Ambitionz owner Stephen Krulic.
Ambitionz owner Stephen Krulic.

New business owner faced with indefinite closure

WITH at least $40,000 in bills a month and no income coming in, Stephen Krulic has no idea how he is going to keep his gym alive.

Ambitionz Gym in North Rockhampton is among the many businesses that have been catastrophically impacted by the non-essential services closures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The news came out on Sunday night and Mr Krulic was completely unprepared.

He thought he might get by as some members were prepared to keep paying their membership.

But then on Monday the third party he used for his direct debit system said it was suspending all payments.

“So we don’t get a single cent now, not a dollar,” he said.

The closure is a big blow for Mr Krulic, who had only taken over the business as the sole owner in September last year.

He is now in negotiations with electricity, insurance and landlords about what he is going to do.

“My monthly bills to keep the place is around $40,000 and I have to pay that without an income,” Mr Krulic said.

“Until we see support form the government or bank I don’t what we will do … I am dipping into my personal savings.”

Speaking to The Morning Bulletin, Mr Krulic held back emotion because he was at a complete loss.

He had just spent two hours on the phone to government departments going around in circles with no results.

Ambitionz employs four casual staff with seven contractors who are class instructors and personal trainers.

He said having to tell them they no longer had jobs was “very emotional”.

An empty Ambitionz gym.
An empty Ambitionz gym.

The gym has 1150 members who Mr Krulic speaks very highly of.

Ahead of the impending closure, dedicated members flocked with only 12 hours notice to get final workouts in.

There were at least 30 people working out in the mixed area mid morning, unusual for a weekday, and the last member walked out at 11.57am.

“We were getting phone calls all morning, so many ­people who were willing to help, wanting to keep paying their memberships,” he said.

“I have so many wonderful members here and they are loyal.

“I want to thank everyone and our members for their support and I am grateful for their kind messages.”

There are fears that once the gym does open back up again, not all members will return.

“It is a concern because some fitness centres can do their training outside and my members might jump over to them,”Mr Krulic said.

“I don’t know how it is going to affect us, but I hope most members are going to be loyal.”

Prior to buying the business, Mr Krulic was an member of Ambitionz for six years.

“It’s got everything, mixed, ladies, functional centre,” he said

Looking around the gym, which is usually open 24/7, it was an odd feeling to be there in the middle of the day with no members.

“It’s sad, the members are what make the gym, even when I do a workout, I spend an hour just talking to other members,” he said.

“That’s what fitness should be about it’s wellbeing, health, mental health.”

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