NEW MILFORD – Three couples from New Milford, who are active in the local community, have taken over the New Milford Sports Club at 130 Grove St.
Susan and Lou Pereira, Michelle and Mike Nahom, and Belinda and Ed Bourjeili have just signed a short-term lease. They will soon own the property, and all its assets, outright once the mortgage is finalized next month.
The new owners are already inside the gym cleaning and making extensive repairs. They plan to re-open the club on July 1 under the new name, New Milford Fitness & Aquatics Club.
“This is welcomed news. We are pleased to learn that the former New Milford Sports Club will soon be back in business, and run by residents who care about our community,” stated Kevin Bielmeier, Economic Development Director.
Susan Pereira stated, “we want to make it clear to everyone that the previous tenants are gone. They are off the lease. They have no rights to anything.”
“We’re hoping to get all of our members back and we will earn them back. We’re a family here and will offer a safe, honest place to be fit that our members can call home. This club has been an icon in New Milford since it opened and it’s going to be again,” she added.
Last month, the 40,000-square-foot fitness center was suddenly shut down when its previous tenant, Dominick Donofrio III of Roxbury, failed to pay almost $50,000 in wages to 53 workers.
“Membership was up to 2,400 before the former tenants came in and membership was down to 600 at the time they settled with the landlord and left. Now, membership is at zero and we’re starting all over,” said Susan Pereira.
Landlords Bruce Weinstein and Gene Rosen, who have owned the building for over 20 years, said they’re happy to put this ordeal behind them.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the new owners to engage with the members in resigning their contracts. They are upstanding citizens in the community and put their hearts ahead of their pocketbooks, which should make a huge difference to what the members will experience. I wish them well in returning the club to its former glory, stated Weinstein.
The new owners will release more details in the coming weeks regarding their plans and vision for New Milford Fitness & Aquatics Club.
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Article and photo by Alicia Sakal. This feature originally appeared online on June 16, 2017 and on the Business front page in the June 17, 2017 edition of Republican-American, a regional daily newspaper in 36 towns and cities in Litchfield County and Greater Waterbury, Connecticut.