California’s COVID-19 pandemic rules forced In-Shape Health Clubs to file for bankruptcy.
The Chapter 11 filing Wednesday aimed at retaining 45 to 50 clubs means 17 clubs including Manteca West in the SaveMart shopping center and Lathrop will not reopen. In-Shape has also permanently closed two of their three Tracy locations — Grant Line Road and Eleventh Street — as well as three Stockton locations at Quail Lakes, Marina and Downtown.
The Manteca club on East Yosemite Avenue is one of the 16 In-Shape clubs that are now open for outdoor activities as are the Tracy Boulevard and Stockton West Lane locations.
In-Shape just last year completed a major remodel of the remaining Manteca location by adding a second swimming pool as well. Its remaining clubs will remain closed temporarily although they plan to open Lodi for outdoor activities in the near future.
The Stockton-based health club chain has 470,000 members. In February, In-Shape had 3,000 workers at its various locations and now has a workforce of about 600 as COVID-19 rules wiped out 80 percent of the jobs they provided the communities they are located.
Even though they have reopened 16 locations with outdoor activities they have limited access. Members are required to make a reservation 48 hours in advance and can have access to a club once a day for a maximum of two hours. Mandatory social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols are in place.
In-Shape closed their downtown Stockton headquarters in March.
In-Shape Fitness joins other health club chains such as Gold’s Gyms and 24 Hour Fitness in the bankruptcy courts. 24 Hour Fitness has permanently closed 130 of their United States locations including the one in Manteca at North Main Street and Louise Avenue.
Former In-Shape CEO Paul Rothbard, who led the company for over 25 years, has formed Solutions Investment Group to purchase the business, subject to court approval. That effort is being backed by Aqualine Credit Opportunities.
“I am reinvesting in In-Shape because I believe in both the brand and the terrific team that has worked to deliver an exceptional member experience in the markets we serve,” said Rothbard. “In-Shape goes beyond fitness to create inclusive communities within the clubs as well as continuing to provide new innovations in fitness, which is why we see tremendous value and potential in the brand.”
In-Shape issued a release noting that “While thousands of health clubs and gyms have been operating safely across the nation throughout much of the pandemic, California’s more restrictive COVID-19 policies have severely damaged the state’s fitness industry. Despite the shutdowns, In-Shape has developed technology and protocols to enhance the member experience, including new cleaning procedures, physical distancing guidelines and contactless member interaction. Together these enable the company to provide a safe environment in its clubs while also operating outdoor clubs where possible so that it can keep serving its valued members during this difficult time.”
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