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| News & Know How | News The New York Times Taps Beth Shaw for Blog B eth Shaw, who founded YogaFit Training Systems Worldwide in 1997 after developing a style of yoga that works particularly well in health clubs, has since trained some 200,000 instructors in the U.S. and elsewhere. She’s also fashioned a number of exclusive partnerships with, among others, the American Council on Exercise (ACE); Can Fit Pro; GoodLife Fitness Clubs; Gold’s Gym International, Inc.; 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc.; and Town Sports YogaFit President International Holdings, Inc. Beth Shaw Now, Shaw has been selected to participate in The New York Times’ Women’s Entrepreneur Group, a selection of business owners who meet monthly with a Times writer, who, in turn, documents their experiences in a blog hosted by the Times. In the first installment, published in May, Shaw described why she created YogaFit and explained how she’s grown the company. She also acknowledged that she recently decided to revamp a spinoff business that she’d started—yoga apparel—and has hired a sales and marketing person to dispose of excess inventory and simplify the line. Since YogaFit is based in Torrance, California, and the Times offices are in New York City, Shaw has become bicoastal, making monthly trips to Manhattan. As a result, she’s now considering opening a YogaFit office in the Big Apple. —| LA Fitness Acquires Lifestyle Family Fitness California chain now owns more facilities than any other club company F or some time, there’s been talk of consolida- tion in the health and fitness club industry, prompted, in part, by the economic conditions that have prevailed for the past few years. The notion gained credence recently when LA Fit- ness, the Irvine, California–based chain, announced that it had entered into an agreement to purchase all 33 facilities of Lifestyle Family Fitness (LFF), based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The terms of the deal were not revealed, but industry observers estimated the price at upwards of $27 million. LFF was founded in 1982 by Geoffrey Dyer, a former president of IHRSA. Last year, LFF closed two of its clubs in Florida and sold others in Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. Last November, LA Fitness, which has been on an aggressive expansion campaign, purchased 171 Bally Total Fitness locations in 16 states for some $153 million. Founded in 1984, LA Fitness was No. 1 on the 2011 IHRSA Global 25 list for “Number of Facilities Owned” with 505 units, up from 360 units in 2010—a 40% increase. (See “The IHRSA Global 25,” July CBI, pg. 42.) The privately held company doesn’t release its revenue figures, but observers peg them at more than $1 billion a year. —| | CBI Update | Read and Ride Program Is Honored > In June, CBI reported on a school program, Read and Ride, at the Ward Elementary School, in Winston- Salem, North Carolina, that’s managed to success- fully combine academics and physical activity (see “Exercise + Academics = Success,” pg. 16). In a special trailer behind the school, which serves grades K through five, children ride exercise bikes while they practice their reading skills for 15 minutes at a time. The bikes are especially popular on rainy days, when as many as 20 classes make use of them. Now, ChildObesity 180, a group of prominent experts from government, academia, and the nonprofit sec- Read and Ride tor, that’s dedicated to combating childhood obesity, multitasking has honored the program. The group, based at Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts, has awarded the school a $2,500 prize, designating it a “Praiseworthy Pioneer”—one of the top 20 school programs in the nation that are promoting exercise through “active learning.” —| 18 Club Business International | August 2012 | CORRECTION: The July issue of CBI mistakenly identified MYE Club TV Systems by its former name, MYE Entertainment. Also, the photograph accompanying the piece was not of the equipment described in the text. (See “IHRSA 2012! Snapshots of the Industry Event That Surpassed All Expectations,” pg. 54). CBI sincerely regrets the errors. —|