I'm working on a story about the fires in Southern California right now. I hope to finish that up this afternoon and post it on the Web site. So far, I've e-mailed with Wendy Yellin, spokesperson for 24 Hour Fitness, which is based in Carlsbad, CA. She says that the corporate headquarters has not been affected yet, but some of the clubs in Southern California have had to close due to poor air quality. I hope to speak with someone at 24 Hour later today.
I spoke to a woman at First Class Fitness Center in Oceanside, CA, about an hour ago. She said that they closed for two days this week due to poor air quality, but they are open again today. They are not in close proximity to the fires, she said, so the threat of the fires themselves are not affecting them at this time.
However, the fire has more directly affected the two Club Paradise locations owned by Brian Hansen in Fallbrook, CA. According to Mark Raymond, the assistant manager to operations at Club Paradise, he and the manager of the express facility closed the express club a few days ago, but the nonexpress club is open--although Mark is the only staff member remaining at the club and only about 15 people have come into the club since Monday morning when the evacuation order was given for Fallbrook. Unfortunately, the express club manager's home was destroyed in the fire.
Mark let the fire chief know that the firefighters were welcome to use the facility and shower there should they choose. He has had a few firefighters come into the club to take advantage of this offer.
Most of the 45,000 people of Fallbrook were evacuated to Camp Pendleton, the gates of which are only about 3 minutes away, according to Mark.
Here is a link to The Village News, a local paper in Fallbrook, that includes photos of some of the fires. Mark has a few photos in the reader-submitted photo section.
Is your club being affected by the fires? If so, let us know by commenting on the blog. - Pam