New gym tries to pump up the fees



Posted on February 28, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 28 at 6:22 PM

All the Keverkamp sisters want to do is lift some iron, hit the treadmill and climb the stair master.

To do that, Amanda, Vanessa and Emma have to go well out of their way to get it done.

"There's a gym five minutes from my house and I can't use it," Vanessa said. "I have to travel a half hour to get into downtown Bellevue to use a gym."

The sisters live in the same Issaquah neighborhood. But 13 years ago, they lived and worked in Kent and signed up with Hart's Athletic Club, which was bought by 24 Hour Fitness.

Their contracts are still good. Their dues are still $18 a month.

"One of the new 24 Hour Fitness employees had said, 'you should keep this for the rest of your life. Even if you don't work out for 10 years, it is such a good deal,'" Amanda said.

At the time, the women were told they could go to any 24 Hour Fitness club they wanted. Just last year, 24 Hour Fitness opened a new location in Issaquah. They call it a "Super Sports" club. It's bigger and has more amenities.

The sisters have been told they can't use it.

"Our membership is not valid at these upper level, whatever they decide them to be, type of clubs," Vanessa said.

When they got their deal, there were no super sport clubs in Washington. 24 Hour Fitness says the only way the sisters can get in is to pay more and sign a new deal.

That didn't make Amanda happy.

"I am fired up. We've been members for 13 years," she said.

Get this: The Keverkamps have been using their membership at the Kent Super Sport club ever since it switched over. So why not the new one in Issaquah where they live?

The sisters got in touch with me and I got a hold of 24 Hour Fitness. They flexed a little muscle and changed their minds.

24 Hour Fitness was happy to make this happen for the sisters. Something to keep in mind with gym memberships: the Attorney General's Office says if you move more than 25 miles away of your gym and they don't have another one nearby, you can get out of the deal.