Flywheel Sports is filing for bankruptcy and closing all of its studios, becoming the latest fitness company to meet its demise as a result of the pandemic
- Flywheel filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will permanently close all 42 of its studios while laying off 1,200 employees, according to court documents filed on Tuesday.
- The filing comes after several former employees first too to social media on Monday to share they no longer held jobs at the company.
- Flywheel previously laid off 98% of its staff temporarily in March due to the financial impact of closing studios for in-person classes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- The company joins a growing list of fitness chains that filed for bankruptcy in recent months as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, including Gold's Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, and YogaWorks.
Flywheel Sports — a chain of spinning studios and a top competitor of SoulCycle — filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Tuesday and will permanently close its 42 locations in the country.
The filing comes after several former employees took to social media on Monday to share they no longer held jobs at the company, prompting an outpouring of support from loyal riders and Flywheel enthusiasts. The company joins a growing list of fitness chains that filed for bankruptcy in recent months as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, including Gold's Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, and YogaWorks.
According to documents filed Tuesday with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Flywheel has estimated assets of no more than just $50,000 and estimated liabilities of between $10-50 million.
Representatives for Flywheel did not immediately return Business Insider's request to comment.
Founded in 2010, Flywheel grew quickly over the past decade thanks to the boutique fitness boom and the resurgence of stationary cycling. By the time it filed for bankruptcy, it had 1,200 employees and 42 locations in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington state, and Washington, DC.
A source close to the matter told Insider's Darcy Schild on Monday that most instructors learned they were being laid off after seeing colleagues post about it on social media. The same source said they first heard Flywheel was permanently closing its doors after receiving and Instagram message from a friend who said they worked at Flywheel Sports' headquarters and was laid off on September 11.
My time as a @flywheelsports instructor was such an incredible honor. Mind Body Music Community those 45mins (60 if you’re lucky) were transcendent. I hope everyone has the opportunity to find something that makes you come alive. Thank you Flywheel for some great friends incredible lessons and an unforgettable community of athletes. It was my honor to guide you to your goals! ❤️
Flywheel previously laid off 98% of its staff temporarily in March due to the financial impact of closing studios for in-person classes to prevent the spread of the virus. Though the company sought out alternative revenue streams such as streaming classes and selling or renting bikes and gear, it ultimately wasn't enough to prevent the company's demise.
Prior to the bankruptcy, Flywheel had been in talks with Town Sports International — the parent company of New York Sports Clubs and Boston Sports Clubs, among other fitness chains — for a possible merger that would have saved the spinning company. However, its hopes were ultimately dashed when Town Sports International announced it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday.
"With its official closing, I'm taking all the memories (good and bad!), lessons, friends, bad playlists, noise complaints, vocal issues, and amazing clients and friends into the next chapter," former Flywheel instructor Kate Hickl wrote on Instagram. "Thank you Flywheel for everything."
There are no words and no amount of pictures to capture how Flywheel, in a matter of 10+ years, changed my life. Thank you Ruth, David and Jay for scooping me up after being “exited” from Soul Cycle on 11/17/09. Over the next few months, what an honor it was to literally build Flywheel from the ground up. Legitimate home-grown with blood, sweat and tears — we were a family and everyone who came through our doors starting in February could sense that. Everyone we hired had to “feel flywheel.” I, personally, had the privilege of leading our expansion into markets like Atlanta, Charlotte, Seattle, DC, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, etc — I was able to hand pick instructors and build our family, one employee at a time. Naturally, our team of amazing instructors brought along the hard-working, dedicated riders and pulsers that turned our little home-grown business into the FlyFam we all know and love to this day. From instructors to clients to studio coordinators to the facilities team — people that came to Flywheel CARED. We wanted to work hard. We wanted to go the extra mile. We wanted community. We were authentic and we wanted to be better. It’s no coincidence I’ve met the most amazing people, including my fiancé @karaliotta (the literal face of Fly ) and I hold dear the thousands of rides and classes we shared. With its’ official closing, I’m taking all the memories (good and bad!), lessons, friends, bad playlists, noise complaints, vocal issues and amazing clients and friends into the next chapter. Thank you Flywheel for everything. circa summer 2010 Bridgehampton, NY @sarabethturner
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