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Madonna's Mexico gym in permit pitfall

02 December 2010, 08:45

Mexico City - Madonna may be touched by bureaucracy the very first time she opens a fitness club.

The club she launched in Mexico City earlier this week is in danger of being shut down because it lacks a security plan and a land use permit, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Officials from the singer's Hard Candy Fitness centre have until Friday to get a land use permit, though they will be allowed to turn in other necessary documents later, said Demetrio Sodi, the chief of the Miguel Hidalgo municipality where the gym is located.

"If they don't have a land use permit, they will not be able to operate," said Sodi.

He said the gym also needs to present a certificate showing it has parking.

He said that when he was told last week that the gym would open on Monday, they "didn't have any permits" but he granted a special permit for the inauguration.

Madonna was in Mexico City on Monday night for the ribbon cutting and taught a dance class for 20 hand-picked members with music by Paul Oakenfold, the DJ who opened her last tour.

Madonna said in a statement last week that she wanted to use Mexico "as a place to fine-tune our brand and then expand it to other countries and, in the long term, develop a global brand that includes the United States".

Membership at the gym costs about $159 a month. It costs $827 to join and that includes the first two months.

Sodi, a long-time political figure in Mexico, is the uncle of Latin Grammy winner Thalia.



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