Fitness center closed pending permits, upgrades

FOX LAKE – American Muscle and Fitness is shuttered, pending new licensing and environmental health improvements.

Fox Lake Building Commissioner Frank Urbina, ironically the architect who designed the former American Fitness Center at 600 S. Route 59 in Ingleside, said the village inspectors found numerous violations inside the 13,000-square-foot building. A Feb. 16 inspection found material stacked around the electrical panel and too close to sprinkler heads.

"Some of the carpet squares were black from dirt and possible mold," Urbina said. "Drywall needed repair because of peeling pealing paint in the shower area and the cabinets in the daycare area, with dangerous chemicals, were accessible to kids."

Urbina also said that business owner Reggie Thompson of Crete also never secured the necessary license and permits from the village and from Lake County. Fox Lake Deputy Clerk Carol Ward said that Thompson failed to secure a business fee of $55 and an inspection fee of $50 – for a total of $105 a year.

He also failed to secure the needed permits from the Lake County Health Department. David Groh, environmental health practitioner, said business needed a change of ownership permit – $155 – and an annual $276 health permit enabling it to serve smoothies.

David Groh, an environmental health practitioner at the health department, said his office received a complaint March 19 that there was no hot water. That meant cold showers and a potential health risk.

“He failed to make the changes and was operating under the existing permit issued to the previous operator,” Groh said. Groh said his office since was notified by owner that a hot water heater has been purchased and a plumber lined up to install it.

Village officials said progress from its end has been more sporadic, although Thompson did pick up a permit and applied for a business license earlier this week.

“He started to correct a couple items. And we allowed them time to come in and apply for a business license,” Urbina said. “But as of March 4 he didn’t do that so we sent him a legal notice of violation and gave him seven days to comply. On March 15 we fined him $750 and on March 19 we closed the building down.”

Thompson was unavailable for comment, but he did post a notice to customers on the business’ website, who paid their $35 monthly membership fee but have been unable to enter the building.

“American Fitness Center is temporarily closed. This was entirely beyond our control and we apologize for the inconvenience. We expect to be open very soon pending village approval.”

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