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Unclear if Providence gym will reopen as members’ accounts remain frozen

Target 12

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The lights are still off and the doors are locked at the Boston Sports Club on Providence’s East Side.

“In accordance with recently issued regulations and with our community’s health and safety in mind, we have temporarily closed all clubs,” a recorded message says when you call that location.

While gyms were permitted to reopen in early June as Rhode Island entered Phase 2 of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s reopening plan, it’s unclear at this time whether this one in particular will reopen. A ‘for lease’ sign can be seen at the entrance to the parking lot and this online listing shows the space is on the market.

The gym’s website says it’s closed due to COVID-19 and all memberships have been frozen.

The office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said as of March 1, it’s received nearly 1,200 complaints about Boston Sports Clubs and its parent company, Town Sports International.

Last month, Healey sent a letter to the CEO demanding the company provide members with “straightforward instructions regarding how they may cancel their contracts.”

She also said:

  • BSC must accept notices of cancellation by telephone, email or
    another form of online submission, and may not require consumers to submit cancellation
    by any means that would require them to leave their homes, such as certified mail or in-person delivery. BSC may not charge consumers any fee or penalty for cancelling their
  • Cease billing consumers who have submitted notice of cancellation to BSC.
  • Issue pro-rata refunds within fifteen days to consumers who submit notice of cancellation
    for any amount they have paid to BSC to access BSC clubs on or after March 16, 2020.

Under Rhode Island law, members can get out of a gym contract if the facility “permanently discontinues operation of the health club or location or substantially changes the operation.”

Target 12 reached out to Boston Sports Clubs and Town Sports International for comment. In an email, Town Sports International regional business manager Geoffrey Arnold said:

“We are staying consistent with our brand by opening the BSC clubs at the same time. When the rest of the BSC clubs are allowed to open we will reopen the BSC in Providence. Apologies for the inconvenience. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out.”

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