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City Council Vote Allows Rochester Hills Life Time Fitness to Pursue Liquor License

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (FOX 2) – Recently, the city council in Rochester Hills approved a conditional use request that may lead to alcohol being served at Life Time Fitness.

The fitness center situated at the intersection of Avon and Rochester roads is seeking permission to offer beer, wine, and hard seltzer in various sections of the club such as the pool deck, outdoor bistro, and indoor cafe. However, the consumption of alcohol would be restricted to specific designated areas.

Steven Cullen, the general manager of Life Time, expressed the desire to elevate the establishment into a high-end athletic country club that caters to everyone, aiming to enhance amenities and overall experience. He highlighted the potential benefits of this addition, including member retention, increased revenue, and improved overall experience.

Cullen mentioned that 70 other Life Time Fitness locations across the state have already been granted liquor licenses. Interestingly, a similar request made by the Rochester Hills gym in 2017 was previously denied.

In a recent council meeting, the approval for the pursuit of a liquor license was granted with a vote of 5-1, with councilmember Marvie Neubauer being the sole dissenting vote.

Neubauer expressed concerns about past license suspensions at other Life Time facilities and shared feedback from residents who opposed the idea of alcohol being served at the gym. She emphasized that the community feedback she received was overwhelmingly against the proposal.

Council Vice President David Walker, however, disagreed with the planning commission’s opposition to the license, stating that if offering alcohol services was deemed necessary for member satisfaction, it should be considered.

Neubauer also raised apprehensions about the potential risks associated with members using workout equipment under the influence of alcohol, especially considering that children have access to the gym. She highlighted the presence of a daycare area and the permission for children aged 12 and above to work out independently at Life Time.

Despite the concerns raised, Walker compared the responsibility of serving alcohol to that of managing pools, an aspect he believes Life Time has handled effectively.

During the public comment session, both current and former Life Time members shared their perspectives. While a former member expressed worries about staff adherence to alcohol regulations, two current members voiced their support for the proposal, with one member anticipating a positive impact on community engagement at Life Time.

With the council’s approval secured, Life Time can now proceed with the necessary steps to apply for a liquor license from the state.