The Club Insider Archives: February 2021
The Consummate Gentleman (1953 - 2020)
By: Justin Cates
Justin CatesBorn January 14, 1953, a health and fitness club industry advocate and veteran, a leader, a legend, a mind, and a friend, Stephen Tharrett, passed away on December 22, 2020. Surviving him was his beloved wife, Denise, and their two children, Alyssa and Travis. As kind as he was brilliant, striving to make the industry a better place for us all, Stephen was the consummate gentleman. As an author, I would love to say the words "consummate gentleman" were my idea, but that would not be true. As I read through the comments from Stephen's industry colleagues and friends that appear in this tribute, John McCarthy shared those words, and all of the subsequent comments supported it as more than an anecdotal observation. It became clear it's more of universal fact to all who knew him, worked with him, loved him. Read More...
Where Do We Go From Here?
By: Justin Cates
Justin CatesThe first U.S. cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed just over a year ago. The anniversary of the devastating lockdown is coming soon. And, yet, reported pandemic statistics are worse than ever. To that end, depending on the State, safety regulations and/or additional lockdowns still exist, further exacerbating what is already a nearly untenable situation. So, that begs the question: Where Do We Go From Here? Read More...
The "Insider Speaks"
A Letter From Laury Hammel
By: Laury Hammel
Laury HammelDear Norm and Justin, congratulations on the excellent hat trick of interviews about the Schwartz Family and their iconic business, Midtown Athletic Club. You were exactly right when you warned readers about the length and promised us that it was well worth the time to read the whole thing. I read every single word (although it took me three of my favorite flavored sparkling waters), and I learned much I didn't know about this fine family and their successful business. I personally have gained much from their wisdom, know-how and essential truths of prosperous entrepreneurship. Read More...
"The Way We See The Problem Is The Problem"
By: Jim Thomas
Jim ThomasI'm guessing you've heard this Stephen Covey quote before. Do you agree with it? What if I told you that there are clubs that are breaking company sales records? What if I told you there are clubs that did better revenue and profits in 2020 than they did in 2019? What if I told you there are clubs that are getting 20+ prospects a day on a consistent basis? What if I told you that there is a new 15,000 square-foot independent club being planned for New York? What if I told you there are clubs in California that have done more sales while conducting workouts outdoors than they did when they were indoors? Read More...
The Pain of Closing a Club and How to Do It Properly
By: Mike Alpert
Mike AlpertAs I look back on 2020, many things go through my head, and many emotions come to the surface. At the Claremont Club in Claremont, California, we had come off the best year in our 46-year history with strong membership growth; extremely low membership and staff attrition; no aged payables and record net income. Our 2020 budget was a somewhat aggressive one, and yet, through February, we were nicely ahead of our projections. None of us had any idea of what was coming. Read More...
An Opinion Piece
By: Jeramy Fishel
Jeramy Fishel2020 was a brutal year, especially for restaurants, entertainment venues and fitness clubs. Twelve months ago, the economic future looked bright. But now, thanks to what can only be seen as an overreaction by various governmental agencies to the COVID crisis, many in these industries find themselves teetering on the brink of extinction. How quickly things can change. Read More...
A Fork In the Road
Getting the Fit Fitter or Getting the 80% Moving?
By: Cathy Spencer Browning
Cathy Spencer BrowningLook straight ahead, squint your eyes. Can you see it? Right there. It is coming up right there in front of us. Can you see it now? It is a fork in the road. Stop. We have to make a decision. We have two choices. Veer left, and that is the road where we get the "Fit Fitter." The traffic is really light, not many cars on that road. The road is paved with an abundance of shame-based motivation promising ripped abs, better glutes, arms to die for and quick weight loss. And, the way to achieve this? No pain, no gain! The road to the right has many people who have been living two pandemics simultaneously, COVID-19 and the pandemic of physical inactivity. Read More...
New Year, New IHRSA Initiatives
BOSTON, MA - The New Year is often a time for sweeping changes and large steps forward. 2020 has been a challenging year across the globe, especially for the health and fitness club industry. We have all put in countless hours of work to make our industry stronger, better and more resilient. As 2021 gets into full swing, IHRSA has a lot of new developments to share. Read More...
Crunch Fitness Ranked a Top Franchise in Entrepreneur's Annual Franchise 500
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Crunch Fitness recently ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500, the world's first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking. Placement in the Franchise 500 is a highly sought-after honor in the franchise industry, making it one of the company's most competitive rankings ever. Recognized as an invaluable resource for potential franchisees, the Franchise 500 ranks Crunch Fitness as #52 for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability and brand power. Read More...