3 Hard Truths from Brent
Now I'd like to share just a little behind-the-scenes insight about an uglier, or at least not such a Pollyanna view of our beloved industry. First, we really are making tremendous strides with the GYMS Act, in spite of the naysayers who believed early on that these efforts would really be a waste of time. As is often the case with any movement or initiative, there are a small nucleus of passionate individuals driving this forward and really making it happen. People on the IHRSA staff of course, but also volunteers, like Gale Landers, Kevin McHugh, Chris Crater, just to name a few, and I can name many.
Well, you likely don't know that there are a few big, well-capitalized players in our industry, who not only have not really been supporting these efforts, but they really prefer to stand on the sidelines and ostensibly observe additional club closures, which in their mind ultimately means more market share for them in the future.
Second, we've all seen the influx of private equity in our industry, as well as the increased interest from the financial investment markets and there are many positives related to this activity. As an industry, we're maturing and as part of that process, we're becoming more professional, more customer-centric, more data-driven, more digital, and even more profit-conscious, all good things. But these investors often evaluate the opportunity for predictable and favorable returns in the health and fitness sector, in comparison with senior care, solar grids, restaurants, or maybe even storage warehouses. Along the way, my hope is that our industry doesn't lose its soul and its passion for making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Finally, I get to speak with someone who doesn't believe that our industry would benefit from a united voice and messaging. Of course, this often means in their minds, their voice or a similar version of another voice. But whether it's lobbying, introducing relief packages, supporting tax credits, or consumer-facing messaging, we sincerely do need to set egos and self-serving interest aside to align with the trade association's, your trade association's, efforts for the greater good of our industry.
That's it for this week. Thanks for listening and please tune into my last Take 5 next week. Live well until then.