As the sale of the Buffalo Athletic Club’s co-ed gyms to California-based L.A. Fitness was made final Monday, anxious members got some new details, but several questions still remain unanswered.
Buffalo Athletic Club members who enrolled at co-ed locations have had their memberships sold to L.A. Fitness, while memberships of those who enrolled at BAC for Women locations are still under the Buffalo Athletic Club umbrella.
Among the developments:
• L.A. Fitness will honor all active, co-ed BAC memberships and personal training agreements.
• BAC and BAC for Women members with multi-club privileges will have access to all co-ed BAC and L.A. Fitness health clubs if they sign agreements with L.A. Fitness. Members who decline to sign the agreement will be restricted to using the co-ed clubs formerly owned by the BAC.
• BAC members with single-club privileges will have access to the same club they were assigned before the sale closed.
• Members of the BAC for Women may continue to use co-ed clubs through Jan. 31.
• After Jan. 31, female members must choose whether to transfer to L.A. Fitness or remain with BAC for Women.
• Female co-ed members can make a request through L.A. Fitness to transfer their membership to BAC for Women.
• BAC for Women members can request to transfer their memberships to L.A. Fitness.
• No special cancellation terms are being offered as a result of the sale. Cancellations are subject to the original terms of the membership agreement.
• Consumers who paid for CrossFit or tanning sessions will have unused sessions automatically refunded. If that does not happen within seven days, customers should call 204-8880.
• Contrary to earlier reports, the BAC EXTREME Cross-fit training facility on Union Road in Cheektowaga was not included in the sale to L.A. Fitness. The company has considered converting it to a female-only club, but “as of right now, it will remain co-ed,” said Jeremy Heim, operating partner of the Buffalo Athletic Club.
Questions about co-ed members who have had their memberships sold to L.A. Fitness were deferred to the California-based company, but calls to L.A. Fitness were not returned.
The Buffalo Athletic Club said the Buffalo and Rochester markets have become saturated with co-ed clubs over the last 10 years, so it decided to focus on its female-only clubs.
“The women’s clubs are certainly the core of our business. It’s our niche in the market,” Heim said.
The sale has enabled the company to move forward with a $2 million expansion and improvement at its Colvin and Eggert BAC for Women location, which is set to begin in spring.
That location will get a 10,000-square-foot addition and improvements including a vastly expanded, 5,000-square-foot aerobics “mega arena” to accommodate fitness classes.
There will also be additional space for group personal training.
“Group personal training has grown immensely over the past three to five years so we wanted to look at an area dedicated solely to that,” Heim said.
The Buffalo Athletic Club was founded by Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer in 1980.
L.A. Fitness has more than 500 gyms throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to the former BAC locations it has added to its portfolio, L.A. Fitness has three locations in Western New York at 1893 Elmwood Ave., on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls and on Transit Road in Clarence.