Inline Group Fitness, which has locations in downtown Baltimore and Forest Hill, abruptly closed its doors this week, confusing an employee who said her colleagues and their clients showed up to find the business shuttered.
Amanda Mong, a trainer who’s been with the business for four years, said employees received an email Friday saying that the owners — Heather and Josh Kirk — were having problems with their Forest Hill location.
Heather Kirk wrote in the email that she and Josh were in a dispute with an unnamed landlord over a new space, which they were asked to move to after neighbors complained about the noise at the current location. The business does private and group exercise lessons as well as dance lessons.
She wrote that the new location offered by the landlord “is not what our clientele are expecting," saying some classrooms would not have ceilings if they were to move. She wrote the business lost “95% of our clientele” because “people were tired of holding on while we were working out of a not ideal space.”
“We are lost and unsure of what to do,” the email reads. “Rent is due on October 1st, but we have no clientele. We are going to try to get out of the lease.”
It also asks the employees whether any of them would be interesting in renting the 4,000-square-foot space for $3,400.
Mong said that when employees showed up to the Canton and Forest Hill locations Monday, they were met with barricaded doors and no explanation as to what happened.
“We had no idea that we would just have our classes be canceled,” Mong said.
The business’ website and social media pages were all also down as of Wednesday afternoon.
Josh Kirk wrote in an email that he wants to speak with his attorney before commenting on the business’ closing.
In an email sent to clients Wednesday afternoon, Kirk wrote that Sunday “was our last day of classes at the Forest Hill Studio.”
“So unfortunately, we have come to the end of our road there," she wrote.
Additionally, in the email to employees, Kirk wrote that the business’ MindBody scheduling system, which allows clients to schedule workout sessions, “was also hacked.”
Kirk contends that a former employee hacked into the system and took personal information from 13,000 customer profiles the business had accrued over the past 16 years.
Mong said employees suspected there could be financial issues with the business, as employees began to receive paychecks late and sometimes through Venmo as opposed to through a proper payroll system.
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But she added that nobody expected what happened Monday.