San Diego, Ca — The fires that raged in several Southern California counties last month caused closures of some clubs, mostly due to poor air quality or the threat of fire.
24 Hour Fitness closed 20 of its clubs in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Ventura counties for a few days last month, says Danny De La Rosa, divisional president, southwest, for 24 Hour Fitness. Three of the 17 closed clubs were in the direct path of the fire, but the wind changed, moving the fire away from the clubs.
“We were fortunate that none of the clubs were burned,” says De La Rosa, but the home of one staff member was destroyed by the fire.
Club Paradise in Fallbrook, CA, also was affected by the fires. The city of about 45,000 was evacuated to Camp Pendleton, CA, but Mark Raymond, assistant manager to operations, stayed in town to operate the main club location.
“We left it open for emergency purposes so firefighters can shower and get in a workout,” Raymond says. “We are allowing members to come in with the understanding that air quality is not that great, but it is better inside due to our air conditioning and air filtration system.”
Raymond closed the company's express club after the home of the manager of the express club was destroyed in the fire.
The 4 Women Only Fitness Center in Poway, CA, was about two to three miles from one of the fires but was untouched by it, says Lori Golia, director at 4 Women Only Fitness Center. The fires caused the closure of the club for several days.
The Powerhouse Gym in Temecula, CA, remained open, but attendance was slow during the fires, according to the receptionist at the facility. The facility wasn't in the path of any of the fires, but one of the fires was on a hill a few miles from the facility.
Even some facilities closer to the coastline were affected by the fires. First Class Fitness Center in Oceanside, CA, was closed for two days due to poor air quality, according to the receptionist there.
There were no reports of any fitness facilities being damaged by the fires.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is based in San Diego about 10 miles from one of the major fires, says Kristie Spalding, spokesperson for ACE. Although the certifying agency's building was not in the direct line of the fires, the agency did close the office for two days because several of the 50 staff members lived in areas being evacuated or in areas of high alert.