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Peak Physique Gym Closes; Members Wonder About Refunds

Members at the year-old gym in downtown Kirkwood learned that it closed when they saw a note on the door. Some paid for annual memberships up front and don't know how they'll get their money back.

With the fanfare of a visit from the lieutenant governor and two state lawmakers, the Peak Physique gym in downtown Kirkwood opened about a year ago. Now, members are finding that the gym has shut down with anything but fanfare.

"There was absolutely no notice to anyone that they were closing," said T.J. Mudd, a Kirkwood resident who learned it was closed when he went to work out Wednesday night. A sign on the door said the gym was closed indefinitely.

He learned the news a month and a half after he paid the last installment on his $537.71 annual membership.

"We paid our membership in full, in three monthly installments starting in October," said Mudd, a financial planner who works in St. Charles. "This gym closed indefinitely. They put a notice on the door. And we've had no response to our inquires."

The gym had its grand opening in late January 2012, which included visits from Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, State Sen. Eric Schmitt and State Rep. Rick Stream.

Patch spoke with Damien Belgeri Thursday afternoon. Belgeri was at one point a co-owner with a 6 percent ownership stake but said he had no investment and management responsibilities, and outside of training a few clients for 2-3 hours each week, said he's had no involvement with the gym in 6-8 months.

Belgeri said he was there Monday when he found out the gym was closing, and texted owner Ken Reilly to find out what was going on.

Belgeri said the gym's equipment was being removed Thursday.

"I have no clue what's going on there," he said, referring any questions about what customers should do to Reilly. "I don't like the whole way this went down."

A message seeking comment from Reilly was left late Thursday afternoon. Members told Patch and city officials that they have tried to reach the owners or inquire at an email address left on the door, but have received no response.

Chris Theford, a spokesman for the Better Business Bureau of Greater St. Louis, had not heard the news, but said it was a typical pattern.

"This is a common pattern," he said. "All of a sudden, it closes and they're gone and your money's gone."

Kris Houska, office manager in the finance department for the city of Kirkwood, was also a member, and heard about it in a similar manner. She worked out on Monday, then heard on the gym's Facebook page that it was closing later.

She paid month-to-month, and doesn't have the same concern as long as the draw on her bank account ends. But members who paid up front for an annual membership don't know what do do. Houska said some of her colleagues in city hall were in that boat.

Were you a member at Peak Physique? Have you heard anything about your membership? Please tell us in the comments below.

Patch editor Frank Johnson contributed to this report.

Pamela Debandt February 01, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Fortunately my one year membership ended in January and I rejoined the YMCA which is much friendlier, has workout options for every body type, age and fitness level and you don't have to provide your own towel!
Jim Raptis February 01, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Was a member and am very disappointed it closed. Hopefully this gets resolved in a timely manner!
Mark Ronshausen February 01, 2013 at 04:39 AM
Check out Best Body Fitness down the street -- group classes, personal training, and small group training. First month is free and I'm sure they'll waive the new member fee. 214 N. Clay Ave. Suite 210. 314-717-1214
Joan Spiegel February 01, 2013 at 03:03 PM
I was a member at Peak Physique and have heard nothing about my membership. I worked with a personal trainer and have not heard how I am going to be reimbursed for the sessions that I am owed, and paid for. There is no information online about this closing or the owners or who to contact.
Nick February 01, 2013 at 05:54 PM
ALL members will be receiving full refunds on , membership, personal training within 60 days. unfortunately, businesses fall and due to irreconcilable differences with the landlord the business has decided to try other avenues.. we apologies to all our great members, and wish you the best while hoping you understand this situation
Tim February 01, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Nick, How and when will the refunds be distributed? The web address on the departure sign leads to nothing.
Kris Houska February 01, 2013 at 11:00 PM
I don't show that you have a Kirkwood Business License. You must come into City Hall and apply asap
charles February 01, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Kenny Reiley is a crook he took these peoples money and ran. He owns PEAK NUTRTION around STL BOYCOTT him and every product he sells!!!!!!! Employees and members all got stiffed. He personally took thousands from me thats why I left. Heres his personal cell. 3145037745
Jake the snake February 02, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Nick is full of shit. No one will see a dime of their money! They don't have any! The differences Nick speaks of are that they haven't paid the lease for 6 months! Well most of the time that's called getting kicked out of your space for not paying. Not sure where the misunderstanding was
charles February 02, 2013 at 12:19 AM
can't pay bills but paying people back lol...get real
Dave February 02, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Now I know why after I cancelled my membership in November they still debited my checking account in December and Jan; they wanted every penny they could steal and they did it! I finally cancelled that debit card so they couldn't steal anymore of my money. THE GYM WENT TO SHIT when Jamie, Damien and Charles left! PERIOD!
charles February 02, 2013 at 12:43 AM
I put kenny cell on here feel free to call him about your money
John February 02, 2013 at 05:15 AM
Peak Physique has known this was coming for months. The roids have got to their heads but not enough to realize they should put off equipment lessors and take in new business (to go out with as much as possible) till their business license was up for renewal and then close without notice. They've barely made rent since day one and couldn't even make first pay checks (or keep the doors open) without loans. Karma is a b word, good luck with that. You can take the Hoosier out da trailer but ya can't take the trailer out da Hoosier!
Faith February 06, 2013 at 01:13 PM
I have been contacted about my refund...be patient. It's only been a week. I loved this gym, the people and the equipment. I am looking forward to seeing them relocate. The location was really cool but the building was RIDICULOUS. Im certain the owners had to be paying WAY too much to begin with just for location and had to sacrifice certain other luxuries like contsant water sitting on a PAINTED patch of walk way to the building that was dangerously slick not to mention the liabilities created by leaking plumbing from the ceiling on to the gym floor. It's OBVIOUS the owners were struggling with fixes required of the landlord who was not complying. Personally i would NOT pay on a lease either if my demands were not met assuming that was the case.
Hayley Hood April 25, 2013 at 03:11 PM
UUHHHH.......It's past April 1st and we still haven't received our refund!!!!
Dick Cumming April 28, 2013 at 07:42 AM
This gym is a joke. I feel sorry for all of those effected by this miserable business. Shame on Kirkwood City Hall for giving them a "special use" permit to operate there in the first place. No wonder city hall got shot up years ago! You asses in city hall made stupid decisions and don't consider the people it effects as long as you get your palms greased.

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