Charter Fitness Lincoln Square Mall closing

A woman passes in front of a man using an exercise bike Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 at Charter Fitness at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana. The location is set to close on Halloween.

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URBANA — The Charter Fitness Center in Lincoln Square Mall is closing Oct. 31.

Gym memberships will be transferred to Fitness Premier, 2414 Galen Drive, C, and the gym’s approximately eight employees will be able to re-apply for jobs there.

“We all have opportunities to interview over there,” Urbana general manager Dominic Scopel said. “Nothing’s guaranteed.”

He said the gym is closing because “Fitness Premier made an offer on our membership base.”

“It was kind of sudden,” he said. “They made the offer, and everything worked out.”

Terance McCullough, a part-time employee at the Urbana workout center, said she was informed on Oct. 21 that the facility would be closing.

Fitness Premier opened earlier this year after it renovated the facility that had been a Charter Fitness before it abruptly closed Nov. 10, 2017.

"No one will see an increase in their membership dues, and we are thrilled to offer a newly remodeled facility with brand new equipment," Fitness Premier Champaign owner Emily Schunke said. "All current Charter Fitness members will receive a letter from us in the coming days to explain the transition further."

Since March 2005, there has been a workout facility in the space that previously was home to Carson Pirie Scott, Herberger’s and Bergner’s department stores. Cardinal Fitness was there prior to Charter, which appealed to many downtown workers. Clients pay monthly.

Retired jail correctional officer Charles Glass said he was in there Friday and didn’t see anything posted about a closing.

However, he said he had seen a sign saying that Urbana members could work out at the Champaign facility.

“I’ve never been to it,” said Glass, an Urbana resident who lives within five minutes of Charter Fitness and was disappointed to hear the news of its closing.

“I go there three to four times a week. When I used to go there after work, there would be a decent crowd. In the morning, between 9 and 10 o’clock, there’s maybe seven or eight people there,” he said.

“They got everything: elliptical, stair machines, treadmills, free weights. You name it, they got it,” he said.

Hours for Charter Fitness in Lincoln Square have been 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Fitness Premier Center’s web site says it is open 24 hours.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).