• Blog: Sixteen Years of Growth, Freedom and Laughter

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein August 2011

    We enjoy writing for Athletic Business because we can share the unvarnished truth about our lives as owners of for-profit health clubs. What we think of as "unvarnished" has been interpreted by some AB readers as negativity; they think that we don't care at all for our members, our staff or the fitness business in general.

  • 2011 Military World Games A Precursor to 2016 Olympics

    by Joe Bush July 2011

    Sharla Alexander was having a great time in Hyderabad, India. As the logistics coordinator for the U.S. Armed Forces women's soccer squad at the fourth Military World Games in 2007, Alexander was aglow with "Friendship Through Sport" - the motto of the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM), the Games' organizing body.

  • Fitness Equipment Helps Facilities Harness User-Generated Energy

    by Michael Popke June 2011

    Back in 2007, members at Gainesville Health & Fitness might have noticed a young man planted behind an elliptical machine, "tinkering" (as he called it) with the unit's moving parts.

  • A Club's Termination Fee Is Held Void

    by John T. Wolohan May 2011

    The membership is the lifeblood of any health club. To ensure that clubs remain solvent, their operators must work hard to attract new members and hold onto them.

  • Blog: Clubs Can Be Bad Guys…And So Can Members

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein April 2011

    Every reputable gym owner must feel sick when there's yet another story about alleged billing abuses by a high-profile operator. This time, it's Urban Active. The Better Business Bureau gave UA an "F" rating, and several members are suing the company for, among other things, misrepresenting their membership agreement and failing to honor cancellation requests. UA also seems to be guilty of the biggest sin of all, which is being unresponsive to complaints, and even being slow to respond to the BBB.

  • Social Environments Help Health Clubs with Member Retention

    by Paul Steinbach April 2011

    At the dawn of the modern health club era - the mid-1970s - Rick Caro became fascinated by a foursome of elderly women who gathered for a regular tennis match at one of the clubs Caro owned.

  • Blog: Our E-Suggestion Box Is Prompting Better Communication

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein March 2011

    We often remind our staff that how something is said is just as important, if not more important, than what is said. Tone, body language and other factors play a huge part in what a health club member hears and recalls, so our staff training and day-to-day staff feedback frequently involve this subtle topic.

  • Blog: One Member's Angry Outburst Isn't the Last Word

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2011

    At a staff meeting a few months ago, we spent several minutes reading the positive feedback we had received in many of our new member surveys. We enjoyed sharing the comments about our "wonderful" staff, "friendly" environment and the impact we were having on people's lives. We wanted to remind our staff that while we spend a lot of time and energy dealing with problems - both real and perceived - the reality is that we have a pretty nice business with pretty nice members who appreciate what we do. Sometimes, we're even lucky enough to have someone remind us.

  • Blog: Do You Have a Snow-Day Plan?

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein February 2011

    Everyone likes to think that they are, or their business is, great at something. Maybe you feel like you are great at marketing. Maybe you have a world-class sales team, or your trainers are the best in the business.

  • Blog: Fitness Equipment Manufacturers, Work With Us

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein January 2011

    We'd really like to buy new equipment for our facilities in 2011, but we can't imagine how we're going to do it. That, in a nutshell, is the problem facing fitness equipment manufacturers.