24 Hour Fitness files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Well, that was quick.  After re-opening a number of their gyms throughout Texas, Florida, and Hawaii (as well as California next week), 24 Hour Fitness has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  The privately-owned fitness chain is $1.3 billion in debt and plans to close 100 of their 400 gyms permanently as part of their re-structuring process.

Like many fitness chains including Gold's Gym, which also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this past May, 24 Hour Fitness has suffered tremendously from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Growth has been in the negative with new member sign-ups essentially halted along with the excessive membership cancellations.  In an effort to get members to return, 24 Hour Fitness has been offering goodwill promos like 1-year free buddy passes and reassuring that their gyms are sanitary and safe.  However, the 3-month closure has already taken its toll, and there's no doubt that the second largest fitness chain in the U.S. will be a significantly scaled backed company post-pandemic.

In an e-mail to all their current members, CEO Tony Ueber shared the following:
Today we are announcing a financial restructuring, through a voluntary Chapter 11 filing, that we expect will make our company stronger. As part of this, we have received commitments for $250 million in financing that will allow us to continue our club reopening process without interruption. This restructuring will enable us to eliminate debt and close selected clubs that were either out-of-date or in close proximity to other 24 Hour Fitness clubs.
It is sad to many of the locations being closed as this may make re-opened facilities more crowded and difficult to secure reservations with.  As I wrote before, the gym will be a very different environment post-pandemic, and these changes are necessary as fitness facilities can be cesspools for pathogens.  To see if your local 24 Hour Fitness facility has been affected and closed, see their full list of club closures.

Bottom line

It'll be interesting to see what changes come about from 24 Hour Fitness' bankruptcy filing.  The fitness chain has already implemented substantial measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, including capacity controls by requiring reservations, limiting workouts to 1 hour max followed by 30-minute total gym closures for cleaning, and touchless check-in.  Like their members, 24 Hour Fitness has a lot of heavy lifting to do in the coming months.  Let's hope that they can make it through the pandemic, allowing the company and especially their members to come out stronger than before with all those heavy-ass compound lifts.

From all of us at Flying for Fitness, please stay healthy during this trying time.  We hope you enjoyed this post.  Please consider visiting one of our sponsors by clicking on the advertisements.  Our sponsors pay us for customer visits and help us to keep the lights on.  Thanks!


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