Postcard mailed to all of Amherst last week: one way to try to compete against "free"
Not good when a "partner" suits a partner!
UPDATE: THURSDAY 10/20 2:00 PM
So apparently a move is afoot--on Facebook naturally--to form a co-op and have the (former) members take over the recently deceased gym. What the hell, it works for Collective Copies and Pelham Auto and, hmm, maybe 1 or 2 more out of Amherst's 700 or so businesses.
Sorry folks, hate to hail on your parade, but unless you get Donald Trump (or Barry Roberts or Curt Shumway) on board to buy the property and adjust the rent downwardly out of the goodness of their hearts, with the current rent/lease costs you have less than a snowballs chance in Hell. Although, Greg Boisseau is no slouch. And he lives next door, so he's motivated.
Hi All (fellow gym Rats),
Greetings. I took the liberty of creating an email list of all the folks (from the Edge) I have email addresses for in order to keep us all "in the loop". If you know of someone who should be on this list please forward me their information (and forward them these emails).
I was extremely surprised and shocked to find our gym (our community) closed as of 5:00 on 10/19/10! I am sure you all share this same frustration and anger. There are a couple of things I would like to share with you: I do not know much but there is a move afoot to re-open the gym. To that end I would like to have a meeting with as many of you all as possible. At that meeting we will have a potential principal owner present. This meeting will be a great venue to express your ideas and thoughts about how we can move this forward. The new ownership/s will need our help getting the gym back on its feet. There will be no monetary financial solicitation!! I would like to have this meeting soon, I am thinking either Friday (10/22) or Monday (10/25) evening (6:00 ish). Let me know what works best for you so I can secure a venue.
On another note, I know there are three sides to every story (his, hers, and the truth); as it pertains to the two principal owners and the email letter we received (as to the sudden closing of the gym), I do not put much (or any) stock in, nor do I trust the author of that letter. If you feel the sudden closing and slanderous accusations (in the letter signed by Joanne DeLong) was insulting, disruptive, etc, I would invite you to express those thoughts/opinions in to the press and or social networking sites.
Keep smiling and Be well
ORIGINAL POST 10/19 3:30 PM (W-A-Y before the DH Gazette)
So the "Leading Edge" gym, formerly "Gold's Gym" is no more. As Captain Renault in Casablanca would say, "Shocked, shocked to find..."
Kind of hard to compete with that other nearby chain facility charging only $9.95 per month, when current nationwide averages for the Health Club industry are at the very least four times that.
Or that state owned $50 million recreation facility on the Umass campus that charges undergrads (a favorite target demographic of 'Leading Edge') exactly ZERO.
No, as a former competitor for 95% of their lifespan, I don't take great joy in this unsurprising news, and I will try hard not to gleefully say I told you so. But...
And yes, I will dance an Irish Jig naked in the Mountain Farms Mall parking lot when the next domino falls: Planet Fitness.
I told you so!
The Joys of competition
Amherst Fitness, Inc
October 19, 2010
It is with profound regret that a decision has been made to close the Amherst gym as of Wednesday, October 20.
Peter Earle whohas had full financial control and management control for the past 13 months, voluntarily resigned as of Friday, October 15. It became immediately apparent to his corporate partner, Joanne DeLong, that the business was left in such a condition that it could not survive without major changes -- such as dues increases and reduction in classes which, it is believed, would not be tolerated by the many members who have maintained their interest in and loyalty to the club -- some since the opening in December, 2003.
For those of you may be interested, we are offering the opportunity to continue at the Greenfield club (in the Home Depot plaza directly off Rte. 91, on the Mohawk Trail). You will have 6 weeks of free membership, including all of November. No enrollment fee will be collected for continued membership at $9.99 or $19.99 per month, upon signing a Greenfield contract. Anyone who has paid a year in full in Amherst will have the option to continue membership in Greenfield for the balance of their term or the unused portion of your deposit will be repaid to you. If you have been working with one of the Amherst trainers, there is a likelihood that they will be able to transfer to the Greenfield facility if they wish and continue training you there.
For those of you who are interested in this option, PLEASE BE PREPARED TO TAKE A COPY OF THIS EMAIL AND YOUR IDENTIFICATION KEY CARD WITH YOU TO GREENFIELD as your "ticket". For those who do not transfer to Greenfield we will reimburse you any unused portion of the dues already paid to Amherst as soon as possible.
We cannot say enough to thank you for your friendship and loyalty. This decision was not made lightly; and we are sincerely sorry for what we know is far more than a mere inconvenience to you.
The Leading Edge gym in Amherst is closing its doors as of October 20,2010 -- another victim of the economic downturn. A decrease in membership -- partly related to the opening of Planet Fitness and the Umass gym -- has resulted in an inability to meet financial obligations, despite the efforts that were made in May to address the situation.
The Leading Edge gym in Greenfield is a completely separate entity which is quite healthy and thriving, mostly because of the lower costs associated with operating a health club that is not full service (classes, childcare and the like) as Amherst was.
Amherst members are being given an opportunity to join the Greenfield gym and continue their training and fitness program. New equipment is being added to Greenfield over the next few months, making it even more inviting.
The Amherst gym opened in December, 2003, as a Gold's Gym. In 2008, the owners determined that it was more important to present themselves and be recognized in the community as a locally owned gym than just another cog in the corporate wheel. Initially, as The Leading Edge, membership continued to build and the business did well. A decision was made to open a second facility in Greenfield, following the trend to establish a discount gym. Simultaneously, upgrades in equipment and flooring were made in Amherst. Unfortunately, the economic downturn was happening at the same time, negatively impacting the ability of a full service club to thrive.
One of the owners, Peter Earle, who took over full management of the Amherst gym about a year ago, resigned from all active involvement in the gym on Friday, October 15. His corporate partner came in immediately and over the next few days determined that the gym had to close. "It is with deep regret that this decision is being made," declared Joanne DeLong, "knowing the terrible impact this will have on loyal and dedicated employees as well as the many, many wonderful members who have come to rely on our services."
Amherst Fitness, Inc
Note to Virginia: Join Hampshire Athletic Club.