Monday, March 26, 2012

In which I visit Shirlee's Fitness Club for Women (but it's OK)

On occasion I have to begin my blog posts with an FCC-suggested disclosure statement, usually related to my employment. But today I must start with a more basic disclosure.


Ordinarily this fact would not make a lot of difference, but in this case it affects my background knowledge about a fitness club for women.

But let me back up a bit.

Last year, The Spa Fitness Club for Women suddenly closed without warning, adversely affecting the many people who had paid for memberships and other services at the club. There aren't a lot of women-only fitness clubs in the area, so the closure of The Spa definitely left a void.

As Sandra Emerson noted in a February 3rd Daily Bulletin article, someone stepped in to fill that void.

Gary Peterson, lessor of the property at 1275 W. Foothill Blvd., has been working on renovating the fitness club for several months since it closed abruptly in October....

Peterson is no stranger to the women's fitness club. He purchased the business in 1982 when it was [Shirle's] Fitness Center. He renamed it Spa Fitness for Women and made several changes to the two-acre facility, including the addition of the cabanas, an extended workout room and an area for boot camp.

Peterson has renamed the business "Shirlee's," which is an acronym for the club's philosophy: "Strengthen, Hearten, Inspire, Restore, Love, Encourage, Empower and Support."

Peterson has been reaching out to the former members of The Spa, and I was there on Sunday when he spent an hour with one of the former members, answering her questions.

Peterson has taken the opportunity to perform some major structural work on the facility, including the flooring and the roof. As you will recall, it was raining pretty hard on Sunday, but there were no roof leaks in any of the buildings - and from what I understand, that's a significant improvement.

Since I am not a woman, I had never seen the entire facility before - I had never gotten any farther than the front desk. So I can't tell you exactly what changes are being made over the former facility configuration. However, I did gather that the new facility will be ADA-friendly, and it sounds like the new configuration will offer some new opportunities for the members.

There's still some more work to be done, and an opening date has not been officially set, but if you want to get updated information, you can go to Shirlee's website (, its Facebook page, or the @Shirleesfitness Twitter page.

And if you're thinking about joining, I can assure that you once the facility reopens, I'll probably never be going in there again. But maybe Sandra Emerson will go in there and tell you more.

Shirlee's will be located at 1275 W. Foothill Boulevard, Upland, CA 91786.

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