MEMBERS of a popular gym in Lennox Head are angry and upset after the business vacated its premises without warning on Monday night.
Employees and members of Fitness Matters Lennox Head arrived at the Byron St gym on Tuesday morning to find it had been emptied of equipment overnight.
It's understood several instructors received no prior warning about the gym's imminent closure before arriving at work on Tuesday.
There are also claims on the gym's Facebook page that the business had been taking direct debit payments for gym membership fees in the days leading up to the shock closure, with some members concerned they wouldn't get their money back.
One member said she was "totally shocked" and asked whether she and her husband would be paid out more than $700 in membership fees.
The first public sign the gym was closing came at 11.02pm on Monday when the gym posted on its Facebook page, "With regret that we advise that that gymnasium has ceased operations … This closure will take effect immediately".
"All memberships need to be reconciled, and as you will appreciate, this will take time," the post continued.
"We have been left with little other way to move forward due to the sale of the building and the manner in which the new landlords have acted."
Longtime member Claire Harding said the community felt "disgusted" by the way the situation was handled.
"You don't treat people like that," she said. "If they'd just given us two weeks' notice, people would have understood," she said.
"I've been a loyal member for the last seven and a half years … I've paid every fortnight and been there almost every day.
"It was a big part of the community … it was a place where people had friendships.
"I know there was a group of mums who relied heavily on the crèche."
Ms Harding said even though there had been zero communication about the gym's imminent closure, the warning signs were there as far back as 18 months ago when a "for sale" sign appeared on the property's front lawn.
"As soon as that sign went up, we were saying, 'What's going to happen to the gym?'
"From about that time, members noticed 'no one was putting any effort' back into maintaining the gym," she said.
"No one was turning up to the crèche; the spinning bikes weren't being fixed."
She said questions were asked, but there were no answers forthcoming.
"People felt it was coming, but no one said it was coming."
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