Detroit's FitnessWorks gym closes after 24 years in the New Center area due to COVID-19, Henry Ford Health expansion


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It just wasn't working out for a beloved Detroit fitness club, which announced via Facebook that it will not be reopening, citing pandemic-related operational concerns and a change in direction from Henry Ford Health System.

FitnessWorks, located at 6525 Second Ave. in the New Center area, made the announcement Wednesday.

“Whether you have been a member since we first opened our doors in 1996 or just joined us this year, please know that you will always be a part of the FitnessWorks family,” the post reads. “Our FitnessWorks team of managers and front-line staff has loved every smile shared at the front desk, every heart-pounding class, every long conversation over coffee, and celebrating every milestone you have achieved.”

In addition to standard cardio-based workout equipment, FitnessWorks offered affordable access to a lap pool for aquatic group exercise with programming for seniors, as well as access to racquetball and basketball courts. They also offered full-body strength training, body boot camps, and an array of classes spanning yoga, pilates, Zumba, spin, African Dance, step, ballroom, and Tai Chi.

Many of the comments on the Facebook announcement celebrate the hard work of the FitnessWorks staff and their commitment to the community.

“I was only a member for a little over a year but I loved the place. I never like any gym I belonged to previously,” one comment reads. “But this place was different. The staff was warm and friendly and I always felt comfortable there.”

One “heartbroken” member likened FitnessWorks to their Cheers, referring to it as their “place of peace and empowerment.”

Another simply reads: “Henry Ford strikes again. I have been missing the pool so terribly. I hate this.”

Last year, Henry Ford Health System partnered with the Detroit Pistons to open a $37 million state of the art Pistons Performance Center in Midtown, to serve as a rehabilitation and training facility for the NBA team and house the William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine.

According to The Detroit Free Press, Henry Ford's sports medicine center had been operating out of the modest nearby FitnessWorks location, and relocated to the 54,000 square-foot space connected to the Pistons' $90 million practice, training, and office areas. The Pistons area offers public access to a Plum Market, and was set to include a Detroit outpost of national gym chain, Blink Fitness, which has yet to open, according to the Blink Fitness website.

According to the post, FitnessWorks is working alongside Midtown Health to find a new location for the center and its members, and Henry Ford will repurpose the space to “meet increased patient demands” in the wake of COVID-19.

Dear FitnessWorks Members, It is with a heavy heart that I write you today to inform you that FitnessWorks will not be...

Posted by FitnessWorks on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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