Message from Owner, Case Belcher
It’s with a heavy heart that I’m announcing the close of Four Barrel East in mid-September.
We’ve reached a point where we are no longer financially able to keep the facility open.
With two locations and a relatively large team, the COVID pandemic hit our business hard. We made tough decisions and cuts to lower operating expenses, and we worked hard to pivot the business to adapt to this new environment, but we still took a big hit to our membership and revenue.
To be completely open, I wish the business had been in a more secure position before the pandemic. We did everything we could to control costs, compensate staff well, and run the business wisely, but our margins weren’t huge, which didn’t allow for much financial wiggle room.
We looked for ways to sell or transition ownership in order to keep the gym alive, but essential staff will be pursuing other opportunities, plus the business financials and market conditions were not conducive of a sale or transfer.
We wanted to give everyone as much notice as we could. The gym will remain open through September 12th. On the 12th we’ll be holding a going away WOD.
We poured our hearts, souls, and savings into making East the best gym and best facility we could over the last 6 years.
It hurts my heart to make this announcement, not because of the business loss, but because I failed in providing continued career opportunities for our coaches, and because we will see the end of a great gym community where relationships were built, challenges were overcame, and hard fought goals were achieved.
We can’t thank you enough for your hard work, smiles shared, and dollars spent entrusting us to get you to your fitness goals. A special thanks to all of the members who stuck with us throughout quarantine, shutdowns, and shifting services to help keep the gym alive.
Our last few weeks as a community at East will be tough, but we ask that you help us celebrate the times we’ve spent together as our weeks on Westport Road come to an end. We will continue to offer the best programming, facility, and classes we know how until we close the doors after our final workout.
As a business, Four Barrel will be downsizing to a single gym. Our New Albany location will remain open. Renee and I are stepping back in to take on more of the coaching load, to help control costs and keep the business viable at a smaller size. As a member of East, I know this stings to see one location remain open, but it’s the last option we had to keep our business alive.
I can’t thank our staff enough for their hard work and dedication over the last 6 years. They deserve all the credit in making East a great gym and great community. We’ve already met in-person with our staff, but I’d like to publicly thank Zack, Gabby, Jenn, Michelle, Dustin, and Cameron, plus all past coaches and staff members for their effort, the genuine care they gave to our members, and the community they built.
I love you all. I’m sorry I wasn’t a better businessman, and I’m deeply saddened that our time together is coming to an end. Please know we did everything we could to keep our doors open for as long as possible.
Message from 4B East GM, Zack Schell
It is with a very heavy, but equally grateful heart that I write to you. In times like these with any loss I don’t think there are any right or wrong words. Nothing can truly fix what happens when you lose something, they can only attempt to offer some form of comfort. For some of you reading this Four Barrel East closing will merely be the end of one gym and the transition into another, but for others it will be saying goodbye to a community that supported you through various life events. I hope that in some way those friendships, and bonds that have been created will remain intact.
I am sorry that I was unable to do a better job in my role to grow this business. I am sorry also, that I was not able to step into an ownership role, but when Sidney and I sat down and looked at our finances with buying a house, getting married, and starting a family in the next couple years it just wasn’t in the cards…not yet at least.
While I will miss the sound of the PR bell being rung or counting down 3, 2, 1… what I will miss even more is the smiling faces walking through the door. The smiles that appeared because for an hour amidst the chaos of busy days you got to pour into yourself, the smiles that appeared because you see a friend in class whom before becoming a member here was a stranger, the smiles that appeared because you realize that you are a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday, and that you have conquered things that you previously thought weren’t possible.
When I stepped away from my full-time job to take over as the General Manager at East I did so with one goal in mind, to impact the life of at least one person in such a way that it changed them for the better whether big or small. I don’t know if I accomplished that or not, but I can tell you that each one of you has done that for me.
If any of you need anything at all please reach out, I will always be happy to help. Moving forward my new email will be Zachary.firstname.lastname@example.org and you can reach me there. I hope that we can retain all that are reading this until our last day open so that we can spend these last few weeks together, as a community.
When we close the doors for the last time in a few weeks I will walk out a better version of myself than when I walked in those same doors for the very first time, and I have each of you to thank for that.
All my love,
- All member billing will end on 9/11.
- If you’ve already paid for membership days past 9/11, or have a membership that renews before the end of August, we’ll be crediting the prorated amount back to your credit card.
- If you have a membership that renews after 8/31, we’ll prorate your membership through 9/11, so you will not be charged for the full amount or for any days after 9/11.
- If you need to cancel your membership before closing day, just email email@example.com
- Nutrition Clients: All Four Barrel packages will end on 8/31. If you’ve paid for services beyond 8/31, the remaining amount will be credited back to your card.
- On-Ramp Members: If you have sessions remaining, you’ll have the option to finish them out, or we’ll credit the remaining amount for sessions not used back to your card.
- We know you’ll be looking for a new gym home. We don’t have a singular recommendation for every member, but Zack or I can offer recommendations that fit your goals and needs specifically. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
- Zack will be at the gym for his regular schedule during the week if you have questions for him, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
- I will be at the gym this Saturday if you’d like to speak in person, or you can email me at email@example.com
- Upon close, we’ll be selling off equipment. If you need gear, we’ll post details in the upcoming weeks on how the liquidation will work.