The Korea Herald

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No older people allowed: Daegu gym triggers controversy

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : June 18, 2024 - 15:14

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The "no-someone zone" controversy has flared up in Daegu, where a hotel has become embroiled in debate due to its new fitness center policy, which is to ban those aged 76 or up from signing up as members.

Local media outlets on Tuesday reported that the allegedly four-star hotel in Suseong-gu, Daegu has decided to ban those 76 and up from signing up to use the gym, starting July 1. According to the new policy, those 76 or older will only be able to use the gym if they sign two consent forms: one not to hold the hotel or gym liable for any injuries that could occur and another saying their family also agrees.

Upon submitting these consent forms, the company will then decide in an internal review whether or not to allow them to use the facility.

The hotel gym said the new policy came in response to a series of accidents involving older users. "There have been frequent disputes concerning accidents, such as slipping and falling inside the center... We cannot accommodate the diverse needs of every single member, which is why we changed the policy," it was quoted as saying.

It added that the same policy will also apply to anyone else who has "a chronic condition or motion difficulties," even if they are under the age limit.

The policy elicited comments online such as: "Discrimination against older and vulnerable people has again appeared in the Daegu area," "It seems like a reasonable measure," and "Let’s stop dividing people among ourselves."

The incident has occurred a week after another gym in Incheon drew a backlash for its "no-ajumma zone" sign and decision to ban specifically older women from entry.

A post on anonymous online discussion forum Blind showing the Incheon gym's sign reading, "Only cultivated and elegant women allowed," drew fire for discriminating against older women. The gym owner claimed to have created the policy due to alleged "great damages" it suffered due to such older women.