A Lakeshore fitness center featured early in the pandemic is closing for the last time on Friday.
It’s an emotional day for Xanadu Health Club member Tom Karent.
“It’s like a death in the family,” says Karent.
He had one last workout at the gym which he attended five days a week for the past 10 years.
“The building, the people, it’s part of me,” says Karent. “You come somewhere every day. It grows inside you.”
All eyes were on Xanadu two years ago when the local health unit publicly listed the fitness center as a possible exposure to COVID-19, one of the first local businesses listed during the pandemic.
The owners told CTV News that within five days, 600 people withdrew their memberships and have never recovered since.
“During the whole pandemic, we were closed for 51 weeks, so basically a year,” explains general manager Tanya Dupuis. “I also had a restaurant out front that had opened a month before, so that didn’t survive either. So it’s sad. People just aren’t coming back like we hoped and unfortunately the restaurant and gym are volume based businesses and we just don’t see that volume coming back.
Dedicated members say the gym has not only helped with physical health, but mental health as well.
“It’s one family. I’m going to miss them all,” says member Betty Phillips.
Management says they feel the same.
“We want to thank everyone who has ever been a member of Xanadu and we will miss you,” said Dupuis.
The gym is refunding members who have paid in full and monthly memberships have been pro-rated.
Several Life Fitness machines and Matrix treadmills are for sale on the company’s social media pages.