Retail

New York Sports Club owner files for bankruptcy, with gyms hit by pandemic

Key Points
  • New York Sports Club owner Town Sports International filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday. 
  • "Our members will not recognize a break in service," Town Sports said on its website. 
  • The company, which operates other fitness chains, including Boston Sports Club, had warned a filing was imminent as it tried to strike a refinancing deal with lenders. 
New York Sports Club in Park Slope
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

New York Sports Club owner Town Sports International filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, with many gyms nationwide still shut by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company joins a number of gym operators grappling with the Covid-19 crisis, looking for ways to adapt but struggling to do so. Gold's Gym International sought court protection from its creditors in May, and 24 Hour Fitness filed for bankruptcy in June. As consumers in droves turned to work out at home, equipment makers like Peloton are thriving.  

"Our members will not recognize a break in service," Town Sports said in a statement on its website. "Town Sports International is not going out of business. Restructuring is the best way to properly respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the long-term goal to emerge as a thriving powerhouse ... as an even stronger company." 

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The company, whose fitness chains also include Boston Sports Club, had warned a filing was imminent, as it was trying to strike a refinancing deal with its lenders. It had a load of debt coming due in the fall, and its liquidity was drying up. 

Town Sports, which has about 600,000 members, said it isn't planning to permanently close any of its nearly 200 locations. It started in New York City in 1973 as a small chain of squash clubs. 

The company listed liabilities of $500 million to $1 billion in its bankruptcy filing. 

New York and New Jersey allowed gyms to begin reopening earlier this month, but at reduced capacity and with other safety precautions. 

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