North Texas executive Chris Roussos, who became CEO of health-club pioneer 24 Hour Fitness in May, has offered his Dallas home to the company’s district managers in Houston who’ve been displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
Thirty-three of the fitness company’s 71 Texas locations are in the Houston area, Roussos said, and all 33 have been shuttered in the wake of the devastating storm due to “safety concerns, and the inability of people to travel” within the city. 24 Hour Fitness, Roussos said, “set up emergency teams right away,” lining up volunteers and maintenance and reconstruction teams to deal with the storm’s destruction.
Most of the company’s locations, which range in size from 30,000 square feet to 45,000 square feet, have two stories, Roussos said, adding, “the first floors [of the Houston clubs] are gonna be pretty much wiped out.” A couple of 24 Hour Fitness employees were taken out of one club Sunday after being stranded and “eating protein bars and other products” from the club retail store until they could be rescued, he recalled.
In addition to offering his Dallas home to managers needing shelter—as of Monday evening, no one had taken him up on the offer—Roussos said that San Ramon, Calif.-based 24 Hour Fitness has made funds available to Houston employees from its Helping Hands Foundation. Established in 2011, the foundation provides financial relief grants to company employees who experience “significant and unavoidable hardship,” like Harvey. Grants are approved up to $1,500 per incident and are usually provided via direct deposit to the recipient.
The company also will offer jobs at other 24 Hour Fitness locations—it has a total of 420 in 13 states—to Houston employees while the clubs in Space City are being rehabilitated, Roussos said. “We’ll fly them all over the country and work with them,” he added. “We want them all to be gainfully employed.”
While 24 Hour Fitness has its headquarters in California, Roussos has continued to live in North Texas. The former Army Ranger most recently had been CEO of Dallas-based Epic Health Services. In December, Epic was acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity for a reported $1 billion.