2011 Campaign to Protect and Promote the Fitness Club Industry

BOSTON, MA --- November 29, 2010 --- IHRSA, The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association has announced the launch of their annual Industry Defense Fund Campaign to Promote and Protect the Fitness Club Industry.

IHRSA's Industry Defense Fund was established over ten years ago by concerned club operators to ensure that the fitness industry would have the financial resources necessary to protect itself against unwarranted regulation and taxation, while positioning the industry at the forefront of health promotion and wellness policy.
Contributions are used to protect the industry from harmful business regulations, including proposals to tax health club membership dues, restrict or prohibit automatic renewals, mandate personal trainer licensure and mandate AEDs in health clubs without adequate liability protection.  Contributions are also used to promote and grow the industry by supporting tax-incentives and healthy lifestyle legislation. In addition to protecting the industry from daily threats at the state level, IHRSA is actively seeking passage of federal legislation that will create incentives for Americans to exercise, such as tax credits and comprehensive obesity legislation.
Running a health club would be much more difficult today than just a few years ago, if it were not for recent contributions to the Industry Defense Fund. For instance, club operators in New York, California, Pennsylvania and Kentucky would be forced to charge a tax on membership dues, and clubs in over a dozen states would no longer be able to collect monthly dues via EFT or automatically renew memberships. IHRSA's 2-year undefeated legislative record of fifty wins and zero losses would not exist if not for prior contributions to the Industry Defense Fund.

IHRSA's Public Policy team, based in Boston with lobbyists in Washington, DC and 10 additional states, is currently monitoring over 300 pieces of legislation affecting all regions of the country. Many of these bills have the potential to drastically affect a club's ability to serve their members.

Protecting and promoting the industry is a very expensive endeavor. Between now and June 30, the Public Policy Council must raise over $1.5M to cover the expense of such battles. Despite the tough economy, Meredith Poppler, IHRSA's Vice President of Industry Growth is confident this goal will be reached, "Over the past two years, IHRSA members have contributed more than $2M to support our Public Policy efforts. Our members understand that the issues IHRSA is fighting for and against have the potential to profoundly and drastically affect all of our businesses," says Poppler."The work that IHRSA's Public Policy team accomplishes on a daily basis is so important to everyone in this industry," she adds. "If any one of those 50 bills passed because we didn't have the means necessary to defeat it, this industry would be much less business-friendly than it is today."

IHRSA recognizes the following industry leaders with deep gratitude for their contributions to the Industry Defense Fund this past year:

 The Alaska Clubs
 Anytime Fitness Corporate and Franchisees
 Anytime Fitness of Breaux Bridge, LA
 The Atlantic Club
 Atlantic Coast Athletic Clubs  
 Bally Total Fitness  
 The Belmont Athletic Club
 BodyBusiness Health Club & Spa  
 Brick Bodies Fitness Services  
 Cedardale Health & Fitness  
 The Claremont Club
 Club Fit Jefferson Valley  
 Club Insider News  
 Club One, Inc.  
 The Columbia Association
 Cross Gates Family Fitness
 Curves International
 Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
 DMB Sports Clubs
 The East Bank Club
 Elite Sports Clubs
 Equinox Fitness Clubs
 Fayetteville Athletic Club  
 Fitness Formula Clubs  
 Fitness Management Systems  
 Gainesville Health & Fitness  
 Genesis Health Club  
 Gold's Gym Franchisee Association  
 Gold's Gym International  
 Gold's Gyms of Los Angeles  
 Health Fitness Corporation  
 Healthworks Fitness for Women  
 Hockessin Athletic Club  
 Hoffman Insurance Services  
 The Houstonian
 In-Shape Health Clubs  
 L.A. Fitness International  
 Leisure Sports, Inc.  
 Lifestyle Family Fitness
 Livermore Valley Tennis  
 Management Vision  
 The Maryland Athletic Club (The MAC)  
 Michigan Athletic Club  
 Millennium Partners Sports Club Management
 MVP Sports Clubs  
 National Academy of Sports Medicine  
 Oakland Hills Tennis Club  
 Onelife Fitness by Galiani  
 Oxford Athletic Club  
 Partnership Capital Growth  
 Plus One Health Management  
 PRO Sports Club  
 Rice Fitness Centers  
 Ridley Sports Club  
 Rochester Athletic Club  
 RUSH Fitness Complex, The  
 Saco Sport & Fitness  
 Sandy Hoeffer, Consultant  
 Saw Mill Sports Management  
 Spearman Clubs, Inc.  
 Spectrum Clubs, Inc.  
 T.W. Holdings, Inc.  
 TELOS Fitness Center  
 Tennis Corporation of America (TCA)  
 Thomas Plummer, NFBA  
 Town Sports International (TSI)  
 The Wellbridge Company
 Wisconsin Athletic Club

Special thanks are owed to to L.A. Fitness International, Curves International and Anytime Fitness for each contributing over $100,000 to IHRSA's Public Policy efforts.

Companies and individuals that contribute to the Industry Defense Fund receive special contributor-only communications, private meeting invitations, convention passes and research. Benefits depend on the level of contribution.

About IHRSA The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA is committed to taking a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America's health and the battle against obesity and disease. IHRSA supports effective national initiatives to promote more active lifestyles for all Americans and is working to pass laws that will help affect societal changes toward a more fit America. IHRSA and its members are committed to making the world healthier through regular exercise. For more information, please visit ihrsa.orgindustry-defense or contact Meredith Poppler, or 800/228-4772, Ext.129.



Meredith Poppler, IHRSA | 800-228-4772, Ext.129|


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