SAN RAMON, Calif. (KGO) -- 24 Hour Fitness says it will permanently close 13 of its Bay Area locations, including four gyms in San Francisco.
Clubs in Alamo, Berkeley, San Jose, Fremont, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Fairfield, Vallejo and Walnut Creek are also on the list of over 130 closures.
24 Hour Fitness, which is based in San Ramon, announced Monday that it was implementing a financial restructuring, through a voluntary Chapter 11 filing.
"If it were not for COVID-19 and its devastating effects, we would not be filing for Chapter 11," said Chief Executive Officer Tony Ueber in a statement.
24 Hour Fitness says it hopes to reopen the majority of its locations by the end of June.
"In conjunction with the Chapter 11 filing, the Company expects to secure approximately $250 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing," 24 Hour Fitness said in a statement. "During the time of phased club reopenings, all club members will have access to any available 24 Hour Fitness club through the end of 2020, regardless of membership level."
24 Hour Fitness says the following Bay Area locations are now closed:
So what are customers of 24 Hour Fitness to do?
Bankruptcy attorney Cory Birnberg says those with long term memberships are unlikely to see refunds. Wells Fargo and other secured creditors are first in line to get paid. Members, under bankruptcy law, will be the last priority to get paid.
"Those that are month to month, maybe they'll only lose their month and they won't have to continue to pay. Those that pay a year in advance, they're going to be out their membership fee," says Birnberg.
Their best option may be to transfer their membership to one of the gyms which remain open. Members will be given admittance to even the premium ultra-sport gym regardless of their membership level.
Apart from that, "I would enter month to month, that would be my best advice," says Birnberg.
Birnberg also recommends members check their contracts to see if there's a clause in the contract providing for refunds if your gym closes.
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