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Local

DeKalb fitness club to close next month after 40 years

FitWorkz in DeKalb.
FitWorkz in DeKalb.

DeKALB – After four decades, Fitworkz is closing its doors for the last time next month.

Ray Binkowski, owner of the local 24-hour fitness club, announced in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon that Fitworkz will be closing at 6 p.m.
Feb. 15.

He said the club has had a wonderful run for the years he’s been in business but it’s time for him to move on and chase other dreams in his life.

“We’ve been grateful for the years we had and the members we’ve had,” Binkowski said.

Binkowski said he is an author of several fitness-related books, including “Eat by Color,” “Get Fit and Live Healthy” and “Exercise Galore: The Beginner’s Guide to Weight Training.” He said he also is a motivational fitness speaker and has his own podcast, “Get Fit And Live Healthy With Raymond Binkowski.”

“So it’s things related to that,” Binkowski said when asked what dreams he’s chasing after the announcement.

Binkowski said he already has started to get swamped with people coming in and asking questions about their membership status after the news. He declined a request for comment Thursday afternoon.

Fitworkz has been operating in DeKalb since 1978 and saw several changes in ownership and location before Binkowski took over in 2007.

Binkowski had said he bought Fitworkz from its previous owner, Paul Wright, who owned the club under the name Wright Athletic Club.

Binkowski said he caught the fitness bug and lost more than 50 pounds while studying mechanical engineering at Northern Illinois University in the 1990s. He said he sold his stake in a mechanical engineering company for the chance to own FitWorkz.

Binkowski said in the Thursday post that memberships that have been paid in full will be handled on an individual basis, and refunds will be processed accordingly. He said such members should email thankyou@fitworkz.com.

Binkowski said in the Thursday post that weekly payments will stop being electronically drafted Feb. 7, and monthly payments will stop being drafted Jan. 15. He said those last payment dates still will cover members until the last day that the club is open.

Binkowski also said in the Thursday post that there will be an open house on the afternoon of Feb. 15 to have one more chance to say goodbye and to thank the community for its support in past years.

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