The plywood came off the windows of Fuel Fitness on south Harrison Avenue on Wednesday morning and traffic was moving in and out of the open doors.  But these were not gym members with their duffel bags going in and out, rather a couple of hired hands loading crates of Gatorade and boxes of equipment out of the building and into a couple of private vehicles.  When asked if Fuel Fitness is reopening one of the gentlemen responded, "No, we're just moving stuff out."

Workers empty Fuel Fitness on Wednesday morning in Butte.
Workers empty Fuel Fitness on Wednesday morning in Butte.  Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media

Fuel Fitness, as you recall, closed suddenly earlier this month without notifying employees, members or, well, anybody.  In a rambling response to his "legally closing" not only Butte's gym but Helena's as well, owner and CEO Michael Burks blamed his financial woes on mismanagement and employee fraud.  Fair enough.  But Burks took it a step further.  He attempted to paint himself in a holier-than-thou savior of not only amateur hockey in Butte in a facility that he called "an ugly pig".  He brought up bleachers and orphaned children.  He complained he was never thanked by people who surely owed their very being to his generosity.  He took blaming others to a level that you'd think he was a lifelong politician.  And then a couple of days later, he "stepped aside."  And then, radio silence.

So what is to become of the Butte gym?  Many assumed that Fuel would reopen under different management.  After Burks' diatribe, that would almost be a given.  But it is looking like, at least for now, the gym will remain closed.  But after the things Burks said about so many here in Butte, putting the plywood back up might be a good idea.

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