Valley gyms close, Action News does heavy lifting for lost members

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A chain of gyms shut down its Valley operations late last month, leaving a lot of members in the lurch. (KFSN)

A chain of gyms shut down its Valley operations late last month, leaving a lot of members in the lurch.

Two weeks ago, Fitness 19 was filled with gym equipment. Now, it's empty and up for rent and its former members found themselves in a new deal some of them didn't want. At the dawn of the New Year, Jennifer Schmidt joined the rush of resolute new members at local gyms. "I signed up for Fitness 19 on Jan. 7, right after the New Year and paid my dues, first and last month, enrollment fees and all that," Schmidt said.

The startup cost ran about $60, but Fitness 19 has low monthly fees, so members start saving money over other gyms a few months in. Schmidt never saw the savings. Within three weeks, Fitness 19 sent out a letter announcing it was closing both Central Valley locations -- in Clovis and Fresno. Members were automatically transferred to Fitness Evolution. "That's not what I wanted and not a convenient location and it was going to be more expensive," Schmidt said.

Fitness Evolution has bigger gyms and more locations, but a lot of members didn't want to make the switch. Schmidt was one of them. She wanted a refund.
She tried the Fitness 19 website. She tried some of the four California locations that are still open. And she tried Facebook. But nobody could help her. So, she reached out to us. "I made several phone calls today and I finally found someone at the corporate offices and he told me he'll give you a full refund," a reporter told her Monday.

"Oh, that's great," Schmidt said. "Yeah, that's really great. That's what I wanted."

One of the company's owners told us they took a loss to get everyone switched to Fitness Evolution, but he's willing to offer refunds to people who don't find it convenient.

For refunds, you can send emails to if your membership was at the Fresno location or if it was at the Clovis gym.

Related Topics:
fitnessgymbusinessfresnoclovisfresno countyClovisFresno
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