Bankruptcy updates: Busy Body shuts more stores, Keys case closed, Leisure delays filing financials, Bally financials AWOL

The status of a series of bankruptcy cases in the fitness industry remain at various stages. They, of course, change constantly, but as of Jan. 19, here's the latest report on Fitness Holdings International (Busy Body, Omni Fitness, LA Gym), Leisure Fitness, Keys Fitness and Bally.

The status of a series of bankruptcy cases in the fitness industry remain at various stages. They, of course, change constantly, but as of Jan. 19, the status was:

Fitness Holdings International a.k.a. Busy Body, Omni Fitness, LA Gym

A third request to conduct store closing sales and close additional stores was approved in December with 30 stores from coast to coast, including in California, Colorado and along the East Coast.

The approval of the second motion on Nov. 13 had added four stores to the list of closures -- three in California and one in Massachusetts.

The initial approval for store closures and sales in early November included 19 stores, all on the West Coast. Click here to see that store list in an Oct. 27 story.

When FHI filed on Oct. 20 for bankruptcy, it stated it was operating 111 stores. These closures would take it to 77 stores, although insiders expect more to be closed as the case proceeds.

The court has set March 2 as the deadline for FHI to file its plan of reorganization with a hearing set for March 17.

Leisure Fitness

Although the former Leisure Fitness' stores and assets have been bought or otherwise dispersed, management received on Dec. 12 an extension to file its court-required statements of financials affairs. The new deadline was Dec. 11 (Ed. Note: Yes, we know that's before the date of the date it was set, and we're not sure how they can go back in time, but it must be a court thing since extensions can only come in 30-day increments.)

As of Jan. 19, no statements and financials documents as required in bankruptcy cases were filed, nor were additional requests for extensions filed. At the time of the first extension, which was granted Nov. 11, owners had stated they could not file the paperwork since they could not access the headquarters or the computers that had the information they needed.

In other related mid-Atlantic business:

>> The new operators in the area that took over many of the old Leisure stores, LFI run by principals Ron Mendola and Paul Bastianelli, have opened eight locations in former Leisure spaces, as well as re-opened the corporate headquarters in Newark, Del., on Executive Drive. Those include Newark and Wilmington, Del.; Annapolis, Columbia and Rockville, Md.; Ardmore and Montgomeryville, Penn.; and Tyson's Corner, Va.

The new company has taken over the old website at although some of the pages have not been fully updated. As of Jan. 19, its brands listed included Precor although the product page (click here to see that) noted it had no Precor products. Per that brand page, the largest supply of products offered by the new Leisure were from Life Fitness, Landice, Vision and FreeMotion.

>> The Texas Home Fitness group run by the principals from HEST Fitness now has three Precor Home Fitness stores open in the area, including Framingham and Newton, Mass.; and Green Brook, N.J. To see that group's updated home page, click here.

To read more about the shufflings that had been going on in the mid-Atlantic, click here to see a Nov. 28, 2008, SNEWS® story, "Musical chairs in mid-Atlantic fitness retail market; Precor retailers shuffled."

Keys Fitness

The company's bankruptcy case, originally filed in April 2008, was officially closed Jan. 15, 2009, after being dismissed in late December. After having its reorganization plan approved by the court, two months later the company came back and asked the court for permission to sell all its assets. (Click here to see that Nov. 17, 2008, SNEWS story, "Keys Fitness ownership seeks court approval to sell all assets.")

G.E.T Fitness acquired Keys Fitness assets, while Kevin Lamar, Star Trac senior vice president of the consumer division, told SNEWS that Star Trac licensed the Ironman brand from World Triathlon Corp., which purchased it back from Keys in the court proceedings. Court documents showed that Star Trac also bought warehouse equipment, while Treadmill Doctor bought all parts, as well as engineering specs and designs and the toll-free number.

Bally Total Fitness

After its filing Dec. 3 for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization -- its second in 17 months -- Bally received an extended deadline of Jan. 19 to file its financials and other statements of affairs required in bankruptcy cases.

As of the end of the day Jan. 19, the papers had not appearing in the court filing system.

--Therese Iknoian


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