Column: Health club throws in the towel after 47 years

The venerable Claremont Club shut its doors Friday. Of course its doors were already shut due to coronavirus, which was the problem. With no revenue coming in, owners decided to shutter for good and sell the 19-acre property. I write about that in Sunday’s column.

You might like knowing that I’d written a draft of a column about “The Twilight Zone” Thursday afternoon, intending to finish that on Friday. But news had broken about the club’s closing, the Courier had a short story online, and I thought I might as well drop by the club Friday morning on my way into work and see if I could snag enough people to turn a column around quickly. Sure enough, I spoke to a couple of people in the parking lot and the club’s CEO let me in for an interview and photos.

Sorry, “TZ” fans, but your day will come, maybe next Sunday. In the meantime, it was kind of fun to report and write a column from scratch, and take photos, all in a few hours.

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  • SAWZ

    My daughter has lived in Claremont for 35 years. She and her family of five were all club members. She gave me the dreadful news yesterday. It is a community tragedy! All my fears about what this pandemic has wrought are coming to fruition. I don’t think a developer should purchase for housing–it should still be a health/fitness club and some group of very rich investors should look into purchasing it.

    My own experience with the CC was wonderful–for the most part. I had a couple disappointments with the sales force–the reps I talked with did not seem to like old people. I had taken swim lessons at the Club 20 years ago and it was great. They have a regular-size pool as well as the Olympic-size pool. Within the last five years I decided I wanted to join the club as a senior member, $55/month, to be able to use those acquatic facilities which are second to none. I was told that as a senior member I could only be present at the facility between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. For purposes of swimming or lounging by the pool those are the hours one would not want to be under the sun. There was no discussion of working something out–it was “take it” or “leave it”. I tried again later, online, asking if the senior hours could be changed to earlier in the morning or later in the early evening. I received a response, accusing me of expecting to be able to attend the same hours as the regular members. They probably would have seen me present once a month. My silent, sarcastic opinion was, “god-forbid a regular member and a senior citizen would ever meet up with each other at their Club.”

    On the good-experience side–my grandson was a Claremont High School student and a member of the tennis team (League MVP doubles, four years) and the team was in the area CIF playoffs every year. Many of those CIF games were played at the Club. I saw an hour-long doubles match (buttons popping–my grandson) one time. The Claremont High School Boys’ Tennis team won that CIF championship at the Club the final two years of my grandson’s high school tenure. The Club did allow us non-members to attend those games even if we were old–kudos to it for that.

    • davidallen909

      $55 a month wasn’t a bad deal given the regular prices. Ehh, it’s all a moot point now.

  • SAWZ

    How many TZ fans ever expedited to find themselves living in the TZ?

    • davidallen909

      And here we all are!