If you decide to stop going to your gym, even during this pandemic, you typically have to pay until your contract ends.
But what if the gym decides to stop serving your community? Do you still have to pay?
That's what some members of Fitworks in Colerain Township want to know.
Lesley Arnold pulled up to the health club the other day to be greeted by locked doors. The workers were removing all the equipment.
"Most of the equipment is gone," Arnold said. "There are just some leftover remnants."
The Cleveland-based gym had closed its Colerain-White Oak location, apparently without prior warning.
"They were just packing up and gone," she said.
Letter invites members to gym that's still open
But Arnold was stunned when a letter invited her to visit their newer West Chester location.
"My membership is now available at the West Chester Fitworks, which is in no way convenient to me at all," she said.
Arnold said traveling to that gym, a half-hour away, involved two interstate highways.
"Its a 30-plus-minute drive," she said.
So WCPO decided to drive it, first through scenic White Oak, then along a very busy Colerain Avenue, then onto I-275.
We drove past Northgate Mall, then the old Forest Fair Mall, then Tri-County Mall, and finally merged north onto I-75 to Cincinnati Dayton Road.
Twenty-five minutes later, in light midday traffic, we arrived at the West Chester Fitworks. At 5 p.m. it might be another story.
But under Ohio law, a club can continue billing you, if it has another gym within 25 miles.
Our odometer showed West Chester was just 19 miles away, which allows a gym to require you to continue paying dues through the end of your 12-month deal.
But after we contacted Fitworks' Northeast Ohio headquarters, a spokesman apologized and told us they will let Colerain/White Oak members cancel if they email the main office.
Leslie Arnold will do just that, thankful the club will give members a break.
"30 minutes each way for a workout? I'm not driving 30 minutes," she said.
This is another reminder to read gym contracts carefully. Many will hold you to the 25-mile law if they close or you move.
So be careful – and don't waste your money.
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