Were you foolish enough to believe 24 Hour Fitness is open 24 hours? This man was.
A Utah gym goer had an unpleasant surprise this weekend after being locked inside a 24 Hour Fitness after closing. The fitness chain operates over 400 gyms in the US, most of which are in fact open 24/7, but admitted in a statement following the incident that “select clubs [are closed] in the overnight hours of 12:00 to 4:00 a.m. based upon low usage.”
Dan Hill was swimming laps at a 24 Hour Fitness in his native Sandy, Utah when he unexpectedly found himself locked inside. The gym had closed while he had been in the pool and there were no staff or other patrons left to let him out of the gym.
“I just thought it was kinda funny at the start. You know, it was kinda like Home Alone, like, oh my gosh. I have this gym to myself,” Hill said of the experience.
He immediately posted to Facebook that he had become trapped in the gym, which previously had operated 24 hours a day at that location. The rule change about the hours went into effect on December 2nd, though of course, the naïve Dan Hill had absolutely no idea. He shared the following post about his ordeal to Facebook.
I am literally locked inside 24 hour fitness right now. They closed the doors and went home while I was swimming my laps…
Dan Hill was finally liberated from the despotic 24 Hour Fitness by a small team of local police. He initially called the police because he was scared if he simply left the building he would trigger the alarms or be charged with breaking and entering. Hill called friends and family to consult on his decision; some told him to call 911, while his wife told him to “find a comfortable place to sleep.”
His Facebook posts garnered an impressive 11,000 likes and instantly went viral. But Hill loves his local gym and says he regrets any negative publicity he may have brought on them by speaking out about his experience.
“Despite all the fuss, I still love my 24 (even if it is now a 20),” Hill said in a follow-up Facebook post about his odyssey. “Maybe this is a workable solution.”
In an official statement to ABC4 news, 24 Hour Fitness themselves weighed in on the scandal, dubbed “Fitnessgate” by some:
“On behalf of 24 Hour Fitness, we apologize to Mr. Hill and the unfortunate experience he had in the 24 Hour Fitness Sandy club, 10365 South 1300 East, when it closed Saturday evening. We made the decision recently to close select clubs in the overnight hours of 12:00 to 4:00 a.m. based upon low usage, among other factors. In doing so, we have been helping members locate to nearby clubs that are open during the overnight hours. We clearly did not do a good job of our closing procedures for this club on Saturday night and will reinforce our club procedures so that this incident doesn’t occur in the future. We continue to be committed to providing our members and guests with the best possible fitness experience at a great value.”