storage bill?

  • Fauntleroy fairy October 26, 2014 (12:32 am)

    Is this the Sam Adams that used to play for the Seahawks?

    • WSB October 26, 2014 (1:24 am)

      FF, yes.

  • Dean October 26, 2014 (2:51 am)

    I just joined three months ago paid for two years in cash so im just screwed,, whata scam this club whom ever owns it in future should never be supported by west seattle community

    Deano

  • Brooke October 26, 2014 (2:54 am)

    Does anyone know the last time they billed membership charges, and what can be done to cancel membership/ ensure you won’t be charged anymore without doing anything as drastic as cancelling your credit card?

  • mona October 26, 2014 (6:41 am)

    I realized that I wasn’t charged for October, even though I haven’t changed anything in my autopay settings, bank account, etc. Does this mean I’ll be sent to collections, even though I didn’t do anything?

  • DAN LEHR October 26, 2014 (6:44 am)

    I certainly understand everyone’s skepticism but this situation (building owners taking over operations) is actually the best scenario for the long term viability of the club. They own the dirt and therefore have a vested interest in the club’s success. Clubs that own the dirt have stability and longevity that those clubs that lease can’t have. When things get difficult (economy or competition)they usually survive. Examples would be Bellevue Club, Pro Club, Columbia Athletic Clubs..

    BUT I hear your skepticism given the past promises. Watch things are in the works even as we speak.

  • DAN LEHR October 26, 2014 (6:57 am)

    Regarding membership – This situation will unfold more this week as we attempt to obtain membership information in order to support the current members and extend memberships for the time the club was/will be closed.

    Obviously we want everyone to stay so we will try to do the right thing – I’m just not clear yet on what that will look like. It would be very premature for me to commit to anything until we sort through this mess. I can say that we are committed to being a long-term, integral part of the community and that means operating a reputable and ethical operation. As this unfolds I will provide more details.
    In the meantime – I would file a chargeback request as well as a formal complaint with the attorney general and better business bureau against the West Seattle Club which was Sam’s operation.

  • SomeGuy October 26, 2014 (7:10 am)

    Props to Dan Lehr for openly communicating with the community and putting his name out there. Hope you can get it turned around Dan.

  • Amy Thomson October 26, 2014 (7:30 am)

    Dan, if you can’t get the membership information, perhaps you can set up a way for members to contact you? I’d do it sooner rather than later!

  • kc October 26, 2014 (7:36 am)

    Yes, This Sam Adams is the former Seahawk. I know a family member of his that doesn’t have anything nice to say about him.

  • Jeff October 26, 2014 (7:46 am)

    Dan.. Can you please take a minute and update the time
    line for re-opening the club? Sam is a jerk.. The club is a mess… Got it.

    So, is this three days? Is this one week? Is this.. Truth is, we don’t know yet and it could be a couple of weeks because we don’t even have a plan on equipment yet?

    And a clear update on the pool with that please.

    If I don’t have a clear vision soon, I’m joining another club.

  • joe October 26, 2014 (8:09 am)

    Unless Dean paid Sam cash behind closed doors, then I think he is just trying to cause more trouble. The highest option offered was 12 month pre-pay.

  • Gina October 26, 2014 (8:18 am)

    Thank you WSB and Dan Lehr for your communication! One thing I’m concerned about is the fact that Adam’s has our personal billing information. I am considering getting a new card altogether. Am I being drastic?

  • Dick October 26, 2014 (8:25 am)

    People have been mentioning LA Fitness for years. Where/when is that supposed to be happening? Is everyone talking about the one in Burien that’s almost done? Or is W Seattle supposed to be getting one too?

    • WSB October 26, 2014 (8:30 am)

      Dick, it’s been part of our coverage of the project that is almost complete at what was known as “The Hole,” Alaska/Fauntleroy, across from Trader Joe’s. The entirety of the retail space in that project, which you face as you drive west on Alaska, will be an LA Fitness. – TR

  • brian October 26, 2014 (8:34 am)

    It seems that the actions of the former operator are criminal. Are any charges being brought against him?

  • Shazam October 26, 2014 (8:34 am)

    With all the reported billing irregularities, I just checked my bank account. I noticed that club dues weren’t drawn out for the last two months!

  • heads up people October 26, 2014 (8:42 am)

    Is this the same Dan Lehr person mentioned in this article? If yes, that’s interesting.

    http://www.theheraldbusinessjournal.com/article/20090126/BIZ/701269958

    • WSB October 26, 2014 (9:29 am)

      HUP, someone emailed us that link last night; I asked Dan Lehr in my followup email including a question about employees’ owed pay. I only have phone access at the moment so here is his full reply, second part is re: Stanwood 2009:

      Tracy,

      I really have no idea what Sam has planned for back pay to the employees. He is responsible for paying them up through the time the club was open. Our hope is that all of the employees will stay on with us at the same pay rates they had when working with Sam.

      Regarding the situation in Stanwood. I vacated the premises due to a dispute with my landlord. He owned both facilities I was operating. He had committed to making tenant improvements to both facilities which he was not performing, nor was he paying the sub contractors performing the work. I withheld rent until it was cleared up. I obviously lost that battle.

  • Scott October 26, 2014 (9:05 am)

    Sam Adams made the same types of promises in 2013 (see link below). With LA Fitness going in, I don’t see how another round with this cursed location can be successful. Trying yet another fitness center seems like a bad business investment to me. The landlord’s money would probably be better spent converting it to office space or something.

    http://westseattleblog.com/2013/03/allstar-fitness-bankruptcy-what-prospective-owner-sam-adams-says-about-contract-cancellations-and-club-renovations/

  • Chad Zinda October 26, 2014 (9:08 am)

    I was charged an amount on my auto-debit on the Wednesday before closing that is not the normal amount I was paying per the contract. There were never any intentions of opening after the ‘temporary closing’ as indicated by the former owners. The fact that auto-withdrawals were made in other amounts than the contract was pre-meditated and criminal in behavior. I’ll take that up with the proper folks. Thanks to a great foundational community in West Seattle, this too shall pass.

  • Kevin October 26, 2014 (9:55 am)

    I have been a member since shortly after the facility was open. I am bummed it closed and Adams left such a mess that it will take some time to clean up and re-open. When it is re-opened, I will be there to sign up. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

  • PG Carr October 26, 2014 (10:15 am)

    Got charged on Oct 22nd for a club not open. Outrageous. Chargeback being filed tomorrow. I will go and also get photographs of the facility that is closed. We relied on this club for swimming, zumba and other things. Sam Adams what a fraud

  • Mel October 26, 2014 (10:20 am)

    Additional thoughts:
    .
    – Wow, that situation in Stanwood sounds almost exactly like what Sam Adams was saying about the current building owner.
    .
    – “Owning the dirt” is NO assurance of anything. All Star also owned that building when they opened. The current owner is not in the gym business, he’s in the property investment business. Neither is a positive sign.
    .
    To the people who were improperly charged, prepaid for a year of West Seattle Athletic Club membership, etc.: it’s unlikely you’ll get refunds/your membership honored by the new club. And that’s just smart business on their part. (One of Sam Adams’ mistakes was likely honoring contracts from which he was getting no money.) You need to band together and go after Adams.
    .
    Finally, if you gave the place your credit card, CANCEL YOUR CARD. DO IT TODAY.

  • AlkiGrl October 26, 2014 (10:49 am)

    Thanks, Dan, for the suggestion of filing complaints against the previous management with BBB and Attorney General. I encourage all of us to do this, regardless of whether we’re staying put or moving on to another club. It’s good to have a paper trail on previous operators to hold them accountable and to bolster members’ challenges to fraudulent charges.

  • hugh October 26, 2014 (11:23 am)

    LA Fitness has two locations opening up in our area. A smaller one in Burien (near the town center/burger king) and word has it that will be up late fall/winter. Then the bigger location up near the junction. No way that place is open in the next several months.
    The X factor is the current owner of the west seattle fitness building paid a staggering amount of money and when the LA fitness opens, there won’t be enough people in the area to pay the dues needed to pay that note and keep the club running properly. It’s how Sam Adams went under. He just was slimy and didn’t pay ANY rent to the building owner vs. paying half. If there was no LA fitness and the options here were limited, you could see putting a lot of money fixing the place up would be a smart investment. If the building owner does it, I’m happy staying and my guess is he might have an edge because you have to believe parking is going to be miserable up at the junction. Three lane pool won’t be desirable either. It needs to be cleaned… repaired… and new equipment… but overall, the building is a good location and has a lot of space.

  • Joe October 26, 2014 (11:25 am)

    Hey Mel, if you read above he said they would honor things. If they cannot get a hold of the files, I am sure showing a bank statement is all the proof they will need to prove you paid and or what your dues were at the time. I have my bank statement ready to bring in and show proof of what I am paying.

  • Laina October 26, 2014 (11:27 am)

    I’m nervous that this guy is going to sell my credit card info and identity. What can I do?

  • Thomas M. October 26, 2014 (11:42 am)

    BBB already had the former club rated with a nice fat “F”. Attorney General might get you somewhere. There are a few mid size law firms in Seattle that do most of the class-action work if somebody wants to gather everyone together, cut expenses and give the former owners a headache and a hole in their wallet.

  • fluffy October 26, 2014 (12:08 pm)

    Us troopers have been through it all & yet we still show up like clock work. At this point its not about talk, its about follow through & execution. If this falls short, so will membership.

  • Marcus October 26, 2014 (12:40 pm)

    I went to that club from day one. When it first opened in the early 2000s it was sparkling and perfect. Amazing equipment graced the interiors, a flickering fireplace added a cozy feel to the lobby, and the steam room and jacuzzi were literally therapeutic after a hard workout. I daresay it was nearly a spa.

    The club held up fairly well until it began a marked decline about 2009-2010. One of the first signs of trouble was the perpetually closed jacuzzi and failing steam room. Things simply went downhill from there. Many of us were relieved when Oregon Athletic Club took over and they made small changes that initially impressed some: new TVs, towel service, and new cardio equipment.

    It was not to be, though, and our first hint was the new operator’s in-attention to the decaying building. It got so bad that we became used to mediocrity, and would use rumors of an imminent jacuzzi re-opening to prop up our false hopes. Early last year I saw the proverbial writing on the wall upon nearly cutting my foot on a broken tile–that had been broken for nearly six months.

    For now perhaps we should move on to another club and, if months down the road this new guy makes some amazing changes, consider returning. I’ve given this gym too many chances and have been let down EVERY time. At this point, the gym will have to win me back on MY terms. As everyone’s Grandma always said: “Fool me once…”

  • Kate October 26, 2014 (1:06 pm)

    WSB – any rumors yet as to when LA Fitness will open?

  • supernov72 October 26, 2014 (1:21 pm)

    Did a quick search on the new manager of the club. I sure hope this was a mis-print.

    “Dan Lehr, the owner of Port Susan Athletic Club, was evicted from the buildings for not paying rent, according to court documents. Lehr referred all the questions from The Herald to Gary Abolofia, his attorney in Bellevue.”

    Please, please be on the up and up for our dear gym. Here’s the Everett Harold link.
    http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20090126/BIZ/701269958/0/NEWS01

    This was in 2009.

    • WSB October 26, 2014 (1:24 pm)

      Please see earlier in the thread – someone else brought this up and I posted a reply from him (I had asked him about it after a reader e-mailed us last night; he included it in a reply today)

  • HS over it October 26, 2014 (2:08 pm)

    From one shady character to the next.

    1. We had Bob Padgett the king of sleaze who took members for a ride with his “buy in” opportunity who then didn’t pay his bills and lets the gym go to disrepair. (post facto he and his wife were at the bankruptcy auction this past June of another “sleaze bag” the infamous Mastro. See article here: http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2023936117_mastroauctionxml.html
    buying up the cast off Chanel and Christian Dior bags.) Poor, poor things. Really hurting I guess to have to buy second hand Manolo’s. How about buying at Target and paying back all the members you scammed. Shame on them.

    2. We get Sam Adams who promises the world on repairing the gym, and getting it back to working order only to find out that he has been shuffling money back and forth between his other ailing gyms, not paying staff, and not paying his rent. The trashing of the club was the final sleaze bag gesture.

    3. Now we have Dan Lehr who looks like he also has a past history of walking away without paying his debts.

    Awesome. I’m over it. 24 hour fitness or LA Fitness here I come. I suggest others do the same.

  • supernov72 October 26, 2014 (2:10 pm)

    WSB–oops. My bad on the Stanwood reply above. I didn’t follow the thread linkage correctly.

    Very nice to hear Dan is being responsive to all of our (including me) inquiries. Cheers.

  • Marcus Cox October 26, 2014 (2:13 pm)

    I was a member at the Redmond Athletic Club when I lived on the Eastside. I have not been there recently, but it was a well run, good place to work out for over a decade. I am willing to wait and see if the club turns around.

  • JanS October 26, 2014 (2:24 pm)

    @Laina…if your CC had been hacked by a store, what would you do? Treat this the same way. If it was me, I would be more inclined to inform my bank about getting a new card #.

  • Tracie October 26, 2014 (2:32 pm)

    Is there way to contact Dan Lehr directly for questions and/or information?

  • joe October 26, 2014 (2:37 pm)

    Dan is not the owner, as is clearly stated. But hired by the building owner to run and get the gym back in shape. The landlord does not have to worry about somebody not paying rent as he is keeping it. And from what was wrote, repairs start Monday morning.

  • m October 26, 2014 (2:54 pm)

    Can someone direct us to finding Sam Adams business phone number and address so that those of us who will file complaints with BBB and the Attorney General have the correct info? Thanks

  • Amy October 26, 2014 (3:33 pm)

    Mr. Dan Lehr, once you get settled I’d suggest you reach out to Stacy Munn, a fitness instructor that left the club in May 2014. The clubs membership dropped off considerably when she stopped teaching her morning classes. As I’m sure you’ve heard this clubs number one draw (maybe besides the pool) was it’s amazing classes and instructors and she was one of the best, a true professional. She is looking to get back to teaching in the West Seattle area.

  • allen October 26, 2014 (3:57 pm)

    Yeah m, you need to go to allstar and find the gullible department. I believe it’s in the swimming pool with all the debris in it. You should find most of the people on this thread to help guide you the rest of the way. Apparently this club will be fully restored with new equipment, brand new equipment, a up to code building with all the permits needed, fully staffed, and a running pool and sauna in just a week. The best part of the story is the supposed savior that has no interest in the gym industry and no experience on top of that. I can’t believe this many people still believe this nonsense.

  • Marcus October 26, 2014 (5:53 pm)

    The landlord has hired a person that knows how to run a gym, and has been in the fitness industry for many years. And as was stated above, it will not be an overnight fix, but are working hard to get everything back up to 100%. Looking at the statement Dan made, repair work will be starting ASAP. Steps are being taken to get things moving, so that we can get members back in the gym and back to being happy again. Yes it has been a struggle the past couple years even the end of the Allstar days, I know cause iv been there working. I have seen more energy and concern for members from Dan in the past couple days then I ever saw from Sam. I have been there through thick and thin, and would love to be part of the future of helping to give members what is a great health club; not only workout at but want to be at.

  • Jeanette October 26, 2014 (6:24 pm)

    I was also just debited on Wednesday, the day before the club closed, for next month’s dues. And I initially paid first and last month’s dues in addition to a yearly maintenance fee in June when I re-upped. If I stick with the new club, will I be credited for the two months future dues I have paid? I have been a member of the club for nearly ten years and I am willing to give the new management a try, but I really don’t want to throw good money after bad, at least not if I can help it. What I really want to know is how committed is the owner to fixing the club up enough to make it operational? Is it possible that it will be cost prohibitive and he will sell the property to cut his losses?

  • PG Carr October 26, 2014 (6:44 pm)

    “Yeah m, you need to go to allstar and find the gullible department. I believe it’s in the swimming pool with all the debris in it. You should find most of the people on this thread to help guide you the rest of the way”

    No you’re right. It’s WAY better to just sit on this thread, whine and put other people down. That’s a MUCH better strategy.

  • Concerned#2 October 26, 2014 (6:50 pm)

    Dan: What about the employees that already left and their pay checks bounced several times. Have talked to a couple that had that happen & they just do not know what to do. They know there is a meeting coming up at some point – just do not know when. Hopefully this can be discussed??

  • Brian October 26, 2014 (7:04 pm)

    Does anyone know the 10 mile radius comparable club law reference? I paid Sam for October, I’m not paying him for November, but I have a feeling he’ll try to bill me anyway and I want to have the law ready.

  • WS mom October 26, 2014 (7:22 pm)

    I’ve been a member since 2003, and will join the new club that starts up, as long as the fees are similar to what they’ve been. I definitely want this club to succeed, and our family will support it. Amy’s right that Stacy had a HUGE following, and securing her as an instructor in the new club would go a long way toward bringing her people back (40+ people in every class she taught). Karen is also excellent, as well as others. Yes, I’m frustrated that the club closed without communication and with charges, but I’m optimistic and hopeful that the new owner/manager will make a good go of it. I’ll keep checking the blog for more info on when to contact the new ownership to get restarted. -WS mom

  • Dan Lehr October 26, 2014 (8:27 pm)

    Regarding the re-opening of the West Seattle Club:

    We are shooting for a reopening sometime this week. Beginning tomorrow we have the following schedule/tasks to re-open the club:
    Monday&Tuesday
    Re-organize the equipment that was left scattered around the club in Sam’s attempt to hastily move out.
    Begin the process of deep cleaning the club
    Meet with McKinstry to begin the HVAC repair process.
    Get requirements for new phone system & computers for member check-in, and Point of Sale
    Begin assembling membership forms
    Switch over utilities and obtain a phone number.
    Begin the process of putting up a temporary website
    Managers to inventory their respective areas – develop a need list

    We have organized a team of staff that each have tasks assigned.

    I will post to the blog every evening so please stay tuned.
    Once we feel that the club is safe and operational we will open with all departments operational although not at full capacity with the exception of aquatics. That will take longer since most of the damage was done to the pool area.

    Hang in there and please continue to post. I’ll attempt to answer all I can and will also advise you if I am unsure.

  • m October 26, 2014 (8:36 pm)

    Pg Carr…I am not sure why you are saying I am putting other people down. The only person that needs to take responsibility for his childish and vengeful and fraudulent behavior is Sam Adams.

  • AlkiGrl October 26, 2014 (8:43 pm)

    Thanks, PG Carr, for writing what so many more were thinking. Move on, Allen.
    I’m not naive about the chances of success but am definitely willing to support as is reasonable. Willing to pay a month to month if it’s cash or check. No annual fee and no contract. I rejoined the gym because of location and the classes, Kick It has a HUGE following, and the new Barre class is great.. I only got to enjoy it once before closure.
    I have zero interest in going anywhere near the traffic and parking headache of the junction, so that eliminates YMCA and LA Fitness.
    We’ll see. I may just be gym-less.. sigh.

  • Dan Lehr October 26, 2014 (8:59 pm)

    Regarding the staff’s pay they are owed by Sam Adams:
    The staff are due to be paid on October 28th and hopefully Sam will come through and make good on his promise to pay the staff. If he doesn’t then each staff member will need to file a claim with the department of L&I and/or the Employment Security Dept. I can’t recall if it was one or the other or both. I’ll get clarification and provide the staff with directions. Beginning Monday October 27th many of the employees will be pushed into action and we (West Seattle Health Club) will begin to assume their pay – we will be offering to hire most everyone back at the current rate they were paid prior to West Seattle Club’s closing.

    Let’s wait and see what Sam does and take it from there. Unpaid wages are very serious and I believe they cannot be dismissed in a bankruptcy. These will follow Sam until they are paid.

  • Scout 15 October 26, 2014 (9:26 pm)

    I left when Allstar fitness was in decline.
    I cannot wait until I have a chance to see that :#1 Pool is fixed and clean#2 Equipment is working and/or new. #3 The place is painted,clean and repaired properly.
    When these items are addressed, I will happily sign up again.
    Dan, you will not get membership increases until these items are handled properly. No one with a brain will invest in a membership, until the place is fully functional.

  • C A October 26, 2014 (9:38 pm)

    I was a member until a friend of mine that worked for the club paycheck bounced. The combination of the way Sam treated his employees and the condition of the club was enough for me to cancel my membership! I joined 24 Hour Fitness on Barton and have been pleased. The club is really old, doesn’t have a pool and in need of new equipment. However, the staff is nice, location is convenient, classes are lots of fun and memberships are cheap (month to month & no contract).

    • WSB October 26, 2014 (9:44 pm)

      I should note something here pending a longer story that I intend to write tomorrow morning: Just now, checking the files for Sam Adams’ Chapter 11 filing, the US Trustee has moved to either convert it to Chapter 7 – which is not a “reorganization” but rather a flat-out bankruptcy – or dismiss it. According to the motion, Adams has failed to file even the paperwork required for the bankruptcy case itself – monthly financial reports and fees. The documents added to the bankruptcy case file late Friday say there will be a hearing on this motion November 14th. Tomorrow I also hope to find out some general information from sources such as the Attorney General’s Office and/or other consumer watchdogs regarding members’ rights. Don’t let that stop anyone from finding out for themselves – I’m just saying, we hope to include that type of information in our next followup, since tomorrow some people are bound to be continuing to find out for the first time what has happened. – TR

  • C A October 26, 2014 (9:51 pm)

    Dan… Any truth the the comments provided by supermov72 today? “Dan Lehr, the owner of Port Susan Athletic Club, was evicted from the buildings for not paying rent, according to court documents. Lehr referred all the questions from The Herald to Gary Abolofia, his attorney in Bellevue.”

  • WSB October 26, 2014 (9:55 pm)

    As noted upthread, here is his response when we asked him about that 2009 report via e-mail last night:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-athletic-club-is-no-longer-operational-its-becoming-west-seattle-health-club/#comment-1643493

  • AB 38 October 26, 2014 (11:29 pm)

    Thank you WSB for keeping us updated. I’m very disappointed in the recent closure. The classes and instructors are amazing. Nicki, Rosemary, Pricilla and Laura have huge followings.The gym obviously has improvements that need to be made but I’m hopeful of an opening this week and Dan L is being honest given the tough situation.

  • Thomas M. October 26, 2014 (11:33 pm)

    Mr. Lehr apparently did not ask his attorney before withholding rent. Most defenses to unlawful detainer in the state of Washington are conditioned directly on the tenant being current on the rent. Residential leasing rules (the Residential Landlord Tenant Act RCW 59.18) contains a repair and deduct defense, but it is very complicated. Commercial leasing is all RCW 59.12 without any of the additional protections of RLTA.
    *
    The maintenance issue that came up above is likely a result of “maintenance” being allocated to the tenant under the lease. This is not something you will encounter in a residential lease. In commercial leasing “The sun can be shining through the rafters, and the rent is still due”. If there were tenant improvements not being done and the tenant ended up paying subs, there should be an offset reducing a judgment or settlement.
    *
    The conversion of the Chapter 11 to a 7 or dismissal due to failure to file all the schedules and required documents is a potential game changer. Debts that might have been paid under an 11 may be discharged in Chapter 7. It is possible to have a debt determined non-dischargeable (my firm has done it once and it is nearly unheard of). You have to go through a very fast expensive litigation.
    *
    BTW: If Adams filed the documents, they would be open to inspection and would be audited by the U.S. Trustee’s Office… along with recent years’ taxes. Insider transactions can be reversed and clawed back into the estate by the Trustee. This is not a game, these guys mean business. Google what happened to baseball great Lenny Dykstra… he played games and wound up in the gray bar hotel.
    *
    If you have any thoughts of doing this “adversary” process get a lawyer now and have him show up at the 341a meeting of the creditors and grill Adams but good under oath. This blind-sides the Debtor and usually produces great “impeachment” materials for a deposition during discovery, and both can then be used to destroy the Debtor at trial.
    *
    Have fun! (evil grins). Just be sure you are probably right because losing in an adversary could result in you picking up the whole tab.

  • piper October 27, 2014 (7:33 am)

    I just cancelled the credit card that was on file with the club. I recommend others do the same. I doubt Sam Adams will carefully shred people’s information and imagine it will be thrown out on the side of the road somewhere for other unscrupulous people to take. Protect yourselves!

  • cathy October 27, 2014 (8:10 am)

    Sorry for everyone’s having to go through this, and from reading around it appears similar behavior with his Oregon clubs. I was a member of a gym some years ago that shut it’s doors without notice. I had prepaid a year on my ccredit card and disputed the charge for the remaining period. It was prorated and credited back. My experience with the dispute process is the bank getting the dispute whacks the account of the merchant’s processor, who then whacks their customer’s account and gives them a chance to respond. Looked at DOR’s deadbeat taxpayers list. Found him on it. http://dor.wa.gov/Content/FileAndPayTaxes/LateFiling/dtlWest.aspx

  • Natalie Sullivan October 27, 2014 (8:15 am)

    After I showed up on Sat and the club was still closed, I went straight to the YMCA! It’s not as big and spacious, but I know I can count on them. AND the child care is AMAZING! I’ve heard rumors of an LA fitness in the future anyone know anything about it?

  • LTR October 27, 2014 (8:16 am)

    I’ll be back because I swim and it’s the only place in WS with lap swim available all day. I’ve been a member for several years and even though the Allstar mgmt ran the place into the ground, Sam Adams did attempt to clean and repair. I don’t think most people understand the magnitude of the repairs.

  • PG Carr October 27, 2014 (8:38 am)

    Cathy, i didn’t see his name ont he list? which one was it? I also was able to file a chargeback this morning too.

  • DD October 27, 2014 (9:21 am)

    Thanks to several commenters above suggesting those of us who paid for a year in advance contact our credit card company to see if at least part of the charges could be prorated back. I called mine today, and opened a dispute of the charges, although it is not clear this will result in any credit, because, as we know, the coffers of the original “merchant” are empty. However, at this point it seems like a good idea to explore.

  • PG Carr October 27, 2014 (9:22 am)

    @Alkigirl: you’re welcome. Allen if you can’t tell your post was insulting, well then maybe you better read it again. Just because we used and liked this location doesn’t make us “gullible”. I depend on this (and fitness 19) to help me keep very athletic and last year i beat diabetes 2 as a result of increasing my fitness level substantially.

  • Cathy October 27, 2014 (9:47 am)

    @ DD and others. I believe (don’t quote me), that your credit card company will zap the ‘merchant’s credit card processor. If his bank account is dry, it’s their problem to chase him for the money and not your credit card company.

    Could be wrong though, and best wishes and luck to all here. Especially the employees who haven’t been paid :/

    @ PG Carr, scroll down the list to around $50K. It’s under West Seattle Athletic Club. Hah, I chase contractors for money. I see some familiar names at the top of the list.

  • mozabo October 27, 2014 (10:02 am)

    Regarding credit card chargebacks. Given his historical credit history, the credit card processor that processed his transfusions probably withheld giving San money on a regular basis. Typically, a high risk merchant like Sam, could easily have the credit card processor withhold an equivalent if six months of chargebacks to protect them, the processor, from losses on chargebacks. If they felt the risk was higher they could withhold more. That is one of the reasons why it is easy for the consumer to get their money back on fraudulent transactions. For those who allowed direct debit to bank account, it is harder to recoup that money, but not impossible.

    • WSB October 27, 2014 (10:14 am)

      Someone asked for the “comparable within 10 miles” clause (mentioned by new manager Dan Lehr as something previous owner Sam Adams would have to do in order for the closure not to have broken your contract) in written form. Researching via the state Attorney General’s website, I found it here:
      .
      http://www.atg.wa.gov/consumerissues/healthclubs/default.aspx#CommonProblems
      .
      This too will be in today’s followup later, but for those checking back on this comment thread in the meantime …
      .
      TR

  • Steve October 27, 2014 (10:23 am)

    I am not surprised the former owner trashed the place when he left. He recently sent out an email trying to encourage and sell private workouts. I responded with a comment “Thank your for the offer, but it would really be better if your efforts were put towards cleaning up the place and fixing broken lockers, equipment, plumbing etc.” His response was an extremely nasty and childish rant about how everything was in really good shape and “how many lockers do you need anyway?!” It can still be a great club. I am anxious to see it with proper management.

  • ChrisBean October 27, 2014 (10:45 am)

    I canceled the credit card the gym had on file and disputed the latest charge from them since I initially paid first and last month dues up front. I’m looking for a club with childcare and the other closest options are the Y and 24-hour fitness. The Y’s monthly fee would be $100 – that’s a “family” of one adult and one child and childcare is included (up to 1.5 hours while you workout). If I do 24-Hour fitness, I would buy the $369 2-year membership from Costco. That brings it to a little under $17/ month including taxes. I would then have to pay $19/month for childcare there. Just thought I’d share this info in case there are others looking for other options that include childcare.

    Does anyone know where we can send our cancelation letters for the now defunct WS Athletic club? Or do we even bother?

  • PG Carr October 27, 2014 (10:47 am)

    CAthy thanks I do see it

    $51,491.25

    the business name is not searchable, but looking for $5 in the search phrase found it. Great info

  • John October 27, 2014 (10:57 am)

    I see people asking about LA Fitness. I’d recommend you read reviews about LA Fitness before joining. I just spent two months trying to get my moms membership cancelled. What a nightmare.

  • Christy October 27, 2014 (11:23 am)

    What a jerk (Sam). I hope the new owners will offer the option of a month-to-month membership. That’s probably the only way I’d consider rejoining, until they prove themselves.

  • piper October 27, 2014 (11:42 am)

    To ChrisBean: I called the Attorney General’s office explaining the situation. Was told that since their phones have been disconnected and they have not provided any forwarding information, we are to wait and see if they reach out to us(via collection agency or other means). If they do send any of us who have cancelled cards on file with them to collections, we are to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. So, I don’t think there is anything further we can do at this point.

  • Sue October 27, 2014 (11:59 am)

    I looked up West Seattle Athletic Club on the Department of Revenue and Secretary of State websites and notice that the LLC expired as of 12/31/13. While most of the addresses are listed as Andover, on the Secretary of State website it lists the member of the LLC as Sam Adams at 218 Main St #514, Kirkland, WA 98033 – those of you needing to send cancellations might want to try that address. I’d also send a copy to the Andover address since it’s the last known address. I’d also send them certified mail as well as regular mail, so you have proof that you tried to cancel. (I work in corporate law, but am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice – just what I’d do if I was a screwed-over member to cover my butt for if/when the collection agencies come calling.)

    • WSB October 27, 2014 (12:36 pm)

      Sue and anyone else – Please note that the official name of the club was West Seattle Club, not West Seattle Athletic Club (which is why I put “Athletic” in parentheses). Adams was sued by the Seattle Athletic Club for that original name. West Seattle Club LLC does have a business license expiring at the end of this year – 768792. You can research that LLC name through the state corporations database.
      .
      TR

  • cathy October 27, 2014 (12:03 pm)

    @PG Carr. I can only speculate, but typically sales tax collected from customers are what businesses send to the state each month, and when you see these large amounts owed it can be that the taxes were collected and not sent to DOR. I see that a lot with Federal Tax liens, most times employee with holding not sent to the IRS after being deducted from paychecks. I am not saying this has happened, merely speech. I did just look at the club’s status with Labor and Industries online. Got this: https://secure.lni.wa.gov/verify/Details/liabilityCertificate.aspx?UBI=603260421&SAW=&ACCT=23949102. Hope you that link works, one would have to call L&I to confirm if he’s kept current with that arm of the state.

  • Mel October 27, 2014 (12:04 pm)

    Positives:
    .
    – It sounds like at the very least Dan is motivated in trying to get the club open and moving again.
    – The owner must have a decent cash reserve to have not been paid for many months by Mr. Adams, yet be purchasing new equipment, performing significant repairs and still be willing to take on existing prepaid contracts and additional paid months for which he will get no money.
    .
    Negatives:
    .
    – Been through big promises/poor or no follow-through twice now.
    – Owner with no experience or calling in the fitness business.
    – Still no assurance that they will find the “lost” member information.
    .
    On the whole, it might be worth a gamble (on a month-to-month, of course), but I’ll be watching for the same signs that let me know by 2006 that AllStar was mismanaging, and by the second month that Adams was doing the same.
    .
    There is too much competition close by (and even more to come) to put up with being strung along any more. I don’t need an anytime lap swim or my favorite instructor – I just want change-room carpets not gray and fungus-ridden, clips for the barbells, locker doors that aren’t broken, a rower and back extension station that sit broken on the floor for a year, spa not bubbling straight up due to pump problems, no black mold in the showers. Thanks.

  • Tracey October 27, 2014 (12:37 pm)

    Does any one know…..I had a monthly rental locker at the club which had a lock on it and some stuff in it. Nothing of value but I am wondering what happened to it?

    Thanks!

  • Peter October 27, 2014 (12:45 pm)

    FWIW: I was on monthly auto-pay against my checking account. I called my credit union this AM to learn what could be done. They suggested closing the debit card and will issue a new one. PITA, but better than the possible alternatives. They will also mail me a charge dispute form. Not sure if all banks / credit unions operate the same way, but mine told me customers are often credited for the disputed amount and the credit union eats the loss, if it (likely) comes to that. I thought that was pretty good of them to do so.

  • Pg Carr October 27, 2014 (1:32 pm)

    Thanks Cathy that seems good speculation to me. Probably very close to the facts

  • Keni Cohen October 27, 2014 (1:45 pm)

    Sam is an ass and all the people on the upper level that worked for him and did nothing to stop his outrageous vandalism. I like the club and will definitely come back. I use only the pool and hope they move on that quickly, the new filter system was great! I got a feeling some of the vandalism was done by workers who were pissed off at Sam, misguided anger,There were workers actually helping him pull out the stuff! Why didn’t anyone go down and stop him or over see it? misguided anger. Whatever it is a great location, been a member for 8 years and I hope it opens sooner then latter.
    Shame on Sam and all those who knew what he was up to and did nothing, you know who you are!

  • Cassie October 27, 2014 (2:11 pm)

    According to the contract in 29D, comparable services need to be provided during closure. Where are our options for substitute facilities during this closure? Im not paying all this money to not have a gym to go to.

  • Snack October 27, 2014 (3:05 pm)

    After reading about Sam Adams history in Oregon doing the same thing years ago( thanks to the WSB) , I convinced my wife to leave the West Seattle Club last December 2013. She was on a month to month credit card debit plan by then so there was no issue with money paid in advance which many of you have to deal with. Thankfully she was able to terminate her membership without any ongoing credit card charges as occurred with some of Sam Adams Oregon customers.

    She moved to Anytime Fitness last February when the new gym opened up in the Admiral location. I know that that gym is not going to meet everyone’s needs, swimming, classes, day care etc but for basic workouts it can meet many peoples needs.

    Good luck to all those seeking restitution, but I would not count on it.

    As for me I had been a 25 year member of the Sound Mind and Body gym in Fremont until, sadly it closed this past July when the long time owners wanted to retire but could not find a buyer to continue the clubs operation. The building was sold to a real estate developer and converted to office space for Tableau Software. My office was across the street from SMB so I was a little spoiled about having a high quality gym so close and convenient. SMB, had everything but a pool and day care. It was not $100 a month either. I paid $63 a month and was never disappointed with the club maintenance or management. Thank you Richard Harrington and Vicki Aldrich for such a long healthy work out relationship. I now go to Anytime Fitness in Fremont and occasionally drop in to the Admiral Anytime fitness with my wife, since there is reciprocity to all the Anytime Fitness facilities in Seattle for no extra charge.

    I am 63 YO and I have been a member of numerous gyms since 1977 and what I know you cannot get away from is the old adage ” You get what you pay for” If you want a fully featured, well maintained athletic club with an Olympic size pool, steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, a potpourri of classes, day care, and highly qualified instructors you are looking at north of $100 a month, ala Seattle Athletic club, Bellevue Athletic club, the WAC etc. This West Seattle property has great potential but if the operator/building owner expects to attract long term member and keep the facility clean, in tip top condition at all times with great equipment, classes and employees he cannot continue to charge the $40, $50, $60 a month, people have been paying. Think about it , how have the promises panned out from the previous operators. I think they really wanted to succeed but the cash flow would not support what the facility demands. I know some of you will say, oh they were just bad managers, crooked or just dumb. That may be partly true but the bottom line is what does it cost to keep a top shelf Athletic Club up and running? A lot more than $50 a month per member. I know many of you cannot afford over $50 a month or you are not willing to pay more for whatever reason, so the best option is to join a local gym that has a long track record of meeting the needs of it’s members needs while staying within their budget. But if you expect this West Seattle facilty to thrive and meet all your wants in all areas and not pay more per month, be prepared for history to repeat itself. Remember another old adage…”The definition of insanity is……..?

    Good luck!

  • Kyle October 27, 2014 (3:27 pm)

    I just drove by the club to see if there was any activity going on. There was a crew of workers out front. I spoke with the lead and he said they had a lot of work planned and they hoped to be open by next Monday. He also said he’s known Dan for a while and said he’s someone who follows through on his plans & promises………I’m with everyone else on here, I’ve heard enough and taking a wait and see aproach. Hope it can come together because it has a lot of potential.

  • Shelly October 27, 2014 (3:52 pm)

    Somebody above brought up a great point, I saw employees there today at the gym working who are the same employees who were I saw helping Sam clear the place on Friday when I came to workout. So, why are they still working; can you answer us that one?

  • Jersey Girl October 27, 2014 (4:00 pm)

    West Seattle Athletic Club MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENT Paragraph 8.3 Automatic Termination: In accordance with Oregon and Washington State Law, this Agreement shall automatically terminate upon the occurrence of any of the following events: ……(ii) the Club goes out of business; …….
    In the event termination occurs for reasons described in this Paragraph 8.3, upon such termination, Member shall be entitled to a refund of any prepaid monthly dues.

  • HEADS UP PEOPLE October 27, 2014 (4:21 pm)

    Having read the comments of the fine community contributors who are giving you outstanding guidance here, I am thinking you need to position yourselves to lawyer up. Yes. Lawyers are gross, but this is one of those times when there might not be other means to resolve the breaking of a contract.

    Maybe “somebody” capable needs to create a gmail account for everybody interested in staying in the loop for potential legal action. Doesn’t mean litigation necessarily, but just a place to have your contact information noted with confidentiality. Looks like there are lots of able commenters here to pursue that and coordinate with previous members who have dropped out already.

    I am not a member currently. I dropped after a couple of years because the sales people were obnoxious and I always have a bad vibe about that kind of tactic, as a consumer. So I left.

    There is a non-contract option at 24-Hr. in Westwood to hold people over (as many have provided details for here in comments). And if you have a COSTCO membership ($55/yr.) you can purchase a 2 yr. membership for about $17/month – versus month-to-month solo membership of $32 or so.

    No pool there at 24-Hr., but you pay first and last with no contract, you can wait and see what happens at WS club or move to other clubs without issue.

    If I were you folks, though, I would contact my bank and change my card. A hassle to notify every autowithdraw account using it, but less than if it were to be drawn upon again by this group.

    And keep the quality and accurate information and guidance flowing for your good neighbors in their time of distress. I hate seeing people get burned like this. The gym industry is notorious for this kind of garbage though. It. Sucks.

    Hang in there everybody. Have faith justice will prevail. And that unencumbered workouts will be yours again!

  • PG Carr October 27, 2014 (5:02 pm)

    Hello All

    I just walked over to the gym about an hour ago it is close to my office at Activspace West Seattle

    HEre are some shots of what is going on at the club currently. most of the shirts are out of the pool

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vfet60ukxh5jqrd/2014-10-27%2015.27.03.jpg?dl=0

    a lot of garbage bags are being put out

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vxv2kkb0mmkfcx0/2014-10-27%2015.28.01.jpg?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ffdm1jlqxdcgjkh/2014-10-27%2015.28.08.jpg?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/v8stwlroz68ucsp/2014-10-27%2015.28.13.jpg?dl=0

  • Lori October 27, 2014 (6:14 pm)

    I was just heading out to take Kim T’s spin class when I had a tug to check the WSB:(
    I love Christine and Kaci’s Barre classes and Pam’s pilates. I know all of the other instructors are appreciated too. I want them back and the club facility in better shape. It’s a great space and great for the West Seattle Community. Lori

  • ivey October 27, 2014 (6:17 pm)

    Did anyone else get double charged in October? I am really nervous about this kind of business having access to debit my account, since they don’t seem to be very ethical and honest in their business practices.

    I’ve only been a member since Sept, but I had received horrible service from the membership staff. On Thursday, I stopped by to clear up the overcharge to the mess of them moving out. I was so surprised by the frantic moving and tossing around of equipment into piles. I wish I had known what was going on and called the police. I had been there just Tues before, and didn’t get a heads up this was happening at all.

    Now I’m totally falling out of my fitness routine, as I’m sure others are. I would love to see the new owners give more than just another opportunity for a contract, as I have paid over $240 in less than 2 months from being overcharged for one membership. I feel completely ripped off.

    Isn’t there a new gym being built in the Alaska junction? There has to be something better in West Seattle than the tired, dirty 24hr Fitness and the crowded YMCA. It’s going to take a lot of well meaning customer service and follow up to get me to come back.

  • tk October 27, 2014 (6:41 pm)

    This place is cursed, just stay away.

  • tk October 27, 2014 (6:46 pm)

    Last spring I commented about the fire alarm going off at the gym (I can see the gym from my apartment). There was a taxi cab that waited outside for what seemed like over an hour. It was too far away for it to have anything to do with the residences of the apartment building. Attempted insurance fraud? This gym has screwed me over twice with the billing so I’m not very fond of them.

  • Nick October 27, 2014 (10:03 pm)

    I attempted to contact a lady regarding my account status & how to cancel. Was told I could do it in person on Monday. Obviously that didn’t work out & when I emailed asking her to send me paperwork to cancel I got no response.

    Is it permissible to post her email address here?

  • Cathy October 28, 2014 (8:37 am)

    Still waiting to hear if there is a possibility of getting back current and the “last month” membership dues. Is there anything we can file in regards to a bankruptcy or create a class actin law suit. I’m not a lawyer but would like some advice.

    • WSB October 28, 2014 (8:40 am)

      I can’t speak to that one at this point but did want to quickly note that we didn’t publish an update last night because we hadn’t heard back from new club manager Dan Lehr. He did respond this morning so our next story is in the works.

  • Amy October 28, 2014 (9:06 am)

    I’ve been reading these comments like a car accident I can’t look away from. I’m sorry people are having money concerns and can’t understand why they would look for advice here. Talk to your bank! 118 comments reminds me that WS residents are passionate about things that are important to them and I also think this is one high class problem! “My gyms not open”- give this man some breathing room people! The place just closed 5 days ago!

  • Dick October 28, 2014 (9:55 am)

    Amy, I’m with you! As a member, I want it open asap (I really need the exercise). But yeah, give the new guy a few days. That place was in bad enough shape without the extra trashing Sam gave it on his way out. Dan is smart enough to know if he opens it too soon and things are still in disrepair people will just come cry about it here on the Blog.

  • DB October 28, 2014 (10:08 am)

    We decided to try out a new gym while the dust settled… Anytime Fitness in the Admiral Junction. We were able to get a 1 week membership (not a 2 week one like Yelp offers) and they are nice- but seem vocally unhappy that a lot of people might just try them and then go right back to this club when it re-opens. I will mention Stacy Munn just announced she is getting ready to teach at this club.

    If you were hoping to try them out- here is the email we got this morning:

    Good morning!

    My brothers & I would like to personally thank you for your trial request! We’re fellow West Seattleites and it’s been such a blessing to be in a position to help our community get to a healthier place. Unfortunately, due to very heavy traffic since this past Thursday we have to regretfully postpone accepting any new trials for the next two weeks. We’re committed to doing right by our members and not over-saturating their gym.

    We genuinely take great pride in being a close knit neighborhood gym and we would love for the opportunity to showcase this firsthand in the near future!

    Feel free to stay in touch via email or check the website in two weeks to see if we’ve resumed trial memberships.

    Healthy regards,
    Andrew

    Here’s a link to our website – http://anytimefitness.com/gyms/1993/seattle-wa-98116

    Andrew J. Saldaña
    Co-Owner @ Anytime Fitness Capitol Hill & West Seattle

  • Jo October 28, 2014 (10:23 am)

    I am looking over my contract and the copy they gave me is off centered so I can’t read the cancel policy in full. I know I need to give them 30 days notice but does it need to be a certified letter? Can anyone please tell me what it says or what I will need to do? Appreciate the help…

  • Shelly October 28, 2014 (10:41 am)

    Since you are on top of this WSB, can you ask Dan why he is letting the employees who helped clear out the gym and create the mess work for him? I saw some of those same employees on Friday when I can to workout, came by to see if it was open Monday and saw some of those same people. How are we suppose to trust them?

  • Ian October 28, 2014 (10:43 am)

    I’m also a member – was last billed October 7th. I’m waiting to contact my bank until it’s clear whether or not the new ownership will get the billing records to make a smooth transition. As for cancellation – I’m not a lawyer, but my guess is that their (West Seattle Athletic Club) cancellation rules are null and void, as they’re no longer a functioning business… Anyone with legal expertise willing to comment?

  • supernova72 October 28, 2014 (11:17 am)

    In the same boat as Ian right above here. Bill hits my credit card on the 7th of each month. I want to make sure it doesn’t hit Nov 7th but don’t want to cancel the card and have some collection agency after me and get my credit hosed up.

    Could be a game time decision on this. “Do I feel lucky?” Ha.

    What’s the record for comments on the WSB?? : )

  • piper October 28, 2014 (11:22 am)

    I am not a lawyer but just a pissed off member. I cancelled the credit card they had on file and sent two certified letters saying I am cancelling my membership effective immediately, including the member number from my OAC card. I sent one to each of the above addresses listed in someone’s comment (Sam’s home and one to the club). Even if they get returned, I will have proof that I attempted just in case that unscrupulous piece of ?!@! decides to charge me again and send to collections as he’s done in the past with so many other members. If any of that comes to pass I will have proof with which to file a complaint at the attorney general’s office.

  • Sue October 28, 2014 (11:30 am)

    Another option is Snap Fitness in Jefferson Square. Very bare basics gym – no pools or classes – but I liked it very much when I was a member if you just want weights and machines. (I now get a free gym at work, which is why I left.)

  • Alki Beach October 28, 2014 (1:50 pm)

    “NEXT”!!!

    • WSB October 28, 2014 (2:14 pm)

      Just published another update, with the latest from the building’s new management, plus developments in the ex-club owner’s bankruptcy case, and what the state Attorney General says about sudden health-club shutdowns … http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290084

  • Rebecca October 28, 2014 (8:09 pm)

    I have a copy of the contract I bought. It could be extended by the number of days/weeks that the gym is closed. Meantime I need to find another place to work out costing more money. Hmmmm

  • Thomas M. October 28, 2014 (10:41 pm)

    Shelly. Without rehashing my whole post on how lockouts happen, above, it is very likely the crew was hired by the new owner, possibly even through the new manager Mr. Lehr. That is why they would have been moving stuff out at the lockout, and working now. The Sheriff Detective is on civil standby to keep the peace, and they do NOT lift a finger. I have seen no facts indicating the buildings owner, new manager or workers put the shirts in the pool (only to have to take them back out?).

  • Mark October 28, 2014 (11:15 pm)

    Shelly the workers you saw are long time maintenance people who have lived through two owners in bad situations never having enough resources to keep up with the demands. They have a lot of value for this facility, they know where all the unfixed problems are, and have a lot of knowledge and experience. Now we can only hope the new Management and Owner can enable them to get the resources they need to bring and keep the facility up to the standards we all want.

  • Bradley October 29, 2014 (1:35 am)

    I’m absolutely shocked at how many members stayed and kept paying this CRIMINAL Sam Adams after all of the warnings, horrible reviews, and first-hand accounts of those who were ripped-off by this scam. I hope that now this nightmarish catastrophe can finally come to an end with the new ownership. Taking the time to file a complaint with the attorney general’s office just may keep others’ in our state from being victims of any future ventures that Sam Adams may get involved in.

  • Peter October 29, 2014 (4:30 pm)

    @Bradley: Trust me – it wasn’t loyalty to Sam Adams. A lot of us are creatures of daily habit and frankly, I looked hard, and there aren’t any other comparable options out there yet. The class I took on Sundays was great. I could almost always find an unoccupied and working cardio machine to get my endorphin fix. Yes, sometimes it took some hunting :(

    Plenty of free weights and other weight equipment to heft around. Then to be able to go for a quick swim and hot tub (when it was working) after working up a good sweat. Please tell me where else I can find all that without paying considerably more and leaving West Seattle? We weren’t naïve. We saw what was going on. Folks I talked to were just sticking it out as long as they could.

    Frankly, I was more shocked that new people kept signing up. I’m really not trying to blame the victims here, but seriously – any due diligence web search at all would’ve revealed all kind of red flags associated with this place.

  • PreviousMember October 29, 2014 (7:37 pm)

    Marcus you are the problem too! I spoke with you regarding being charged after I cancelled and you told me you didn’t know your managers last name, or the owners name. So, all in all, you are a part of the problem of why this facility was overcharging people. You didn’t help helpless members. You didn’t know the last name of the operations manager, and you stated you were the manager of memberships. Nice try acting like the victim here.

  • Alki4 October 29, 2014 (11:26 pm)

    This an email sent by Sam Adams today to members:

    Dear Members,

    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 http://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

  • Kerry Nicholson October 30, 2014 (3:54 pm)

    What a sad saga! A great building brought low by inept management. The good news is that I know John Pietromonaco for many years . . .I was a lender to his company back in the Seafirst days .. . and know him professionally in real estate circles. He is a total high integrity, class act. Please don’t blame him for what his tenant has done, he has been left with a mess. I think we will finally see something very different unfold at this great location .. .and just in time, as if no changes were made, LA Fitness would eat their lunch big time when it opens! I developed the next door Youngstown Flats Apts and have been dismayed to see the club go downhill. I am now filled with hope. Kerry N

  • poolpalws November 6, 2014 (11:53 pm)

    Dan, what is the new ph # for the club, and when will the pool be back open? a bunch of us who want to swim and sauna every day are at the YMCA month to month, very inconvenient for me personally w/ limited lap lane hours and not near my house. The new CO2 filter that was recently installed at the club was amazing and so much less hard on hair, skin and swimsuit, hope you are getting that again. I have to know on the 15th if I am cancelling month to month at the Y, please let us know asap your ETA for the pool and sauna. Thanks.

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