Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dolphin Gym abruptly closes on East 4th Street



Several readers have pointed out that the Dolphin Gym on East Fourth Street near Second Avenue closed without much warning yesterday.

One reader said that she was in the gym yesterday morning.

"I said 'See you tomorrow!' and not a peep. Went by [last night] — totally padlocked, but not by the Marshal."

According to the sign, memberships will be honored at the Synergy Fitness on East 14th Street just west of Second Avenue.



Said another reader: "I went to Synergy, by the way, and they let me workout but they didn't really know what's going on."

32 comments:

Nisha said...

I went there today and one of the managers was there closing up this morning. I asked what happened -- he said that only part of the gym space was zoned for commercial use, the rest was for residential use. He said no one had bothered them about that in 15 years, but now they were starting to get complaints from the city so they had to abruptly shut down.

Anonymous said...

Was there yesterday myself. When my girlfriend went by this morning and told me it was closed indefinitely, my first thought was -- "Oh, it got condemned! Makes sense."

creature said...

This bites. I've going there for ten years. No frills, but got the job done.

Anonymous said...

That place was a dump...right down to the last electron-tube tv's I ever saw in operation.

I'm not surprised they handled the closing this way, it always reeked of shady operation.

Anonymous said...

'Pretty presumptous of them to think someone automatically wants to continue their membership at one of these other gyms.

What if I don't want to go to one of the other gyms and I want a refund for my remaining time?

Anonymous said...

I've been going here for 15 years. Yesterday the front desk girl asked me to renew my membership. I gave her approval to do so but fortunately my credit card on file was expired. I'm not too surprised they would do something like this - the gym was adequate and affordable but the people who ran it were a bunch of meatheads.

Anonymous said...

Similar thing happened when they unexpectedly closed their basement location on Ave. B.

Anonymous said...

Dolphin gyms are terrible, outdated, sleazy, and notorious for pulling this scam. At least this particular gym was around for a while. I belonged to a Dolphin in midtown which abruptly closed less than a year after opening. They were constantly trying to renew memberships up to the day they "mysteriously" shut down. They left a note like this on the door explaining that they supposedly passed our memberships onto another local gym which, of course, refused to accept us. Don't trust those scumbag shysters at Dolphin.

moe said...

This is exactly the m.o. they used closing the avenue b location. Including aggresively selling memberships and extensions right up to the minute before they unexpectedly close up shop in the middle of the night.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, a gym orphan again.

Giovanni said...

Here's a simple solution: either buy your own dumbbells or don't exercise since your lifespan is controlled by your genes anyway. Problem solved. You're welcome.

Dan said...

Actually, this exact thing happened to me at the 2nd st and B location several years ago. I was going quite often, and one day I just showed up and they had closed up. Pre-paid membership and all..

Anonymous said...

The ironic thing about this is that, years ago, Dolphin used to be in the Synergy location on 14th and 2nd Ave., and it abruptly shut its doors and redirected members to other Dolphin locations -- specifying that you got one visit to either E. 4th or Ave. B before you had to "commit" to your new location. No warning, no compensation. And now they're telling people who were going to the 4th St. location to go to Synergy on 14th and 2nd. Dolphin has always been a cheap gym in every sense, and this "cut and run" habit of theirs makes them dodgy on top of everything else.

Anonymous said...

Been a member of this Dolphin location for over 10 years. Who knows the real reason it closed, but the location def kept this place around local then the other dolphin gyms in the neighborhood. Aside from the city gyms, this was the cheapest gym in Manhattan. You get what you pay for; no frills low equipment upkeep. But for most ppl it was adequate for their lifestyles. I will miss the long time locals(Me included) that used the gym. It served as a community for a lot of ppl there.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this place was a dump. But, it was extremely cheap, open 24 hours and convenient to those that live in the vicinity. Hope a new gym opens up after they get the commercial/residential issue resolved. Don't want to pay Crunch or NYSC all that money.

moe said...

Even though they are burning me for about $70 worth of membership by this latest scam, I can't really be too pissed when I think of how much money I saved over the last 14 years, at this location and before that at ave B. The TOTAL I paid over that time was probably about $1500, which buys you maybe ONE year at most Manhattan gyms.
I never missed the towel service, fancy chrome machines, etc. Actually I was glad for the atmosphere, reminds me of the gyms of my youth, and kept me focused on getting in and getting out, not basking in the luxury.

AdriannaGrezak said...

This might not be a popular option, but I've been very happy at Blink on Lafayette street since 2011. It's clean, the machines always work, and I've always felt comfortable there as a woman. There's flat screen TVs for the people who were offended by the tubes at Dolphin

$26.13 a month (with taxes) and one yearly $30.31 fee. The price of my monthly subscription has only gone up by $2 since 2011.

DrGecko said...

From their membership terms:

>
New York State Law requires certain health clubs to have a bond or other forms of financial security to protect members in the event that the club closes.
This club has posted the financial security required by law.

YOU MAY ASK A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CLUB FOR PROOF OF THE CLUB’S COMPLIANCE WITH THIS LAW. YOU MAY
ALSO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION FROM THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, DIVISION OF LICENSING
SERVICES, 162 WASHINGTON AVENUE, ALBANY, N.Y. 12231
<

So, in theory, we can get refunds.

Anonymous said...

The residential zoning excuse sounds like b.s. There is a doctor's office and health food store in the same building.

I doubt that anyone will get any kind of a refund and I wouldn't be surprised of they've filed for bankruptcy.
It sucks that they were taking money for memberships and renewals until the last day. It's doubtful that Synergy has agreed to giving all of these people free membership. I went to the Synergy on 14th and 1st on Friday and they told me that I had to go to the 14th & 6th ave location. There was a guy there who had 8 months left on his membership and it sounded like they were going to make him buy a new one. The guy at the counter was saying "look, I'm already giving you 4 months".

Anonymous said...

The Synergy location on 14th St. on the east side is NOT letting Dolphin members work out for free.

Anonymous said...

Let's just admit it the whole damn nei ghborhood is going to hell in a hand basket.

Anonymous said...

So I asked around and it seems that NY state law has gyms hold a bond for long term members for just this kind of situation.... Either they were breaking the law and not doing that.... Or we will be able to receive refunds (for the remainder of the membership most likely). But I'm not holding my breath. Small claims court, anyone? Because this is an insane amount of bullshit.

Orion Keyser said...

Getting money out of people is a pain in the ass, but has anyone tried to go to one of the Bensonherst or Bay Ridge locations to ask for their money back? Might be easier than small claims court. Though they'll probably say no. Synergy makes you buy a new membership, they only gave me a three month discount, and their contract is kind of hard to get out of with the only way to cancel their automatic billing of your card is via certified mail return receipt requested. I understand it's hard to make money these days, but does that really mean everything has to be a scam? If anyone does decide to take them to court, I'd love to be involved, just spent $200 to renew my membership and only got 15 days out of that.

JC said...

A refund is entirely possible. I signed up a little over a month ago. They violated the terms of our contract. They'd have us hunted down if we were a dime short. They ought to be held in the same regard. At this point, it's not the money, but the fact they keep on running this scam for years.

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree with everyone's claim to seeking compensation in small claims court or elsewhere. But as someone who often went there when I was unable to jog, and just paid the day fee of $10, I have to say that I think it's a shame the place closed! Grubby, yes, but the girls at the front were very friendly (I wonder if they knew the place would close when they suggested renewing) and it was nice to have somewhere no-frills, not a David Barton with cappuccinos and facials! Sorry to see this place go.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered this site, it's so relevant to us here in the EV. Yes Dolphin was shady, I just didn't know how shady. Synergy is a joke, it's like the fox telling you go to over to the coyote for help. As many said, it did get the job done cheaply. I'm not shilling from Blink, but that's where I'm working-out now. Best to all my neighbors. The big fire, and now this Dolphin closing really has changed my little world. Sadly.

Charlene said...

I am so hurt my 19 year old daughter got her new job and decided to surprise me. she planed for sometime with the front desk woman. She paid for nine months instead of renewing my regular package for the year. I went back to fix it. The night guy tried to get me to pay for an additional package. I just paid for my regualar year. Then my daughter goes by and passes the place and they are closed. No one said nothing. I am planning on suing with the small claims court which is located at 111 center street within the housing court building. If you call 311 their is someone that you can contact concerning the conducts of both priavte and parks recreational gyms. I will also be filing with the better business burial as well to see what they can tell me or do. I also did what they said and went to Ludlow Gym. She told me she would honor me with 6 months but I would have to pay a fee of $250. for the rest of the 6 months. Because her customers pay $499. a year. I will sue Dolphin to pay the additional fee. My friend also goes to planet fitness which is extremely cheaper. I read here some one posted about blinks gym I will see their prices. It is said that I feel ripped off I use to go to 3rd street and the same thing happened over there. It was a reasonable price gym $149. a year. These other gyms are ripping people off. Parks Department gym on Hamilton fish parks recreational. is $60 for 6 months and $75 to use all parks. Hamilton fish is sad they closed one of the gym rooms because of mold and leaking and when you walk down their stair way leading to the gym the ceiling has mold and leakage. They also gip you on the time. They will close the gym on you 15 minutes early claiming that they are cleaning up when they are not. You have to fight for a diluted spray bottle of window cleaner to clean the machine and paper. The rest of the gym closes at 9pm and they kick you out of there as well. When you contact the chief Deputy Kim McNeil. She presents herself unprofessional for the conditions as well as taking extra money for less time. In the past you got your full membership times worth. If for the rest of the 15 minutes the gym doesn't offer you any other services.
I will miss my fellow gymers at Dolphins. It is sad because I know of a nice woman who was homeless and she would come there each night and workout till the morning killing time. Thanks for letting us have a place to vent.

Sophia said...

wow, I only had two months of membership left and I'm super upset, so I can't imagine how upset some of you must be who just recently renewed. how can we get that legally required refund? This is so unfair and I refuse to just sit here and take it.

Anonymous said...

I belonged to Dolphin since just after 911. The machine's were just the worst! I liked the community atmosphere and spirit and the fact that I didn't have to wear fancy gym duds. And the price! I always did wonder how they even managed to pay the rent with those prices. I think the franchise owner will be very hard to get a thin dime out of. It hurts that he turned out to be a scum bag of the highest order. This was a neighborhood gym that all of us could afford. I'm at the Chinatown Y now...

Anonymous said...

Hi all, I would like to share my disappointment with you guys. Really sucks, I had four months left in my membership and the worst part is that In found the place pretty convinient not just because of the price, but for closeness to my apartment.

Went to Synergy on 14th Street and it's true, they are honoring the membership but they charge $149 on set up fee. The gym is much better than Dolphin and they charge $20/month after your membership expire.

Tried to call Dolphin but the phone seems to be disconnected. I emailed them and received back a notification of failure...

I think I'm trying Blink fitness, they have a location in Noho and its $30/month with out contract. Seems the best option right now.

Best



Orin said...

I dont think the East 4th Street Dolphin Fitness Club Manager Veronica knew that the gym was closing while she was signing people up for their memberships. She did not own the gym and seemed like a decent person who would not cheat any of the gym members many of whom she was very friendly with. She did not own the gym but rather worked for the owner who was a real hardcase and seemed like a difficult man to work for. I believe it was a rent issue with the building landlord who raised the rent during the lease renewal for the basement and ground floor gym space and the gym owner did not want to pay the rent increase which caused him to abruptly close the gym. It is a shame I will miss working out in that place it was not the best of gyms but it was affordable and you could get a good workout there.

Anonymous said...

When I had an issue a few years ago, I took them to Court & won. That's what the BBB, Small claims Court, Consumer Protection agencies, et al are for.

Michael Sini is the Owner.