Fiasco at Retro Fitness Hoboken

Hoboken Retro Fitness (what a shit show!)

Allegedly, there is some nonsensical stuff happening over at the relatively new Retro Fitness gym location at 130 Washington Street.

First – I recommend that you head over to the Retro Fitness Hoboken Fakebook page – and scroll through MANY comments for the past four months or so. Then take a look at our bullet points below that try to sum up what is going on at this facility.

I’ll try to put this in a kind of “timeline” so you understand the situation.

WTF is going down at Retro Fitness in Hoboken?

  1. Retro Fitness is a franchise, and many locations are independently owned and operated under franchise guidelines set by the Retro Fitness corporation.
  2. The Hoboken location opened about three months or so ago (they have other locations as well).
  3. Retro Fitness brought in a specialized “Personal Training” operation called Spartacus Strategies, owned and operated by an individual named Michael Karolcyyk. He has a good track record, and has effective trainers, life coaches and motivational instructors (some even called “Goddesses.”)
  4. Allegedly – the “GM” of this Retro Fitness is the focus of many complaints. The “GM,” apparently had a similar position to competing gym in Florham Park, and was brought on to Retro Fitness to manage this location. It is alleged that he had some “problems” at the former job.

Retro Fitness allegations Hoboken NJ

  1. Things were going well, until one night after a “launch party” over at Black Bear in Hoboken – the “GM” apparently had too much to drink – and one of the Sparticus Strategies “Goddesses” felt bad for the dude. She invited him to stay the night at her apartment – to prevent him from driving his car home. He allegedly “made moves” on this attractive girl, but was rejected.
  2. Things apparently went downhill from here – as the “GM” started engaging in “harassment” in the workplace where they both were employed. The allegations are wide-ranging. From abusive language, to manipulation, to trying to meddle with their work schedule and fake appointments. An innocent observer might say that the “GM” was bitter and spiteful.
  3. This “harassment” allegedly continued incessantly for quite a while – alienating many female members of the gym. (According to Sparticus Strategies – nearly 100 women joined the Personal Training program (“PT”) have all left as a result of this queasy behavior.)
  4. In addition – the “gym” (Retro Fitness) has been quite stubborn regarding the revenue collected via this personal training program. Many individual memberships range from $300-$600 per month, and despite Sparticus Strategies “disassociating” with Retro Fitness, continue to bill the nearly 100 clients which signed up.
  5. There have been other allegations, up to and including illegal recreational drug-use at the facility, as well as alleged fraud regarding contractual obligations.

Retro fitness drama Hoboken NJ allegations

  1. Apparently, officials from the Dept. of Treasury, the EOC and others have “visited” Retro Fitness as a result of certain allegations.
  2. After multiple complaints and efforts to attempt to rectify the situation – word back from both the Hoboken franchise owners as well as the Retro Fitness Corporation – have been (at best) tepid and bland. No direct cause for concern.
  3. For reference – it appears that Retro Fitness directed their own employees to issue flurries of “5 star” reviews for the establishment in order to “push down” the negative reviews, as well as the allegations of sexual harassment.
  4. And in other news – apparently there are sticky (or fungible) ways businesses like this can play with “PT” money differently (i.e., use it in a ponzi-like scheme.) We’re estimating that the rent (plus overhead) at this location could be in the neighborhood of $75,000 per month. With only 1300 members so far – $26,000 incoming doesn’t make ends meet. We hear that this may be a topic on local news broadcasts as soon as this week.
  5. There are other allegations – including stonewalling the nearly 100 members who signed up for the “Goddess” Personal Training program. (They want their money back since Sparticus Strategies is no longer participating), yet Retro Fitness Hoboken is telling them “fuck you, you signed the contract” (even though they’re not delivering on their end.) Apparently there is a legal loophole in the contract that those 100 people signed.
  6. Apparently – now Retro Fitness Hoboken is suggesting “they never knew anything about Sparticus Strategies.” Can it get any more odd?

Fiasco trouble brewing retro fitness Hoboken NJ alleged sexual harassment

Hoboken411’s take: Cut the cord when you can!

For one, I believe that the minute these “allegations” came out on social media – the FIRST thing the owners of this stupid-ass gym should have done is either “re-assigned” this “GM” to another location or off-site position – or fire them entirely.

Additionally – this whole “scandal” to us, boils down to (at best) “one bad seed,” and (at worst) a bad seed – and an organization that is inept at handling a “personnel crisis.”

It is our belief – as this “scandal” of bad employee wrath unfolds – that the owners of said operation will eventually come around and make a sound decision. The fact that it is taking so long is detrimental to their long-term status.

Heck, if this shit continues – it’s possible that Retro Fitness will NOT survive 2016 in Hoboken. That’s the way “viral” news works. Sucks.

Final note: This is why “franchises” or other rapidly-growing businesses have difficulty. The best way a business survives – is to have the PRINCIPAL owner of said business on hand at all times. Yes, there are other franchises that do work – but it’s still something to consider when you ask yourself why you get bad service at some places rather than others.

And it seems that this kind of workplace drama happens more often in the service-based industry (bars, restaurants, hair salons and gyms).

We’ll talk about this more in coming weeks, as we’ve discovered some neat places across the state of New Jersey worth talking about.

Have a nice holiday everyone!

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4 Comments on "Fiasco at Retro Fitness Hoboken"

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I thought this was still Tropical Shade… 🙂


I’m a member. At weekends I normally go around 7:30 am and very occasionally mid-week at around 5:30am. At those times, there are at most a 2 or 3 other people in the gym. The staff are polite and helpful; the place is clean, loads of equipment to choose from. It may not be around for ever, but at the moment, the basic fee of about $20 a month is a bargain.
ps – I’m not an employee, but a very infrequent Hoboken411 poster (my last post that I can find by searching Hoboken411 was ‘8 years 8 months ago’…)


I wondered how the economics worked. That location has to be super expensive, which doesn’t easily square with $20/mo memberships.

I assumed they crunched the numbers and figured it out.

But if the principal didn’t watch closely until the location completed its path to viability then who knows if they even did the initial math right.

Most retro locations are in non premium locations which seemed central to their business model. That’s fine with me. A few years ago I would have assumed Hoboken wasn’t in the cards for them. When I heard 411 announce their impending arrival I was quite surprised. When I heard the location I was stunned (and disappointed since I’m over 10 blocks away).

Now I’m having flashbacks to the 2008 fall of the Fitness Empire, which was also the victim of avoidable managerial stupidity.

I hope the business survives, though. It’s really a good gym, albeit with a garish yellow, red, and black color scheme. TWO squat racks, which is not nothing, and everything else I’d expect, and more, for $20/mo. Best of all, when I’m out of town I can, and do, visit a bunch of the other locations depending on what I’m doing.

Having an in town option is huge. Pull it together Retro.


Gym drama is understandable with all the egos, but harassment is over the line.