3.4 min readBy Published On: November 26th, 2021Categories: Features26 Comments on The Mysterious Case of the Boston Athletic Club


It’s been over a year since Heather wrote this piece. So what is going on with the BAC? We’ve reached out to the gym numerous times and have heard nothing back. So is it just abandoned? Will this land be developed? Is a new gym going to replace it? There are so many unanswered questions.  Stay tuned.

Original Post:

Every now and then a mystery comes along that is so enthralling it captivates the whole world.  Who took the Lindbergh baby?  Who shot JFK?  Who shot RFK?  Who shot JR?  Where are the Gardner paintings?  And now, what the hell is going on with the Boston Athletic Club?

Like every other law-abiding gym and fitness center in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Boston Athletic Club, or BAC, closed its doors in March of 2020, but unlike most other gyms and fitness centers, it hasn’t opened back up.  A gym like the BAC seemed especially well-equipped to handle Covid protocols.  The space itself is HUGE; two spacious levels, courts both basketball and tennis, plenty of equipment, and a large parking lot that could have supported countless outdoor bootcamps.  So, what the hell is going on?

Well folks, I don’t know…but I do know that the BAC has been posting on social media for the past 20-ish months like everything is hunky dory (trademark Kathy Hilton).  Not an update to be found, but plenty of at home workouts, healthy recipes, and kids crafts, but, again, not one God damn clue as to when they’re reopening their doors.  And when someone does ask about opening back up, their question is either ignored or they get a vague non-answer about the pandemic being incredibly difficult for the fitness industry and to keep the faith.  And I get it, the pandemic has been incredibly hard on the fitness industry, but I think a great way to combat the strife of the past almost two years would be to, oh, I don’t know, OPEN BACK UP?  Are we to believe that the BAC management is like those Japanese soldiers in the jungle who didn’t know WWII was over?  Do they know like every other gym is open?

Like any good investigative journalist, I have sources, and I pressed them good.  Everyone I talked to have a different answer for “do you know what’s going on with the BAC?”, it was like on Game of Thrones when Varys gave everyone different gossip to snuff out the mole, only the opposite and not at all.  I’ve heard everything from the innocent “they’re opening back up in January”, to the nefarious “they’re selling out to LifeTime Fitness.  Why is selling to LifeTime Fitness* nefarious?  Have you seen what they charge?  It’s like Equinox** prices without the Kiehl’s products or possibility of seeing Paulie D doing preacher curls.

If anyone from the BAC is reading this, I ask that you pay special attention to this part right here; your (former) members do not, as your Facebook posts suggest, want to head over to your YouTube page to watch someone read Harold and the Purple Crayon or learn a healthy Thanksgiving recipe (I think anyone who tries to serve a “healthy” Thanksgiving recipe should go straight to the Gulag but that’s for another day).  We want to work out.  I’m vaxxed and boosted and want to go back to my gym, so let’s get on with it.

For the record, we reached out the BAC’s parent company’s PR person and never heard back. If you have any BAC info please let us know!

*I’m willing to lie and say I never said LifeTime Fitness was too expensive if anyone from LifeTime Fitness wants to give me a free membership.

**Public service announcement, I’m not saying I had to forge an out of state job offer and apartment lease to get out of my Equinox membership, but I am saying their contract is very hard to get out of.


  1. Joe cook November 26, 2021 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the update. Well written

  2. Steve Durant November 26, 2021 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Hysterical!!! And Brilliant

  3. Nathan Youngs November 29, 2021 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Heather! I’m Nate, the General Manager over at Republic Fitness in downtown Boston. I’d love to offer you a free year of membership at my club! Feel free to reach out via email and I’d be happy to set you up with a tour and your membership. Look forward to hearing from you, great article by the way – it was a fun read 🙂

    • Heather December 17, 2021 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      Ooohhh Nate you’re speaking my language! I’ll email you, thank you so much!

    • Linda April 9, 2022 at 6:55 am - Reply

      I used to be a member at Republic Fitness when I worked at International Place and 225 Franklin Street. It’s a great club with great facilities and classes. Enjoy the membership , Heather. But do keep us posted on the BAC shenanigans! Maybe they can take over the BAC!?!

  4. Geraldine Cummins December 2, 2021 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Congratulations Heather, go for it. Get your years membership and then let us all know what you think of Republic Fitness and maybe by then you will be able to tell us what is going on with the BAC.
    Great article and waiting anxiously for answers on BAC.Good luck and keep up the good work.

  5. Sandy December 8, 2021 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Moved to Southie (and Boston) in June. Have been dying for a good gym at prices mortals can afford. Thought it was going to be BAC when we moved here. Clearly still waiting. Hated Gold’s Gym, Equinox prices are bonkers and every other gym is the size of a closet. Hope you find out what’s happening.

    • Christopher February 1, 2023 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Motivated Fitness on West Broadway – local and locally owned and Tom and Thomas are great.

  6. Cathy O. December 18, 2021 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness! This is such a necessary journalistic investigation! Thank you. For those of us who have been going to the BAC for over 25 years, this is not OK! My whole lifestyle is disrupted.

  7. Susan December 28, 2021 at 10:46 am - Reply

    I assume they’re not collecting membership fees?

    • Audrey January 12, 2023 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      BAC follow up? one year later

      • Susan Touloukian January 14, 2023 at 3:23 pm - Reply

        Lol. Me too —I’m trying to find indoor tennis courts around…

  8. Bruce Parnell December 31, 2021 at 7:56 am - Reply

    Great article! Please keep us updated on this issue. I also have a quick question about where I can find a gym that is handicapped accessible, and has equipment that a person like myself, that’s a bilateral amputee, and in a wheelchair can use. Also, if there is a local pool that could accommodate me as well. I used to belong to the North Suburban YMCA in Woburn,MA. but was told I couldn’t use the pool, because they aren’t equipped to handle a person with my disability. Pool exercise is one of the few ways I can actually workout. I’ve also noticed there aren’t many wheelchair bound people that go to the gym that I do, also have been told I can’t use certain machines due to them worrying about my getting injured.(I would never do anything that might even remotely get me injured. Thank you for your time, have a great weekend, Happy New Year! 🎊🎊🎉🎉🍾🍾🥂🥂🥳🥳 🙏🏻💪🏻💪🏻 lol

    • Catherine July 27, 2023 at 11:28 am - Reply

      Hi Bruce, Did you ever find a pool to use? My son is also in a chair and one of his groups uses the LifeTime Athletic gym in Framingham. Additionally, I know this group is creating an inclusive gym in the Framingham area. Happy to find out more if you’re interested. Catherine

  9. Jon February 2, 2022 at 12:21 am - Reply

    The BAC had great potential but was poorly managed by Jay Herson the GM. He had no vision and no connection with most of the people that worked or trained in the Tennis department or Personal Training department or their clients. For health clubs to be successful in the 21 st century you need to get more people involved in paid programming ie. Tennis and PT. (The 1990’s membership sales approach doesn’t cut it) Both departments underachieved dramatically particularly the Personal training department . There are health clubs in Boston that are not even 1/10 th the size with less than 1/10th the members that gross more in personal training per month than BAC. The club although it had so much wasted and unused space it could’ve been so much better than it was. The location in South Boston, it’s size and potential it is a shame it was managed so poorly and the people miss out and end up in studios or $200 a month club. Covid will be listed on the death certificate for the BAC however the truth is the BAC had many internal Comorbidities before Covid ultimately closed the business.

  10. Amy March 2, 2022 at 3:28 am - Reply

    THANK YOU!!! Such a necessary article!! If you check out the newest Google reviews, it sounds like BAC has been cashing in on all of their PPP loans all this time and also looks like there are 22 people still actively saying their employed by BAC on LinkedIn (and many of these people have been keeping their profiles updates or having other types of activity so not like they just forgot about updating their employment status). I asked someone who used to work at the building and the person said the owner is so rich and has so many projects that this just isn’t a priority for him. Whatever it is, it’d be great to at least get more transparency at the very least. Please do an update post if you can find anything new out!

  11. Jd April 8, 2022 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Is the BAC on Massport property? Maybe you could reach out to them if thats the case. More than likely there is already plans for mor condos there.

    • jd April 11, 2022 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      Massport does not build condos, they build industrial buildings, fish processing plants etc.. on land the own this side of the channel (the have people sign 100 year leases too, they don’t sell the land)

      That said… the BAC is not on Massport land, so the point is moot.

      • Maureen Dahill February 2, 2023 at 11:51 am - Reply

        It is on massport land.

  12. Charlotte April 9, 2022 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    At this point just find another gym!

  13. Dan Frazier September 15, 2022 at 6:27 am - Reply

    Very true

  14. Larry December 24, 2022 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Heather, nice job. I am looking to purchase the club and open it back up. whoever the so-called general manager is, he should be fired.

    • LM January 11, 2023 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      Any information when you will be reopening the club?

  15. LN January 29, 2023 at 10:51 am - Reply

    I was a longtime member – I had written the GM stating I cannot SWIM online.
    Frustrating. They ruined the experience when they closed the restaurant/bar. It was a great way to connect with members & community. Huge loss to South Boston. BAC was the reason I moved to Southie in ‘98 because no parking in Charlestown.
    Ironic. They were suppose to renovate just before C19 hit. Question?
    Isn’t it illegal to use PPP funds and have nothing to show for it ?
    That could be your angle!

  16. Mike in Southie February 2, 2023 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Larry – do you need any partners and when are you looking to open it up agian?

  17. Dave April 5, 2024 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Good read….Gosh I used to love playing hoop in the BAC league. Great place. Sorry to see it vanish…

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