I found out that the gym where I’ve been going for almost a decade will be shutting down at the end of the month. The explanation given to members is that the lease is expiring, and the gym management tried to negotiate new lease terms with the landlord but was unsuccessful. Basically, your typical and all too common rapacious-landlord story. If it’s true. I’ve also heard that the landlord served eviction papers on the gym. Which could merely be a way of ensuring it’ll be out of the premises when the lease expires, or it also could be that the gym was delinquent on its rent.
A couple of things make me suspect that the gym might have had trouble paying its rent. It’s been getting increasingly run-down looking for the past year or so, with more broken equipment and a generally untidy look. In retrospect, the closing of the child care room about a year ago might have been a sign of trouble on the horizon. There’s also the fact that the space it occupies isn’t particularly desirable, making it less likely that a greedy landlord is trying to get high rents from a different tenant. While the gym is in a fairly large, busy shopping plaza, it’s located at the end of the plaza most distant from the main traffic flows. That’s not really an issue for a business that people go to as a purposeful destination, such as a gym, but doesn’t work as well for a store or restaurant that gets more casual traffic.
Whatever the true cause may be, the notice says that gym management is looking for a new location in the area and hopes to reopen soon. Well, maybe. There doesn’t seem to be much available commercial space of the necessary size (I’d guess around 25,000 to 30,000 square feet) in the area, and even if the gym finds a good location it’ll take a while to convert the space to its needs. I have no idea what management will do with all of the gym’s heavy and bulky equipment in the meantime. Finally, it’s my impression that businesses do not often successfully relocate.
As to what all this means to my gym-going, I really can’t say. One thing that’s definitely clear is that my motivation has been on the decline for months. I don’t go to the gym as often as I once did, and when I go my sessions are shorter. Now I’ll be faced with having to find a new gym. My most likely choice is one that used to be affiliated with the present gym – in fact I went there for a couple of weeks several years ago during some renovations – that’s about five miles away. It’s a really nice facility and the price is right. Other than that, there are a couple of reasonably close mega-gyms that are affiliated with national chains, but they’re more expensive and I fear that they give prospective members sales pitches to try to get them to sign extended contracts. The latest craze in the area seems to be Cross Fit, but that program is more regimented than I’d like, and in any event it’s really expensive. So it’ll probably be the former affiliate. Maybe going to a new place will rekindle my flagging enthusiasm.
On a different note, these were fairly easy days at work, in fact I was able to get out an hour or so early each day because all my tasks were done. My mouth was still quite painful from Tuesday’s extremely unpleasant dentist visit, but I’ve been at the job long enough that I can get my stuff done without being too distracted.