24 Hour Fitness was just one of the gym franchises that had to shut its doors because of the coronavirus pandemic. Its members quickly grew frustrated after they were charged for two months in a row while the doors were locked. Now, the gyms are starting to reopen, but four locations in the county will be closed for good.
"They took a payment out of my bank account after they had already closed, which kind of sent me off," said 24 Hour Fitness member John San Filippo.
Filippo spoke to NBC 7 Responds when the clubs first closed down and was able to get the money back by canceling the charge through his credit card company. He's been a loyal 24 Hour Fitness member for nearly a decade and is looking forward to the gyms reopening.
"I've put on about 10 pounds among other things, so I blame that all on not being able to exercise as I do at the gym," Filippo said. "I'm the guy that will wake up at 3 a.m. and not be able to go back to sleep and think why not go to the gym?"
24 Hour Fitness is reopening several locations around the county on Monday, June 22, but there will be changes. Members will only be allowed in with a reservation which lasts for 60 minutes. After that, there is a 30 minute sanitizing period before the next round of reservations. Filippo says the hour is not enough time for his usual workout routines.
"I spend 30 to 40 minutes stretching and then I still have to do something," Filippo said.
24 Hour Fitness will only be open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The company is also reducing the number of amenities available in an effort to keep both its members and employees safe. Pools and showers are closed and any courts for basketball or racquetball are being transformed into extra workout spaces.
In a statement, 24 Hour Fitness said:
"While reducing the number of clubs in our network will allow us to meet the needs of the majority of our members, we know that change is hard and we hope you will stick with us as we work hard to reemerge stronger, and better, as a community that is committed to your health."
The four gyms in San Diego County that are closing are:
- Downtown Chula Vista - 320 Third Ave., Chula Vista
- La Jolla West - 7680 Girard Ave., La Jolla
- San Marcos - 641 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd., San Marcos
- Vista Sport - 324 Sycamore Ave., Vista
Filippo says he isn't too worried about going back to the gym but will make the decision when he gets there.
"I want to go out and see what it's like. If I'm not comfortable, I'll leave," said Filippo. "It just feels good to start doing little, normal things again.
You can see which gyms are opening on June 22nd by visiting the 24 Hour Fitness website.