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LeisureCo/InShape collapse leaves members out of pocket

LeisureCo/InShape collapse leaves members out of pocket
July 22, 2009

Fallout from the collapse of Adelaide-based leisure management contractor and fitness club operator LeisureCo has reached the mainstream media with Sydney Eastern Suburbs newspaper The Southern Courier reporting on the dissatisfaction of members of the now closed In Shape for Life Health Club at East Gardens/Pagewood.

The newspaper reported that "hundreds of members had forked out the $650 annual fee, some only days before the Eastgardens gym abruptly closed."

The newspaper also quoted marathon legend and LeisureCo Director Robert de Castella, apologising for the "terrible" treatment of members, stating "the Eastgardens gym was one of a few bad business decisions that brought the company to its knees."

de Castella was quoted as saying "I feel very sorry and I'm very sad for what has happened, but it just goes to show that one or two bad contracts can bring the whole thing down", adding "it was certainly one of the poorest decisions made by management."

The Southern Courier also advised that "although the weekly and monthly members have not been charged for the month of July and can continue to train at the Alexandria InShape at no extra cost, the annual members have been left in the lurch.

"David Hannan, who is landlord and self-appointed manager of the Alexandria gym as of last Friday, said he would honour any unexpired prepaid memberships or swimming lessons for members from the Eastgardens and Alexandria gyms.

"Hannan claimed InShape demanded local families pay for next term's swimming lessons, totalling $40,000. Also there are a total of 820 memberships at both the Eastgardens and Alexandria gyms that bring in around $275,000 annually."

Among LeisureCo's former local authority contracts, leisure management contractor BlueFit has now taken over the management of Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre and the adjacent council golf course.


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