Some of the more disgusting examples of the lack of upkeep in health clubs that I have seen in my 30 years in the fitness business:
· The smell of urine on the hot rocks in the sauna. This did more than permeate the locker room. You could smell it in the workout area.
· Indoor pool where the water could best be described as black, not a dark algae green but black.
· A layer of mildew that spreads like soylent green throughout the wet area.
· Equipment that remained in disrepair for months at time.
· Tattered and torn carpet -not just a little here and there. It was the dominant theme throughout the workout area.
· Mushrooms growing out of the carpet in the wet area. I was amazed by the phenomenon as much as I was disgusted by it.
· An infestation of worms crawling around in the steam room.
· A quarter inch layer of dust on top of equipment.
· Feces in the whirlpool.
I have worked for more than a dozen companies. At each facility a revolving door of new owners come in to start anew after the previous owners muck it up. They have great projections, but very soon costs outstrip the incoming cash flow. At that point they cut costs and let the facility go to pot. That is the beginning of the end. The very end comes when they slash prices to squeeze a few dollars out before going out of business. At one facility where I worked they offered yearly memberships for 55 dollars. A couple of weeks later they closed their doors.
Eighty percent close the doors before their tenth year; fifty percent of businesses do not survive past their third year. New Orleans’s Ultimate Fitness Trainers has been fortunate to be open for ten years, and Kelly’s Austin Personal Trainers has be open four years.
To remain open in any competitive field you have to offer value to the customer to keep them coming back. Keeping the place clean is just part of it. Rather than downgrading what we offer we have endeavored to expand what we offer over the years and keep the quality high. The end result is that we have continued to grow even in these difficult financial times. To our loyal patrons we are extremely grateful for making that possible and hope to earn your continued business in the future.