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Closures and Changes are Stressing Weho Gym Members

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If there is one thing people in West Hollywood take seriously, it’s fitness and their gyms. Messing around with someones ability to work out is dangerous business in this city, yet three local gyms are making big changes that are forcing people to change sacred routines.

Crunch on Sunset and Crescent Heights just reopened after a several day remodeling period that had some members upset leading into the closure and others upset with the results. The 24 Hour Fitness chain is following suit with a short term closure and upgrade of its Hollywood location along with an extended closure of the West Hollywood location for a more thorough renovation.

Few people would argue with the need for renovations at the West Hollywood 24 Hour Fitness location.  It has long been the subject of complaints on review sites and it has been issued code compliance violations by the City of West Hollywood.  It is rumored to be closing for three months, and the members of the gym are not yet sure what they are going to do for workouts during that period.

Hollywood’s 24 Hour Fitness, which hasn’t fared much better in ratings on review sites, will also be closing in September, though for a shorter period. A reader reports that the location will be closing the night of September 16 and reopening on September 24, according to a sign on the premises.

A simultaneous closure of both locations would displace a very large number of fitness seekers in the area during that week.  But even aside from that, it isn’t clear if the Hollywood location can handle the influx that might try to resort to that gym during the extended closure in West Hollywood.  The only nearby facilities listed on the company website appear to be smaller (“moderately sized”) locations in Mid-Wilshire and Beverly Hills that the company calls “Active” as far as club type.

In addition, it seems like some Weho members do not yet know if their membership will be honored at the Hollywood gym for other reasons. Some only have “single location” memberships to the Weho location.  Another problem could be with the level of memberships, as the Hollywood location will be reopening at a more exclusive level that could keep lower level members from the Weho location out of the facility.

Could the upgraded level of the Hollywood location be a maneuver to prevent overcrowding in Hollywood, or to prod members of the West Hollywood location to upgrade memberships?  We don’t yet know how accommodating they will be to those with Weho memberships. An employee of the West Hollywood location told Weho Daily that further details about the closure were to be revealed to staff members during the coming week.

Another segment of local gym-goers has been facing their own remodeling closure issues at Crunch at Sunset Blvd and Crescent Heights.  Some members were not exactly pleased with the way the remodeling closure went down at that gym, and others have complaints about the “upgrades” they found upon returning to the facility.

We previously heard from some Crunch members complaining about the amount of notice given about the closure and alternative workout arrangements.  An email from the club dated August 11 saying to look for information on workout alternatives in the “following weeks” even though there was barely a week left before the closure. The biggest  complaint we heard was about lack of compensation being offered on membership dues during the closure.

We’re starting to hear some complaints about the remodeling itself now that Crunch has reopened, and that the original cool vibe of the place has been replaced with a more corporate feel.  We hear there is bright fluorescent lighting in place of the more subtle lighting that existed before (even to the point of causing eyes to hurt by the end of a workout).

Other parts of the remodel are said to come off as second-rate and incomplete.  While there is new paint walls, we’re told that they kept the old flooring that’s probably more than ten years old (and really stands out against the clean walls… especially with some paint splatter). While there is a lot of new workout equipment, it is contrasted by cardio equipment that seems several years old. And we hear that the locker room is still not complete with its renovation.

Another change is that the juice and smoothie bar has been eliminated, and we hear that the people who worked those jobs have been let go.  A source relayed a conversation with a Crunch employee who said that they knew the Body Factory would be opening up in the same shopping center, so Crunch management decided not to compete.

At least one other local gym has been capitalizing on the gym turmoil in West Hollywood.  Equinox had been offering memberships to Crunch members with no initiation fee through August 28.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Frustrated Crunch Member

    August 30, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    I am annoyed about the way Crunch has handled this remodel. I never received any notice about the closure and think it is ridiculous that they have not offered any compensation for dues. They should pro-rate everyone’s dues according to the closure dates. Plus, after seeing the work that has been completed, I am surprised this took 10 days of having the gym closed. The renovation does not seem like it will affect my work-outs.

  2. Jeannette

    August 30, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Seriously…. 24 is closing HOLLYWOOD and WeHo locations? They need to visit the filthiest gym on earth… their Koreatown location.

  3. Kevin Holliday

    August 30, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    The lighting is awful. The floors are still dirty and now covered with paint splatters. The benches/chairs by the dumbbells are a) too close to the racks so one can’t grab a dumbbell while others are working out and b) are so wobbly to the point of distraction. They had no one out on the floor to help people or teach folks how to use the new equipment. They didn’t touch the the cardio equipment. And, I think that it is BS that we didn’t get any credit at all. Here’s hoping that 24 will be acceptable after the three-month remodel.

  4. John Goldstein

    August 30, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    I’m hearing 24 Weho will close mid Sept for 3 months, and re-open as a Sport or Super Sport. I really don’t think it’s appropiate to jump up that many tiers. 24 Sport should be it!!

  5. kimooner

    August 30, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    I hope the 24 hour fitness is not closing for 3 months. I live less than a block from 24, and I just signed up for a membership there because it is in walking distance. Not once during the sitdown was there a mention of any closings or renovation. This is something that would affect my decision on which gym to join. I really hope that this is just a rumor.

  6. Charles J. Daniels

    September 24, 2010 at 6:31 AM

    I’m a member of the WeHo 24hr. I got a letter about the closure — it is for three+ months (planned 09/26/2010-01/07/2011), and it will re-open as a Super Sport venue. Current WeHo members will get the right to continue going, despite the Super Sport status, which means it will affect only new signups. I also only have a single location membership, WeHo, but I am told during the renovation I can go to any L.A. area 24hr fitness I want.

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