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Gyms / Health Clubs
Old 03-15-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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Gyms / Health Clubs

Every time I return to the USA, Raleigh in particular, I seem to notice that most gyms I saw last time have either gone out of business or have reopened under a new name. Do gyms go into business with the intention to fail? How do they get financing to start up in the first place? I am guessing a 3 year failure rate of 90%, perhaps even higher. I don't think I have ever seen a gym stay open for more than 3 years unless it is part of a local hospital. Is this the case all over or is this a problem in the Raleigh area alone?
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:31 PM   #2
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The better gyms around here don't seem to be folding at all. In fact, I can't even think of a single gym of any kind that has folded. Maybe that's local to your area.

The three gyms that I was considering when I started going to the gym, over ten years ago, are all in business still.
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:13 PM   #3
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I've seen 2 or 3 go out of business in the last ten years, but the vast majority seem to be doing fine.

After all, they only have to provide good service during the month of January. The rest of the year they can coast.
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:53 PM   #4
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I haven't seen gyms dropping off in my area. My gym just built a new building in fact, and they have been in business at least 10 years that I know of. Like braumeister said the resolution army is what keeps them in business. I have always thought that a gym was a great business model. Most gyms make you pay directly from your checking account and you have to go in person to stop paying. Most people will continue to pay for months and months (my wife and I call it the Fat Tax) rather than admit they have given up! I know several people who only go once or twice a year and yet they are still members. It takes some guts to go in person to the gym and say 'yeah this whole being healthy thing isn't working for me and I want to quit'
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:02 PM   #5
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Naturally we can't know how many members sign up and then don't show up, but the people we see at our local gym seem determined to get every scrap of value from their dues (also see my post about filling large coffee mugs from the gym's urn). No matter what day we go, the same people are always there, which suggests they work out 7 days a week! The only time we don't see these members is if we go at a different time of day.

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Most people will continue to pay for months and months (my wife and I call it the Fat Tax) rather than admit they have given up!
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:10 PM   #6
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Naturally we can't know how many members sign up and then don't show up, but the people we see at our local gym seem determined to get every scrap of value from their dues (also see my post about filling large coffee mugs from the gym's urn). No matter what day we go, the same people are always there, which suggests they work out 7 days a week! The only time we don't see these members is if we go at a different time of day.

Amethyst
The same is true at my gym! They are so inspirational to me.

I asked a couple of the regulars my age that I always see there about their attendance habits. They are retired and do work out 7 days a week but they do different things on different days.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:00 PM   #7
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see my post about filling large coffee mugs from the gym's urn
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The same is true at my gym! They are so inspirational to me.
Yes, Dilbert's pal Wally is an inspiration to many of us.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:15 PM   #8
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There has been an explosion in the number of health clubs around me. I am not aware of any that have closed their doors. Memberships have become much less expensive due to the competition. I visit my club 3 days a weeks in the worst of the winter and also the heat of the summer. On temperate days I like to be outdoors for my exercise (walking or cycling). When I retire I might join some of the a.m. classes with all the other ladies of leisure.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:36 PM   #9
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Southern California is notorious for health clubs going in and out of business constantly. I signed up for a membership more than 20 years ago at my local gym, and then one day I showed up for my 6am step aerobics class to find the entire building had been emptied out in the middle of the night. I chased the guy down to try and get my membership back but never succeeded.

A lot of people end up joining either 24 Hour Fitness or Bally's around here just because of the perceived stability. And the 24 month Costco Membership for 24 Hour Fitness is hard to beat. Not to mention the fact they are on virtually every street corner around here, right next to the local Starbucks.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:21 PM   #10
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Southern California is notorious for health clubs going in and out of business constantly. I signed up for a membership more than 20 years ago at my local gym, and then one day I showed up for my 6am step aerobics class to find the entire building had been emptied out in the middle of the night. I chased the guy down to try and get my membership back but never succeeded.
I had a membership at an ironhead gym. Lots of high quality weights, Hammer Strength, etc., and little else. You had to be on the lookout for needles.

One day I went and it was all closed up
I found out that they were busted for selling anabolic drugs, and never did re-open. It took me a long time to get it cleared up, but I just closed the bank account to stop the bleeding.

Ha
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