A downtown Kelowna fitness studio is closing its doors for good.
The news came via a Facebook post by Oranj Fitness.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I let you know that we are no longer operating as an Oranj Fitness studio,” said owner Tina Joslin. “It is no secret that COVID was extremely hard on the fitness industry. I would argue that studios, like us, with a very large lease space and many employees, were hit the hardest.”
The post points out that Oranj Fitness closed six times due to government-mandated shutdowns and lost more than 80 per cent of its membership base.
“Unfortunately, when government subsidies stopped this past June, during our slowest season, we really started to financially struggle,” continued Joslin. “I have exhausted every financial option possible, emptying all my (personal savings and other business) accounts just to pay rent and payroll these past few months. By the end of this summer, I was unable to pay the royalties to our head office.”
The studio had its licensing revoked by Oranj Fitness’s head office on October 11, meaning the Kelowna business could no longer operate under the Oranj brand.
“We have continued to operate, outside of our franchise agreement, because I wanted to have a proper goodbye,” added Joslin. “I could not allow 15 years of business (eight in which I’ve owned it) to be taken away overnight.”
Joslin noted that for many the studio was a community and for some a family. She is currently working with a broker to find a buyer to take over the space, assets, and staff. Current members have until Oct. 31 to use their punch passes and memberships. After that date, unused punch passes, paid-in-full memberships, or unused personal training, from the past year, can receive a credit for three times the value remaining by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I really want to thank you for spending any amount of time with my team, myself, and Oranj over the past 15 years, however short or long,” said Joslin. “I want to take a moment to really thank my team at the studio, my support system at home, and our guests that helped support us through COVID and beyond. You all mean so much to me, more than you will ever know.”