By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes
A Keizer gym’s abrupt closure has left members wondering what happened to the membership dues they paid.
What has some Platinum Sports and Fitness members especially upset is that the gym apparently sold new memberships nearly right up until its closure. One man said he bought one a week before a note was posted on the door saying the gym would be closing at 1 p.m. Thursday, December 22. The owner said he was selling memberships until he made the decision to close that same day.
And at least one member said his bank account was charged for monthly membership dues on December 27, several days after the gym had closed. Another said she had been contacted and told it may be reopening in some form or fashion.
Platinum Sports and Fitness owner Corey Ahrens said memberships will be transferred to another gym, but declined to say which. Ahrens added there will be no refunds. Platinum Fitness is individually owned and is not part of a chain, and its billing is administered by a third-party firm.
“The reason I closed was how horrible the public was about rumors and false information,” Ahrens wrote in an email to the Keizertimes. “Just like now and your story will just feed that fire.”
Ahrens said a firm called All State Financial owns the memberships. He said he’s “out of the picture” and declined to answer further questions, but said “everything was done properly … no one cares I have to feed my family and provide for them.”
The Keizertimes contacted the company at the phone number Ahrens provided. A representative for the company identified the company’s name as Motionsoft and stated the closure was so new that they weren’t exactly sure what would happen next.
Whether Ahrens’ proposal is legal or not depends in large part on how close the new gym is to the largely-vacated storefront at 3580 River Road N. Oregon’s Health Spa Act states memberships can only be transferred when the new place is less than five miles from the former location.
“It basically gives the consumer an option of saying, ‘I’m willing to drive to the original facility but (the new one) adds another 20 minutes and I don’t want to go, so I’m gonna cancel the contract,’” said Keith Dubanevich, chief of staff at the Oregon Department of Justice.
Daniel Del Real had been a member less than a week before he came to work out on Thursday, Dec. 23, only to be told to leave when he arrived. A Keizertimes reporter arrived shortly thereafter and was told by an unidentified man inside that the gym was just getting new equipment and would reopen after Christmas.
Del Real thought $100 flat was a bargain for a year-long gym membership.
“Personally I was wondering if I was getting my money back because I used it all of a day,” Del Real said.
All that day, people kept walking up and were surprised to find they no longer had a gym to work out in.
Some said they saw the closure coming, as there had been an ongoing lack of heating and the gym had just recently stopping issuing free clean towels to customers. Nate Jones said he’s going to miss the camaraderie.
“You develop friendships and bonds with people,” Jones said.
Todd Flint called Platinum Fitness a “bare-bones gym” and saw trouble coming.
“I was just shocked. Then I realized I knew it was going to happen,” Flint said. “I knew it was too good to be true.”
Don Yankovich said his account was hit with a monthly gym membership charge on December 27, even though he has no gym to go to.
“The members of Platinum are feeling misled; angry and taken by the actions of Corey Ahrens & (the gym),” Yankovich said in an email.
Linda Goodrich signed up when it was Gold’s Gym when she needed exercise after open-heart surgery. She renewed her membership for $199 in June.
“It was a good deal, so I did it. (But) it wasn’t a very good one,” Goodrich said.
Devarshi Bajpai just renewed a couple of weeks ago for $150 on a state worker special.
“Obviously they knew about this when they signed me up,” Bajpai said. “They just plain lied to me.”