Citing theft, gym owner shuts down

Citing theft, gym owner shuts down

There are 49 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Sep 5, 2007, titled Citing theft, gym owner shuts down. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Cheetah Gym members who showed up to work out Wednesday were met with a confusing and unwelcome surprise: a locked door, a dark building and a handwritten sign that said "Closed." The demise of the small chain ...

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former member and friend

Chicago, IL

#53 Sep 6, 2007
I have known David since 1993 and in the past 14 years, I have watched him rise and fall professionally and personally. When we were friends, we worked togeher, played together and shared many laughs. But when David turned on me, he fired me from Robix, refused to pay me, accused me of stealing and even tried to ban me from Cro-bar. I thought he was different this time, but I guess people don't really change.
My friend Patricia was a yoga instructor at Cheetah and although she "picked" up her check, no bank, no currency exchange would cash it. She has 3 boys & she's a single mom.
Who is the victim here?

Chicago, IL

#54 Sep 6, 2007
Chloe wrote:
You folks in the Midwest need a 24 Hour Fitness gym!! They are predominantly out here in the west and are great! And the price is right! Our monthly dues are only $45 (for 2 of us) and includes the use of 6 of their locations in the Las Vegas Valley. Our initial fee to join was $100. Our locatoin has all the top of the line cardio machines (all in numerous quantities so there is "no waiting"), top of the line weight machines plus free weights galore, a wide selection of classes, an olympic sized pool, personal trainers, showers and lockers. It's too bad they owners have never branched out east of the MIssissippi because being a former Chicagoan, there is certainly a market in Chicago! It would give East Bank and the place on Wabash (used to be called Lake Shore Athletic CLub) a run for their money!!
Please shut up.

I've been to that excuse for a gym and it's no different than the 24hr X-Sports around here, or the 24hr FFC, etc. etc. etc.

Equinox and David Barton Gym are the last remaining gyms that are well worth their cost.
Andersonville gal

Chicago, IL

#55 Sep 7, 2007
I just paid for personal training and cant reach anyone at the gym or my trainer!!! Any ideas?
Andersonville gal

Chicago, IL

#56 Sep 7, 2007
i just paid for personal training sessions and Sept dues (about $300) and want my money back. Any ideas? Has anyone been successful in reaching someone at the gym?
Andersonville customer

Chicago, IL

#57 Sep 7, 2007
It's very unfortunate and, frankly, unforgiveable that managers and staff at Cheetah were not interviewed for this article. The suggestion that he would keep staff who were stealing from him is ridiculous. Over the last four and a half years that I was a member, David Wilshire has made no secret of firing the best of his staff and managers. The turnover rate of staff at Cheetah was unprecedented in any business I've ever frequented. Over the last few years, Daivd Wilshire has posted on the front windows of his Andersonville business his own email "wars" with fired staff, out-of-favor paying customers, and even neighboring business owners. His long-winded and poorly-written rantings were indicative of someone under the influence. He was had more than one run-in with the CPD in front of his Andersonville business and on at leas one occasion was arrested out on the street for what he said (in a long, ramblin letter to members) was for a fracas with the neighboring bar own. The rumor mill quickly discounted that theory in place of something far more sinister.
My credit card and the credit cards of everyone I know were charged for the month of September in the days leading up to the close of this business. Other members had paid for personal training session and initiation fees. Let's be clear here - that adds up to hundreds of thousand of dollars. To suggest that this acceptable is to disregard the wellbeing of his managers and staff and the financial predicament of the customers he has defrauded. There will be consequence for his actions.
Edgewater guy

Mishawaka, IN

#58 Sep 7, 2007
Andersonville gal wrote:
i just paid for personal training sessions and Sept dues (about $300) and want my money back. Any ideas? Has anyone been successful in reaching someone at the gym?
I am in the same situation for double that amount. Fortunately, I paid by credit card and disputed the charges. However, if you paid by cash, my guess is that money is long gone.

The only good in this is that I doubt that anyone in Chicago will ever give David Wilshire another dime.
David Wilshire

United States

#59 Sep 7, 2007
Hey guys, it's me David. Sorry about all this, but it really is just a big misunderstanding. There was a terrible sickness in the family, and I had to run. Don't worry, you can all get your money back. I just need you send me a $100 refundable deposit on your account. When I give you your refunds, I will include the $100. Okay? I will post a PO Box for you to send the money to. Cash and money orders only. Thanks.

Chicago, IL

#60 Sep 7, 2007
BodyFit Athletic Club

Chicago, IL

#61 Sep 8, 2007
In Uptown...$58/ initiation contracts

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