BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. -- 20 days. That is all members of the Bonita Springs YMCA have left to use their facility. The directors said declining membership is forcing them to close but members are trying to stop that from happening.
Members of the Bonita Springs YMCA said they understand the economy situation but they think they have a solution to keep the doors open at the end of the month. The CEO said its too late.
"We were never given an opportunity to help. We got a letter given to use with 28 days notice that our facility is going to close. Its not theirs to close. This is our building to keep open," said Richard Barber, member of the Bonita Springs YMCA.
Barber is a member and he's spearheading a group of concerned members trying to keep the doors from closing come May 31.
"Show us where shortfalls are. Show us where the monies are going and in turn give us the chance to save this place," said Barber.
Last month the YMCA of the Palms, which includes the Naples and Bonita Springs facilities, voted to close the doors of the Bonita Springs location because of declining membership.
"Have you seen a steady decline over the last 6 years?" said WINK News Reporter Genevieve Judge
"We have. we never met that critical mass when we first opened and we've got about half of the amount of members now," said Brandon Dowdy, CEO, YMCA of the Palms.
Barber isn't alone. Bonita Springs YMCA members WINK News spoke with don't know what they'll do.
"This is part of my life. I work out every single day here. nNw the answer you're expecting, I don't know," said Amicar Santos, Bonita Springs YMCA member.
"I was a little bit sad because I know a lot of people like to use the facilities," said Alyssa Hunter, Bonita Springs YMCA member.
Dowdy said he appreciates the passion of his members but said his hands are tied.
"There is nothing that members could do or anyone in the community could try to do to save this?" said Judge.
"It doesn't seem like it. but we'll be open to hearing any options but really it just doesn't feel that way," said Dowdy.
Giving up is not an option for barber. He said he plans to fight it to the end.
"Give us a chance to see what your hardships are. We want to work with you. We're not going to allow you to shut it down without pushing back," said Barber.
Barber said he'll be having a sit down meeting with the Bonita Springs City Council along with the mayor at Bonita Springs City Hall on May 18th at 9 a.m.
Barber said the YMCA has been invited as well but they've declined.