Gym users were shocked to find that the leisure club at the Old Brewery House hotel in Reepham will be closed from Christmas Eve.
The announcement was made public less than a week before Christmas giving just four days’ notice of the shutdown.
In a letter to members, hotel general manager Debbie Garratt said the centre, which includes an indoor swimming pool, gym, squash courts and sauna, would be closed for the “foreseeable future” and apologised for any inconvenience caused.
Staff at the leisure centre have been offered work in other duties within the hotel.
The decision was made by Dartford, Kent-based Oxford Hotels and Inns after a recent reorganisation. This has seen the Old Brewery House being shifted to the group’s pubs division – it has not been brought under Bespoke Hotels, which has taken over the management of most of Oxford’s hotel properties.
According to some members, the hotel’s leisure centre in Reepham had been extremely busy up until a few years ago and it had some of the best squash courts in the county. However, the facility had been neglected over time and subsequently lost customers.
More recently, the centre had been plagued with problems. The swimming pool was closed for several months from the end of summer while a new boiler was installed. Although the pool eventually reopened, it shut soon after as it was found to be leaking. Meanwhile, the squash courts became unusable owing to problems with the roof of the building.
The announcement to close the leisure centre was apparently the result of the current financial situation, which had seen membership numbers falling drastically.
The hotel's management is aware that a lot of investment is needed in the hotel and that the leisure facility would need a considerable amount of money spent on it to make it financially viable.
However, the company would be happy to talk with any interested parties about investment or re-establishing the leisure club on a community basis.