Members devastated after popular Philly workout studios abruptly close

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The shocking and unexpected shutdown of popular workout studios in Philadelphia has left a community of women devastated.

The owner tells us she is working feverishly to regroup, but until further notice the studios are closed.

"It's a special place, it's like a religion," said Stefanie Odett of Rittenhouse Square.

Stefanie Odett was devastated when she arrived at the Lithe Method Studio on South 17th Street, an establishment only for women, to find it shuttered. All access to the second-floor facility was denied.

"It's a community of women that are really important to me. I've been following on Instagram, and people have been posting all day about how devastated we are," said Odett.

"We have different moves that are inspired by dancing and cheerleading to keep it interesting," said Lauren Boggi, owner.

The perky and vivacious owner of Lithe has been operating her studios in Rittenhouse Square, Old City and The Main Line for 11 years now.

She tells us by phone she had to shut down after her assets were seized. This happened as she was trying to open a NYC studio and got locked into a legal battle with the landlord and lost.

"I've been trying so hard to negotiate with him. We we're really blindsided, and he just froze our accounts on Wednesday," said Boggi.

Unable to pay her employees and pay the bills, she was forced to abruptly close Thursday. For followers, her facility and commitment to its members was unlike anything they've experienced elsewhere.

"How much she supports us outside of the studio with how to eat, how to be and how to be strong women. How to value your body and your image," said Odett.

But Boggi is promising her members she will be back.

"I guess what I would say is that we love them and please stay strong, and that we'll be back and better than ever," said Boggi.

Boggi also says she will work on getting members whatever money is owed to them for classes they paid for in advance.
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