Winyah Fitness, Studio of Dance forced to close; Dance studio will relocate

  • Friday, July 12, 2013

After helping trim waistlines and build muscles for more than 17 years, Winyah Fitness Center on Front Street is closing its doors next week.
But, the closing is something the owners — Alan and Steele Bremner — do not want to do.
In a letter to the members of the Fitness Center sent out Wednesday, the Bremners say they were notified by the owner of the building at 925 Front Street — TD Bank — they have 30 days to vacate the premises.
“We do not know why they do not want us to continue leasing the building. They have not given us a reason,” the letter states. “As far as we know it is their intention to lock the doors and leave the building empty.”
The notice also impacts The Studio of Dance — also owned by the Bremners — as well as  Palmetto Interiors which is located adjacent to the dance studio.
The owner of Palmetto Interiors did not return a call Thursday.
Bremner has leased the space since 1996 and the bank foreclosed on the building last year. The owners, in 2009, had considered having the building torn down and were planning to use the property as the site of a new hotel but the plan never materialized.
“We are financially crushed. We are emotionally crushed,” Bremner said Thursday. He said receiving the notice Tuesday was a shock.
He said “a large percentage” of current and former Georgetown residents are, or have been, members of Winyah Fitness during the past 17 years.
One of those people is Jon-Paul Ramsing who — along with a group of other body builders — has been a member of the center since 1994 .
“We are all upset,” Ramsing said of the news. “Winyah is a unique gym. You can walk in and see they have more free weights than other places. The Y is more aimed at cardio. So is Anytime Fitness. Winyah is a booming place. It is the only place that allows you to do what we like to do. It’s like a second home for some people.”
Bremner said he has been looking for a place to relocate the fitness center but has not found anywhere suitable.
However, The Studio of Dance will be relocating to Highmarket Street next to Stereo Video Center. He said he hopes to be to be in that new location by the end of August.
Bremner said the equipment in the fitness center will be sold.
Both Mayor Jack Scoville and City Economic and Planning Director Tee Miller said they have not heard of any immediate plans for the building.

By Scott Harper

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