Olympic Athletic Club under new ownership, pulls plug on lifetime memberships

Updated: It appears that the ownership has changed in name, not in governance. According to the Washington Secretary of State records, the business license for the Olympic Racquet and Health Club will expire on May 31, 2012. Another business at the same address (5301 NW Leary) named Sewanee, Inc filed as a business on May 26th, 2011 and will also expire on May 31, 2012. Business licenses are renewed annually.

If you click the links above for the businesses, you’ll note that the same agent filed for each license.

Also take note that James Riggle was President and Chairman of Olympic Raquet and Health Club and his wife Debera Riggle was Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Both Riggles are officers of Sewanee, Inc. James is the vice president and Debera is the secretary. John Lawrance has taken on the role of president and Adele Marvo is now the treasurer.

Earlier: Olympic Athletic Club general manager Mark Durall has confirmed for us that the club has a new owner. The unidentified new owner took over the property on August 1 of this year, Durall says.

“The sale will not affect current dues-paying members,” Durall tells us. That doesn’t appear to be the case for people who purchased lifetime memberships. In a letter sent by Durall to non-dues-paying members on November 15th, which has been forwarded to us by several people,

The purpose of this letter is to inform you that Olympic Racquet & Health Club (ORHC) has been sold and the new owner, as part of the purchase agreement, did not agree to service non-dues paying memberships. However, an agreement was made to offer all existing non-dues paying members a membership equal in value to the price they originally paid for their membership, provided they furnish original membership documentation to verify the amount paid and sign a new membership agreement by December 31, 2011.

This doesn’t sit well with some. Redlantern posted this comment in the MyBallard forum: “Yes, all good things do come to an end but in this case I signed a Lifetime membership contract with OAC over 30 yrs ago. At the time the club was hurting for new members to keep the business going. Had it not been for folks like myself and others there would be no OAC today. A contract is a promise meant to be kept and OAC and myself signed a Lifetime agreement. As far as I can tell I am still alive. Existing membership and folks thinking about joining might want to question the fact that OAC wants to treat longtime members like garbage and just dump them. Shame on OAC!”

Earlier this year, the owners of the Olympic Athletic Club opened Hotel Ballard, just across from OAC and are in the process of building a large addition to the club as well as another hotel. (Disclosure: Olympic Athletic Club is a sponsor of MyBallard.)

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