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April 7, 2008

7:50 p.m.: Pendleton fitness club to close its doors

PENDLETON — One of the biggest 24-hour fitness centers in southern Madison County is going out of business.

MyTime Fitness is closing its doors June 1.

“I’m very disappointed,” said Gene Crye, a charter club member. “This is tragic for Pendleton.”

Building owner Chuck Clevenger, president of Living Tree Academies, has said he plans to use the space for a new Christian school.

The school is scheduled to open this fall, Clevenger said in a January interview. He was not available for comment Monday.

Fitness club owner Phil Holden met with club members twice Monday to explain the situation. He does not want to comment publicly until he has further discussions with Clevenger.

Holden was less than seven years into a 15-year lease agreement to use the building for his fitness club.

The news of the closure came after months of rumors about MyTime Fitness ending services for its 1,400 members.

Holden was in tears when he delivered the news to club members Monday morning, club member Mike Campbell said.

“He was having a hard time getting his words out,” Campbell said. “He’s put his blood, sweat and tears into that place. It’s been his dream.”

The fitness club opened in 2001 as Pendleton Family Fitness and changed its name to MyTime Fitness in 2006. The club served as more than just a place to work out, Campbell said. MyTime Fitness was a central point for Pendleton and the surrounding area.

“That facility is an important part of this community,” Campbell said. “This is a huge deal for all of us.”

The closing of MyTime Fitness is bad news for the community, Crye said. Kids frequently attend the club after school. And the club serves as a social network for friends and neighbors, he said.

“I feel badly for the owner,” Crye said. “He’s built a pretty good business that’s become a part of the community.”

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