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.