Five days after Midtown Athletic Club closed its doors on Harlem, the feeling around the community remains the same. Former fitness members and staff say the decision came as a surprise, and it’s hard to believe that the business that has operated for a quarter-century will no longer be a part of Oak Park.
“After 25 wonderful years, the club has officially closed as of July 1,” according to the official Facebook page of Midtown Athletic Club. “We’ve always valued our community of members in Oak Park. We will miss each and every one of you.”
The village was not involved in the decision to close the fitness club, according to Oak Park spokesman David Powers.
“It was really sad,” said former fitness instructor Adrienne Smith. “It was a shock to a lot of the members when they found out what happened. It was a shock to the leadership team who were making changes for the second quarter (of 2015).”
There has been a trend of new group fitness studios finding success in the village, which may have contributed to the closing of Midtown Athletic Club. The Barre Code opened its doors in May while Orangetheory Fitness has seen continued success over the past several months.
“What we’re seeing around the area, even at Midtown, is group fitness is something that’s really huge,” said Smith. “It’s getting big in the community. People are beginning to realize that working together in a fitness environment is more inspiring and more motivating.”
While traditional fitness clubs seem to be taking a back seat to group studios, there will be a hole on Harlem Avenue after Midtown spent 25 years bringing people together to work out and feel at home while doing so.
“I will truly miss this place and everyone that made it what it was,” said former fitness member Vanessa Hernandez. “I hope we can all keep in touch and from the bottom of my heart I wish you all the best in your journeys ahead.”
Any former fitness club members that have questions are encouraged to contact the Midtown Athletic Club Billing Department at 773-644-2421 or email@example.com.