Richard Simmons' iconic exercise studio officially closes its doors: Hear the fitness guru's heartfelt goodbye message

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Richard Simmons' famous Beverly Hills, California, exercise studio, Slimmons, has officially closed its doors.

The studio, which is owned by the 68-year-old fitness guru, hosted its final class on Saturday at 11:15 a.m.. Nearly 60 people, ages 25 to 94, attended, and according to an eyewitness, some came as far as Toronto and San Francisco to get one last hour-long workout in at the iconic location.

WATCH: Richard Simmons Is Closing His Iconic Exercise Studio in Los Angeles

"The room was filled with a lot of emotion, but you felt the spirit of Richard within the room while we were here," the eyewitness told ET.

Another person in class said the workout "went beautifully," and concluded with a brief stretch to Rascal Flatts' "My Wish."

PHOTOS: Richard Simmons through the years

35 PHOTOS
Richard Simmons through the years
See Gallery
Richard Simmons through the years
Richard Simmons, circa 1980. (Photo by Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Richard Simmons Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Richard Simmons Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
GENERAL HOSPITAL - Shoot Date: December 19, 1979. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) LOUISE HOVEN;RICHARD SIMMONS
GENERAL HOSPITAL - Shoot Date: October 6, 1980. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) RICHARD SIMMONS
TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Air Date 09/28/1981 -- Pictured: (l-r) Political comedian Mark Russell, musical guest Tony Orlando, fitness expert Richard Simmons, guest host Joan Rivers (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
American diet and fitness guru and author Richard Simmons, 1982. (Photo by American Stock Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1992: Actor Richard Simmons poses for a portrait in 1992 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1992: Actor Richard Simmons poses for a portrait in 1992 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 261 -- Pictured: (l-r) Fitness personality Richard Simmons during an interview with host Jay Leno on July 12, 1993-- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 609 -- Pictured: (l-r) Richard Simmons and Tyra Banks on January 12, 1995 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 609 -- Pictured: Richard Simmons arrives on January 12, 1995 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10: American fitness guru Richard Simmons, center, is joined by two policemen and others in an outdoor workout session sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board on February 10, 2000 in Union Square Park, New York City, New York. (Photo by Catherine McGann/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 16: Fitness expert Richard Simmons leads students in exercise at the Third Annual Nutrition Advisory Council Symposium sponsored by LAUSD Nutrition Network at California State University on June 16, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Richard Simmons (center right) with models in fashions by Jay McCarroll and Chris March at the Grand Central Station, Venderbilt Hall in New York City, New York (Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage)
Fitness guru Richard Simmons poses for a photo while visiting the WGN studios in Chicago, Illinois, on May 8, 2008. (Photo by Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 24: Richard Simmons leads the crowd on the Cannon Terrace in exercises during the 'FIT Kids' rally to promote physical education in schools, following their testimony at a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on Thursday, July 24, 2008. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 28: Richard Simmons visits the 'Late Show with David Letterman' at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on July 28, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/WireImage)
MOUNT POCONO, PA - JANUARY 08: Richard Simmons attends An Evening with Richard Simmons at the Mount Airy Casino Resort on January 8, 2010 in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: -- Richard Simmons appears on NBC News' 'Today' show. (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: -- (l-r) Richard Simmons and William Shatner appear on NBC News' 'Today' show. (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 22: Richard Simmons celebrates the passage of the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act with a group of tourists at the US Capitol on April 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
(L-R) A guest, Richard Simmons and Denise Austin attend the godfather of fitness Jack LaLanne's 'Celebration of Life' memorial service at Forest Lawn Cemetery on February 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Brian To/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 10: Richard Simmons (R) during the 2011 Miss USA hula hoop contest Mile Shops on June 10, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Richard Simmons is seen on August 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: TV personality Richard Simmons leaves the 'Wendy Williams Show' taping at the AMV Studios on November 15, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 25: Richard Simmons at the Legendary Musician Peter Asher Autographs The Painted Guitar Titled 'British Invasion' At Gibson GuitarTown Sunset Strip Sunset Strip at Sunset Strip Market on October 25, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/WireImage)
KATIE - 4/10/13 - Obesity in America and childhood weight issues are discussed on KATIE, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) CHARLES HAINES, RICHARD SIMMONS
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: Richard Simmons attends the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's 24th Annual 'A Time For Heroes' at Century Park on June 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for EGPAF)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 09: Fitness personality Richard Simmons attends 2013 LA Gay Pride Festival - Day 3 on June 9, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodrigo Vaz/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 01: Richard Simmons performs at the Friend Movement Campaign benefit concert held at El Rey Theatre on July 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Richard Simmons and Diana Nyad swim during 'Swim for Relief' Benefiting Hurricane Sandy Recovery - Day 2 at Herald Square on October 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 13: Richard Simmons attends the 29th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles on October 13, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AIDS Walk Los Angeles)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

"It was hard," they added. "It was just like Richard taught them to be and all of us to enjoy."

Although Simmons did not make an in-person appearance on Saturday, he did offer a heartfelt message to those in attendance via a note read aloud by the studio manager. In the letter, Simmons thanked his loyal members who have been attending for years, along with those who came for their first time.

WATCH: Richard Simmons Returns Home from Hospital, Says He's 'Feeling Great'

"It felt like he put a period at the end of the sentence," a young female in attendance explained to ET. "I'm glad to know he's doing well."

"He will always be a gift to me," another fan shared. "I will never, never forget him."

Simmons later shared the exact note to his Facebook page. "I have never been very good with beginnings and endings," he began. "This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I am not the most patient person. I just can't wait for a movie to start, or a new restaurant or business to open, or for class to begin. Hurry up already!"

"When I opened Slimmons in 1974," he continued, "I simply couldn't wait to tell everyone that food could be healthy AND delicious or that exercise could be fun! I worked my little striped shorts off to spread the message that you must move your body every day, that portion size matters and that while others may not always be kind to you, you must be kind to yourself. I traveled the country, appeared in malls and convention halls, talk shows, news segments and made more guest appearances than I can name. I made countless friends along the way and I hope I changed a few lives for the better."

WATCH: Richard Simmons Thanks Fans for 'Overwhelming' Support After Clarifying He Has Not Been 'Kidnapped'

"Well, it's been over forty years now, and I am finally taking my own advice," Simmons, who said he was not in attendance for the last class because he is "not very good at endings," added. "I am being kind to myself, and putting myself first. I am making changes and taking time to do the things I want to do. Please know that I am in good health and I am happy. No one has ever been able to tell me what to do and the same is true today. I am still independent, determined and opinionated. I simply am making a new beginning for myself -- quietly and in my very own special way."

"I cannot bear to be sad today. And you shouldn't be sad either," he urged his fans. "This should be a celebration of our forty-plus years together dancin' and sweatin'. So let's turn this ending into a new beginning. Start your own chapter today. Do something new you've always wanted to do. Make a new friend. Exercise. Eat a healthy meal. Drink water. Track your food. Spend time with your family or the ones you love and those who love you back. But most importantly be good to yourself."

Read his full emotional post below.

WATCH: Richard Simmons Speaks Out: 'No One Should Worry About Me'

Simmons' longtime manager, Michael Catalano, confirmed the news that the studio was closing last month, telling ET it was Simmons' idea to close it for good and that "he just hasn't taught there in over two years."

On Friday, Simmons further explained his decision in an exclusive statement to ET.

PHOTOS: Richard Simmons at his most recent appearance

15 PHOTOS
Richard Simmons in most recent appearance
See Gallery
Richard Simmons in most recent appearance
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 13: Personality Richard Simmons post performance at SPARKLE: An All-Star Holiday Concert at ACME Comedy Theatre on December 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David A. Walega/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Roth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Roth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Richard Simmons attends inflation eve for the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Personality Richard Simmons attends Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo Presented By POW! Entertainment - Day 1 held at Los Angeles Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Personality Richard Simmons attends Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo Presented By POW! Entertainment - Day 1 held at Los Angeles Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

"In 1974, I opened Slimmons as a way to help people make positive changes in their lives by having fun while exercising," he said. "It was a place to make friends, listen to and learn from others, lose weight and gain confidence. These were all the reasons I went to Slimmons too!"

WATCH: Richard Simmons Speaks Out on Official Closing of His Iconic Exercise Studio: 'Always Keep Sweatin'

"Over the years, thousands came to laugh and sweat with me," he added. "The world and what we know about nutrition and fitness may have changed a lot since then, but the lessons shared in that little studio still apply. I've dedicated my life to helping others feel better about themselves, and they helped me to do the same. Thank you for always supporting and loving me. I will take the time for myself to be the best I can be and so should you. I love you -- always keep sweatin'!"

-Additional reporting by Brendon Geoffrion


Read Full Story

From Our Partners