Solid Image Fitness now closed in Jasper

Ed Howell
Posted 4/20/17

Let’s clean out the notebook ...

Well, we have more bad business news. Signs posted at various times, and numerous Facebook posts, say that Solid Image Fitness in Jasper has closed its doors suddenly.

This is sad, because that gym, which was …

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Solid Image Fitness now closed in Jasper


Let’s clean out the notebook ...

Well, we have more bad business news. Signs posted at various times, and numerous Facebook posts, say that Solid Image Fitness in Jasper has closed its doors suddenly.

This is sad, because that gym, which was once a Gold’s Gym, has been around for so long, and was known for being a first-class gym. It was run for years by Stacy Seals, a former resident of Winfield (my hometown) who was also a champion bodybuilder who mentored others in the field. He could not be reached for comment.

At news of the closing, posts on Facebook praised him for how he had helped so many people achieve results over the years.

Dylan Murray, a Jasper native who is manager and fitness director at Workout Anytime in Leeds, said on Facebook, “Thanks to Stacy Seals and Melonie DeLee Seals, I wouldn’t be where I am today! I never even thought about a career in fitness or bodybuilding, and it has got me so far. I’ll never be able to show my gratitude. By far the best gym atmosphere ever. I loved every member and staff at this place. Many memories.” (Another champion bodybuilding in Marion County, Zac Aldridge, has told me similar things about how Seals mentored him.) 

It is not clear what happened, although competition across the street from the national chain Planet Fitness, known for its low rates, could not have helped. We seemed to have a glut of gyms anyway, and the slow recovery from the recession means many give up their gym memberships first. (I need to find one now that I am in town, but I shied away for years in Hamilton due to the costs.)

The closing is not good timing for the city’s self-esteem, as JCPenney’s, Chick-fil-A’s mall store and K-mart have rattled nerves, although I heard reports some of those locations actually did OK and JCPenney’s and K-mart’s national slide probably had more to do with their closings. I think we are not as bad as all that in Jasper, but we have been caught in other national economic trends that are hurting us. I feel good we can bounce back with increased manufacturing.

•One good piece of economic news: You might have noticed that the Guthrie’s on the east side of Jasper had a “building for sale” sign up. I was told at the restaurant yesterday that the building is for sale, but Guthrie’s remains open, so we can avoid that rumor.

•The Carbon Hill City Council has been impressing me with some of their activities of late. The latest was the community cleanup, which attracted about 50 people they were hoping to get for the day. (They had a large turnout from Carbon Hill High School.) Then they had a good event in the town hall for business leaders, with city leaders feeling like good information came out of the meeting. Moreover, the Carbon Hill Council has come up with a number of goals this term, and are actively working on having more community events.

I can recall when it looked like Carbon Hill years ago seemed to be in turmoil constantly, but Mayor Mark Chambers and the city council seem to be going in the right direction, even if still facing a number of challenges. The young leadership on that council has also impressed me with their drive and activity. Truthfully, the city now seems refreshingly progressive in attitude.

•Those of us who follow politics were just catching our breath from Robert Bentley’s resignation and the send-him-to-Hell House report that was even worse than anything else we’ve known before. He couldn’t survive that report, especially as Bentley tried to bully women. But this went hand-in-hand with parading around his girlfriend/aide and appointing Luther Strange, the attorney general, to a Senate seat. Strange had earlier asked the Legislature not to continue with impeachment because it would impede other investigations. Strange’s appointment looked cheesy and improper in that light, and the Legislature then put the squeeze on Bentley. Worse, questions arose that Bentley was putting off the eventual election for that seat against state law.

Gov. Kay Ivey has now had a squeeze play of her own. She has moved back the dates of the Senate election to this year, to make sure the state is in compliance with the law that calls for an immediate election. This means that voters with the Bentley scandal fresh on their minds — and full of skepticism about any purity of motives in many of the main characters — will have a chance to rule on Strange’s role in all this. The forecast by many are that he is probably toast. That opens the door wider for others to have a chance at the seat. Supposedly, Roy Moore, who more or less has been removed as chief justice, is considering that run, and, if he does, that would make it easier for Kay Ivey to run for a full term as governor. So she comes out looking like she is upholding the law and may have removed a major rival (and probably others, because there was to be no incumbent in 2018; now we have one, and it is the Heroine of the Hour.

•Walker County Board of Education member Jamie Rigsby has indicated that the board will not turn Republican voluntarily. Recently we reported local officials said only two Democrats are in local elected county or state positions: Rigsby and fellow member Bill Edd Gilbert. Rigsby told our staff writer Nicole Smith at this week’s board meeting “hell would freeze over” before he switched to the Republican Party, and that we could print that.

Ed Howell is the Daily Mountain Eagle’s news editor.