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Hotel closing its fitness center in Martinsburg

November 01, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - As many as 2,000 people who now exercise at the fitness center at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg will need to look elsewhere for their workouts as of the end of this month.

The fitness center's last day of operation will be Nov. 30, Holiday Inn officials said.

"It's just not profitable enough," said Julius Bounds, financial manager for Winchester (Va.) Hospitality LLC, which owns the hotel off Foxcroft Avenue.

Instead of continuing operation of the fitness center, the hotel's owners wanted to concentrate on enhancing the hotel itself and its restaurant and banquet services, Bounds said.

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"That's the bottom line," he said.

Current members are being referred to another fitness center.

"We did contact Gold's Gym in Martinsburg to encourage them to work with people and try to give them as good a deal as they could," Bounds said.

Tom Belfield, manager of the Holiday Inn, said the fitness center has about 1,350 contracts - which could be for individuals, couples, families or other groups. He estimated the number of people who use the gym to be between 1,800 and 2,000.

Among other equipment, the fitness center offers cardio workout machines, free weights, a swimming pool and, until recently, tennis courts, Belfield said.

Letters are being given to all who enter the center, notifying them of the impending closure. In the next few weeks, prorated refund checks will be mailed to all members, Belfield said.

A much smaller workout space will be offered to hotel guests, which is Holiday Inn policy. Usually the size of a guest room, that space will offer a treadmill, a stationary bicycle and a handful of other workout equipment pieces, but will not be open to the public, Belfield said.

He said the fitness center has offered community memberships for nearly 20 years.

Gold's Gym General Manager Rob Cunningham said Holiday Inn fitness center members can join Gold's Gym between now and the end of the month and not have to pay a membership fee for the month of November.

Gold's Gym has between 3,200 and 3,300 members.

Also, prospective members are invited to use the use the gym for a free workout to see the facility. Those who wish to join will be worked with on an individual basis to get the best rate possible, Cunningham said.

"We want to try to make it as comfortable of a transition as possible," he said. "We look forward to helping them achieve their fitness goals."

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