SHOPPING CENTERS (copy)

24 Hour Fitness Sport at 1892 Southgate Road in the Broadmoor Towne Center in Colorado Springs. It and another Springs location are expected to reopen in July, but a location on North Academy Boulevard is permanently closing.

The 24 Hour Fitness chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection June 15 and announced it would close more than 130 of its locations around the country, including one at 7720 N. Academy Blvd. in Colorado Springs.

The North Academy fitness center, which occupied nearly 44,000 square feet in the Chapel Hills shopping center, is one of the chain’s three locations in the Springs.

The others, at 1892 Southgate Road in the Broadmoor Towne Center and 3650 Austin Bluffs Parkway in the Marketplace at Austin Bluffs, will reopen July 7, the 24 Hour Fitness website shows.

The chain also is closing a dozen locations in the Denver area, Fort Collins and Greeley.

The 24 Hour Fitness centers in Colorado Springs and statewide had closed in March after Gov. Jared Polis issued stay-at-home orders to combat the spread of the coronavirus; gyms, restaurants and bars were among nonessential businesses that were affected.

The state now has authorized the reopening of gyms, fitness and recreation centers and other indoor sports facilities, but has limited them to operating at a maximum 25% capacity or 50 people per room — whichever number is smaller. Their members also must observe social distancing rules, among other state public health guidelines.

In a June 15 statement, the California-based 24 Hour Fitness cited the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic for its bankruptcy, although some national news media stories said the chain had been in financial trouble before stay-at-home orders were issued by most states.

“If it were not for COVID-19 and its devastating effects, we would not be filing for Chapter 11,” said CEO Tony Ueber. “With that said, we intend to use the process to strengthen the future of 24 Hour Fitness for our team and club members, as well as our stakeholders.”

A Chapter 11 filing allows a financially troubled business to seek protection from a bankruptcy court while it reorganizes its debts and proposes a plan to pay creditors. While in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a business typically continues to operate.

24 Hour Fitness says locations not affected by the bankruptcy are reopening in phases; as it reopens those locations, “all club members will have access to any available 24 Hour Fitness club through the end of 2020, regardless of membership level,” the chain said in its statement.

24 Hour Fitness had more than 400 locations before its Chapter 11 filing.

“As a result of this restructuring, we will gain financial strength and flexibility to accelerate our business transformation plan, which includes reinvestment in our existing clubs, opening new clubs and introducing several new innovative products and services that will enhance the fitness experience for our club members and guests for many years to come,” Ueber said in his statement.

24 Hour Fitness becomes the latest workout chain to close at least one location in Colorado Springs. In April, Gold’s Gym closed all three of its Springs-area centers, also citing financial fallout from the pandemic.

Contact the writer: 636-0228

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