EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A 24-hour gym in East Providence is no longer allowed to operate around the clock, Call 12 for Action has learned.
Work Out World, also known as WOW!, was temporarily shut down Friday night by the city.
According to Patricia Resende, a spokesperson for East Providence, WOW! was not licensed to operate 24 hours a day.
The closure surprised patrons including Arnold Etienne, a regular at WOW!, who showed up to exercise on Friday night.
A sign in the door said it was closed and would re-open Monday morning, but when he got there it was still locked.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Etienne told Call 12 for Action. “They didn’t tell us anything.”
Jose Delacruz was also disappointed to find the gym closed Monday morning.
“I have no idea what’s going on,” he said.
Elizabeth Beninati of WOW! told Call 12 for Action the East Providence gym has been operating around the clock for years and she believed the business was in compliance with local licenses and permits.
“I don’t know where the disconnect was because we’ve always been compliant and work closely with communities,” Beninati said.
By late Monday morning, WOW! re-opened, but not as a 24-hour gym. Now, the gym has to be closed between 1-4 a.m. every day, according to Resende.
Beninati said WOW! gym did not have a lot of overnight check-ins, but said she’s disappointed members will not have 24-hour access.
“It’s unfortunate for nurses, firefighters and police – people with different schedules,” Beninati added. “By the time we pay for utilities and staffing, we probably lose money, but we like to do it for members that need that convenience.”
WOW! is now in compliance with city ordinances, according to Resende, and gym representatives plan to go before East Providence City Council on Dec. 3 to request a ‘holiday license,’ which would allow the gym to operate on holidays.
Beninati said the East Providence gym will undergo major renovations in the coming weeks, and will remain open during construction.