A local fitness club that served well over 4,000 community members for 26 years is now permanently closed — a decision that was “heartbreaking” for owners Jack and Dale Bailey.
Havasu Fitness announced the closure Friday with an email sent to all of their members. Since the announcement was made, Dale said their phones have been ringing off the hook.
“It’s been an emotional day,” Dale said. “Who would have dreamed it would end this way?”
In the email sent to their club members, the Baileys wrote, “The decision to close is based on economic realities and the ongoing uncertainty brought on by the covid-19 pandemic with no relief in sight for the fitness industry.”
Dale and Jack are at retirement age, and before the pandemic hit, they had plans in place to sell the gym to an employee who would ensure the club’s legacy continued in the community for years to come. But when the coronavirus emerged and gym closures were mandated, it all fell apart.
“There comes a day when the world just changes,” Dale said. “This is something that will forever impact the industry as a whole.”
In the email, they wrote, “It is unfortunate that fitness has not been perceived as essential during the covid-19 pandemic. The team at Havasu Fitness has done everything within our power to comply with the CDC guidelines and to provide you, our family and staff, a safe and surgically clean environment to pursue your health and wellness goals. We took responsibility seriously but it didn’t change the outcome.”
They weren’t able to get any financial help from banks either and didn’t receive a PPP loan. They were “classified as high risk by the financial world due to covid-19,” they wrote in the email.
Without revenue and a second round of closures, it became like “a terminal illness” — there was nothing they could do, Dale said.
“It doesn’t matter how much you comply or exceed expectations,” Dale said. “When you’re closed, you’re closed.”
For Dale, and especially her husband, Jack, Havasu Fitness was never a job. Jack loved the club, and it was always his dream to open it when they moved to Havasu. Their thousands of club members and 25 employees became family to them, Dale said.
“Jack and I want to express our deepest gratitude to our Havasu Fitness family for your loyalty and patronage, to our dedicated staff who worked tirelessly to support you on your health and wellness journey and our community for believing in us.”
Looking to the future, the Baileys wrote, “Change can be a good thing! You never reach your potential without exceeding your comfort zone. It is time for us to address retirement, health and wellness and focus on our next journey — redefining the decade of the 70s. Age is just a number! Right!”
All club memberships were put on hold when gyms were mandated to close. Members who have pre-paid or have credits will be receiving refunds, and if there is an outstanding balance, an invoice will be sent, the email read.
“In addition, remember to cancel service with your financial institution if you had auto pay for your membership dues,” they added.
Members with questions are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.