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Spectrum Closing

Market saturation and location are key factors

Posted: October 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.

In a letter to members, the Spectrum Club in Santa Clarita announced it was closing it closing its doors Oct. 31 at 2 p.m.

Members of the local athletic fitness club were notified by email Monday afternoon. The Spectrum Club of Valencia also posted a notice on its website for the Valencia Club.

"I received the news Monday night when I went to the club to shoot some hoops, and there was a lot of sadness at the front desk,” said Craig Leener of Santa Clarita. “Like many things in life, I took it for granted the club would always be there."

In a letter to members, Chief Executive Officer Bud Rockhill said that the “combined impact of the economic downturn and an over-saturated fitness market have had a continued negative effect on our local business.”

“We think it’s oversaturated for the price point and service level we provide,” Rockhill said in an interview with The Signal.

Overall, the company remains healthy and strong. The closure of the Valencia club was really an isolated case, he said. The company made $5 million in upgrades to its clubs in the past year.

But, based on industry statistics, only a certain percent of the population belongs to a health club and Spectrum believes the Santa Clarita market has too many clubs for a population its size to fully support an upscale, full-service club based on its services, overhead costs and number of members, he said.

A large number of fitness centers, both small and large, exist in the Santa Clarita Valley with several having opened in the past three years alone.

Gold’s Gym opened in 2012 on the corner of McBean and Magic Mountain Parkways. It is located very nearby the Spectrum Club.

The Spectrum Club in Valencia originally was one of the first large and upscale, full-service gyms to open in Santa Clarita 15 years ago.

And in 1998, the gym sat alone on a large piece of property giving it street side visibility.

Over the years, however, commercial developments later surrounded the fitness club blocking any street side visibility.

The Hyatt hotel, Madison residential units and street-level Town Center retail stores blanketed the fitness club making the gym a destination location only – you had to know where it was hidden.

“I hate to blame it on the location. But it was not an optimal location as far as visibility,” Rockhill said. “On the other hand, in today’s competitive market - at the end of the day - we are like any retail location. Location, signage and visibility do the best in terms of getting the members.”

Closing the Valencia club was definitely a “last resort,” he said.

“We’re very sad about it. This is not a callous decision. We had a great staff and core members,” Rockhill said. “But market conditions - getting through the recession and competition – have forced us to make a tough decision.”

The 11 other Spectrum clubs will continue to operate in the region, but locally members will have to trek to Thousand Oaks or Canoga Park if they wish to remain active at a Spectrum Club.

Full details of membership options were not made available in the letter to members but Rockhill said the club would “honor all of its commitments to members and help its staff find other jobs.”

The local Spectrum has six or seven full time staff members and “lots of part-time employees,” he said.

The Spectrum Club also stated in its letter that a full refund would be made for prepaid services such as personal training and some of the Pilates and Kids Club classes.

The fitness center expects to make refunds via a payment or credit by late November.



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