ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Despite dropping COVID case numbers and the vaccine rollout in our state, a popular downtown Albuquerque gym is calling it quits saying it couldn’t come up with the membership or the back pay owed to the landlords.
KRQE spoke with Zach Gold, the owner of Simms Fitness located off 4th and Gold. He said after a turbulent year with the pandemic and the restrictions that came with it, he decided to close up the gym that’s been serving people since 2016.
He said they can’t keep up with payments. Gold said the gym and the landlords agreed he would pay half the monthly rent over the last several months due to the pandemic. But now the landlords want that debt paid.
“We got a default notice and it said that we owed back rent and within one week we had to pay it and there was absolutely no way we were going to be able to do that,” said Gold. “So we told them that we couldn’t and they locked us out on Thursday.”
Gold didn’t disclose the amount owed and isn’t necessarily blaming the landlords because they need to earn a living, too. He said the pandemic has ravaged local gyms because of the various restrictions and the constant battle of opening and closing this past year. Gold said back in June when gyms were first allowed to reopen, they lost 30%t of their more than 800 members. Which he said they could never come back from and have continued to lose members every week since.
“We have a huge number of people that work downtown and a majority of them are working from home so they weren’t even downtown anymore,” said Gold. “So, I’m going to hold my membership indefinitely. Until stuff is back to normal.”
Gold said he appreciates the support from the community over the years. “Businesses are struggling,” said Gold. “And if you want businesses to be around at the end of this, go out and help them, guys.”
Simms Fitness’ landlord “Peterson Properties” said they would not comment on the matter. Another popular gym in downtown Albuquerque is “Sports and Wellness.” Its website said it’s temporarily closed and is delaying the reopening.