LEXINGTON (CBS) – The sign outside the Lexington Boston Sports Club says “We’ve got it all,” but the huge, empty parking lot tells the real story. “This is heartbreaking,” Scott Haralson said looking out at the empty lot. “This lot used to be packed, you couldn’t find a spot.”
Haralson worked for the club and had hoped to return soon, but last night the rumors were swirling that the club was closing down. On Thursday, he told WBZ he had to come by and see for himself.READ MORE: 'It Will Ravage Your Whole Body': Framingham Man Recovering After 8 Months In Hospital Due To COVID-19
“It’s crushing to the community,” Haralson said. “There are many people that you have seen for many years here, whether it’s those to come to work out, those who come for the pool, or those who come for tennis, there’s a huge tennis program here.”
The fitness chain, which includes more than two dozen locations in Massachusetts, ran into trouble soon after the pandemic forced them to close. Attorney General Maura Healey opened an investigation when dozens of members complained the club continued to charge them during the shutdown.
They eventually reversed the practice, but according to the property manager of the building that houses the West Newton club, when gyms were allowed back open, the members didn’t come back. “There was nobody. It was like a ghost town,” Phillis Goodman said describing what it was like walking by the gym on the way to her office.READ MORE: Gift Of Over $20 Million For Boston's Esplanade Would Fund New Visitors Center, Outdoor Spaces
If the shutdown is permanent, Goodman worries about being able to rent the property, all 17,000 square feet. “It might be good for first class office space. Who wants to go into an office anymore? Everyone is working from home,” she said.
A sign at the Canton Boston Sports Club said memberships would be automatically transferred to a nearby Gym.
When we called the Woburn Club, an employee told us the Woburn and Prudential Center locations were the only two that remained opened.
Boston Sports Club parent company, Town Sports International, filed for bankruptcy last month. We reached out to them for comment, but have not heard back.MORE NEWS: Northeast Metro Tech Football Player Injured During Game Is Recovering After Surgery, Family Says
The sign outside the Lexington location says the closure is temporary. Haralson worries that’s wishful thinking. “It’s not only adult members it was also the kids. The club had a huge influence and impact on this community in terms of its well-being and health. It’s a loss. It’s a huge loss that can’t be replaced,” he said.