New Owners Leave UWSers Holding the (Gym) Bag

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:00

    Paris Fitness Gym on the Upper West Side has recently been acquired by new owners. Unfortunately for gym-goers, that's caused a mess of questions.

    Among them, what happened to the payments they made to the gym's former owners after a change in ownership caused the gym, on West End between 96th and 97th, to be closed for the second half of January?

    Gym-goers who asked about the lost payments were sent the following reply by the gym's new owners: "All January payments went to the previous owners and were not transferred to us. We recommend you get in touch with the prior owners regarding refunds for the second half of January." The new management claims to have no records of who is owed money and efforts to reach the gym's management were unsuccessful.

    The frustration about the change in ownership at the gym has played out in part over Yelp and other social-media networks.

    "I will add to my dismay about this gym," Sandy P. wrote on Yelp. "Today I went and everyone who was working out was bundled up, myself included. Why is there very little heat in the workout areas?"

    Courtney B. called the management transfer a "hostile takeover ... All of the sudden, one day in January, the doors are locked, and the entire weekend the gym is closed, with the threat of changes to contracts."

    In an email to members, the gym acknowledged the communication problems, asking members to "please note that we have been experiencing phone and Internet problems over the last few days and are waiting for a Verizon technician ... We have had the phone number forwarded to a mobile phone, but due to the volume of calls we receive it may take some time to get through."

    Competitors, meantime, are noticing. Susan Rappaport runs NuYu Revolution, a fitness studio nearby, and is offering a 50 percent discount to Paris members who join her. "Of course I'd like to make money," she says, "but the bigger desire is to help."