Gym club owner agrees to resolve some member, paycheck issues

HILLSBORO, Ore. - Former NFL player and local athletic club owner, Sam Adams, has agreed to resolve some of the concerns of his members and employees.

Several members and employees have told KATU they have been dealing with billing and paycheck problems.

Adams owns Oregon Athletic Clubs and has locations at Bethany, Riverplace, Hawthorn Farm and Duniway Park, which is currently closed. There are also two branches in Washington.

After media coverage, Adams has now cleared out fees and dues for one member KATU News has spoken with.

Chad Lawson said he tried for months to resolve a billing problem at his former gym, Hawthorn Farm Athletic Club. He said he kept getting charged even after he canceled but didn't have receipt.

"I was nave to think I didn't even need it because they were really gracious when I asked," he told KATU News.

He said the general manager refused to communicate what he owed or why until now.

"He gave me a zero balance," said Lawson. "He said here it is. Then I asked him to put it in writing and he agreed to."

Lawson credits KATU News for stepping in.

"This is absolutely because of KATU," he said.

But similar stories this year have been posted on the gym's Yelp page.

Anu said: "My husband cancelled the membership but they kept on charging us ... It kept on happening till 3 months and then my husband had to block them through the credit card company."

And on the page for the Seattle location, one review simply says: "This gym is not to be trusted with your credit card number."

Adams wouldn't talk with KATU on camera Wednesday but agreed to talk over the phone Thursday.

He said he would resolve Lawson's case, even though he didn't agree with it.

"He did know why he was being charged," Adams said.

As for other member complaints?

"If I have the individual cases, then I will be able to address that immediately," he said.

As for Lawson: "I feel vindicated, I guess, but I'm also concerned for the members."

A viewer who tweeted a KATU reporter said Adams threatened members with legal action if they talk to media.

But one member emailed KATU and said they are having a great experience at the club.

Another thing to note is Adams is in the middle of an eviction trial right now. The landlord of his Duniway Park club claims he owes more than $65,000 in rent and late fees.

Adams says that landlord didn't do the improvements he promised.

Also, on Wednesday, some employees said they are finally able to cash their latest paychecks.