EAST VILLAGE — An upscale New York gym chain has thrown in the towel.
David Barton Gym — known for its nightclub-like atmosphere — abruptly shuttered New York locations Wednesday, citing "severe competitive pressures," according to a statement on the company's website.
The boutique fitness spot, which first opened in 1992 with the tag line "Look better naked" operated multiple Manhattan gyms, including those in Hell's Kitchen and Astor Place.
"The company deeply regrets this final action, but due to severe competitive pressures, particularly in New York, it has become impossible for these locations to continue," the company said in its statement. "DavidBartonGym greatly appreciates the past patronage of its clients and support of its staff and training professionals.”
Many gym-goers who headed in for the regular workouts Wednesday at Astor Place were shocked to find the doors closed, with the company's closure statement tapped to its doors.
Though the signs posted said members may have received emails explaining the shut down, stunned members who showed up said they received no notice and were floored at the news.
A sign posted on the David Barton Gym location at Astor Place stated it had closed down. (DNAinfo/Allegra Hobbs)
“I love this gym — I left the country and didn’t cancel my membership because I love this gym and when I came back it was here for me,” said Rajasri Narasinhan, 25, explaining she had gone to India for several months and kept her membership during that time.
Narasinhan said she had joined the gym when she lived near Astor Place and had stayed a member even after moving to Crown Heights because she loved the facilities and helpful staff.
“I’m actually really torn and I don’t know why," she said. “I feel like a lot of things change in this neighborhood and in my life, and this is one of those things that was very constant."
Along with stunned gym members, representatives from gym competitors also showed up at the David Barton Gym at 4 Astor Place Wednesday, trying to quickly offer deals to beleaguered members showing up to work out only to discover the doors were permanently closed.
“All of us at New York Sports Club feel bad these people lost out on their money, and a lot of people can’t even go inside to access their clothes and get their stuff out of the locker,” said NYSC membership consultant Justin Joseph. “If they come to the gym today, we’ll give them a special promotion that’s exclusive to the people who lost out on their membership.”
Joseph was unable to say what the promotion would be, explaining the snubbed members had to either come to a NYSC location or call to get the details on the deal.
A Crunch Fitness rep posted in front of the gym said former David Barton members would get a free three-day membership at their facilities, and would then be treated to an exclusive deal.
“They’re gym-less, so we’re going to give them the best deal possible,” said Crunch rep Nildy Tenorio.
David Barton also shuttered all of its Miami, Boston, Chicago and Bellevue, Washington locations.
The gym's Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Honolulu locations, which are owned by a separate company and "are in markets that are more favorable to the company’s business model," will continue to operate, the company said.