Club Insider

This Month in Club Insider: May 2020

COVID-19
The Re-Opening

By: Justin Cates

Justin CatesJustin CatesHere we are... one month deeper into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Crisis. How many months will there be? Now, a month later, some things have changed; other things remain the same. The case count and death toll has become numbing. At the end of each number, though, is a real person and other people touched by the loss, whether family, friends or co-workers. If you're like me, you have pinched yourself at least a time or two to make sure this is real. Unfortunately, yes, this is real, and we are living it day after day. Albeit a "new normal," when will we see "normal" again? Read More...

Exercise IS Medicine!
By: Mike Alpert

Mike AlpertMike AlpertI am sure that all of you who are reading Club Insider this month cannot wait to get back to your clubs and out of your home office. I can never remember a more taxing and stressful time in my business life than these past seven weeks. It is one thing being isolated at home and having to watch COVID-19 news 24/7, seven days a week, but also having the responsibility of our wonderful staff and vendors is additionally taxing. Clubs around the world have seen cancellations rise due to members who have been furloughed or laid off, and in some cases, some are simply afraid to come back once we re-open. Read More...

Doing All You Can Do to Safely Re-Open a Club Amid COVID-19
By: Bruce Carter

Bruce CarterBruce CarterNever before have most clubs in the entire country been forced to close out of safety for its members and staff. It's an unprecedented situation that is almost hard to believe. Yet, as with most things, time heals and so clubs are starting to re-open. Questions abound on what a club can do to make things safer, and yet, still take steps to get operating again as a profitable enterprise. Since this is a new situation, there are not "tried and true" methods on what to do, but what follows are a number of things that are a consensus of what most clubs will do regarding their physical facilities. Read More...

How Health Clubs Can Fulfill Their Legal Duties Owed to Members, Guests and Employees While Re-Opening During the COVID-19 Pandemic
By: Paul R. Bedard, Esquire

Paul R. Bedard, EsquirePaul R. Bedard, EsquireHealth clubs have always owed a duty of reasonable care to their members and guests, protecting these people from harm caused by reasonably foreseeable risks and warning these people of risks that are known or reasonably should be known by the club. Clubs must also provide a safe workplace for their employees. Although most premises liability claims have historically involved slippery floors, uneven surfaces and malfunctioning equipment, the advent of COVID-19 has made it likely that lawsuits alleging exposure to COVID-19 will likely join the top of the ranks. Read More...

Preparing Your Gym for a Comeback
By: Jim Thomas

Jim ThomasJim ThomasAs of this writing, many gyms across the United States are slowly beginning to relaunch their business, and others will be conducting a relaunch in the coming weeks. One thing is for sure: We're not going back to the same place we left a few weeks ago. It's a different marketplace, and it's a different economy. We will need a plan. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you begin: (1) What are you willing to give up to hit your goals? (2) What will you have to change to hit your goals? And, (3) What will you have to learn to hit your goals? Now, here are some things to consider... Read More...

Getting Back to a New Normal
By: Nancy Trent

Nancy TrentNancy TrentCOVID-19 came, and it hasn't yet left. As a society, we initially dealt with the shock, we learned to adapt and we continue to power through. Now, consumers and the brands they use need to dive into the recovery process. COVID-19 has made us more resourceful and resilient, and we expect the fitness industry to come back stronger. Traditionally, in a recession, companies that have a lean operation, a relevant value proposition and a loyal client base will survive. It has also been said that brands that invest during a downturn capture three times more market share. Going dark in a recession, downturn or crisis can cause more suffering. The more marketing cuts, the longer it will take to recover. Read More...

The Fitness Industry's Response to COVID-19
Insights into the Collective Improvisation, Innovation and Resilience of Global Fitness Operators

By: Stephen Tharrett

Stephen TharrettStephen TharrettIt came out of nowhere, and within just a few months, fostered a level of business disruption never experienced by the fitness industry. In just over a month, the COVID-19 pandemic forced over two-thirds of global fitness operators to temporarily close their doors, and in the U.S., had fitness clubs and fitness studios in 46 States temporarily shuttered. Fitness companies large and small, franchises and independents, clubs and studios, all found themselves in unchartered waters without their motors nor a compass to guide them. Read More...

Club Financing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
By: Paul Bosley

Paul BosleyPaul BosleyI started working in the fitness industry 46 years ago, and I became the operating partner of my first fitness center at the age of 27. Among the many lessons that my senior partner and mentor taught me, the one that applies to our current situation the most is "Cash is King!" Fast forward 46 years, and I am still an entrepreneur specializing in providing financing to the fitness, franchise and RV and campground industries. Over this time, I have witnessed many changes in the fitness industry. The main equipment manufacturers back then were Universal and Nautilus, and now, they are Life Fitness, Precor and Matrix. The growth in our industry changed from racquetball clubs and big box gyms to franchises and group fitness studios. Read More...

Marsh Founder and Industry Veteran, the Beloved Ruth Stricker, Passes Away at 85
MINNETONKA, MA - March 12, 1935 - April 14, 2020 - Ruth Ann Stricker of Deephaven, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on April 14, 2020. Connected in love and gratitude for her immeasurable contributions over the course of a remarkable life, Ruth's family, friends and professional colleagues around the world honor this visionary of the health and wellness industry. Founder of The Marsh, A Center for Balance and Fitness in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Ruth was an industry icon and pioneer in mind-body work. Read More...

Norm's Notes for May 2020
By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesHello Everybody! This is your Club Insider Founder and Tribal Leader Since 1993 checking in with our 317th Monthly Edition! I want you all to know that JUSTIN CATES, my son, business partner, and now, Publisher of Club Insider, has done another great job with this May edition. I urge you to take the time to read it all. I also want to Thank all of our Advertisers and Contributing Authors for their continued support and contributions to this Labor of Love we call Club Insider. Please take some time to check out our Advertisers' offerings and do some business with them. I know they will greatly appreciate it. Read More...

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