A Mixed Goodbye to a Good Deal

DEALS & DISCOUNTS

DEALS & DISCOUNTS-About a week ago, I was greeted at the front desk of my neighborhood gym by not only the friendly staff person behind the counter, but also by a letter stating that the Courtyard Club would be closing down. This was a shocker. 

I was late to the Courtyard Club party. 

The club has been in the same building that NBCUniversal just vacated for twenty-seven years. I have lived in the area for eighteen of those years. Somehow – no doubt due to lack of funds – I was never able to enjoy the many benefits of the club formerly known as Meridian, Bodies in Motion. 

About a year and a half ago, I was looking to join a club where I could swim. The Courtyard Club, with its’ access to the salt water pool at Park La Brea, was a sight and a site for an injured foot. I gladly paid the higher monthly price for a limited membership club and access to a beautiful salt water pool for those times when the only exercise my foot will allow is a swim. 

Later, the residents of Park La Brea would object to the arrangement, and pool access would be terminated for anyone who did not already have the pool on their membership (e.g. me). 

I loved the towel service, the great classes, the locker room lounge, the dry and wet sauna and vibe in the gym, where people were just low key, working out, doing their thing – no posing, no waiting for machines or showers. Management would also feature exhibits of various artists throughout the gym, along with a reception when the exhibit opened. 

All was right on the Miracle Mile. 

Alas, a great deal has changed in the neighborhood and continues to do so. The new Metro stops on both ends of The Mile, at Fairfax and La Brea, promise even bigger alterations to the face of the miracle built by A.W. Ross. 

According to the letter I received from the Courtyard Club, Tishman Speyer advised the club that they would not be renewing their lease due to the fact that the club was not a part of the future of the building. This is Tishman Speyer that also owns Rockefeller Center, and the Chrysler building, the Sony Center in Berlin, and so on. Today, I was told by an employee at Equinox headquarters in New York that the club plans to open a location on Wilshire Boulevard in the Fall of 2017. 

Just to add a little perspective to those who are not familiar, I was paying $84 per month for the Courtyard Club, including access to the pool at Park La Brea. The charge per month without the pool is some $70. If you paid for an annual membership, you would get two months off, bringing my total to $840 per year. 

The lowest Equinox membership fee in the Los Angeles area is $152 per month for the Glendale/Pasadena area. The highest is Beverly Hills at $225. The closest club to the Miracle Mile would be West Hollywood, coming in at $201 per month. 

The question is: What does it mean when a gym like Equinox comes to your neighborhood? I’m thinking, it’s not a good deal. 

NEED TO KNOW: 

Perhaps as shocking as the closing of the Courtyard Club was the message I got verbally from the manager saying that there would be no refunds. I paid for an annual membership to the club, which isn’t up til the end of December. I smell a bad deal there. I spoke to one member who said he’s paid up until March. Perhaps the management will be re-thinking this policy. 

In the meantime, we found a great deal at a super-newyork-fragelistic gym up on Beverly Blvd. Easton has been in business since 1938. Imagine that. The owners even came back from the ashes once in 1952 after a bad fire and a rebuild. 

The place has got a real awesome exposed brick New York kind of feel to it and the staff is super friendly. CJ and Katie will get all the orphans from Courtyard set up – at least those who don’t want to spring for Equinox in a year or move to the sister gym of Courtyard in Century City or West LA. 

They’ve even got a Mojo Café right next door. You can use your member number there - like a tab. The gym will charge the credit card on file for your smoothies and such. Nice! They’ve also got a sundeck up top and a TRX set up there for those who go in for that kind of thing. 

Hey who knows? Maybe we’ll see you on the pilates mat or sipping on a smoothie in the Mojo!  

Easton Hollywood

8053 Beverly Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90048

323-651-3636

Hours: Mon-Fri 5 am – midnight

Sat-Sun 7 am – 10 pm 

Eastongymco.com 

(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at www.RecessionCafe.wordpress.com is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at recessioncafe@yahoo.com.  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifercald - Twitter: @checkingthegate ... And her website: jenniferhcaldwell.com)  

-cw