An Ohio gym’s sudden closure has prompted complaints from members, leading to an investigation by local police and the state attorney general’s office.

According to News 5 Cleveland, members of a Workout Anytime location in Fairview Park, Ohio, were dismayed when, despite having recently renewed or joined as members, the location was closed. A sign on the locked door was the only explanation.

Reports indicate that rumors of the gym’s planned closure had gotten around to members, but the gym continued to take money up until the day they closed down. One member, Michael Kilbane, who also sits on the Fairview Park city council, told News 5 that he went as far as to ask a manager about it before he himself renewed.

“I’d heard they planned on locking the doors and moving back to where they’re from, South Carolina,” Kilbane said, “and that’s what they did about a week after I renewed my membership.”

Kilbane said that he fears members like himself are now just out the money they recently paid, but wants the gym to give the money back.

“They need to reimburse our gym dues,” Kilbane said.

Local police chief Erich Upperman said that he has referred complaints to a prosecutor, but it hasn’t yet been determined whether the gym owner’s behavior was criminal.

“If they knowingly were taking renewed money or new membership money from people knowing they were going to close, it would probably be criminal,” Upperman said.

Meanwhile, the gym’s owners have apparently disappeared. News 5 reports that they had been behind on rent payments, and have not responded to calls from members, the police department, or the mayor.

 

Jason Scott is Online Managing Editor of Athletic Business.