Working up a sweat takes on a new meaning at one West Hartford fitness center after the pool, steam room and sauna were shut down and the air conditioner stopped working properly.
Blast Fitness members have said that the center has been hot, dirty and the steam room, sauna and pool were all closed.
"We're not doing the pool anymore. Corporate just closed it," said an employee at Blast Fitness.
Recently, Eyewitness News visited Blast Fitness, where the third floor was 86 degrees. When an employee was asked why it was so hot, Eyewitness News was told that the air conditioning was just fixed and that it had actually been even warmer in that same area.
Although it was "fixed" members said it is still too hot inside and they are wondering why they should have to pay when several amenities have been discontinued, and the heat is making working out unbearable.
The local health department said it has received numerous complaints over the past couple of years, from issues like no heat to excessive heat to overall cleanliness.
Last month, an investigation was opened after complaints surfaced about the excessive heat and dirtiness.
Blast Fitness was ordered to fix dozens of violations and inspectors went to the facility five times in the past six weeks to check on the progress.
Although some problems were fixed, other violations still remain, but members have said that the top priority should be air conditioning.
"I think it's something they should work on," said Jameil Andrews, a member of the fitness center
Wilmary Mercado, a manager at Blast Fitness, said crews have been working to fix the air conditioning for the past two weeks, and that some of the units were working.
She said she didn't have any guesses as to when members could start feeling the gym cool down.
"Well, the health department did come and said as long as we have fans, and we have water it is ok to keep (the center) running," Mercado said. "We do understand, the heat and the air conditioning is needed, we work here, we know, we feel it as well."
Mercado said the center is relocating to a new state of the art facility in November.
Members said they don't want to continue to pay while they wait for another four months to use a fully functional gym.
As for the sauna, steam room and pool, Mercado said those were just temporary perks for members.
"When Blast took over Bally Total Fitness, we did have a pool, and we did have a sauna, we did have a steam room. Those were not any of Blasts amenities, so they did continue it just to not give the members a reason to be upset about," Mercado said.
She added that Blast told members that they had planned to shut down those areas, but members said otherwise.
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