Update: New owners to reopen B.C.'s Steve Nash Fitness World with name change

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      Update (June 19):

      Today, the new ownership team of Steve Nash Fitness World announced that it will revert the brand name to Fitness World as part of its rebranding plans.

      Steve Nash Fitness and Fitness World had merged in 2009, and B.C. basketball star Steve Nash had sold his shares in the company in 2014.

      The gym chain is hoping to reopen a few locations in early July, including access to workout areas, group fitness, and small group training sessions. Health measures will be in place according to provincial guidelines.

      Fitness World is also promising to donate equipment from closed locations to organizations and communities in need, which can contact the company by email.

      Further details are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.

      Business in Vancouver reported that the B.C. Supreme Court granted the company an extension to file a proposal to creditors until August 3.

      Original article (June 16):

      One of B.C.’s largest fitness chains, which was facing uncertainty after its closure, has found new investors.

      On March 17, Steve Nash Fitness World announced it would temporarily close its 24 facilities, including those under the UFC Gym and Crunch Fitness brands, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      However, the company, SNFW Fitness B.C. Ltd., announced on March 25 that it had decided to “let go” of its 1,300 staff members as it underwent restructuring. News reports stated that staff members said they had received letters of termination.

      Two groups of former employees have been reported to be involved two separate class actions, with claims that employees have been denied access to severance and termination payment.

      On June 9, Business in Vancouver reported that a buyer for the chain had been confirmed, but that the identity of the successful bidder had not been revealed.

      Although a news release issued today (June 16) confirmed that new owners have acquired Steve Nash Fitness World and Sports Clubs, the investors have not yet been named.

      The news release states that Chris Smith will remain CEO of the gym chain, which will undergo a rebranding.

      “The new ownership team understands there are many questions that remain unanswered and we look forward to welcoming people back into the clubs as quickly and safely as possible as we work through COVID-19 reopening protocols,” Smith stated. “There will be health and safety procedures in place when we reopen that are all in line with B.C. safety standards, as keeping everyone safe and healthy will be a foremost priority.”

      Plans and dates for reopening each location will be announced in the weeks to come. The new ownership promises to honour all service agreements, such as pre-paid memberships or personal training services, and to maintain the same monthly fees in effect when the locations closed.

      In April, SNFW Fitness B.C. Ltd., which reportedly owed over $35 million to more than 140 creditors, filed for creditor protection. 

      Business in Vancouver reported today that the company will request an extension on credit protection by a month and a half at B.C. Supreme Court tomorrow (June 17). 

      The B.C. Supreme Court has not yet approved the sale of the company.

      Two founders of 24 Hour Fitness and basketball star Steve Nash, from Victoria, B.C., established Steven Nash Fitness in 2007, which merged with 50-year-old Fitness World in 2009. Nash sold his shares to his co-owners in 2014 and tried to have his name removed from the fitness clubs.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.