What happened: Two retail locations formerly occupied by Steve Nash Sports Clubs will re-open as Club16 Trevor Linden Fitness gyms this September.
Why it matters: As Club16 expands, it remains unclear how many former Steve Nash Fitness locations will open under its new Fitness World brand.
Club16 Trevor Linden Fitness will open two new gyms in locations previously occupied by Steve Nash Sports Clubs later this year.
The company expects to open new locations in Richmond and Brentwood by mid-September.
"Opportunity comes knocking and you get offers that you can’t refuse," Chuck Lawson, president and CEO of Club16, told Business in Vancouver.
Lawson said the company was approached by quite a few landlords of Steve Nash Fitness locations, all of which have been closed since mid-March. SNFW Fitness B.C. Ltd. – which operated more than two dozen fitness locations under Steve Nash, Crunch Fitness and UFC Gym brands – has not paid rent for any of its 32 leased locations as of April, when it began insolvency proceedings under federal bankruptcy and insolvency legislation.
Even as it expands, Lawson says navigating the pandemic and a new re-opening regime has been a "colossal struggle" for the company, which laid off a lot of employees prior to re-opening, and hasn't been able to hire them all back. Costs – for cleaning, for 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer – are higher, and capacity in a gym at any given time is limited.
"Just trying to get to normal now is the goal," Lawson said, adding that despite COVID-19-related challenges, the two location deals made a lot of sense for Club16.
"We were not in either of those marketplaces and we wanted to be in those marketplaces. It just made sense. Sometimes someone else’s problems become your blessings," he explained, adding that the company will save on renovation costs by not having to turn either location into a fitness facility.
“There’s some advantages to us jumping in there and taking them.”
Last month, it was announced that a group of investors had made a successful bid for SNFW Fitness, which sought creditor protection in early April. It has also been announced that the company's new ownership plans on dropping the name of Canadian basketball star Steve Nash from its brand.
The company is reportedly negotiating with landlords to re-open certain locations under a new Fitness World banner.
The group of investors has not yet been publicly identified, and the deal to acquire SNFW Fitness has not yet been approved in court.
The company said in a June 19 news release that it plans to re-open select locations in the first week of July.