Marie and Randy Landsberger, Owners
As a fitness facility, cleanliness has always been a top priority to ensure the safety of our members and staff at the Toluca Lake Tennis and Fitness Club. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly made us realize that we can never be too vigilant about cleanliness. When we reopen, we will adapt stringent new practices in addition to our already robust cleaning procedures. Randy and I have taken this unprecedented time to amplify our efforts and oversee deep cleaning of the Club. Our crew has steam-cleaned all surfaces and sterilized the equipment and props. When our doors open, our members will feel safe and work out with confidence.
As you are aware, our doors are closed and all employees have been furloughed. We have deep empathy for our dedicated team as they face this challenge. Our top priority is their well-being and safety as we navigate these uncharted waters.
What makes our Club unique is the sense of community we have established over the years. We’re not just a tennis and fitness facility; we are an integral part of so many lives. Many of our members have reached out to say that they miss the camaraderie as well as the physical aspect of the Club. Randy and I want to keep our members moving, and our goal is to be a resource for members. We have done our part in supporting the needs of our members by offering many online classes taught by their favorite instructors. Each day a new class is streamed live, and members can stay connected and fit. The feedback has been positive and people are grateful to keep moving.
The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming and touching! We have always felt as though we played an important role in the community, but this crisis has brought new meaning to our purpose. Many of our members are our neighbors and close friends, and they have reached out to say they are rooting for us to reopen with a vengeance. We have a purpose in our community, and for that we are proud. We have a huge responsibility to reopen and be there for members. They depend on us and we will not let them down. As soon as we are given the green light and it’s safe to reopen, we will.
Randy and I are Toluca Strong. We are proud to live in Toluca Lake (for nearly 30 years) and we are proud to have offered a quaint, idyllic neighborhood setting when raising our son, Brett, who now is 26 years old. I have been a member of the Toluca Lake Garden Club for nearly 20 years and we are Lakeside and Chamber members; as one can imagine, we are completely immersed in our community. We, along with our partner, Paul Philo, opened the Fitness portion of the Club 27 years ago when we felt the need to give back to the community. The Club community and the Toluca Lake community have rallied and come together to create a bond like no other. Toluca Lake is a special place. When faced with a crisis, the Toluca Lake community unites and becomes a powerful force, leaving no doubt we will overcome adversity and come out stronger. The sense of community gives individual strength to those who need to be uplifted, and together we thrive.
Tolucans rally in times of need. In recent weeks, we have chatted with more neighbors than ever before. Everyone is checking in on each other. People are offering supplies and emotional support, as well. “We are all in this together” is the common theme and “We will persevere” is the attitude. We are a resilient bunch in Toluca Lake! As a close-knit community, we will support each other and come out stronger.
The biggest challenge has been telling members and our team that we have no choice but to close our doors and we have no idea when we will reopen. We employ nearly 100 people, and with no income many of our team had to forgo their dreams of living in L.A. and move home to other states to be with family.
The Club is a sanctuary for so many members, and it’s devastating for us to know that during such a horrific crisis we are not able to offer a sanctuary. If only we could offer that yoga class to find relaxation and calmness!
The way to tackle the challenge of an unplanned situation of this magnitude is to be positive and hopeful to our team and members. We have personally answered all emails and calls that have come our way. We reiterate that we will reopen and we will resume business with the same high standards that our team and members expect.
Randy and I are passionate about our business. We have been there before and we will get there again.
Return with confidence is our message to our valued members! We are stronger together. We want to re-create the safe community that we strived to achieve. We will be here for our members when the health crisis is over, and we are hopeful that our members will return. Our members create the community that has become our neighborhood club. We are nothing without them.
Stay strong and be positive. We are beyond grateful for the loyal support and camaraderie of our local community. It is a privilege to serve your health and well-being needs, and we are committed to rebuild our wonderful Club community and welcome you back.
Paul Philo, Owner
Unfortunately, we’ve had to close due to the mandate and consequently furlough our employees. We have asked everyone to adhere to the shelter-in-place policies enacted by the state of California and CDC. At this time, the safest place for them to be is at home. The club has prided itself on maintaining a very clean facility over the years, and I think we continue to think of new ways to improve on this as we try to prepare to reopen. For example, I think sterilizing all touch points on a regular basis will become the new normal for us, and we’ve also invested in steam sterilizers for use on various equipment. My partner, Randy Landsberger, and his wife, Marie, are leading the campaign to go through every aspect of the club to ensure it is ultra-clean and sanitized. Our goal will be to keep it this way long-term for the safety of our staff and members. Thankfully, there have been no reports of any members or staff infected with COVID-19.
It’s impossible to effectively replicate all the services we provide — a tennis match, swimming, a spin class, a workout in general — because it lacks the ambiance, energy and camaraderie associated with actually being at our club. I’m sure most of our members are missing the social as well as the conditioning and therapeutic aspects of coming to the club on a regular basis. I know several of our trainers and group exercise instructors have offered virtual classes so that members can still feel connected in some way and stay fit. The response has been positive, according to our group exercise director, Marie Landsberger, but of course the best thing would be to be able to reopen as soon as possible.
Our members have been understanding and patient, for the most part. We have suspended all membership dues as expected during the shutdown, and despite the financial hardship, we hope remain a fixture in the community after this is over and for a long time to come.
I see the community learning a new way of life and terms they probably never expected to become part of the vernacular. Who would have thought we’d learn about social distancing, N95 masks and how to wash our hands effectively? I think the community is more aware of disease transmission as a whole, and that’s a great thing going forward. I see the community caring about each other and being diligent about the safety policies enacted, as difficult as they can be at times. I also think everyone is sensitive to the plight of businesses during this time. None of us wants our favorite businesses to close, and we expect them to be there once this is over. I hope that’s the case and people aren’t afraid to patronize them as soon as possible once it is deemed safe.
I think the biggest challenge is the unknown. We have no date when we will be able to reopen, and that makes managing the situation difficult. We were planning an extensive remodel of our locker rooms before COVID-19, and this would be a good time to start that process, since we are closed, but I honestly don’t know if we will be open in two weeks or two months, and that requires us to hold off to preserve as much capital as possible. The other challenge is having to displace so many employees. We employ over 80 people, many of whom have been with us for a long time. They are part of our extended family, and we need them when this is over to resume the great work and service they provide to our members. We are doing everything we can to bring them back as soon as possible. They are the heart and soul of the club.
After more than 25 years of being part of this great community, I can’t ask for anything other than just to continue to support us once we are able to reopen. Be assured that once we do, our club will be ultra-clean and safe. We also know one proven way to stay healthy and live longer is to stay active and exercise on a regular basis. I can’t think of a better place than the Toluca Lake Tennis and Fitness Club. In the meantime, If you want a great takeout meal, try the Santuari restaurant. They have become a major part of our club since they’ve opened and need the support of the community via takeout to help weather the closure.
Thank you for all the support over the years. We are so appreciative and thankful to our loyal members and staff, many of whom feel like family. We wish them to stay safe and stay healthy. We’ve been able to manage the club through many difficult times over the years, and we will make it through this better than ever.
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