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Notice on Anytime Fitness Door Says Gym Will Re-Open Next Week

West Caldwell franchise owners declare bankruptcy, new franchisee expected to take over.

A number of signs seen posted on the door and windows of Anytime Fitness in West Caldwell Thursday night said the gym is expected to re-open next week. 

Franchise owners declared bankruptcy two weeks ago and abruptly closed the fitness center's doors without reportedly giving any notice to members.

According to Mark Daly, national media director for Anytime Fitness, the company’s corporate counsel is in conversation with the trustee handling the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case which was filed on Monday, Jan. 17. Daly said last week the company was feeling “optimistic” it would be able to reopen the club in a matter of weeks.

“It’s going to require the cooperation of the trustee,” Daly said, “but we received confirmation that he is willing to work with us.”

In the meantime, Daly said the West Caldwell club’s 794 members could use any of the company’s other clubs, the closest of which is in Morris Plains.

“We will update (members) as soon as we can, when we have new real information for them. But we are in fact hopeful that we are going to be able to get that club open in a couple of weeks,” Daly said. He said prospective franchisees have expressed interest in assuming ownership of the club.

There are about 1,500 independently owned and operated Anytime Fitness clubs around the country, which offer members 24/7 access to facilities. According to Daly, the company reached the one-millionth-member mark Monday.

On Tuesday afternoon, a steady flow of members approached the fitness center to find the 8 ½ x 11 bankruptcy notices posted in the windows of the Bloomfield Avenue strip mall storefront. According to the notices, bankruptcy attorney Benjamin A. Stanziale, Jr., of West Orange-based Stanziale and Stanziale, has been appointed the trustee of the bankruptcy. Stanziale did not return calls when asked for comment.

Jaclyn Ingoglia of North Caldwell found out about the business closing when she arrived in gym clothes ready to work out Tuesday afternoon. Ingoglia said she had been a member since June and visited the club three to four days a week to do cardiovascular and weight training. She had been paying extra for a personal trainer.

“I kind of wanted to work out. I guess I need to find somewhere else to go,” Ingoglia said.

Some of the members outside the club Tuesday had heard rumors about the closing and were coming to see for themselves. Such was the case for Guy Connelly of Caldwell. Connelly said he liked to come to Anytime Fitness because it was rarely crowded.

“It was always empty,” Connelly said. “Now I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Brian Taylor of Caldwell joined the club with his older brother. He said they found out about the business closing on Monday night when they came to work out together and discovered the business shuttered.

“They never said anything to us,” Taylor said.

The 24-year-old said he visited the fitness club about four times a week and paid $30 a month for his membership, a discounted rate available through his employer, Shoprite.

According to the company’s national media director, the West Caldwell franchise was owned by Shayne Michaelis, Dean Ulan and Susan Zartman. It opened on Dec. 29, 2008.

There was no information on the business phone, website or Facebook page regarding the abrupt closing. The Facebook page was last updated on Jan. 5 with a promotion telling members that if they bring five new customers in they could win an iPad touch.

A message left on the club’s answering machine was not immediately returned.

West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta said he was not aware that Anytime Fitness had declared bankruptcy until this afternoon and that he has not received any calls or correspondence regarding the business closing. 

The club made news in March 2010 when an on narcotics charges.

Anytime Fitness franchises are independently owned and operated. According to the corporate website, the company is based in Hastings, Minn. The corporate website lists 10 other clubs in New Jersey, the closest to West Caldwell is in Morris Plains.

Michele Luciano January 19, 2011 at 04:58 PM
This is really sad and surprising to hear! Shayne had made it really nice too. Anytime Fitness was the perfect place for a great workout! It was small and personable, clean and well kept. Everyone was so nice too. Its hard to imagine it being gone. We have so much going on in the Caldwell's, from the movie theatre, to the many shops, to the restaurants and diners, to the salons and gyms. We wouldnt have to leave town for anything. It just seems so complete. I sure hope the West Caldwell Anytime Fitness Club will reopen soon. I know many parents and teachers will be missing the quiet workouts.. or the students who enjoyed going, while keeping the memories of seeing Joe Wilczewski (RIP) who worked there.
Michele Luciano January 21, 2011 at 01:06 AM
The Good News is! .. After speaking with Shayne today its seems everyone involved at this point with Anytime Fitness, including corporate and the landlord, is working non-stop as a team to help reopen the West Caldwell Club. While it would reopen under new ownership, its even more optimistic that it could be in as little as next week. Thankfully too they are keeping us members updated with emails and phone calls. So keep the faith members : ) we may get lucky afterall.
MM January 21, 2011 at 04:56 PM
gee, I haven't heard a word
sara January 23, 2011 at 04:48 AM
Dear Anytime Fitness Members, We would like to apologize for this interruption in your fitness regiments. This truly was an unfortunate incident but we are here to tell you that Anytime Fitness of West Caldwell WILL BE OPENING sometime early this week. The new Anytime Fitness will be under new ownership and we are proud to tell you every member of our all-star staff will be returning and picking up right where we left off! Dawn Dimasi will be back in action with all of her classes along with the rest of our wonderful staff! The group exercise schedule will remain the same as well as childcare hours. We will also be servicing ALL of the equipment and adding some new pieces as well! Both of the Expresso bikes will be replaced with brand new ones and a few other surprises will follow! All current members you will not be charged until March! If you have personal training packages you will be receiving an additional FREE 5 or 10 sessions depending on your package! We truly do apologize for this one week of closing but are happy to get back and continue to provide you with exceptional service and the most up to date modern classes and equipment around! Please keep an eye out for the exact opening date which will be provided in the next email early next week and we look forward to seeing each and everyone of you soon! Thank you to all our loyal members for having patience through this difficult time
Teresa Akersten (Editor) January 28, 2011 at 05:00 AM
The lights were reportedly on at Anytime Fitness tonight – if you have any information as to when it will open, please email Teresa.Akersten@patch.com.
Michele Luciano January 28, 2011 at 09:40 PM
Anytime Fitness is expected to reopen on February 11th under new ownership. There will be a pre-sale next week for new members as well as old members. An email will go out over the weekend to update old members of a discounted rate.
MM March 17, 2011 at 01:21 AM
It is not opening, it was never going to open, it was all a con. The contents inside will be auctioned off to pay off dept.
Michele Parkins May 03, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Anytime Fitness members are receiving free enrollment privileges at Snap Fitness 24/7 in Pine Brook. Michele
Michele Parkins May 03, 2011 at 05:03 PM
Snap Fitness in Pine Brook is a similar 24/7 gym with super reasonable rates. Dave

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