A sudden ownership change at Sonoma Fitness Factory caused some confusion recently, including a rumor that everyone had to pay new membership fees in order to continue using the facility.

That rumor was wrong, however, and most members appear to be perfectly happy under the new management.

“Everyone was upset, but Arturo saved the day,” said member Anne Ziemienski, referring to new owner Arturo Jimenez.

The Fitness Factory, located at 19310 Sonoma Highway, was founded by Sonoma resident Rick DeGeorgis, who died in 2008 in a car crash on Stage Gulch Road. The business was taken over by Jody and Roxanna Scott, who ran it up until late 2013.

According to several accounts, on Dec. 28 members arrived at the club to find a lock on the door and a handwritten note implying the place was closed for good. There was no prior warning, although during previous weeks the club had been closed sporadically for renovations that never occurred.

Then the next day, it was open again under new management. Many found the transition to be abrupt, and a few members reportedly left for Parkpoint Health Club. (Attempts to reach the Scotts were not successful.)

But things are picking up again under new owner Jimenez, with many of the old classes and services – including childcare – reinstated.

Ziemienski, standing outside the club Monday morning, said she’s been a member for two-and-a-half years and appreciates Fitness Factory’s low-key atmosphere and high-quality instructors, particularly in the Pilates and Zumba classes.

“Anyone that can get me to come here every day, for two years, I don’t want to mess with,” she said.