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Entries in Florida (9)


Move Over Disney World—The IHRSA Trade Show is Coming to Orlando 

Orlando is home to several thrilling amusement parks and, this March, it will host yet another world-famous attraction—the IHRSA Trade Show.

The fitness industry is uniquely special in that you can do well while you do good. This is the motivating energy that drives the world-famous IHRSA Trade Show, scheduled March 21-24, 2016.

“I look forward to IHRSA every year, but 2016 will be special with it being held near my hometown in beautiful Orlando, FL,” says Shawn Stewart, chief operating officer of O2 Fitness in Raleigh, NC. “I look forward to learning, networking, and, of course, the trade show.”

The 2016 show will be the 35th annual edition, and you can experience its benefits in a variety of registration packages. A one-day pass up to a full four-day package includes education sessions and world-class speakers, but even Trade Show only admission offers access to exercise classes and an early morning workout.

Whatever your level of commitment, you’ll enjoy numerous networking opportunities that can turn your enterprise into a next-level success. As one past IHRSA show attendee puts it: "This is the most diverse and comprehensive trade show in the industry.”

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Tips To Implement A Strategic Plan To Develop A Small, Independent Club

The following post was written by Jill Stevens Kinney and Joe Cirulli for our weekly Best Practices series.

Question: Can you offer some tips on how to create and implement a strategic plan to develop a small, independent club?

Answer:A good strategic plan begins with a thorough understanding of the marketplace, and leads to realistic expectations about the most critical aspect of your new business—the membership projections.

Start with a model that identifies the number of people (both residents and workforce) located within a 10-minute-drive radius of your club. Take into account only those individuals who meet your age, income, and educational criteria. Multiply this number by 17%–20% (the average percentage of the population that’s likely to join a health club). This will give you a good estimate of the number of people in your community who are reasonable candidates for a club membership.

Now, develop a complete list of all the potential competitors in the marketplace—including fitness facilities that may not exactly resemble your business model—and estimate their membership capacity, not their current membership level. Subtract your competitors’ capacity from the number of potential members you calculated for the market as a whole, and you’ll have a good sense of how many real prospects are available. This number should be two to four times higher than the number of members you’ll need in order to be financially successful.

In the process of developing this market analysis, you’ll gain insight not only into the number of members you’re likely to attract, but also into your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. This will help define the challenges that you may face in launching your new club. Good luck!

Jill Stevens Kinney
Clubsource Development Partners, LLC
San Rafel, California


 Answer: Start by asking yourself, “Why would someone be willing to spend their money on the services my club provides versus those of a competitor?” Then, make certain that everyone in your organization understands the edge that your club possesses, and is aligned behind it. That means your vision, mission, core values, core purpose, and the culture of your organization have to be clearly defined and well understood.

Next, design a company that’s easy for your customers to do business with. Execution is what usually separates exceptional companies from mediocre ones.

The best mechanism for ensuring flawless execution that I’ve discovered is a regular, two-hour meeting every Monday morning for all of the members of the management team. During that meeting, we evaluate how we’re doing in a number of areas. Everyone knows what their responsibilities are, and everyone knows they’ll be held accountable for them. And, once a month, we evaluate our progress at these meetings.

Then, once a year, we develop our strategic plan and budget.

Remember that your staff creates your culture. The benefit of embracing the core values of your organization is that it helps identify and clarify the type of people you should hire. Your entire hiring process should be designed to find individuals who have the same values as your company. Trying to change a person’s core values is virtually impossible.

Finally, develop your team’s leadership skills, and always be on the lookout for fresh new talent.

Joe Cirulli
President, Owner & CEO
Gainesville Health & Fitness Center
Gainesville, Florida


Best Practices features answers from experts from both inside and outside the health club industry to thought-provoking questions on a wide range of topics. If you have a question you'd like answered, submit your question today


Elements fitness for women Announces Florida News

Elements fitness, a lifestyle and fitness brand for women, has some recent company news in Florida.

The Miami-baed company has recently purchased a Lady of America gym and will convert it into an elements location.

Also in Florida, elements has named Laura Butcaris as the Tampa regional supervisor

For more on either of these items, check out the elements news section on its website.


Crunch Owner Opens Third Florida Location

One of the newest Crunch franchises opened last month in Bloomingdale, Fla. on the site of a former Lifestyle Family Fitness club.

The 32,000-square-foot facility features $750,000 worth of equipment, including some 100 cardiovascular machines, Elite power racks, a boxing studio, and a sauna. More than 60 classes, including Zumba, SilverSneakers, and Pilates sessions are offered.

Members who choose the $19.95 monthly membership rate enjoy the added benefit of unlimited guest passes and tanning. An onsite kids’ club provides activities for children, while their parents work out, for $29 a month, space permitting.

Together, the new owners, Vince Julien and Tony Scrimale, have more than 50 years of experience in the fitness industry. Scrimale also owns two Crunch franchises in Sarasota and Carrollwood, Fla.


Florida legislature does not pass any bills affecting industry

The Florida state legislature adjourned for 2014 and even though none of the bills passed affected the health club industry that doesn't mean IHRSA wasn't working hard to make sure of it.

There were three bills that potentially could have impacted Florida health and fitness clubs: two different sales tax holiday and personal training legislation.

Visit the IHRSA members-only Florida News and Updates page for more on this year's session and more.


Florida sales tax holiday for health clubs loses momentum

The momentum gained last month in Florida for a sales tax holiday for gym memberships has been subdued.

The Florida House of Representatives passed House Bill 5061, but when it got to the Senate the bill, which contains an array of tax breaks, was dramaticcally altered, including no weeklong tax break on healthy lifestyles.

The bill will now go to conference, where lawmakers will work to orchestrate a compromise.

To read more on House Bill 5061, check out the IHRSA members-only Florida News & Updates page at


Florida mulling sales tax-free holiday for health clubs

IHRSA's advocacy efforts often bring positive results. Work in Florida could be heading that way.

IHRSA and its Tallahassee lobbyist has been working on legislation that will make health club memberships more affordable and bring more people into health clubs. Now a new tax package that includes a sales tax-free holiday for the purchases of health club memberships in the state has been introduced.

IHRSA defends the industry by preventing states from imposing harmful restrictions on membership contracts, restricting access to qualified personal trainers and taxing club dues and services. IHRSA also works to promote clubs by supporting legislation that would create incentives for more people to become physically active and join their local health club.

IHRSA wants to here from you: What would it mean for your club? Contact Tim Sullivan, IHRSA’s senior legislative analyst, at, with any questions or comments that you have regarding a potential sales tax holiday. For additional information on this story, go to the IHRSA Media Center. Click here for more Florida News and Updates.

To support IHRSA's efforts in Florida and the other 49 states, visit



Feedback wanted: possible sales tax holiday for health clubs in Florida

Over the past few years, IHRSA has been working with our lobbyist in Tallahassee to repeal Florida's sales tax on health club dues. We now have reason to believe that there is an opportunity to achieve results in the 2014 session.

Yet, while the opportunity is real, state legislators are reluctant to embrace a full repeal and cede all of the revenue generated by the tax. With that in mind, IHRSA is exploring the idea of enacting a "sales tax holiday" for the purchase of a health club membership. The proposal would be to establish a one-week window - most likely in early January - during which Florida residents could purchase a health club membership without having to pay the sales tax.

IHRSA believes that this could help clubs market memberships and encourage more Florida residents to invest in leading a healthy lifestyle. However, we need to hear from you, our members.

IHRSA needs your feedback! Please e-mail Tim Sullivan, IHRSA's senior legislative analyst, at with how you think a "sales tax holiday" for health club memberships will impact your business. 


Florida club gives back to the community year-round

Ultima Fitness raised $3,300 during a kick-a-thon.It has been a busy couple months for Ultima Fitness in Wellington, Fla.
In October and November alone, the club has hosted numerous fundraisers to benefit local programs and organizations that are important to its members, including: Party in Pink Zumba fundraiser to benefit ThinkPINKkids and the BCX Boot Camp Hospice fundraiser; Xtreme Tae Kwon Do raised over $3,300 in one morning through its annual Kick-a-thon; and members were part of “Team Ultima” in the 15th Annual Community Fitness Run/Walk which benefited Hospice of Palm Beach County.

The giving won't stop in December as Ultima will certainly be seen in the community helping out. 

Throughout the year the club sponsors and organizes activities with the support of members that share the same responsibility of helping others. “It’s with the help of dedicated members like ours that we are able to give back so generously to the community,” said Lynette Laufenberg, Program/Fitness director.