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In business for over ten years, CardifFit, a weight-training gym, has notified its hundreds of members that it will be closing on December 31. The announcement came five months early, according to some members, who believed it wouldn’t close until May of 2014.

The next-door Seaside Market, which owns the entire multi-business shopping center on the 2000 block of San Elijo Avenue, wants the space to expand.

Several members I spoke with were disappointed the gym was closing, saying it is close by their homes and that the shopping center’s patio is a great place to hang out with friends after a workout. They also complained that the Chicago-based owners were never around.

CardiffFit is not a place where one might go to lose weight. It is an old-school gym with dumbbells and barbells; it is for the thick-neck/thicker-arms crowd. There are no motivational posters on the two-story-tall white walls, no aerobics classes led by ex-cheerleaders, and no juice bar.

Several independent trainers pay a small fee to meet their private clients and use the gym’s equipment. One said he will take his clients to other nearby gyms, probably Frog's in Solana Beach.

However, some members are hoping to pick up the gym’s business by starting their own. Two members have hung posters around CardifFit, advertising their soon-to-open Physical Culture 101 gym, to be located on N. Coast Highway in Leucadia.

Elvia, a CardifFit member for nine years, says she will be opening a gym called 8Fitness, on Saxony Road near Encinitas Boulevard. But she said she was anticipating a later opening, believing that CardifFit was planning to close in mid-2014. Now she and her business partner are scrambling to open sooner.

CardiffFit’s general manager did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.

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