More details are being provided about the impending closure of a Burnaby sports training complex.
Fortius Sport and Health announced on Nov. 13 that it would be closing down all business operations, but didn’t give a date on when that would happen.
“We can now confirm that at the end of business day on December 31, 2020, Fortius will be closing all business operations,” reads an email to members that was forwarded to the NOW. “We will continue to see clients, and run normal business operations until this date, and have put together a list of FAQs to help answer your most immediate questions. Our partners, FitFirst Footwear and Starbucks, also remain open to serve you at this time. We cannot express how grateful we are for your loyalty and support over the last seven years. It was our pleasure and privilege to help so many of you optimize your health, fitness and sport performance.”
People are now being asked to share their favourite Fortius memories on Twitter or Instagram, using #FortiusFarewell and tagging @fortiuscentre or emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fortius is an integrated athlete development centre. Situated in Burnaby on Kensington Avenue, Fortius is home to a 148,000-square-foot fitness and performance centre, FIFA-standard turf pitch, NBA-lined gymnasium, human performance lab, multi-disciplinary sports medicine clinic, 50-room lodge and a bistro.
The facility is used by a wide variety of amateur sports groups, such as Burnaby hockey and soccer teams, as well as college-level teams, plus groups such as Athletics BC, Curl BC, Artistic Swim BC, Canoe Kayak BC, Wrestling BC, Sport Med BC, BC School Sports, and Karate BC.
Fortius has also partnered with SFU researchers in the field of sports medicine.
The closure of the Fortius Sport and Health centre will leave a unique gap in the city that will be hard to fill, Mayor Mike Hurley said.
A Fortius spokesperson said the organization was not providing interviews at this time, but Hurley said the closure was not unexpected.
“We’ve been hearing about that for a little while. It was out there that they were struggling to keep it together financially,” he said. “(It was) a fantastic idea and fantastic facility, but I guess there just wasn’t enough of that type of athlete to make a go of it. I think COVID added to it, but I think they were struggling prior to COVID as well.”
“They’ve tried a lot of different things there,” Hurley said. “But obviously the business model just wasn’t able to sustain it.” He added the Fortius centre “provided something really different” by offering to the general public the kind of athlete training typically available to elites in their fields. “From that perspective, it’ll be very much a missed facility,” he said.
- With files from Dustin Godfrey