Spartan Health Club will close its doors indefinitely at the end of September owing to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In an email to members of the fitness club, Managing Director Mickey Haughton-James says COVID-19 has had an “extremely negative effect on the financial operation of the [club]”.
“Large gyms like Spartan [require] significant membership to be viable. A crowded gym is a hotspot for the [coronavirus] which is predicted to be with us for many more months,” said Haughton-James.
He stated that the pandemic has resulted in the 44-year-old gym being deemed a risky investment.
“We predict that it will be years before large gyms are viable. The opinion seems to be shared by our bankers of more than 45 years which recently informed us that they viewed gyms as a high-risk investment at this time and would be reluctant to extend loans or provide overdrafts,” he shared.
Haughton-James ended the email by thanking members, past and present for their support over the years.
Miss Jamaica World Franchise Holder
Spartan Health Club opened its doors on June 30, 1976. One of its first employees, Cindy Breakespeare, then a gym instructor, went on to win Miss Jamaica Body Beautiful, Miss Universe Bikini and Miss World pageant in the first six months of the club’s operation.
They would hold the national Miss Jamaica World franchise for more than 40 years, during which they would gain a second Miss World win with the crowing of Lisa Hanna in 1993.
In 2013, the health club relinquished the rights to the local contest to the director of Fusion Consulting, Laura Butler, who was a former Miss Jamaica finalist in 1995 and Miss Spartan Body Beautiful in 1997.
The franchise returned to Spartan in 2017 after Butler migrated, only to find a new home with Weston Haughton and Aston Cooke in 2018. Cooke, a famous playwright died in 2019.
Haughton and Dahlia Harris are the current co-franchise holders. Jamaica again saw Miss World success with the crowning of Toni-Ann Singh in 2019. Singh will reign another year following the cancellation of the 2020 competition.
Spartan Health Club didn’t just have a hand in beauty pageants, in addition to its many members, it is also the home for strength training for athletic clubs and national sporting teams.