Club Insider

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The Evolution of Club Insider - Part I

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Justin CatesJustin Cates

Welcome to Part I of an important 3-part article series that I am both proud of and excited to produce and bring to you. As you, our loyal readers know, we continually try to improve Club Insider, from ease of use in print and online to continuing to provide valuable content that can help the health and fitness club businesses you own and operate become better and better. Some improvements come unannounced, as many are minor. We take the Red Lerille approach and try to improve something every month, no matter how small; however, there are some big improvements coming in the next few months that we have been working on for a while. Today, we begin the process of sharing those improvements with you and announcing when you can expect them. Hold onto your hats!

The Club Insider Archive Library

This month, we are proud and excited to announce the Club Insider Archive Library, the culmination of a 6-month project to bring 21 years of Club Insider editions, and essentially, the history of the modern health and fitness club industry to your fingertips online. Over the past 21 years, Club Insider has reported on the key events that have shaped our industry into what it is today and set the course for tomorrow. Coupled with this reporting, we have delivered in-depth case studies on key owners and operators throughout the industry. We have delved into who they are, how their businesses came to be and why they have succeeded in an industry that can be difficult for many. Additionally, we have consistently delivered Best Practices articles from hundreds of industry expert authors, and of course, every monthly edition of Norm's Notes has contained news and commentary nuggets found nowhere else! All of this has made Club Insider The Pulse of the Health and Fitness Club Industry, and soon, all of this will be at your fingertips online.

On July 1, 2014, the Club Insider Archive Library will be launched with a feature-set that makes finding anything you want to know about the health and fitness club industry very easy. Every edition we have published will be sorted by year with an image of the cover for that edition. Upon clicking any edition's cover, an article list for that edition will be displayed. Any article selected from that list (by clicking on the article name) can then be loaded via our eVersion system or downloaded as a PDF. Of course, if you want to skim any edition in its entirety, that is an option as well, and we encourage it because every edition is always packed full of information you can use today. Of course, very importantly, you will also be able to search for any topic you wish by using our search system. Over time, this functionality will continue to be improved, and more and more information will be added as new editions of Club Insider are published and added to the archives.

At this point, you might be asking, "Why did you take the time to do this? What is so important about your archive library?" Our answer to that is simple: The Key To The Future Is In The Past. Mankind itself has shown how important history can be. Learning from history is the only way to prevent future reoccurrences of negative points of that history. In the case of our industry, our history was a rocky one, and we are still trying to move past the early issues we had with the buying public. We are still seeking to earn the public's trust, and once we do, we must strive never to lose it. The hard part is that it only takes one bad operator doing something illegal or unethical to undo great things thousands of honest and ethical club operators have worked to achieve. Trust, and the benefits that come with it, are that fragile.

In Club Insider's history, we have been consistent in studying the best operators in our industry and bringing their stories to you. We have not always gotten it right, and when we fail, we admit our mistake and strive not to repeat it. But, for the most part, our track record has been stellar, and there is so much to learn from these veterans and legends of our industry. We have also done our part to rid the industry of bad apples that can wreck things for us all by reporting on what they are doing and how it can damage our industry. We believe that self-regulation is crucially important to our future; therefore, we "Tell-it-like-it-is" when it comes to exposing dishonest or unethical operators messing with the future of our industry.

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