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Plea for East Laguna Gym

Editor,

(Also sent to Laguna’s City Council)

I am writing to you today about a Laguna institution. It’s not the museum nor the art school nor the festivals or the Penguin café. It is another institution that is in the eleventh hour of its existence here in what I call, “East Laguna”, better known as the canyon. The institution I speak of is the Sports Performance Institute, (I simply call it the gym in the canyon). This building has been a gym since the early 80’s in one form or another and for the last 15 years has been in the steady hands of Mike, Eric and Sil. They took a gym that was wavering and turned it into a viable and productive gym that has afforded over 300 local Laguna Beach residents a great place to stay fit and at a reasonable cost. The gym has been a real asset to the community on every level and now is weeks away from disappearing. Yet another East Laguna institution to bite the dust (“Survival of the Fittest in Laguna Canyon,” Aug. 24 edition.)

Now we all know that landlords are free to do what they want with their properties and one institution’s loss is another’s gain and in this case, a much needed gain for LCAD. There is no question that we live in an art community that prizes and embraces our great art institutions. However we are also a community that prides itself on a healthy lifestyle of which the “gym” has been a valuable asset. Its loss not only affects its 300 local members, (your constituents), but also the greater community as a whole by depriving local residents a great and affordable place to practice a healthy lifestyle.

I make this appeal to you not only as a person who has been going to the gym for almost 30 years, but as a longtime resident, an artist who understands the importance of our art institutions and also the importance of institutions that have been and remain important and valuable parts of the very fabric of Laguna Beach. I ask you all to please help Mike, Eric and Sil by perhaps giving some incentives via waiving parking issues or perhaps landlord incentives to keep this great institution a part of our community.

We love art but we love health as well. If the “gym in East Laguna” disappears, we all lose. There is no other gym like this in Laguna. Please help to keep this one from going the way of so many of our community-serving, locally-owned businesses.

I thank you in advance for your help and consideration.

Jorg Dubin, Laguna Beach

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