The owners of Courts Plus will close their struggling New Bern location on May 31 and focus their resources on the Jacksonville location.
Owners Jan and Tim Stelma made the announcement in a letter to club members.
“May 31, 2018, will be the last day of operations for Courts Plus of New Bem. As you all know, we were forced into bankruptcy almost two years ago and have been working hard to continue operations. Despite the best efforts of all, New Barn continues to suffer financially. My husband and I will continue full operations in Jacksonville and put our efforts there.”
The Stelmas bought the Jacksonville Courts Plus in 1989 and the New Bern club in 1990.
“We do not know what will become of the club or property in New Bern, but we do know we walk away wtth heavy hearts In this very difficult season.”
They said they may offer limited memberships to New Bern club members to use the Jacksonville club.
Located at 2911 Brunswick Ave., Courts Plus is a full-service health club with indoor and outdoor pools. Its troubles coincide with the arrival of Planet Fitness, whose prices undercut other fitness services in New Bern.
Mitchell Hardware was closed today following the death of its owner, Greg Mitchell.
Updated at 4:48 p.m.
Greg Smith, owner of Mitchell Hardware on Craven Street, died on Monday morning at work sometime between 7 a.m. and store opening at 8 a.m.
A store worker found him unresponsive and called an ambulance, according to a source close to Mr. Smith.
Cause of death was not immediately known. Some news media list the cause as a massive heart attack, although that has not been confirmed.
The following statement was released by the staff of Mitchell Hardware this morning.
“It is with deep sadness that we share the loss of a father, grandfather, and dear friend. This morning, Greg Smith, owner of Mitchell Hardware located at 215 Craven Street, passed away. He was 62 years-old. All of us – his family, friends, and the Mitchell Hardware family – will miss him terribly.
“Greg was an ambassador for New Bern. He was always willing to share a story about our beloved town. He never met a stranger, gave the best bear hugs, loved to laugh, and was always smiling. Mitchell Hardware was his heart and soul. He was here before the sun came up and, often times, until long after sunset. He never took a day off, and looked after the employees as if we were his own. Our biggest cheerleader inside and outside of the store, Greg was supportive of so many New Bern endeavors… charitable fundraisers, city projects, Mumfest, the arts community, local theatre, the military, Swiss Bear and the Chamber of Commerce.
“We are working to make funeral arrangements and will keep everyone informed of our plans. We appreciate your support and patience while family, friends, and the New Bern community grieve the loss of such a wonderful human being. Mitchell Hardware will remain closed today, Monday.”
More details will be added as they become available.