Club Insider

This Month in Club Insider: May 2021

Dave Cardone and Memorial Athletic Club
Leadership Through Adversity

By: Justin Cates

Justin CatesJustin CatesYou are tired of COVID. I am tired of COVID. We are ALL tired of COVID! I get it, and though COVID will be an important part of this story, it is but only one part. The more important aspect of this month's cover story is one club owner/manager's ability and absolute determination to have his facility not only survive but provide much needed support to the community in which it operates during not one but two back-to-back disasters, the pandemic being the most recent. This month's cover story is about Dave Cardone, Owner and General Manager of Memorial Athletic Club (MAC), and he is the humblest individual I have ever had the opportunity to interview. I mean that sincerely. Read More...

Exercise IS Medicine
By: Mike Alpert

Mike AlpertMike AlpertThank goodness many health clubs have reopened after a year of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I know people are hungry to get back to a more normal lifestyle, and that will certainly mean a rush back to their club, which for many, has become their "second" home. You are going to have real opportunities to grow your business, but I urge you not to simply look at what worked before. Instead, look at what you need going forward to differentiate your club and provide a competitive advantage. What can you do to make your club a more valuable asset to your members? Read More...

The Harsh Lessons of Failure... and Why They Matter to You
By: Thomas Plummer

Thomas PlummerThomas PlummerThe year 2020 is littered with the failure of too many gyms now gone... And, the sad thing is many of those closures could have been avoided and many of those businesses saved if the owners had clung to a few basic concepts. Gyms are emotional businesses. We get close to our clients, live the lifestyle ourselves and quietly believe what we do matters to those we help. But, this emotion also deceives us into thinking we are different than other businesses and that we are entitled to play by a different set of rules. We are wrong. Read More...

Why COVID Has Made Fitness Center Design More Important Than Ever
By: Bruce Carter

Bruce CarterBruce CarterCOVID closed clubs. People stayed at home to exercise. Virtual fitness became the new normal. Outdoor fitness, weather permitting, gained in popularity. Now, clubs are getting back to normal operating conditions, but this will vary according to the state in which the clubs are operating. Studies show that a certain percentage of people will not come back, preferring to continue their in-home or outdoor routine. Has COVID made exercising at home a main competitor of clubs? Sure, many fit people will do both, but what about the rest? Most people will be choosing one over the other. Read More...

An Industry Opportunity
Programming to Help COVID Survivors Recover

By: Bonnie Patrick Mattalian

Bonnie Patrick MattalianBonnie Patrick MattalianI don't need to remind you of the sobering statistics. Yet, as of this writing, April 15, 2021, here they are regarding COVID-19 per Johns Hopkins University of Medicine: 31.4 million cases and 565,000 deaths in the United States; 138 million cases globally with almost 3 million deaths. A tragedy by any means. Doing the math, however, if there is any shred of positive news, it is that more than 135 million people around the world have recovered. Read More...

Is the Fitness Club Industry Dead?
By: Matt Zagrodzky

Matt ZagrodzkyMatt ZagrodzkyIn the beginning of the COVID catastrophe, it sure seemed that way. But, now that the restrictions are being lifted, there are definitely signs that the fitness club industry is the Phoenix rising from the ashes and moving on to greatness. Or is it? Recently, I had the opportunity to sit in (virtually) on an interview with John Foley, CEO of Peloton. An amazing guy with an amazing company. He spoke about a range of topics, but the one that made me sit up and take notice was the vision he has for his company. Read More...

Live Group Fitness is the Answer... Again.
By: Terry Browning

Terry BrowningTerry BrowningThe pandemic has no doubt altered consumer behavior. But, is this alteration a permanent change or a pandemic-induced adjustment? The "Pandemic Boom" has catapulted many industries and products to stratospheric sales increases, including a 500% increase in bread machine sales and an 800% increase in toilet paper sales. And, the world's largest streaming service, Netflix, had record breaking sales for six straight months. Is this the new road forward? Have people now really discovered their love for bread making? Will toilet paper sales continue on this roll? Have we decided to stop doing and just start watching? Read More...

Paul Grzymkowski Passes Away at Age 72
Fitness industry veteran and icon, Paul M. Grzymkowski passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on April 1, 2021 in Woodland Hills, California. He is survived by his devoted wife, Joanna Gunst Grzymkowski; brother Peter Grzymkowski; and sisters Margaret Halstead, Christine Grzymkowski and Karen Grzymkowski, as well as aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and his godchildren. Paul and his twin sister Christine were born on March 5, 1949 in Rochester, New York to Mary (Jacula) and Peter Grzymkowski. Read More...

IHRSA 2021 Moves to Dallas in October
BOSTON, MA - The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has announced that the 40th Annual IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show (IHRSA 2021) is moving from Los Angeles, California to Dallas, Texas. For the first time in more than 30 years, the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show heads to Dallas, from October 13 - 15, 2021. Read More...

Gratitude... Belonging... Inspiration.
Our "Third Place"

When club leaders support organized court programming, they also seize the opportunity to use their courts as a competitive advantage in creating a "third place" culture* at their club, i.e., a place beyond home and work that feels like Cheers (where everybody knows your name!). This article seeks to remind club owners and managers how grateful we are that you make racquetball and handball (etc.) possible. Lives are enhanced at your club every day, year after year. Read More...

Norm's Notes for May 2021
By: Norm Cates

Norm CatesNorm CatesHello Everybody! This is your Club Insider Founder and Tribal Leader Since 1993 checking in with our 329th monthly edition of Club Insider! WOW! As we press on deeper into our 28th year of publishing, I want to Thank You All for reading this May edition! Also, Thank You to all our Advertisers and Contributing Authors who make this 28-year running trade publication possible. THANK YOU ALL, and please accept the great Appreciation that JUSTIN and I have for your contributions to this LABOR OF LOVE we call Club Insider! Read More...

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