Club Insider

The Club Insider Archives: March 2009

The "Question of the Century" for the Health and Fitness Club Industry
By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesIn the January 2007 edition of Club Insider, our cover subject, Governor Mike Huckabee, then 10-year Governor of Arkansas and now former Presidential candidate, described a new phenomenon in the United States: Presenteeism. He was discussing the fact that the cost of health care is nearly 17% of our gross domestic product and that we are headed towards true financial disaster should we not solve the obesity pandemic in the United States. Read More

The "Insider Speaks"
Got to Close? Professional Standards For Closing a Club

By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesFor years, the health, racquet and sports club industry has focused on new club development. This sharp focus and the resulting efforts have resulted in there now being over 30,000 health clubs in the United States! But now, due to America's tough economic times, that number is a moving target... principally leveling off. Read More

How Health Club Owners Can Reject the Recession and Build a Thriving Business
By: Jim Thomas

Jim ThomasJim ThomasIn a time when many health clubs are struggling or even closing, and everything on television focuses on downsizing, rising costs and economic turmoil, it is hard to avoid that sinking feeling. But, as health club owners, we really have two choices: (1) We can let the negative media send us into full panic mode, or (2) We can view the economic downturn as an opportunity to increase our market share. Read More

Forecast From Wall Street
Stormy Weather for the Remainder of 2009

By: Peter Moore

Peter MoorePeter MooreFive short years ago, private equity and institutional investors finally started to recognize the attractiveness of the health club business model; strong recurring revenue, attractive long-term growth prospects, impressive return on capital characteristics and the overall proliferation of health & fitness throughout the U.S. Over a dozen private equity investments were made in our sector from 2004 to 2008 at attractive valuations for owners. Read More

Hope and Change
By: Shawn Vint

Shawn VintShawn VintMany in the wellness industry will weather the current economic storm. Those few who recognize the thirst within their community for real change and real hope will perhaps even grow their business. These will be the leaders who understand that when uncertainty enters our world, it always does a better job of prodding people to change than the best marketing plan ever could. Read More

Ready. Aim. Fire. Fire. Fire!
By: Chris Russo

Chris RussoChris RussoDuring the turn of the century, a junior U.S. Navy Officer gave his superiors an idea of constantly firing upon targets using a method of continuous-aim firing. It never occurred to the leaders of the ship to overcompensate for the perpetual motion of the ocean, so the results because of his suggestion were incredible. There are many similarities between a navy vessel in the water and a fledging company on the vast ocean of advertising. Read More

Is Your Club Mining Gold?
By: Karen Woodard-Chavez

Karen Woodard-ChavezKaren Woodard-ChavezThis article is a recap of the major points from a webinar that CheckFree, now named Fiserv and I hosted for the industry in January. Fiserv and I have been offering the webinars on various topics since December and will continue to do so through December 2009 on various topics of successful club operations. In our industry, we have the very good fortune of having a steady stream of Members coming through our doors each day. Read More

Social Bonding, Tribes and Affinity Groups
A Solution to the Retention Challenge

By: Will Phillips

Will PhillipsWill PhillipsAs health clubs succeeded in the 90's, many entrepreneurs and franchisors were attracted to this healthy growth industry. The old timers then began asking, "How do I differentiate myself?" Some old timers differentiated by lowering prices to compete, but the smart old timers began looking for real points of differentiation. One differentiator that has emerged is social bonding, and this has occurred almost as a byproduct of club programming. Read More

Drive Incremental Revenue with Nutritional Products
By: Dr. Edward Slover

Dr. Edward SloverDr. Edward SloverThe present state of the national economy is palpable and far reaching. Businesses in the auto, restaurant, jewelry, and retail clothing industries reported a decline in year-over-year sales in 2008, and sales are expected to fall even further as the turbulence continues into 2009. While there appears to be no end in sight, there may be light at the end of the tunnel, especially for the health and fitness industry. Read More

Programming Tip of the Month
Spring Into Spring With The "Three 4 Three" Program

By: Sandy Coffman

Sandy CoffmanSandy CoffmanYou need to have several programming calendars working in your club at all times. But, one that is essential is the "Seasonal Programming Calendar." Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring need to be celebrated with special programs that your members can look forward to each year. Read More

Gold's Gym International Launches New Concept Gym
DALLAS, TX - James Weaver, Gold's Gym International (GGI) CEO, officially announced today that GGI is rolling out a new concept gym. The new model will feature two size options: 8,500 and 12,000 square feet, and both will provide existing Gold's Gym franchisees with a cost effective growth opportunity and prospective Gold's Gym franchisees the opportunity to get into business with lower entry barriers. Read More

Affiliated Acceptance Corporation Celebrates 20th Anniversary!
A Message From the President

A warm welcome to all of our clients of Affiliated Acceptance Corporation. We truly appreciate your business and the opportunity to be your processing company. We know we are not the only company out there, so we do everything possible to retain your business which keeps us at the top of our game. Read More

CheckFree Health and Fitness Is Now Club Solutions, Fiserv
BROOKFIELD, WI - CheckFree Health and Fitness is now Fiserv. CheckFree, founded in 1981, and acquired in 2007 by Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced it is changing its name to Fiserv. The change of the name and the brand unifies all Fiserv business units with a new, enhanced market approach and brand identity, affirming the company's commitment to its clients and to leading the transformation of financial services technology. Read More

Rick Caro's 13th Annual IHRSA Financial Panel Convenes in San Francisco on March 18th at 11 AM
The 13th Annual IHRSA Financial Panel, which is moderated by Rick Caro, President of Management Vision, Inc., will be held Wednesday, March 18, 11:00am-12:30pm at the IHRSA 2009 Convention. Given the major challenges created by the economy and the financial markets, this session is ideal for CEOs, CFOs, club owners, GMs and all who are interested in its impact on the changing health club market. Read More

IHRSA and USPTA Join Forces to Promote the Preventive Health Benefits of Exercise on Capitol Hill
BOSTON, MA - The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), the world's oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals, have joined forces to promote the preventive health benefits of exercise on Capitol Hill. Read More

IHRSA Financial Index Shows Improved Overall Performance in 2008
BOSTON, MA - The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) announced today the release of the IHRSA 2008 Annual and Fourth Quarter Index, which demonstrates the financial performance of a sample of the commercial health club industry. The survey of 14 leading U.S. health and sports club companies, representing a total of 183 facilities, determined that commercial health club financial performance improved over the full year of 2008. Read More

Medical Fitness Association Partners with NuStep, Inc. for the Fifth Annual Medical Fitness Week
RICHMOND, VA - The Medical Fitness Association (MFA), in conjunction with the MFA Education Committee, has teamed up with NuStep, Inc. to sponsor the Fifth Annual Medical Fitness Week, April 20-26, 2009. The goal of this MFA initiative is to promote an increase in physical activity levels in all ages and to highlight the medical fitness difference. Read More

Norm's Notes for March 2009
By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesHello all Americans and friends around the world! This is your friendly Club Insider Publisher Since 1993 checking in! What a country! God bless America! What an industry! God bless you for being a part of it! Read More

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