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Oz Fitness averts closure

International Fitness has acquired the former Oz Fitness gym in the Medford Center, ending months of uncertainty.

The club with thousands of members, including many wondering whether their lifetime and annual accounts would be honored, stayed open past the April 30 deadline former owner Ian Riley set during last-ditch negotiations.

Bob Yaspan, a Woodland Hills, Calif., attorney representing International Fitness, said the deal was finalized Monday, allowing U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Allen Alley to dismiss Chapter 11 proceedings.

"As the deal got closer to being done, the staff's morale picked up, and hopefully they felt better by the end of the day," Yaspan said.

Late last year, Oz Fitness Oregon, whose only operation was in Medford, filed for court protection. Riley acquired Medford and Springfield gyms from 24 Hour Fitness in 2004. He sold the Springfield fitness center to International Fitness in 2012.

Troy Finfroc, managing member of International Fitness, was scheduled to meet with the staff today. He oversees six International Fitness gyms in Lane County, and one in Northridge, Calif. International Fitness' parent company is Coventry Club Resources in Woodland Hills.

"When you own a gym, management has to be intensely personal," Yaspan said. "As the manager you have to get in and work with the members and make them feel you're with them as much as possible."

It was unknown Monday what the new terms will be for members or whether agreements will change.

Essentially, International Fitness acquired the gym for $50,000, with the money going to third parties.

Part of the deal, Yaspan said, will make Skye Preussner co-manager of the gym. Preussner filed a discrimination suit against Oz in 2011, and her $300,000 suit was the second-largest credit claim during the bankruptcy proceedings. She will receive a $25,000 settlement.

Riley's attorney, Keith Boyd, in a court filing, said all creditors either agreed to release claims against the debtor, consented to the dismissal, or will be paid in full immediately following dismissal.

Under terms of the deal submitted to Alley, International Fitness is paying former gym operator 24 Hour Fitness USA $25,000, to be turned over to Kimco Realty, owner of the Medford Center.

Spokane law firm Workland & Witherspoon will receive $27,000 in the deal.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.