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Hot News
Club Affected by Hurricane Katrina Endures Gustav
Club Hopping
Retrofitness Partners With Private Equity Firm
Lifetime Membership Settlement Approved in Tennessee
Y's Yearly Membership Up by 700,000
School Days
L.L. Bean’s Grandson Gives Grant to Maine Schools
Boot Camp
Marines’ Combat Fitness Test Details Released, Rolled Out
Industry Beat
Matrix Fitness Systems Merged into Johnson Health Tech North America
Fit to Print
In Brief...
Inside Manufacturers...
Speaking Out
Voice Your Opinion Online Now
Ask the Experts
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September.10.2008
September Step by Step Articles Online Now
Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro's online how-to section helps our readers improve retention, increase sales, energize group exercise programming and more. Visit http://www.fitnessbusinesspro.com/stepbystep to read articles from industry experts.

Here's what to look for in September in our Step by Step online section:

Step by Step: Clubs
Pat Rigsby, co-owner of the Fitness Consulting Group, explains the health club master success formula.

Step by Step: Personal Training
Jim Labadie, fitness entrepreneur, shares five things personal training departments can do when business slows down.

Step by Step: Marketing
Curtis Mock, president of Vitality Marketing Group, discusses how direct-response marketing can be better than branding.

Step by Step: Programming
Donna Hutchinson, owner of On The Edge Educators, gives five steps to building innovative fitness programming.

Step by Step: Vendor Viewpoint
Kristi Britt-Stearns, vice president of local sales for Muzak, describes how to use music to motivate members in all club areas.

If you would like to be a Step by Step columnist, please e-mail Jennipher Shaver at jennipher.shaver@penton.com with your mug shot, a one-paragraph bio and three topic ideas for 750-word how-to articles.

ADVERTISEMENT
Retention Management® — The Leader in Attrition Defense announces a new seminar at Club Industry presented by Richard Ekstrom, President:
“The Keys to Maximizing Member and Staff Retention” CI 08 Wed, 10/15/08 2:00PM

Also visit us at Booth 862

Retention Management is the industry's leading automated member communication service. Discover how easy it is to connect with your members like never before.
It is time to start solving the member retention puzzle.

800.951.8048 ext.1
Info@RetentionManagement.com
www.RetentionManagement.com

Hot News
Club Affected by Hurricane Katrina Endures Gustav
SLIDELL, LA -- A full three years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed Cross Gates Family Fitness’ Lake Pontchartrain location in Slidell, LA, the facility reopened while its general manager nervously watched it weather Hurricane Gustav. Read the full story.

ADVERTISEMENT
iTECH Fitness has developed an Active Gaming Breakthrough with the new XRKade 2.0 model. The XRKade is the first “Active Gaming Lifestyle” Brand with the largest community of users and the first fully develop active gaming product suite. To gain a sneak peak, visit www.XRKade.com or attend Club Industry West on October 16th for the public release.

Club Hopping
Retrofitness Partners With Private Equity Firm
COLTS NECK, NJ -- Retrofitness, a 1980s-themed club company that has 39 clubs in operation and 80 more in development, recently announced a partnership with Lake Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm that invests in service-based companies. Read the full story.

Lifetime Membership Settlement Approved in Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, TN -- A Knox County (TN) court recently approved a settlement brought in a class-action lawsuit against fitness club Court South regarding “lifetime” memberships at the club, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Read the full story.

Y's Yearly Membership Up by 700,000
CHICAGO -- Over the past five years, membership at YMCAs across the country has increased by 2 million people nationwide and 700,000 in the last year. The YMCA of the USA says that the recently released figures reflect the largest membership in the organization’s 157-year history in the United States. Read the full story.

ADVERTISEMENT
New 95X Elliptical Cross-Trainer from Life Fitness

Life Fitness combines form and function with its sleek new 95X Elliptical Cross-Trainer. Part of the new Elevation™ Series, the 95X is offered with three unique options — the Engage™, Inspire™ and Achieve™ consoles, which deliver the company's latest entertainment and motivational features such as iPod® compatibility, USB connectivity and a Virtual Trainer. Visit www.lifefitness.com or call 1-800-634-8637.

School Days
L.L. Bean’s Grandson Gives Grant to Maine Schools
LEWISTON, ME -- The Lewiston (ME) School Department was awarded a three-year grant worth $496,000 from a foundation headed by the grandson of L.L. Bean to teach students fitness skills and help them stay active for life, the Lewiston Sun Journal reports. Read the full story.

ADVERTISEMENT
Soft Play L.L.C. is the global leader in providing contained playground environments for children. With almost 25 years experience and over 18,000 playgrounds installed worldwide, you can count on Soft Play’s proven track record. Check out our complete product line from themed elements to active play environments and proprietary, unique play components that will attract kids and customers to your business. Trust Soft Play to create the playground of your dreams!

Boot Camp
Marines’ Combat Fitness Test Details Released, Rolled Out
ARLINGTON, VA -- Although the Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test (CFT) won’t officially be implemented until October 2009, training and education command officials are gearing up to educate installations this fall on the new test. The CFT is intended to keep Marines ready for the physical rigors of contemporary combat operations and will be used in addition to the current physical fitness test (PFT). Read the full story.

ADVERTISEMENT
Ball Dynamics manufacturers the FitBALL® brand—synonymous with exercise balls—currently making a further impact in the fitness market with new products for balance training, strength training, functional training, and education. Visit us at Club Industry, Booth 154, and ask about our special Club pricing! Visit www.fitball.com to request a catalog.

Industry Beat
Matrix Fitness Systems Merged into Johnson Health Tech North America
COTTAGE GROVE, WI -- Johnson Health Tech, Co. Ltd., based in Taichung, Taiwan, recently announced it has merged its four U.S. subsidiaries. The new entity, named Johnson Health Tech North America Corp., combines Matrix Fitness Systems, Horizon Fitness, Vision Fitness, and Johnson Health Tech Research and Development into one company. Read the full story.

ADVERTISEMENT
ABC Financial Services

All aspects of ABC Financial — billing, club management software and onsite training and support — are designed to help your business succeed. As Industry veterans, our leaders at ABC know exactly what you're going through. Our business is to focus on your business. It all begins and ends with you.

Click here for more information.

Fit to Print
In Brief...

  • Senior Housing Properties Trust recently acquired four health and wellness centers operated by Life Time Fitness, Chanhassen, MN, for $100 million. Life Time entered into a long-term lease agreement to continue operating the fitness centers and will pay $9.1 million in rent annually, plus fixed increases during the 20-year lease term. The four centers, totaling 458,146 square feet, are located in Romeoville, IL; Allen, TX; Alpharetta, GA; and Omaha, NE.
  • Anytime Fitness, Hastings, MN, has secured a franchising deal that could result in up to 350 new clubs in Australia and New Zealand within the next five years. Justin McDonell and Jacinta McDonell Jimenez, a brother and sister franchisee team, plan to open their first club in Sydney later this year.
  • Curves, Waco, TX, recently announced a partnership with four-time Grammy Award winner Olivia Newton-John to launch a campaign to distribute one million units of the Liv Aid, a breast self-exam aid that assists women to exercise breast self-exams correctly.
  • Life Fitness founder Augie Nieto, along with his wife, Lynne, presented two checks, one for $2 million and one for $2.4 million, during the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon on behalf of Augie’s Quest, a research initiative to find a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Also, Bally Total Fitness, Chicago, raised more than $220,000 for Augie’s Quest during the Clubs for the Cure campaign in August. Augie’s Quest has raised $15.8 million since its inception.
  • The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recently recognized Ben Greenfield as its Personal Trainer of the Year at the NSCA’s 31st annual national conference in July. Greenfield is director of sports performance and oversees the physiology and biomechanics laboratory at Champions Sports Medicine in Spokane, WA, which offers metabolic-based weight loss, bicycle fitting, running gait analysis, swim-stroke analysis, VO2 max testing, blood lactate testing, resting metabolic rate analysis, and other procedures for weight loss and performance.


  • Inside Manufacturers...
  • CheckFree is offering new customers $250 Visa gift cards when they purchase CheckFree Compete software, hardware or peripheral. The CheckFree Compete software promotion code is RPC08, and the hardware and peripheral promotion code is RPE08. Customers can register at www.checkfreecompete.com. For more information, go to page 9 and page 13 of Solutions, CheckFree’s special advertising section, in the September issue of Club Industry’s Fitness Business Pro. The offer lasts until Feb. 28, 2009.
  • Life Fitness, Schiller Park, IL, has announced a number of personnel changes. Tim Wild has been promoted to vice president of the consumer business unit, Gary Hirschel has been promoted to vice president of global supply chain, replacing Wild, and Dan Wille has been promoted to vice president and general manager for the United Kingdom.
  • Gold’s Gym International recently named Star Trac as Vendor of the Year 2008. Star Trac received the award at the 2008 Gold’s Gym convention in Las Vegas. The award was given based on a survey of Gold’s Gym franchisees, input from Gold’s Gym International and a review by the National Vendor Program’s senior management team. Each year, the award is given to a vendor who consistently exceeds expectations and has an exemplary track record in every aspect of its relationship with the Gold’s Gym family, including franchisees and their staffs, company-owned Gold’s Gyms and their staffs, and the National Vendor Program.
  • More than 800 fitness professionals from across the United States recently attended Les Mills’ Super Quarterly education and training event in Poughkeepsie, NY. The two-day event featured the largest BODYPUMP class ever held in North America, with 722 people in attendance. All eight Les Mills’ program directors were at the event to lead educational sessions and master classes, and more than 100 club owners and managers attended a management seminar presented by former IHRSA President John McCarthy, Les Mills International founder Phillip Mills and Les Mills Northeast President Don Murphy.
  • Karl Stelter, owner and CEO of True Balance Fitness in Covert, MI, won a C570R recumbent cycle from SportsArt. The giveaway was part of an e-blast promotion for the company’s “Escape Ordinary” campaign.


  • ADVERTISEMENT
    Don't miss Club Industry 2008!
    Free keynote address by fitness pioneer Dr. Kenneth Cooper: free panel discussion on thriving in today’s economy, the latest group fitness activities at Club Studio, plus 250 leading suppliers. Register now: clubindustryshow.com/national

    Speaking Out
    Voice Your Opinion Online Now
    The editors of Club Industry’s Fitness Business Pro are happy to announce that the majority of our online articles now have a commenting feature. This means that at the end of each story, you now have the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions on the trends and news that we report. Go to www.fitnessbusinesspro.com and participate in this online form of discussion.

    Ask the Experts
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    Have a question regarding
    Referral, Reward and Loyalty Programs?
    Ask Maria Parrella-Turco, Executive Director, fitRewards

    Q:
    I see a lot of different industries using reward programs to increase customer loyalty -- Barnes & Noble, American Express, Staples, etc. How is it working in our industry?
    A: The magic question is what's "loyalty"? In the health and fitness industry...read more.

    Submit Your Question
    Read All Questions and Answers



     


    Have a question regarding
    Club Management Software?
    Ask Michael Scott Scudder, Club Management Expert

    Q:
    What are some of the key membership and operating ratios that I should be calculating on a consistent basis to measure performance in my facilities?
    A: There are a number of ratios and statistics...read more.

    Submit Your Question
    Read All Questions and Answers



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