Club Insider

Norm's Notes for June 2024

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Norm CatesNorm Cates

Hello Everybody! This is your Club Insider Founder and Tribal Leader Since 1993 checking in with our 366th 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 business news, so please read on!

Is AMERICA a GREAT COUNTRY, or WHAT!? Hmm... hmm... hmm! And, as usual, let me start these Norm's Notes with my normal monthly salutation to you all: GOD BLESS AMERICA and GOD BLESS YOU, YOUR FAMILY and YOUR BUSINESS!!!

■On June 13th, I learned the very sad news that my friend, and a friend of our entire industry, HOWARD RAVIS, a great guy who for many years was a key man at the Club Industry Shows, had passed away. May HOWARD RAVIS REST IN PEACE. And, my heartfelt condolences go now to HOWARD's family.

■Well, folks, the longer you live, the more life will bring sad events into your life. On the same day as the previous Note, I was informed that WAYNE LEWIS, an N.C State College Football Teammate of mine, passed away. May WAYNE LEWIS REST IN PEACE. My heartfelt condolences go now to Wayne's family.

■Big news out of the Health & Fitness Association (formerly IHRSA), as the Association has elected a new Board Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer! At its June 3 meeting, the Health & Fitness Association Board of Directors elected CHRIS SMITH as Chair, LUKE CARLSON as Vice Chair, and AL NOSHIRVANI as Treasurer, the Association announced. Check out the full Press Release on Page #3.

■This from Athletech News: GOLD's Gym makes Long Beach debut, gets $15 million for California club upgrades. The iconic gym brand is going all out it its home base of Southern California, opening new clubs and upgrading existing ones with state-of-the-art equipment, amenities and floor plans. Stay Tuned as the Gold's Story continues!

Eddie TockEddie Tock

■Recently, our friend Eddie Tock, CEO of REX Roundtables, sent out the following message:

It's been a busy year already for REX Members in the U.S. as we have had 21 REX Roundtable meetings, with 27 more this year. The perception of REX is that we sit in conference rooms, sharing best operational practices so we can have the secret sauce to succeed. While that part is true, it's only part of what really happens at a REX Roundtable.

In May, one REX Roundtable spent time in Yosemite. It was a great experience as we learned to appreciate nature and the air was so fresh! The digital detox was tough for some! In September, we have a group of REX members walking the battlefields of Gettsyburg and studying leadership lessons from past generals.

We are taking three REX Roundtables to spend a day behind the scenes with the Savannah Bananas baseball team, the only team in any sport that sells out every game for the whole season within a few days! We want to learn what they have done to become so fan centric and what we can learn to become better at becoming member centric!

If we can get out of meeting rooms, we do! And, I am excited to share that, in the coming months, we will have confirmed companies outside the industry we will visit that are 'small giants' that do great things.

We know our REX members love visiting clubs (we do, too). Real growth comes from when we are challenged in how we do things. So, we want to take groups to learn from outside the industry, to bring new ideas into our industry and to strive to get better with fresh outlooks.

This is important for all owners and members of leadership teams to do many do not have the time to find these opportunities. So, one of the best things about REX: We find the best of the best and give you the opportunity to learn from them.

Are you focusing on what really matters? Do you even know where that focus should be? Do you want to get better, be challenged and most importantly be supported?

If you have anyone you'd like to introduce to the REX family or you'd like to join the REX family, then drop me an email at

Thanks Eddie!

■This very sad news was reported by ANDY BERG in my friend, PETE BROWN's Athletic Business Magazine. The headline reads: Experienced Climber Dies After 'High-Elevation' Fall Inside Climbing Gym. The story continues: An experienced climber and longtime employee of the Vertical Dreams climbing gym in Manchester, N.H. has died after falling from a high elevation within the facility. According to the report, police were called to Vertical Dreams to attend to a climber who had fallen and was seriously injured. When first responders arrived, they found LEE HANSCHE, 46, of Allenstown, a well-known and experienced climber, had fallen to the floor with no safety gear. Hansche was transported to Elliot Hospital where he died from his injuries. Manchester Police confirmed Hansche fell in the gym from a height of 50 to 60 feet. The U.S. Department of Labor has confirmed that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an inspection of Vertical Dream Inc. "To determine whether or not there were any violations of workplace safety standards in connection with this incident." People lauded Hansche as a committed climber and leader within the sport. In a post on Reddit, someone wrote, "Lee Hansche was a steward of the climbing community. He's bolted and maintained 100s of routes. He has provided a rich history of mountain projects. His passion and humor in the sport were contagious, and anyone who has met him knows it." MAY LEE HANSCHE REST IN PEACE.

■Folks, this is interesting news from Tuesday, June 11, 2024. I'm sharing it with y'all because of the true significance of it happening. So, here goes:

Way back in 1964 - 67, after playing football in Rome, New York, I played college football at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. on a full football scholarship. Let me brag a little bit here... my Senior year, I was honored by selection to the 1967 1st Team All Atlantic Coast Conference Team, and I got an Honorable Mention on the All American Team. I found that I had a really great interest in the following happening that I'm about to report to you. So, with my interest driving my fingers on this keyboard, I felt that I JUST HAD TO COMMENT on this sports news item that hit today... June 11th.

For those of you who've followed college basketball over the years, you may remember the amazing 1983 N.C. State Basketball Team that won the Men's Basketball National Championship. The now late N.C. State Head Basketball Coach, JIM VALVANO, led his men to victory, allowing them to believe that they could beat anybody. And, they DID! The headline and breaking news today is that ten of the those 1983 Wolfpack Team Members recently sued the NCAA over Name, Image and Likeness (NIH)!

THURL BAILEY, ALVIN BATTLE, WALT DENSMORE, TOMMY DINARDO, TERRY GANNON, GEORGE McCLAIN, COZELL McQUEEN, WALTER PROCTOR, HAROLD THOMPSON and MIKE WARREN have filed suit against the NCAA for unauthorized use of the player's name, image and likeness. At this time, the sum of damages is unspecified. And, the Wolfpack alums, also known as "The Cardiac Pack," argue that, for many decades, the NCAA has unfairly profited from these 10 player's images.

"For more than 40 years, the NCAA, and its co-conspirators, have systematically and intentionally misappropriated the Cardiac Pack's publicity rights including their names, images and likenesses associated with that game and that final amazing game winning dunk play, reaping scores of millions of dollars from the Cardiac Pack's legendary victory," wrote lawyers from the three Raleigh-based firms representing the players.

The heart-pounding final moments of the 1983 NCAA Championship final game, when NC State ultimately came out victorious over Houston University, have been played on repeat over and over and over during March Madness promotional videos and advertisements. The iconic 54 - 52 buzzer-beating dunk and coach Valvano's victory lap are synonyms with the hype for college basketball.

This case is poised to be a precedent-setting powerhouse, as the lawyers argue that a student-athlete's value continues well past their college graduation. In the new era of NIL deals and paid student-athletes, it is no wonder that the Cardiac Pack is finally speaking their mind about the unpaid publicity they've participated in for decades. Compare their representation with that of the high-value deal that current athletes like N.C. State rival ARMANDO BACOT earned. Bacot plays center at The University of North Carolina, and he has had success on and off the court, proven by his NIL deals with big-name companies such as Dunkin'.

The NCAA tournament earns nearly $1 billion each year, and the championship Wolfpack team is ready for pay day! So far, the NCAA has not commented on the suit.

Folks, this is going to be interesting to watch. Shoot, if this NIH movement can go back to 1983, and Jimmy Valvano's amazing team's championship run, then my/our 1967 Wolfpack Football Team that went 9 and 2 and BEAT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA in the 1967 Liberty Bowl, should also get paid some moola. haha STAY TUNED!

JUSTIN and I want to THANK YOU for reading Club Insider! We appreciate you being with us. And, in particular, WE VERY SINCERELY APPRECIATE ANY and ALL SUPPORT OF OUR ESTEEMED Club Insider ADVERTISERS! PLEASE DO BUSINESS WITH THEM and WHEN YOU DO, PLEASE TELL 'EM Club Insider SENT YOU! THANK YOU ALL!

God bless our troops, airmen and sailors worldwide and keep them safe. Thank you, Congratulations and Welcome Home to all of our troops who have served around the world. God bless America's Policemen and women and Firemen and women; keep them safe. Finally, God bless you, your family, your club(s) and your members. God Bless America! Laus Deo!

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