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May 2, 2012 10:06 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

The Firm Fitness In Speonk Closes Its Doors

May 2, 2012 11:59 AM

The Firm Fitness, a gym in Speonk that had been in business for almost a decade, closed suddenly last Friday, April 27, without warning patrons, some of whom had paid $599 for an annual membership.

The owner, Susan Pierce, could not be reached by phone and did not respond to several emails this week. In a message posted on the gym’s doors and website on Friday, Ms. Pierce wrote that the gym had closed due to “the economic downturn and escalating rent.” Equipment could still be seen inside the building, located at 295 Montauk Highway.

“With a heavy heart, after almost a decade of operation, The Firm is closing, effective immediately,” Ms. Pierce wrote. “We thank you all for your support and membership over the years and wish you all a healthy and prosperous future.”

Karen Martin, a Remsenburg resident, said she had been at the gym for a fitness class on Friday, its last day of operation, and no one warned her of the pending closure. When she returned for another class on Monday evening, she found the doors locked and Ms. Pierce’s message posted.

“I had no idea,” Ms. Martin said while standing outside the gym on Monday. “I’m shocked. It just came out of the blue.”

The Firm Fitness’s website states that monthly membership dues of $49.50 will no longer be drawn from members’ bank accounts. For those who paid $599 in full for an annual membership, it states, an agreement with Sportime in East Quogue could allow them to work out there.

Jay Karl, the executive director of sales for Sportime, said on Monday that his gym was in talks with representatives of the Firm Fitness about an agreement. “We’re chatting with the owner or owners of the Firm currently,” he said. “We will know within the next couple of days.”

Mr. Karl did not return calls on Tuesday seeking an update.

Current employees of The Firm Fitness could not be reached for comment.

Eileen Yoh, who taught yoga at the Speonk gym for a year until she resigned about a month ago, said everything appeared normal when she left to teach closer to her home. “It was still business as usual,” she said.

Southampton Town records list Sommer Rolling Meadows Family Limited Partnership, which has an East Moriches mailing address, as the owner of the building at 295 Montauk Highway. Company representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ms. Martin said her membership was set to expire in June, and she was likely not going to renew it. She said she went to The Firm Fitness because of its close proximity to her house, so she will probably not go to Sportime.

Ms. Martin said the closure will probably be a harsh blow to regular patrons. “I know some people went there every day,” she said.

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