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Posted on Tue. Jun. 25, 2013 - 12:07 am EDT

American Health Fitness closing

Max Fitness will absorb contracts

American Health Fitness Centers of Fort Wayne will close at month’s end.

Officials at the exercise club said their facilities and equipment aren’t up-to-date and the owner is ready to retire from the business. American Health has locations at 4150 Illinois Road and 4810 N. Clinton St. The business sold its memberships to Max Fitness, which will honor existing customer contracts.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. American Health’s former buildings will eventually go up for sale.

There are roughly 3,000 to 4,000 members with the health club, although officials could not say how many were active. Its 15 to 20 workers may have the opportunity to work for Max Fitness.

The Columbus, Ga.-based company is a division of FIT Brands also of Columbus. Max Fitness came on the scene in February 2012 when it announced the $1.5 million renovation of a former Ace Hardware store at 1415 W. Dupont Road.

Max Fitness has two other city locations 9914 Illinois and 7245 Maplecrest roads. Both sites were Cardinal Fitness operations.

Businessman Jerry Kahn of the Orlando, Fla., area is shedding American Health Fitness so his customers can have more modern facilities, said Scott Transou, general manager for Max Fitness.

“He’s older and wanted to get out of the business. The main thing is that the members will be able to make a (seamless) transition.”

Some loyalists of American Health Fitness Centers, founded in 1960, may object to a newcomer replacing a longtime local company. They may also worry about membership prices increasing.

“We’re very competitive,” Transou said, adding that monthly rates range from about $10 to $40. That compares with $15 to $19 a month at American Health.

Max Fitness will have its competitors, as Planet Fitness operates similar centers in the city. It has locations inside Covington Plaza on West Jefferson and Maplecrest Road, which opened in January.

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