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Canyon Country gym closes abruptly

Members offered deal at fitness center across town

Posted: May 2, 2014 6:04 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2014 6:04 p.m.

The Fitness Compound gym in Canyon Country has closed its doors abruptly, posting a hastily scribbled notice on its door apologizing to members and referring them to another fitness center.

Someone posted a notice to customers and staff on the gym’s Facebook page Wednesday stating, “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we write to you now. After three and a half years in business and massive investments in both time and capital we are forced to close our doors.”

A scrawled message left on the front door read, “my business partner sold my equipment.” The notice was signed only “Compound” and said memberships would be honored at another gym.

Both messages referred gym members to the Santa Clarita Athletic Club on Wiley Canyon Road in Newhall, saying their memberships would be honored there.

Chuck Heacock, whose name was listed as the owner of the Fitness Compound on the 2011 business permit approved by Los Angeles County, said he was only the “face of the gym.”

“It wasn’t my gym, I was the smallest partner,” Heacock said. “There was a big investor.”

The Facebook message poster said the Fitness Compound had secured extra funding a few months ago to “initiate needed improvements and to fund ongoing operations.”

The message went on to say, however, that the investment the gym had secured “had been terminated,” forcing the club to abruptly close.

The investor, claims Heacock, sold the equipment and shut down the gym. Someone other than himself referred people to the Santa Clarita Athletic Club, he said.

“If that club had sold memberships paid in full, we’re honoring those,” said owner Wade Gates of the Santa Clarita Athletic Club. “And we’re welcoming everyone else.”

The Santa Clarita Athletic Club doesn’t generally reach into Canyon Country, Gates said, but it has already welcomed lots of customers from the closed gym. The other club had some great classes, Gates said.

“We hired 75 percent to 80 percent of their instructors so members can work with some of the same people they worked with at the Fitness (Compound),” he said.

Located in the shopping center at Soledad Canyon Road and Shangri-la Drive, the structure that was occupied by the Fitness Compound originally opened as a gym in 2001 by the former owners of the Santa Clarita Athletic Club.

In April 2011 it was taken over by the Elite Fitness Compound and operated under the name of Fitness Compound.

Gates said the Santa Clarita Athletic Club offered members of the Spectrum Club, when it closed, the same deal it’s offering Fitness Compound members now.

With 70,000 square feet of space, the Newhall facility has the room to accommodate more classes and people, he said.

Under California law, members are protected from any obligation when a gym closes abruptly, Gates said, and there is no longer liability, regardless of any contract they signed.




BBennettssupporter: Posted: May 3, 2014 10:56 a.m.

You didn't see this coming? Then you went into work each day with your blinders on. As an owner, Chuck, you treated members like crap and did not listen. You cannot have broken equipment and keep it that way AND you cannot charge someone $10 to bring a guest that wants to "try" your gym before committing to a contract. You truly did not know how to run a business and this is the end result. I do not feel sorry for you as this should of happened a long time ago.

Lotus8: Posted: May 6, 2014 12:12 p.m.

Stories of "big investors" and back room corporate types are usually just cover stories. The dude ran out of money, negotiated a cash deal for whatever equipment was functional, posted a note on the door and that was that. Claiming to be some small fish in the whole thing absolves him from any responsibility to answer the harder questions that are tough on the ego.

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