Washington, DC

Thanks to John for sending us last night: “somebody recently asked about [spin] cycling in the pandemic… SoulCycle opening their Union Market pop-up tomorrow. Classes 7 days a week @ $32/class”


1927 Florida Ave, NW

Related: Yesterday I started hearing many readers wrote that Flywheel would be permanently closing their D.C. locations. Thanks to Kevin for sending this afternoon from Business Insider:

“Flywheel Sports — a chain of spinning studios and a top competitor of SoulCycle — filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Tuesday and will permanently close its 42 locations in the country.”

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Thanks to a reader for sending from Washington Sports Clubs:

“On September 14, 2020, Town Sports International LLC announced that it and a number of its affiliates have filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions to restructure under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. To learn more, please visit here.

Town Sports intends to use the Chapter 11 process to engage in further discussions with their landlords and other creditors to successfully restructure their debts to best position the Company for long-term success in the current fitness industry environment. This includes our New York Sports Clubs, Boston Sports Clubs, Philadelphia Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Clubs, Lucille Roberts, Total Woman, and Around the Clock Fitness brands. With Chapter 11, companies generally seek a seamless transition in operations upon a filing, so our members will not recognize a break in service. Town Sports International is not going out of business. Read More

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Ed. Note: On Monday a few folks tweeted me at @PoPville to say they had been charged for September too.

“Dear PoPville,

I received an email today from WSC saying that I have a balance on my account, even though WSC announced in April that they’d be freezing accounts due to COVID and even though a judge granted DC’s request for a temporary restraining order against Town Sports, and directed Washington Sports Club not to charge consumers on September 1 if they canceled their accounts during the time the gyms were closed in March – June. Read More

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Photo by Pablo Raw

“Dear PoPville,

Do we have any update on the spinning studios in town? I know Elevate, OrangeTheory, Soldicore and CrossFit is open. Rumble Boxing sent out a theory getting feels. And all the major gyms are open. Are spinning studios just going to be closed till this whole thing is over? Anyone have any insight? Peloton time?”

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Follow up from the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia regarding: “the lawsuit AG Racine filed against Washington Sports Club for charging members during the COVID-19 shutdowns, I wanted to let you know that we scored a win in court today [Friday]! The judge granted the District’s request for a temporary restraining order against the company, Read More

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Photo by Arav Kharkwal

“Dear PoPville,

Am I the only one who finds this a little cringe?

I get their heart is in the “right place,” but I feel this is capitalizing on a movement and for a brand “trying to get some good name recognition.” This all seems like a marketing ploy of like “performative activism” to get people in the door and then pressure them to get a membership.”

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From the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia:

“Attorney General Karl A. Racine today filed suit against the parent company of Washington Sports Club (WSC), Town Sports International, LLC (TSI), for failing to abide by promises made to gym members while its facilities were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-April, responding to a letter sent by AG Racine and other state Attorneys General, TSI had agreed to freeze memberships, credit consumers for dues paid while their gyms were inaccessible, and process requests for cancelations. Since reopening on June 22, however, the company has neither issued those credits to account holders, nor processed all membership cancelations. In response, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is seeking a court order forcing TSI to follow through on its agreement to credit consumers and process cancelations, along with civil penalties. This is the second consumer protection lawsuit OAG has filed against the company. Read More

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Photo by John Sonderman

“Dear PoPville,

I’m missing the gym like crazy, especially for the classes. I don’t do well with virtual classes, so I’m interested in seeing where I can find and take outdoor exercise classes (other than yoga). I’d really appreciate any leads, even in the suburbs.”

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Photo by Eric Williams-13

“Dear PoPville,

Any update from those who went to gyms last week on how they are handling cleaning and keeping people safe?”

Another reader asks: “I’m starting to see organized outdoor exercise classes around town. Does anyone know who is organizing them? I would like to get involved. In particular, I’ve seen them happening in the field of Garrison Elementary.”

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1101 Connecticut Ave, NW via LA Fitness

“Dear PoPville,

LA Fitness’ re-opening email has NOT ONE syllable about what they’ve specifically done to clean the place, let alone anything on an ongoing basis. The WSC email you published on Monday (it’s now Tuesday) talked the talk about “deep cleaning.” How well they execute that, I sure don’t know. At least they talk the talk. I am considering switching from LAF to WSC.

Read this sentence for how much hedging they do !!
‘While closed, we’ve been working on changes aimed at making our clubs the safest place you can work out.’

So, they’ve been “working” — passive
“on changes” — it’s still in process
“aimed at” — not having achieved, but aimed at, that’s great
“making” — still in the process”

Dear Member, Read More

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