A desperate price structure that already failed once yet still more than twice as expensive as Planet Fitness
So here it is January--peak month for health club member sales nationwide--and Lazarus has not yet arisen from the grave. 'The Leading Edge' went out suddenly on October 19th and almost immediately otherwise sane folks who are exercise addicts started a movement to reopen the club.
By "movement" I mean more in the Arlo Guthrie sense:
And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin' in, singin' a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out? They may think it's an organization! And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day . . . walkin' in, singin' a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out? Friends, they may think it's a MOVEMENT, and that's what it is: THE ALICE'S RESTAURANT ANTI-MASSACREE MOVEMENT! . . .
Their Facebook page attracted under 150 like minded fans before disbanding last week in favor of the blog. And yeah I'm a BIG fan of the Power of the Blog, and what I love about Blogger is simple publishing and it's even simpler for Anon folks to interact with the site. So for them to now have under 500 "members" who pledged to join --but put down NO money--once the business opens (by simply clicking a link) is stunningly inadequate.
At its peak (when still called "Gold's Gym") the business probably had 3,000 members paying on average twice the low-end membership rate now proposed and even on the day they died 'The Leading Edge' probably had a 1,000 members, having lost a gaggle to 'Planet Fitness' and the new $50 million Umass Recreation Center two miles down the road.Yes, this billboard probably costs about $5,000 month
By now the vast majority of their former clientele--down 60% from those peak years mid decade-- have joined other clubs in the area. Even more important, the fitness instructors have found other options, either taking up with Hampshire Athletic Club or renting space in town by the hour or taking the major step of opening a storefront facility targeting group exercise aficionados thus draining away about one-third of the target demographic.
Simply put, the overhead at 'The Leading Edge' killed them: prime location rent, utilities sucked up by the cavernous commercial space, and of course the employees required to cover very extensive hours of commercial operation.
If long time members had been paying attention they would have seen the handwriting on the wall two years ago when the owners abandoned the 'Gold's Gym' franchise (in order to save money of course) and relaunched as 'The Leading Edge'.
Ironically the volunteer committee of former members attempting to orchestrate this long-shot revival have chosen the name of another former dead club 'The Gym', which was located at appropriately enough the Mt. Farms Mall back when it was known as "The Dead Mall".
And now the Mt Farms Mall--far from dead since Wal Mart moved in--hosts 'Planet Fitness' where predatory pricing is the norm. Thus even now with the proposed unrealistically low rates for 'The Gym' they are still more than twice as expensive as 'Planet Fitness'.
Although virtually all of them commence with good intentions the tragic reality is about one-third of new business start ups fail in the first year. The chances for survival of a committee-run gym are anexorically slim, especially in this cutthroat market.
But fortunately, we will never know--since 'The Gym' will never actually open.