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Wellness Center closing this month

Competition hurt the center. St. Anthony's members will be able to switch to the YMCA - with joining fee waiver.

By CHAUNDRA PERKINS
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 2, 2002


ST. PETERSBURG -- The treadmills, exercise bikes and elliptical machines were empty Friday afternoon at St. Anthony's Wellness Center.

According to Dana Novak, St. Anthony's manager of public relations, the center's membership has decreased by 50 percent the past two years and could no longer compete with other facilities.

As a result, members recently received a letter announcing the center will close at the end of June.

"A lot of the newer centers have competitive rates and better amenities," Novak said. As a consolation, the Wellness Center has made an arrangement with the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg, 3200 First Ave. S.

Wellness Center members can register at the YMCA without paying the onetime joining fee of $75-$100, said Doug Linder, president and CEO of the YMCA.

Individuals would pay $35 per month instead of the $45 they were paying at the Wellness Center and families would pay $50 as opposed to $80.

Novak said that money was used to support the center, the equipment and the staff.

The Wellness Center will prorate the refunds of members that have paid in advance for the entire year and do not wish to transfer their memberships to the YMCA.

Although the Wellness Center will not close until June 30, members are welcome to join the YMCA before that time.

"As soon as they would like to come in and make those arrangements, they can do that," Linder said.

Novak said St. Anthony's will continue to offer other programs in the community: lectures on health topics such as osteoporosis and cancer and weekly blood pressure and glucose screenings at locations such as Tyrone Mall and the hospital.

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