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Hot News
Bally Files for Bankruptcy Again
Club Hopping
IHRSA Index Shows Steady Performance in Second Quarter
Chelsea Piers Launches Green Initiative
Boston JCC to Transition Into YMCA
School Days
California Students Show Slight Increase in Physical Fitness
Boot Camp
Fort Sill Fitness Center Still Under Renovation
Industry Beat
Boot Camps to Continue as Popular Trend in 2009
AFAA Offers Personal Trainer Certification Discount
Precor to Build Plant in North Carolina
Program to Measure and Track Strength Introduced
Fit to Print
In Brief...
Inside Manufacturers...
Speaking Out
Active Gaming for Seniors
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December.10.2008
December 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 December in our Step by Step online section:

Step by Step: Clubs
Donna Hutchinson, owner of On the Edge Fitness Educators, offers four ways to create a “wow” factor in customer service.

Step by Step: Sales
Curtis Mock, president of the Vitality Marketing Group, offers six keys to successful sales in January.

Step by Step: Marketing
Ben Greenfield, the 2008 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year, explains the value of podcasts in marketing.

Step by Step: Retention
Amanda Harris, vice president at ACAC Fitness and Wellness Centers, looks at creating a program to retain members.

Step by Step: Programming
Lisa Hansen, co-director of the XRKade active gaming research lab, describes four key elements of an active gaming club.

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

Industry Expert Casey Conrad Offers Free Sales Tune-up Teleseminar
Club Industryʼs Fitness Business Pro wants to help you get through this tough economic time. Get your entire sales team ready for the new year … for free! Click here for more details.

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Hot News
Bally Files for Bankruptcy Again
CHICAGO -- For the second time in 17 months, Bally Total Fitness has filed for bankruptcy. This time, the company has also put itself up for sale. Bally made the filing last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. The Chicago-based company, which reported $1.4 billion in assets and $1.5 billion in debt, plans to sell itself or reorganize under Chapter 11. 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.

Club Hopping
IHRSA Index Shows Steady Performance in Second Quarter
BOSTON -- Commercial health club financial performance improved for second quarter 2008, relative to the same period last year, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Q2 Index, which was released last week. Results for the third and fourth quarters won’t be available for several months. The survey of U.S. health club companies, conducted by Industry Insights Inc., demonstrates the financial performance of health clubs during the second quarter, according to IHRSA. The survey was of 17 small- to mid-size clubs, representing 194 facilities, or an average of 11 clubs per company. Read the full story.

Chelsea Piers Launches Green Initiative
NEW YORK -- Chelsea Piers, the largest sports and entertainment complex in the country, is launching a complex-wide “green” initiative, which includes the purchase of green power, the establishment of an on-site recycling program and an investment in energy-saving infrastructure improvements. Read the full story.

Boston JCC to Transition Into YMCA
BOSTON -- The Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston (JCCGB) recently announced it is closing the Striar Jewish Community Center in Stoughton, MA, and transitioning its services to the Old Colony YMCA of Brockton, MA. 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.

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School Days
California Students Show Slight Increase in Physical Fitness
SACRAMENTO, CA -- Fifth-, seventh- and ninth-grade California public school students who took the 2008 California Physical Fitness Test showed a slight improvement in test scores from last year. Read the full story.

ADVERTISEMENT
The eSpinner™ is a breakthrough new Spinning® bike that brings the experience out of the group cycling room and onto the cardio floor. Now users of all levels and abilities can experience the fun, energy and excitement of a Spinning® class whenever they want, and on their terms.

For more information on the eSpinner™ visit www.startrac.com/espinner

Boot Camp
Fort Sill Fitness Center Still Under Renovation
FORT SILL, OK -- The reopening of the Rinehart Fitness Center at the Fort Sill, OK, Army base might take place in mid- to late January. When the project started this past summer, officials had hoped the fitness center would be ready by November, according to the Fort Sill Cannoneer. Read the full story.

Industry Beat
Boot Camps to Continue as Popular Trend in 2009
SAN DIEGO -- Boot camp-style workouts will remain the top fitness trend in 2009, according to a survey from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), San Diego. Boot camp-style workouts were also the most popular fitness trend in 2008. The annual survey of ACE’s worldwide network of personal trainers, group fitness experts, advanced health and fitness specialists, and lifestyle and weight management consultants also noted that consumers would tighten their wallets when it comes to staying in shape in a struggling economy. Read the full story.

AFAA Offers Personal Trainer Certification Discount
LOS ANGELES -- The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) will offer its personal trainer certifications at lower prices in February during a special event, the Aerobics Professional Exposition, also known as APEX. Read the full story.

Precor to Build Plant in North Carolina
GREENSBORO, NC -- Precor Inc., Woodinville, WA, is moving into North Carolina, investing $26.2 million to build a manufacturing facility in Greensboro, NC, and adding 142 jobs there during the next three years. Read the full story.

Program to Measure and Track Strength Introduced
TULSA, OK -- Performance Health Systems and SCIFIT Systems Inc. have introduced bioDensity Isometric Strength Technology, a bio-mechanically efficient and personalized approach to improve, accurately measure and track functional strength, according to John Jaquish, chief technology officer for Performance Health Systems. Read the full story.

Fit to Print
In Brief...

  • Curves International, Waco, TX, announced a strategic partnership that will bring the Healthways Silver Sneaker program to 6,500 Curves locations in 50 states beginning Jan. 1, 2009. The agreement more than triples the total number of SilverSneakers participating locations to nearly 10,000.
  • John W. Gragg has been appointed as general counsel/chief legal officer for Urban Active, Lexington, KY. He will report to Royce Pulliam, CEO of the company. Gragg joined the company in June 2008 as the company’s senior real estate counsel. Prior to that, Gragg had been with Stites & Harbison in Louisville, KY, where he managed a team of lawyers, paralegals, and staff that executed real estate transactions throughout the United States.
  • Retrofitness, the 1980s-themed club chain, has hired Robert Sprechman as its CFO and Richard Roser as its director of real estate research and development, Retrofitness CEO Eric Casaburi announced. Sprechman will oversee all aspects of financial planning, including accounting, payroll and human resources, and will report to Casaburi. Roser will identify new target locations, demographics research and site exploration.


  • Inside Manufacturers...
  • 24 Hour Fitness has launched an updated version of the bodybugg calorie management system, which was used by contestants on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” for the past three seasons. Upgraded features on the new bodybugg armband device include a 50 percent smaller version, a USB cable to upload data and charge the device, compatibility for both PC and Macintosh computers, and a free six-month online subscription to the www.bodybugg.com Web interface for tracking progress and success.
  • Expresso Fitness has completed a debt and equity funding event for $14 million. The capital will be used to fuel Expresso’s revenue growth by expanding the company’s product portfolio and market reach. Silicon Valley Bank opened a new $7 million working capital line with Expresso.


  • Speaking Out
    Active Gaming for Seniors
    Are you using acting gaming products for senior members in your clubs? If you are, e-mail Pam Kufahl and share your experiences for possible inclusion in a future story.

    Interested in advertising in Newsbeat? For more information, click here.

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    Have a question regarding
    Referral, Reward and Loyalty Programs?
    Ask Maria Parrella-Turco, Executive Director, fitRewards and Senior Partner, New Paradigm Partners

    Q:
    I understand that my members’ points will be deposited into a personal account. How are the points tracked and do I have to do this manually?
    A: FitRewards works with your club’s management software so that the banking of points is easy and not done manually! Behaviors such as usage...read more.

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

    Q:
    The future of music license?
    A: There is much concern about the increased music license prices that appears on the horizon. What looks like a negative is actually creating a positive...read more.

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    Read All Questions and Answers





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