Fitness buffs are fuming after being left high and dry when David Barton gyms across the city suddenly shut down overnight.
Eight locations closed in five states, several of them in Manhattan, including the famed Limelight building in Chelsea. When members showed up to work out Wednesday, they found a note on the locked doors telling them the gyms were closing for good.
Members also did receive emails shortly after 1 a.m. informing them of the abrupt closure. The company said that market factors made it necessary for them to close for good.
"The company deeply regrets this final action, but due to severe competitive pressures, particularly in New York, it has become impossible for these locations to continue," David Barton Gym said in a statement.
Some members complained Wednesday they couldn't get out their belongings locked inside the club; others said they were due refunds.
"I called and they said they weren't issuing refunds, so -- Merry Christmas," said Ashlin Bergman.
The New York attorney general's office says if members feel they have a contract dispute, they should contact them.
The David Barton gyms had a distinct New York mystique, offering the look and feel of a nightclub. The clubs attracted celebrity clientele and people who enjoyed the upscale vibe of the centers.
New York Magazine noted in a 2013 profile of the founder, who opened his first location in 1992, that he could be considered a pioneer in the New York City health club-as-nightclub experience. The chain filed for Chapter 11 soon after it opened, however, and partnered with Meridian Sports Club California. Barton left his company in September 2013.
In addition to the New York centers, those in Miami, Chicago, Boston and Seattle were also closed. The chain will keep its Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Honolulu locations open.