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Building the Club of the Future

Leap Fitness, a Massachusetts based IHRSA member club group has partnered with Boston Sports Medicine.

According to Wicked Local, a Massachusetts news outlet, Leap CEO Bobby Verdun and Boston Sports Medicine Director Michael Velsmid are collaborating on creating a full-service club that marries fitness with medicine.

 The article quotes Michael Velsmid, “This partnership with Leap is exceptional because now we can follow our patients from start to finish. We can see the results and the fruits of our team’s labor to make people well. You don’t get to do that a lot in medicine. We see the before, not always the after."

The article goes on to say that "the partnership will serve Leap members and non-members alike. Most health insurance providers cover the cost of physical therapy and subsidize a health-club membership as well. With both offerings available at Leap, patients and members can leverage both services in a single location."

Read the full article on Wicked Local.

IHRSA recently produced two new resources, The Value of the Exercise Prescription, and the Medical Wellness Toolkit, to help IHRSA members engage with medical professionals. And for a deeper dive, IHRSA has developed a Health Promotion & Wellness Track for IHRSA 2015.


Keep Up to Date with Associate News in CBI

Technogym CEO Nerio Alessandri with ARTIS.The Associate News section in CBI magazine is designated for, well, news - hires, partnerships, etc. - about IHRSA’s associate members.

In October the section featured the following news:

  • Regupol is the only company with recycle rubber floors certified by GreenCycle  Certified.
  • Technogym’s ARTIS platform used at integrated wellness and physical therapy center.
  • Matrix hires more staff
  • much more.

Read about all of the Associate News in CBI magazine online.



IHRSA Awards Deadline in Two Weeks

IHRSA’s Outstanding Community Service Award and Julie Main Woman Leader Scholarship are awarded annually both to recognize excellence and to discover and share industry best practices. 

Applications for the 2015 awards are now being accepted. Apply today or encourage a colleague to apply! Applications must be received by Nov. 14, 2014. Recipients will be honored during IHRSA 2-15 34th Annual International Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles at an awards presentation to include a video highlighting their achievements. 

The Outstanding Community Service Award is designed to recognize the IHRSA member that has done a remarkable job serving its local community. The award serves to provide an example of outstanding community service that can be emulated by other clubs.

Download the application.

In addition, IHRSA honors the legacy of Julie Main -- an industry leader, cancer activist, and former president of IHRSA – by offering a full scholarship to attend IHRSA 2015. The scholarship, which is valued at US$3,000, was established to recognize women who exemplify what Julie stood for - professionalism, excellence, courage, perseverance, and tireless contribution to the industry and community. 

Download the application and reference questionnaire.

For more information visit ihrsa.org/awards or email Tara Verity at tv@ihrsa.org.


Next Webinar Will Cover Nutrition At Your Club

Sometimes a potential roadblock can lead to a more prosperous avenue.

That is certainly what happened at the VivaFit locations in Portugal – for the company and its members.

In 2011 the sales tax in Portugal skyrocketed to 23%, from the previous 6%. But VivaFit owners Constance and Pedro Ruiz discovered that if they employed a dietician then their sales tax would be a more-than-manageable 0%.

As it turned out, what possibly could have debilitating instead was an “ah ha” moment for VivaFit, a women-only gym. The Ruiz’s realized that employing a dietician at the clubs can do so much for their members as well as their bottom line.

Constance Ruiz will share her experiences and knowledge when she hosts the next IHRSA webinar, Successfully Launch a Nutrition and Weight Management Program in Your Club, on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2 to 3 p.m. EST.

Read on to see what Ruiz will discuss during the webinar.

Click to read more ...


CSI Software to Offer Vanguard

CSI Software has announced its newest feature, Vanguard, which may help eliminate the need for computers and paper for health and fitness businesses.

With CSI’s mobile app Mobility, Vanguard allows businesses to check-in, book appointments, schedule, register, capture electronic signatures, and more, on a mobile engagement system. Members will also enjoy real-time connection and ease of use of third-party apps.

The system is expected to be available in November.

Read more on the CSI Software website.



Japan Chain Tipness Appears to be For Sale

Reuters has reported that Japan’s Suntory Holdings, Ltd., based in Osaka, Japan, hopes to sell Tipness, Ltd., a health club chain, for approximately $292 million. The sale would help offset the cost of Suntory’s $13.6-billion acquisition, earlier this year, of Beam, Inc., the U.S. liquor company.

Among the companies that have expressed an interest in acquiring Tipness are mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo, Inc., and the media group Nippon Television Holdings, Inc.

The first round of bids was scheduled to be submitted in early August.

As of the first of this year, Tipness operated 61 fitness facilities in the Tokyo area, which served more than 240,000 members.

The chain, initially, was a fully owned subsidiary of Suntory; however, the trading house Marubeni Corp. acquired a minority stake following the merger of Revan, its club chain, with Tipness in 2001.


IHRSA/Mercado Fitness Sees Nearly 3,000 Attendees

The Nexersys booth at IHRSA/Mercado Fitness Mexico City Conference & Trade Show.The first edition of IHRSA/Mercado Fitness Mexico City Conference &Trade Show was held Oct. 21-23 in Expo Bancomer Santa Fe, Mexico City. The event brought together nearly 3,000 entrepreneurs and fitness professional from clubs all over Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

In its 34,400-square-foot exhibition floor, more than 50 domestic and international brands and suppliers presented its latest innovations in products and services for the sector. Moreover, in parallel, six seminars were developed and more than a dozen conferences with renowned experts from the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

Sir Richard Branson and Manel Estiarte, Pep Guardiola´s "right hand," were an added feature of the event. Furthermore, the convention served as a launching pad for the Mexican Association of Sports & Fitness Clubs, which will formally start operations in the first quarter of 2015.

"The event was a success. We received very positive feedback from both exhibitors and visitors, which demonstrates that we are on the right track. Mercado Fitness has a strong alliance with IHRSA and both brands are well respected by the industry", said José Mársico, CEO of Mercado Fitness in Mexico.

Meanwhile, Guillermo Velez, founder of Mercado Fitness, said: "The Mexican market responded even better than we expected. The quantity and quality of participants were excellent for a first time event. We made it possible for Mexico to have, after several years, a celebration that involved most major players in the industry."

To this respect, Jay Ablondi, executive vice president of Global Product IHRSA, adds: "With its positive response to this event, the Mexican market has spoken and its message is clear. Mexico has embraced world-class education and networking. IHRSA and Mercado Fitness are committed to organizing in 2015 an even better event. "

For more on the event, visit IHRSA Live.


To Towel or Not to Towel, That is the Question

Towels at the front desk at NB Fitness Club.There are some areas in a health club that you either have to go all in or just not offer it at all.

These offerings – whether they are free amenities or at a cost to members – can be costly to the club, with the return on investment sometimes not where you want it to be, or in some cases incalculable.

One of those areas is complimentary towels. They can be expensive – one club IHRSA talked to can order up to 1,000 new ones a month – but it might be what sets a club apart from the competition across the street.

But, unless you take a survey of your members you really don’t know if not having to bring a towel from home would make or break one’s decision to stay. And only the certainty of those who sign a contract, or pay every month, are doing so because of the amenities offered could a ROI then be calculated.

Read the entire story, with examples and suggestions from Alan Leach, Jason Mason and Wayne Morris.

Click to read more ...


Seven Solid Reasons to Attend IHRSA 2015 

Perhaps you’ve been to the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show before - a number of times— and you’re wondering, ‘Should I do it again?’ 

Absolutely! The question is, how can you say no?

At IHRSA, there’s always something to surprise you. And IHRSA 2015, March 11-14 in Los Angeles, will be no exception. Consider these seven reasons to head for L.A.

Read on to see the reasons.

Click to read more ...


Life Time Fitness Considering Move to REIT

Laguna Nigel, Calif., Life Time FitnessIn August, Life Time Fitness, Inc. the Chanhassen, Minnesota– based club company, announced that it was considering the possibility of converting the business into a real estate investment trust (REIT), a move that could provide significant tax advantages.

“Based on a review of several strategic alternatives, the company’s board of directors believes that a REIT conversion could provide substantial benefits to the company and its shareholders, given its significant real estate holdings,” the company said in a statement.

At the same time, it announced that it has adopted a “poison pill” shareholder rights plan prohibiting ownership of more than 9.8% of outstanding shares, which would “protect against coercive or abusive takeover tactics.”

According to its Website, Life Time currently operates 105 centers in 22 states, and 28 major markets, in the U.S. and Canada.

“The second quarter was a challenging one for our company as we faced unexpected erosion of membership levels at some centers,” explained Bahram Akradi, the president, CEO, and chairman of Life Time Fitness. “We believe the retention-focused initiatives we’ve previously introduced will positively affect membership levels over time.”

Akradi also pointed out that the five Life Time Athletic centers that opened this year had outperformed financial expectations. One more center will open this year, and seven more are scheduled to open in 2015.

For more, visit the Life Time website.