By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
We talked this afternoon with Dan Lehr, who is managing the transition for property owner John Pietromonaco, who is now the club owner too.
“Possibly as early as Sunday, maybe sooner,” Lehr told WSB in a phone conversation.
“We were hoping for tomorrow, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.” Since they’ll be opening “without computers,” he says, “my thought is that we’re just going to let people come in for free, the entire community, even if you’re not a member.”
Regarding the e-mail sent to WS (Athletic) Club members yesterday (WSB coverage here), signed in the name of WSAC owner Sam Adams, Lehr dismissed the allegations as “complete bull.” Among them, the e-mail’s claim that all membership records would be destroyed.
That’s not possible, Lehr said, because the digital version of those records “is in the cloud.” Lehr said he has contacted “the people who do the billing and I shut off Sam’s account. As of today, nobody can be billed (by the previous club)… it physically couldn’t happen. Now what we’re trying to do is, see if we can port over all the membership info so we could sort through all that” and see about transferring memberships, extending them for the time lost while the club has been closed, etc.
Lehr says they have retained the “key executive staff, key management … obviously let a few people go who were kind of aligned with Sam (and who) we felt weren’t going to be a good fit moving forward.” Today, they were setting up a new payroll account “and hoping … to port over all the employee information to us so we can seamlessly move into payroll.”
But what that means for time worked before the previous club closed, isn’t yet clear, Lehr cautions. “We have not decided how/if we’re going to cover any of the payroll that Sam (had) due … his checks went out on the 28th, he claims … we’ll see if any of them are good … (and then) we’ll decide what to do.”
What about the pool? we asked. “That’s the biggest problem right now; it’s going to be down for a good three weeks. Since (Adams) drained it, we’re going to take that opportunity to paint the inside of the metal canopy on the ceiling, fix the lights, a lot of pool equipment that was in a state of disrepair, fixing that as we speak … lot of electrical issues, it wasn’t being ventilated, fixing that … fixing the HVAC and that started on Monday and I believe that continues as we speak. They have to order some parts for some of the compressors, the locker rooms and the pool area.”
What about the equipment, since Adams removed some if not most of it? Lehr says the “stuff that does work” is in the third-floor cardio area. They’ve concentrated “anything that doesn’t work” into what had been the “women’s only” area, temporarily. And now, repairs will begin. Plus, they put in orders yesterday for $538,000 worth of new equipment, described by Lehr as “all new cardio, lots of new group fitness equipment, all new free weights … dumbbells, barbells, plates … (and) some really cool functional fitness stuff.”
Lehr says they’ve also brought in supplies, “day-care stuff, we’re working on the furniture, TV’s are on order, computers are (on the way), and new security-system cameras are being installed.”
A commenter asked about Emerald City Smoothie, which has a location in the club’s lobby. “They will stay,” Lehr said. “We’ve been in contact with them and are meeting the owners on Saturday and looking at their agreement.”
Along with everything else mentioned, according to Lehr, the club has been cleaned and “a lot of painting is going on.”
One more question – what about the lockers? At least one WSB commenter mentioned having left some stuff in them. Lehr said they were supposed to just be for day use, so nothing should have been in them, but that said, a few do have locks, so they’re going to leave those be for now instead of going along with an original plan to cut the locks off.
To recap briefly, if you’re just coming in on this: After a somewhat turbulent year and a half of ownership, which followed the previous ownership’s sale of the club during bankruptcy proceedings, Sam Adams closed the club last week, with a notice saying it would be closed Thursday/Friday and would reopen Saturday; it did not reopen Saturday, and Lehr announced the property owner had taken it over and was creating a new club called the West Seattle Health Club.