No More Getting Physical At Excelsior Athletic Club on Upper East Side

JD Fitness Management Inc., the luxury fitness club that runs Excelsior Athletic Club in the penthouse of a New York luxury building, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. The announcement is just another example of New Yorkers taking their workouts from pricey health clubs to the great outdoors.

And Excelsior isn’t a unique case. Fitness chain Crunch, which is over two decades old, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and closed some of its locations.  A little over a year ago, Bally Total Fitness filed for Chapter 11 protection for the second time in two years.

Despite the fancy-schmancy glass-enclosed pool, rooftop lounge and spa inside the excusive 15-year-old club, Excelsior was just another business hit hard by the troubled economic climate. Consumers these days are hesitant to spend on luxuries. As such, running clubs are making a comeback. In 2009, the New York Runners Club saw an increase in membership numbers.

JD Fitness listed assets of less than $50,000, along with liabilities exceeding $1 million but less than $10 million. The health center owes money to creditors including a Long Island-based linen company, Baltic Linen Co., Consolidated Edison, and exercise equipment manufacturer Life Fitness in Illinois, according to Crain’s New York. Attorneys and reps of the club were tight-lipped, refusing to comment on the less than fit situation.