Customers upset upscale gym in downtown San Diego has not opened

Gym owner blames hotel and hotel blames owner

SAN DIEGO - Customers are upset that an upscale gym owned by a former San Diego Chargers player has still not opened after two years in a downtown San Diego hotel plaza.

Now, the hotel has filed a lawsuit against owner Michael London, a former Chargers linebacker from the 1960s, and his Purefitness company. London, now an attorney and businessman, has filed a suit against the hotel for the delay.

Customers are left to worry if the will ever open.

Mark Shevetone signed up for the Purefitness gym in the Westgate Hotel plaza after seeing artist renderings of what it would look like.

"They were putting in a new pool, new basketball court, new machines," said Shevetone.

The new gym was the whole reason Shevetone and his wife signed the contract in the summer of 2011 and agreed to pay $80 a month. Shevetone said they could have used the other Purefitness locations until the new facility in Westgate opened, but he wanted to use the downtown location.

"We signed the contract and we were told it would be three months until the new facility opened," said Shevetone. "Then they said it would be a couple more months; then they said the beginning of the year; then it became the first quarter, then summer, then mid-summer, then end of summer," said Shevetone.

Shevetone said by summer 2012, his contract was up and the downtown gym had never opened.

"When we called in and would talk to the people on the phone they'd say, 'Hey, there is going to be a soft opening coming, hang in there, it's going to be great'," said Shevetone. "Then it became, 'Oh, well, the owner is losing money, too.'"

London's gym is still under construction inside the Westgate Hotel plaza on Second Avenue in downtown San Diego.

((See pictures of the construction 10News at 5:00.))

Team 10 obtained an email to gym members in December promising a soft opening in February 2013, which never happened.

In June, the Westgate Hotel filed a lawsuit against London and Purefitness. The suit states the gym is more than $500,000 behind in rent.

London's lawsuit against the Westgate Hotel company is over contractual issues. The suit says London invested more than $9 million in the building and blames the hotel for the project's mismanagement and the nearly two-year wait.

Four days after both suits were filed, London sent another email to members promising a soft opening for July of this year.

"I feel a great sense of obligation to keep you informed of some recent events that have taken place," the latest email states. "Particularly that we are currently having some disputes with our partners over certain issues which we are trying to manage and sort out as amicably as possible."

Shevetone told Team 10 he is not surprised the lawsuits were filed and said he just wants his money back.

"I never used the gym, it's still not open," said Shevetone.

Team 10 reached out to London to talk about this story. London's attorney said his client could not comment on the situation because of the pending litigation.

The general manger of the Westgate Hotel also would not comment, citing the pending litigation.

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