Archive for Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lawrence Athletic Club closes east-side location

The east side Lawrence Athletic Club closed its doors Wednesday for unknown legal reasons. The owner says the closing was not planned.

February 3, 2010


Lawrence Athletic Club was turning away customers from its east location Wednesday, after shutting down for undisclosed legal reasons, the owner said.

"We didn't want to close the facility, that's not our wish, but that's what's happening," said owner Rick Sells, giving no insight into what prompted the closure.

Customers of the gym, located at 1202 E. 23rd Street, east of Haskell Avenue, were being told their memberships would be valid at the club's north location, 3201 Mesa Way, located near Sixth Street and Lawrence Avenue. Sells said customers could contact him in writing if they have questions about their membership.

The east facility is owned by Caspian Group LC, according to Douglas County appraiser's records. Caspian Group representative George Paley, of Lawrence, refused comment about the situation Wednesday, citing a pending lawsuit. No lawsuits have been filed recently against LAC or Sells, according to Douglas County Court records.

Several other gyms opened in October in Lawrence, including Maximus Fitness and Wellness, 2339 Iowa, and Lawrence Snap Fitness, 1800 E. 23rd St.

In 2006, Sells told the Journal-World he questioned whether the Lawrence market could sustain competition.


Ray_Finkle 8 years, 3 months ago

Maybe they will move some equipment over to the west location to replace some of the ever-growing amount of broken crap that is housed there.

mr_economy 8 years, 3 months ago

Agreed Ray. Even on a good day, 1/3 of the treadmills are out of service, and those that do "work" are often less than fully functional. One of my friends who used to work there warned me how cheap they are when I was thinking about signing up - maybe I should have listened.

Julie Jacob 8 years, 3 months ago

Just awesome. If you add the drive time for me to get to the west side, then I have like 10 minutes to work out. Just lovely. Mr Sells, expect to be hearing from me....

BruceWayne 8 years, 3 months ago

they were renewing memberships as recent as Sunday. Do you think they knew? Expect lawsuits to follow.

RoeDapple 8 years, 3 months ago

Just recently got our renewal notice....

That will be one bill we can mark off the list.

ontheroadfitness 8 years, 3 months ago

Well that's unfortunate for the folks that used to train out at LAC East. My ex had a membership for LAC East only and it was convenient for her to go workout there because of location. I'm glad members can go to LAC North, but it'll be more difficult now that she has to go across town. :( I'm just starting my own in-home personal training service, so this may be good news for me, but it's sad to see a good fitness location close its doors!

greenquarter 8 years, 3 months ago

There's always Snap Fitness, open 24/7, at 23rd and Harper. I can't wait to see how Sells spins this one.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

ilovelucy 8 years, 3 months ago

Thanks snap. Once again, Merrill is using a local story to spin his own b.s. That was funny!

BruceWayne 8 years, 3 months ago

myself and my spouse belong to maximus. it is a very well run facility. 99% of the equipment is working everyday. they also offer HUGE corporate discounts. the staff is friendly and it's clean. the locker area is small and no sauna. other than that it suits our needs.

Ann Hamil 8 years, 3 months ago

Spouse and I went to LAC East for 6 years, every year was a major ordeal to renew--Mr. Sells always wanted more for the membership year after year--much more than the rate of inflation, and certainly more than our wages were increasing. This last year I said no, and went to check out Maximus--they gave me a much better deal, put it in writing that I can renew next year at the same rate, their equipment is usually all working, and they have fitness classes. It is a bit farther to drive, but not unreasonable. (Before anyone complains that I drive to go work out--know that I go at 5am when it is dark and I don't feel comfortable riding my bike in the dark even with a headlight, so sue me, I do what I can,when I can). As for working out alone at home....I sometimes do, but I like the company and many many interesting and special people work out at 5am.

del888 8 years, 3 months ago

Merrill: what are you talking about??? Did you post in the wrong story?

kansasredlegs 8 years, 3 months ago

You reap what you sow Mr. Sells. Pocketing all the money and not reinvesting in the business was a recipe for closure. The down equipment, holes in the wall, sauna always out of order and the ever increasing request for higher fees ran me off to Maximus. Also, your "Owner Parking Only" signs for you and your spouse were quite obnoxious.

AnnaUndercover 8 years, 3 months ago

@kansasredlegs Gosh. If that's true, that's a terrible way to run a business.

I've hung on to my Matt Ross Center membership even after leaving my brief stint in Overland Park when I first moved here. I heart my water slide! :) They'll have to pry my membership from my cold, dead hands.

Gluteus maximus, et al. don't even come close to what I'm getting for $27/month.

twinetowngirl 8 years, 3 months ago

Maximus needs to pull their head out of their @^%. We got a try it for free week pass, then we signed up. Within the week we cancelled the membership, as it states you have a certain amount of time to cancel. We have had NOTHING BUT HEADACHES from them ever since. The guy who signed us up didnt fill the papers out right. Now we are being billed from both Lawrence AND Topeka locations. It has been going on for 5 months now...even with the paperwork that says it was cancelled on such and such date. They may have some legal troubles in their future too!

homechanger 8 years, 3 months ago

Sells could not reinvest in his business because evert penny he makes goes to his mortgage on that pimpers palace he built.

budwhysir 8 years, 3 months ago

See all that sidewalk shoveling that is now required in this town is hurting our economy. And if you want the true gym experience, just let them write you a ticket, the fine is still less than a membership and the workout you dont receive is about the same as if you belong to a gym

easyliving 8 years, 3 months ago

I thought they burned fitness centers when they wanted to close or remodel? hmm wrong city I guess.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 3 months ago

y'all need to get a YMCA. seriously. anymore they are really great places to work out plus you can bring your children and they can be involved in youth activities. salina's Y is really nice but wichita's are terrific! they have about 8 state of the art facilities there-- my son's summer camp (which is also at the Y) has taken field trips to some of the wichita facilities because they are so cool.

and their memberships are reasonably priced.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 3 months ago

Hell yes. I can't believe a town the size of Lawrence does not have a YMCA or YWCA.

LoveThsLife 8 years, 3 months ago


I 100% agree...I wish we had a YMCA here. I would sign up in a heartbeat.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 3 months ago

so does anyone know why there has never (or atleast in recent decades) been a YMCA (or yWca) in lawrence?

i asked my cousin (a larryville resident) and she said that it might be because lawrence dislikes "anything corporate". but, then again, y'all have 2 walmarts when most towns that size only have 1.


West_Sider 8 years, 3 months ago

Re: What hurt his business

I am sure the smoking ban is what hurt his business. Or maybe it was the 31st street realignment project, or maybe the new Walmart. Yea, that it, the new Walmart and all of those dirty nasty old developers out West is what hurt his business. Damn them!

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

President Obama: Would you please consider tax deductions for in home wellness centers?

Let's talk in home wellness centers to keep humans healthy on the way to wealthy and wise plus eliminates air pollution by NOT driving.

Keep health care expenses down for the country by way of establishing home wellness centers which might be better than driving across town. YES what a great tax deduction and clean air idea this could be.

What could this wellness center look like: Bicycle - Take a break go cycling CrossXOver Elliptical Trainer ( many choices) Weight Bench Set ( not expensive) Power Walking builds energy Lovely fruits and Veggies taste soooo good Not Bottled water but yes water( save dollars and the environment) Sleep makes one feel good Love is good for the positive attitude necessary for a good work out! *Whole food Multi-vitamins, meaning those made with food, to provide the immune system with a boost specifically if one enjoys socializing. There are many labels to choose from.


bmildren 8 years, 3 months ago

The LAC is reaping what they've been sewing for years. The gym seems to be owned by two people highly averse to fitness (parking right in front of their gym? tacky) and customer service, not to mention being way overpriced in my opinion. I've been very happy with Maximus, and each piece of cardio equipment there has its own cable tv on it, and I've never had to wait to get a cardio machine. *Also, Body Boutique for women wasn't mentioned in this article, which is another excellent facility.

Melissa Sigler 8 years, 3 months ago

I haven't gone to see Maximus, I hear its nice though. I couldn't find their prices on the website, may go check it out. : I go to LAC because I get the student discount so it's not bad (not to mention I won an auction last year and got a year for hella cheap). Body Boutique was nice but it was a little expensive at the time I looked, more than I could afford. LAC has become kind of a hole and the machines are constantly down it seems like. One of the machines I like to use has been down since before Christmas, and there is only ONE other like it. Frustrating :\

And Merrill, what are you smoking? Can I have some?

CaraB 8 years, 3 months ago

It's a shame to see such a well established facility closing its doors. I hope LAC continues to thrive in its 6th Street location. It may be a hassle for members, but I hope they consider that its no walk in the park for management.

ksav8r 8 years, 3 months ago

I looked at LAC a few months ago but decided to join snap fitness down the street. Glad I did. The equipment is new and it's pretty relaxed and clean, and the dues are cheap. I like my 24 hour access also.

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