• AB Buyers Guide: We Want Your Input

    by Emily Attwood April 2014

    By now, you should have received your copy of Athletic Business's annual Buyers Guide, a directory of manufacturers, suppliers, architects, consultants and all of the other information athletic, fitness and recreation professionals need to make informed buying decisions.

    Now, we have one question for you: How can we make it better?

    To help us answer that question, we need to ask you a few more. Eleven, to be exact. We would appreciate if you would take a few minutes of your time to share with us your opinions of our print and online Buyers Guide resources as we look to make them even more valuable tools in future years.

    Take the survey>>>

    Thanks for all of your input! As always, we love to hear your feedback, whether about this issue or any of the content you read in the magazine or at

  • Seven Insights for Anyone Working in College Athletics

    by Chris Yandle March 2014

    Sometimes during the week, I like to kick up my feet and share my war stories with some of our interns. Maybe it’s my teacher quality, but I like to offer our interns advice — solicited or unsolicited — because like most of us in college athletics, I had to learn some lessons the hard way. I learned a lot by trial and error growing up in my profession. Not because I needed to but because I had to. And I'm still learning lessons today.

  • 6 Ways to Be "The Expert" and Build a Brand

    by John Agoglia February 2014

    Sometimes we all, as part of the fitness industry, need to sit back and reflect. We need to realize that there is still a lot of poor information and a real disconnect between what we know and what the rest of the world may know about living a healthier lifestyle. 

  • 5 Traits to Look For in Future Health Club Leaders

    by John Agoglia February 2014

    In the scramble of hiring to fill an immediate need, health club owners and managers often become short-sighted and concerned with addressing the small-picture issues. But, to successfully build a thriving fitness organization for the long-haul, it is important to not only hire for the requisite skills of a current position opening, but to scout for future leadership potential - to plan ahead for the growth of a new hire within your organization. 

  • Education, Entertainment at 2013 Athletic Business Conference & Expo

    by AB Staff January 2014

    The Athletic Business Conference & Expo celebrated its 32nd year by welcoming sports, fitness and recreation professionals from around the world to San Diego last November for educational seminars, golf, facility tours, product demonstrations, parties, Zumba and some Magic, as in Johnson — one of two marquee keynote speakers at ABC 2013. Co-location partners included the International Council on Active Aging, the Medical Fitness Association, the National Alliance for Youth Sports, as well as the iClubs Conference, the independent club owners and executives conference.

  • Everything You Need to Know to Work for Rob and Barry

    by Rob Bishop December 2013

    We wrote last month about suggestions we'd offer to young prospective job seekers. That got us thinking about our column from October 2011, "19 Rules for Dealing With Generation Y Employees." It seems that rules, advice and management checklists have become a big part of our lives as owners and managers. We accept the responsibility that we often have to teach our staff members things that we used to assume everyone knew, such as how to shake hands and look someone in the eye to say "hello."

  • In Your Words: #ABCSanDiego Recap

    by AB Staff December 2013

    A recap of the 32nd annual Athletic Business Conference & Expo as told by the people who experienced it.

  • David Von Storch, Founder of VIDA Fitness

    by AB Staff November 2013


    David Von Storch, Founder of VIDA Fitness Clubs

    David Von Storch has built an urban empire in Washington, D.C. He joins the podcast to talk about fitness, breweries and everything in-between. David Von Storch’s story of success began when a mysterious buyer made an offer he couldn’t refuse on his first business: a nightclub in Washington, D.C. With the capital from that sale, Von Storch went on to create one of the most exciting fitness clubs in the country, VIDA fitness. In this episode of “Gym Class: Heroes of Fitness,” Von Storch, one of D.C.'s most recognized young entrepreneurs, joins Hossein and Leigh to discuss operating clubs with a city vibe, the differences between running a restaurant and a gym, and how he plans to expand his empire.

    Listen to David's episode on iTunes

    "The fitness center really is a community center. If you go back to the Jewish Community Center model or the YMCA model or even the country club model, places where people go to exercise are places where people socialize with people with whom they share values. I noticed that for me, when I was younger, the need was for a cheap place to work out. But as I got older, I realized that there was something more that was needed for me to get me to go to the gym because there are so many distractions once you get older. As we all know, fitness is sometimes as much of a chore as it is anything else. I came to realize that creating a truly compelling social environment was something that really sparked me to go in a different direction from a lot of my competitors."

               - David Von Storch on the concept for VIDA Fitness


    1:37 — David and his Harvard MBA
    3:22 — Opening a nightclub, leads to a brewery, leads to a fitness empire
    6:31 — Starting Vida comes from a focus on personal health.
    9:00 — The early on concept for VIDA
    11:23 — Creating a Sex-in-the-city pool club
    14:21 — The vibe millennials are seeking
    16:46 — Is fitness a fraud?
    20:28 — One workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    23:16 — Operating in a city dynamic
    25:30 — Luckiest moment?
    29:29 — Worst decision?
    32:13 — Harder to run: A restaurant or a gym?
    33:55 — What's more important, good people or good location? City or suburbs?
    37:55 — What do you still need to prove?
    39:21 — Being an athlete as a kid
    41:16 — Who are your mentors?
    43:40 — The next big trend in fitness
    46:57 — Word association
    50:27 — Creating a TV pilot about his business

    <<Previous Episode: Randy Hetrick, TRX    |    Next Episode: Jim Worthington, Newtown Athletic Club>>

  • ABC: Tour Showcases Two Distinct Rec Center Designs

    by AB Staff November 2013

    Before a tour of Long Beach State’s three-year-old recreation center even began, associate director of recreation Sean Del Rossi alerted some 70 ABC attendees that they would later step into a “bizarro world” once the tour took them to the University of California-Irvine’s counterpart facility. In terms of programming layout, left would be right and vice versa.

  • On the Road to #ABCSanDiego

    by AB Editors November 2013

    Like many college recreation professionals, staff members from the University of Missouri's rec department, MizzouRec traveled to the Athletic Business Conference & Expo in San Diego last week. However, unlike many college recreation professionals, MizzouRec's staff road-tripped more than 1,800 miles to get there.

    Follow along as we posted daily updates from Diane Dahlmann, Carrie Steuber and Emily Bach as they documented their four day journey #ABCSanDiego and the excitement of the event once they arrived.

    Day 6: Friday, November, 22, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    Friday was another exciting day for attendees at the Athletic Business Conference. While Thursday's keynote speaker, Dr. Ken Dychtwald's captivated everyone in attendance with his thoughts on the aging population and how it applies to fitness and recreation, Friday brought one of California's biggest celebrities, to the stage: Magic Johnson.

    It was also an exciting day as Missouri's own Diane Dahlmann was a featured speaker in one of the seminars.

    Then it was on to the keynote speech by Magic Johnson. About 3,000 people filled the ballroom to hear him speak. Magic didn't just speak to the people in crowd, he interacted with them. He immediately left the stage and strolled down the aisles, frequently asking people to stand up asking them about themselves and taking photos with them... all while continuing his speech. It was truly impressive.
    Diane 1.jpg
    Diane was one of those lucky enough to be singled out by Magic. This picture was taken as Magic was in the middle of his keynote address. Magic 1.jpg

    Of course, the journey to San Diego wouldn't be complete unless everyone in the group got to meet Magic. After his speech, their wish came true as they posed with their "Road to ABC" banner.

    It was a great way to end a fantastic journey to the 2013 Athletic Business Conference and Expo.

    Magic 2.JPG

    Day 5: Thursday, November 21, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    Thursday marked the grand opening of the Athletic Business Conference trade show. With nearly 300 exhibitors and 600 booths, the trade show features products and services related to every aspect of athletics, fitness, recreation and wellness. And yes, that even includes an HydraFacial who offered free facials on the trade show floor. facials 2.jpg

    Day 4: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    Day one at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo is always a fun one. The seminars, keynote and trade show don't begin until Thursday, but Wednesday features the ABC Golf Classic, hands-on workshops and facility tours.

    ABC attendees and exhibitors hit the links at Coronado Municipal Golf Course.

    This year, attendees had two different tour options to choose from. Our friends from Missouri chose the tour that visited the McGrath Family YMCA and the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

    First up was the 35,000 square-foot YMCA which opened just three years ago, but has already expanded to serve more members. This facility has a state-of-the-art aquatic center as well as a softball facility and an indoor soccer arena.
    The second stop was Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. The OTC provides everything athletes need to train including food services, sports medicine, biomechanics, strength and conditioning and more. The facility features facilities for archery, BMX, field hockey, rowing, rugby, and track and field.

    "The Olympic Center was an amazing experience,"
    Bach said. "We got to meet members of the rugby team hopefuls." Rugby will be a new addition to the next summer Olympics.
    Tour 2.jpg
    The Athletic Business Conference tours are not only a chance to sight see, but for facility managers and operators, they can serve as a valuable learning tool. You never know what great idea might be sparked by something seen at another facility. As one attendee put it, "Facility tours are the best part of the whole conference. I can get many ideas from a couple hours in a great facility." Tour 3.jpg
    With the business portion of the day in the books, Emily, Carrie and Diane set out for a little fun. Of course no trip to San Diego is complete without visiting the beautiful and historic Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island. Coronado 3.JPG

    Day 3: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
    Sedona, AZ — San Diego, CA
    Miles Logged: 463
    01 Sedona.jpg7:00 am: The crew from the University of Missouri awoke and once again hit the road bright and early, but not before capturing the sunrise in beautiful Sedona.

    Day three turned out to be the shortest leg of the trip, "only" 463 miles. However, it was filled with plenty of action. Diane, Carrie and Emily encountered everything from prisons to aliens.
    The first stop of the day came nearly 300 miles after leaving Sedona when the MizzouRec staff stopped at the historic Yuma Territorial Prison. From 1876 until 1909, the prison held more than 3,000 prisoners. In pop culture the prison was made famous the by the western movie, 3:10 to Yuma. 02Yuma.JPG
    Just beyond Yuma, the group stopped for a picture at the Mexican border. 03Border.JPG
    After the stop at the border is where things started to get weird. As anyone who has taken a road trip knows, you never know just what you're going to see along the way. In the case of our friends from Mizzou, they ran into what appears to be aliens in the California desert! 04 aleins.jpg
    And if you look closely in the window of this RV, you can see for yourself. 05 aliens.jpg

    Fortunately, these aliens were friendly and the Mizzou crew was on their way to San Diego in no time. Around 4:00 pm, they officially arrived, marking the end of a 1,722 mile journey. Today, they're attending the Athletic Business Conference facility tours of the McGrath Family YMCA and the Olympic Training Center.

    They'll check in with another update tomorrow. As always, stay tuned for what's next!


    Day 2: Monday, November 18, 2013
    Tucumcari, NM — Sedona, AZ
    Miles Logged: 523
    6:00 am: Monday morning our friends from MizzouRec were once again on the road bright and early. They hit the road and continued their way west. After a stop at the historic El Rancho hotel in Gallup, NM which was once a swanky hotel for movie stars shooting westerns, the crew continued west to the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona where they snapped this beautiful photo. photo 2.JPG
    About 50 minutes later came the next stop at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ. It's safe to say attendees at this year's Athletic Business Conference & Expo won't be staying in anything that looks like this: 01 Wigwam.JPG

    Today's journey was "only" 523 miles. Before reaching the day's final destination of Sedona, the group from Missouri stopped in Winslow, AZ., an old town on the original Route 66. Winslow achieved national fame in 1972 thanks to the Eagles' song "Take it Easy" which has the line "standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona," which of course provided another photo op.

    01 Winslow.jpg

    As for what's next? You'll have to check back tomorrow for the latest adventures on the road to #ABCSanDiego...


    Day 1: Sunday, November 17, 2013
    Columbia, MO — Tucumcari, NM
    Miles Logged: 736
    5:00 am: The staff departs the University of Missouri's Recreation Complex and heads southwest toward Joplin, Mo. After about a four hour drive in the white Chevy Suburban they lovingly refer to as the "white shark," they arrived. 01Joplin.JPG
    Next up, the white shark made it's way toward Oklahoma City. Just outside of OKC is the famous Route 66 restaurant, POPS in Arcadia, Ok. 02Pops.JPG
    From there, the crew followed Route 66 heading west as they crossed Oklahoma and into the northern tip of Texas. The next stop was the famous Cadillac Ranch in Potter, Texas. Cadillac ranch is a public art sculpture made entirely of used Cadillacs. It's also the name of a 1980 Bruce Springsteen song. 03 Cadillac Ranch.JPG
    After taking in the sights at Cadillac Ranch, the crew hopped back in their Chevy and traveled into New Mexico where they called it quits in Tucumcari, NM. Day one of the journey lasted approximately 14 hours and covered more than 800 miles! 03 Tucumcari.JPG

    As for what's next? You'll have to check back tomorrow for the latest adventures on the road to #ABCSanDiego...