Club Insider

The Club Insider Archives: February 2024

ForeCourt Racquet and Fitness Club
Celebrating 50 Years as a Community Institution

By: Justin Cates

Justin CatesJustin CatesBelieve it or not, I have personally fulfilled every Paid Subscription Order to Club Insider for the past 15+ years. I send every email renewal notice individually, not in batches with a third-party sender. I sign every printed letter, as well as label, stamp, stuff and seal every envelope (Don't worry; I don't have to lick them anymore!). Over the years, the effort has been worth it. I have built relationships with our readership, many of whom have been Paid Subscribers for 5, 10, 20+ years. Each month, it is a wonderful feeling to send these messages out to so many familiar names. And, many times, in addition to their renewal, I receive personalized notes of thanks, good wishes, compliments, and sometimes, critiques. Recently, with his renewal, I received a local news clipping from Dave Morin, Owner of ForeCourt Racquet and Fitness Club, sharing the story of their 50th Anniversary Celebration. Read More

"Insider Speaks"
My Home Club for the Last 22 Years is Dying

By: Mike Manning

Mike ManningMike ManningIn November 2001, I joined the best health club I'd ever walked into and experienced. My best guess is that this club will close its doors in the next 12 months, and its decline has been a sad and frustrating journey. Maybe, this short story will help a reader or two save one of your clubs from the same sad fate. When "my club" opened in 2001, it quickly shut down several older clubs in a three-mile radius. The club had more new strength and cardio equipment than I'd ever seen in one place and many other amenities. The club was full of members and was as much a social club as a health club. I loved everything about it, even when I had to wait a few minutes for a bench or machine. Read More

Turning Members Into Allies
By: Herb Lipsman

Herb LipsmanHerb LipsmanI once overheard a private club owner lamenting, "This would be a great business if it were not for all those damn members!" We have all felt this way at one time or another. We all have them, those members who keep reminding us they pay our salaries when they don't get what they want. Long ago, I learned a valuable lesson that has shaped my approach in dealing with both difficult members and members in general. I call it turning members into allies. In this sense, an ally is a member who is both a friend and supporter of the club. The problem with most clubs is that members never become allies. Instead, members view their relationship with club ownership and management from an "us against them" mentality. They don't trust the club leadership, whether deserved or not. Read More

Our Future Is Our Past
By: Thomas Plummer

Thomas PlummerThomas PlummerMy granddaughter opened her Christmas present and giggled. It was just what she wanted: Chuck Taylor Converse high-top black sneakers. When I was 12, which let us say was maybe 55 years before my granddaughter was born, my mother handed me my Christmas present, wrapped in red paper with snowmen sledding down steep hills, one I had left hints for every day since early summer... a beautiful new pair of Chuck Taylor Converse high-top black sneakers. Like those old school, black flat-soled basketball shoes, the best never goes out of style. It might be hidden for a time, but if it is something people still feel a need for, a void they can't get filled anywhere else. The trend or product always rises again. This is why the old school, serious lifting gym of the early 1970s, the Arnold days, is going to be the next big thing in fitness... again. Read More

The Perfect Financing Combination
By: Paul Bosley

Paul BosleyPaul BosleyWhen a health club owner is considering improving their business or launching a new business, various financing options are considered, and the most appropriate financing product(s) is typically selected. An equipment lease is often chosen for financing new fitness equipment needed to run the business. Another option is to finance the entire business using a Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan. It is unusual when two financing products are complementary and can be selected jointly to provide financing. As a result of recent rule changes made by the SBA, an SBA 7(a) loan up to $500,000 can now perfectly complement an equipment lease! Read More

Team vs. Tech and the Member Experience
By: Terry Browning

Terry BrowningTerry BrowningI was in the crowd for the recent initial review of our MMA-style group fitness workout, Group Fight. There was a buzz in the room with team members chatting and preparing for the workout. We have an open office concept, but lunchtime workouts are the social highlight of the workday at MOSSA HQ. The instructor Mike, part of our program development team, was walking around, "working the room," building up the pre-workout energy. His excitement was contagious, his intro was electric and the workout was absolutely delivered. The experience reinforced one of the only unique selling positions a facility can have: a dynamic instructor delivering a live experience to your members. Read More

Crunch Appoints Chequan Lewis, Former COO of Pizza Hut U.S., as President
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Crunch Fitness, a leading high-value, low-price gym, announces the appointment of Chequan Lewis as President of Crunch. Ben Midgley will transition from CEO of Crunch Franchising to Crunch's Board of Directors as of March 15, 2024, and will be integral in franchisee relations. Read More

Genesis Health Clubs Acquires Both Locations of The Atlantic Club
MANASQUAN, N.J. - Genesis Health Clubs announces the acquisition of both locations of The Atlantic Club, effective immediately. The clubs, now known as Genesis Health Clubs - The Atlantic Club Manasquan, and Genesis Health Clubs - The Atlantic Club Red Bank, represent the 67th and 68th clubs in the ever-growing Genesis portfolio and the first in New Jersey and the Northeastern United States. Read More

HWLS Announces Club Wellness Advisors
AUSTIN, TX - Health, Wellness and Lifestyle Services (HWLS) announce the company has established a new division specializing in supporting luxury private country clubs with their health and wellness needs. Club Wellness Advisors is the name of the newly formed entity. Read More

Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs Expands, Renovates and Elevates in 2024
MANHATTAN, IL - With plans to award between 10 and 15 units in 2024, Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs, the 19-unit fitness franchise that works to bring accessible fitness options to underserved markets, spent 2023 leveling up its systems, clubs, offerings and strategies to prepare to grow by over 50% this year. Read More

Norm's Notes for February 2024
By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesHello Everybody! This is your Club Insider Founder and Tribal Leader Since 1993 checking in with our 362nd monthly edition of this 31+ year running club business publication I refer to as: A Labor of Love! I'm very thankful that you've tuned in again for this iteration of Norm's Notes, as I proceed on my keyboard with my longtime habit of "Telling-It-Like-It-Is!" I'm really happy that you're reading this edition, and I want to THANK YOU ALL for sticking with us every month! As usual, we have a bunch of health and fitness club industry news, so please read on! Read More

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