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S Clubs to Re-Open Under New Management as Slope Fitness

S Clubs, the gym on Seventh Avenue and Union Street, closed down earlier this month after prolonged financial difficulties, among other issues. Intriguing news, though: The gym will be re-opening, under new management, at 5:30 AM on Tuesday, May 1st.

The new owner is a local named Michael Carlin, who was hired as Senior Membership Advisor for the club late last year and jumped at the opportunity to buy it from the previous owner, Nick Kotsonis.

Carlin reached out by email, and offered his plans for the space and shed some light on what went wrong the previous time around. Here's the full message:

"My plan for Slope Fitness is to bring back the original experience to the members of the community.

There was a breakdown in the prior management team, actually the last two.  What made matters worse was that the last consulting manager was positioned to take over the business from Mr. Kotsonis, and he did not.  He left the entire staff holding the bag of the mess he created.  Myself and a few other key employees were placed in charge of doing the unfortunate thing of having to close the club. 

With that said and done, Mr. Kotsonis kept me on to reconcile all members that are owed refunds.  The common way of handling a club closing is to have the members file a claim because the owner is bonded and insured under NYS law.  Mr. Kotsonis wanted to spare people that additional hardship, so that is why even as today we have already issued over $50,000 in refunds and the club has only been closed 2 weeks.

Don't be mistaken, closing the club for owner was not an easy decision, but he had been pouring money into a failing business month after month for over 2 years.  So I understand why he made the decision he did, but I have been in the industry for over 20 years and I have never come across a more caring individual who is so involved in the community.

It should be noted that a very large corporate health club made a very lucrative offer once they heard of the closing.  Mr. Kotsonis did not even entertain that idea because he believes so strongly in preserving the historic feel of the neighborhood.

In my last day as the Senior Membership Advisor, I tried to bring in an investor to save S Clubs and its staff, including myself.  This did not happen.  However, after positive feedback from the past members in this smooth and quick transition, Mr. Kotsonis has given me the opportunity to become the new owner of the club, which with his blessing, I am bringing it back as Slope Fitness.

How will it be different?  I believe in accountability.  I believe in transparency.  I want members to want to join the club, not buy a membership.  Anyone can rent space in a "gym". I want the members to have a sense of belonging, a sense of community.  Some programming changes - I want to bring back Mommy and Me Classes, Pre-teen Fitness after school programs, have on-going health fairs, community events and so much more.

In terms of a thank you to the community and the former members I am offering Lifetime Pricing for the first 500 members that join during the pre-sale.  For example if you sign up for one year at $89 per month during the month of April, you pay $0 enrollment and you will be locked into that price for the entire time you are a member.

I spent nearly 15 years of my early adult life working in a community center, so I know the importance of good leadership and being there for your members.  My members will have my personal email and cell phone number. I want them to know they don't need to leave a message or send an email that won't get answered.  The most amazing thing I have discovered working here in Park Slope is just how tight knit this community is.

I am native Brooklynite, and I hope to earn the trust and respect of the community.

This new adventure in my life is about to begin and I am so grateful to Mr. Nick Kotsonis for giving me the opportunity to bring back his original vision for this club.

Make it a great day!
Michael Carlin

References (7)

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    S Clubs to Re-Open Under New Management as Slope Fitness - HOME - Here's Park Slope.
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    S Clubs to Re-Open Under New Management as Slope Fitness - HOME - Here's Park Slope.
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    S Clubs to Re-Open Under New Management as Slope Fitness - HOME - Here's Park Slope.
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    S Clubs to Re-Open Under New Management as Slope Fitness - HOME - Here's Park Slope.
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    S Clubs to Re-Open Under New Management as Slope Fitness - HOME - Here's Park Slope.
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    S Clubs to Re-Open Under New Management as Slope

Reader Comments (33)

Hmmm, interesting letter

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

$89 per month for a gym about 1/5, if I'm being generous, the size of the Crunch on Flatbush, for which you'd pay less, or about the same for an inclusive membership allowing you access to any Crunch. Okay.

I appreciate the new ownership, but the plan still ain't working.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkPlace

I used to live in Park Slope, it's funny that the " Crunch" is still open, it doesnt even have permits to be running as a fitness facility from what my friend who who used to manage there told me, but they seem to be paying off fees. Not trying to hate on " Crunch" some of the classes are fun! BUT Corporate is Corporate, and I think having the intimacy ( with instructors/trainers) you have in these smaller/private gyms is priceless. You are not just a number! Well i am too far too check out Slope Fitness, but I wish you all the best. YOu're right Park Slopers love the feeling of "community" it'll be great for Parents to get their kids involved with whatever programs you guys plan!
Good Luck!

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLoren Miller

Well there's a shill of a post if I ever saw one.

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkPlace

Sorry....comment, not post.

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkPlace

I'm happy Slope Fitness is reopening, partially b/c I'm a busy as all heck NY'er who lives across the street and this is a time saver. I have an extensive fitness background (football, bodybuilding, MMA, cross-fit, you name it). I will happily rejoin is the weight (strength) training dimensions are kept about the same. I tried Crunch and the weight section was embarrassingly small in comparison to the overall size of the gym--when lifting 70lb dumbells one does not want to be stepping on someone else's toes, that's Crunches' 'free-weight corner' for ya'. Slope Fitness is simple and not 'sceney' (how I like it). They just need to invest in a few more elliptical machines (treadmills went out 20 years ago).

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrankZane

I am disgusted by the ILLEGAL ANTICS of CRUNCH!!!
Those corporate bottom feeding slimebags!
They got their hands on membership information from someone connected to the former SCLUBS and they have been hounding me and my friends and we have even received mail to our home!!!
How unethical and immoral can you be???
I called over to new owner of Slope Fitness, Michael Carlin, who took the time to explain to me what had happened with the closing. This guy is a real gem! He was unaware that this had taken place. He was a complete professional and told me the steps I needed to take to find out how they got my information.
Come April 4th I am going to be the first in line to re-join the Slope Fitness club!

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDedicated SLOPE MEMBER

how many time will people buy this sleazebag's I love the neighborhood story? After all this guys shady billing practices (look it up) its the same old story but at this point if you join and get screwed shame on you.

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercredi card fraud

Who are you talking about "credit card Fraud"?

The NEW Slope Fitness has a new owner. Get your facts straight.

Good for Mike.
Good for Nick for being honorable.
All you hatred need to get a life.

April 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternewbe in slope

Yes, newbe. Good for Mike.
But Nick is not honorable. He's a narcissist. He doesn't care for the Park Slope community, he's only looking to benefit himself.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllie

What ever happened to all the stories about the credit card fraud?
Members who were billed twice a month continually and had to chase after the management for months without getting a reply. It seems like some people forgot about that.

April 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhmmm

Today , I went to the little tour at Slope Fitness with Mike, the owner . surprisingly , he and his family cleans the places from top to the bottom. He explains the details of workout, especially he has a Zumba class....

I cannot wait the place to be open this May .. and look forward to reform a great healthy & clean workout place ...

April 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

You obviously do not know he man. He donated money to that dance troupe.
You are jealous and envious of the man.
He has done more for Park Slope than anyone else.
But the monday morning quarterbacks want to diss him.
Shame on you.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterold time sloper

old time sloper - you're obviously Nick Kotsonis.
It seems the only good deed you've ever done for park slope was help those kids get to scotland. I commend you for that. But your nasty reputation proceeds you. It will always follow you, no matter, sir.
All us residents of park slope know your slimy reputation.
Just own up, man.

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllie

Not me Ellie.
I don't need to hide behind fake name monikers
I task you to back up your slanderous comments about me.

April 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternkotsonis

I'm on nicks side.
Ellie you are being mean and vindictive.
I saw the city council commendation for nick in the club.
I also know that he donated to Ps 321 because my son goes there.
I have only heard good things about him.
stop attacking other people.

April 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternewbe in slope

newbe in slope, old time sloper & dedicated slope member - you are nick kotsonis. And you want me to back up my slanderous comments?! Go to the following websites & see for yourself that you ARE the scum of the neighborhood.
Why don't you check out comments from other park slope residents. See what they have to say about you.
And to believe you were clueless, as to what was going on at the club, is laughable. You truly believe the residents here are gullible/stupid! You are the epitome of trash.
How do you sleep at night, Mr. Kotsonis?

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllie

Sorry to disappoint you ellie.
But I'm not Nick Kotsonis.
I wish.
You havent answered his charges.
Instead you insult me and others.
I checked out those websites.
I also read Nicks answers.
Belzim is a very sick man.
Others in Brooklynian exposed him as being jealous.
You listen to what other people say.
don't you have a brain of your own?

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternewbe in slope

Am I also Nick Kotsonis?
I used to live in Park Slope, and was a member of S Clubs.
The management was terrible, but to blame the owner is not right.
In companies, people in management get fired all the time, is it Buffett's fault? or Gates?
One of the reasons I left Park Slope was that small minded mentality that Ellie has.
Honestly, she really needs to get a life.

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergarfield girl

First off, let me apologize. I did get out of hand. It was wrong to judge you. I always assumed the worst about you, especially when rumors circulate. After giving it some thought, and re reading my own comments, I KNOW I was wrong to judge. I dont know you personally, so how can I pass judgement. Maybe you are right, people in this neighborhood are jealous because they'd like to be in your position..who knows. Anyway, I am very sorry, Mr. Kotsonis. I hope you can accept my apology and hopefully move on from here.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterellie

Why bother to drag Kotsonis' name through the mud, then defend him? You're speaking from both sides of your mouth, Ellie.

You are correct in assuming, he is slime.
I'm also sure he was aware of the whereabouts of his own gym.
To conclude that he wasn't, is a joke.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMax C.

you are the slime.
She admits, she made a mistake, that takes alot more courage than trashing someone you don't know.
Boy, you are an ASS!!!

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergarfield girl're being ignorant. You are believing the rumors about Mr. Kotsonis, and you don't even know him.
He has done well for the community.
He's even donated 10K to the dance droup at Dancewave, after being scammed.
When was the last time you did something to benefit Park Slope?

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Didn't your mommy teach you that its wrong to spread lies about people.
its takes an adult to admit your mistakes.
Its a retarded child that spreads rumors.

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternewbe in slope

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