Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fitness Zombie Dies Another Death


Blame the victim

In spite of the recent headline that the Leading Edge Health Club in Greenfield had "No Plans to close the gym" the well earned end came swiftly anyway as today their doors are locked, the music silenced and machines switched permanently off.



Apparently Home Depot did not want to forgive $300,000 in unpaid bills rung up over the past two years, probably figuring any business partnership that can fall that far behind in such a short time is not a good bet to turn around instantly simply because one loser partner purges the other.

I guess the good thing about charging a ridiculously low monthly fee is that members can't be owed too much in lost pre-paid memberships. But it is still bad for the industry, sowing seeds of distrust and giving people the wrong impression of the true cost to run a health club properly--which is reflected in normal monthly rates.

Industry standard these days is easily in the $49/month range. So when someone promises to provide the same service for $9.95/month, beware.

If it sounds to good to be true..

Still a "Grand Opening" sign over three years later


Ch 22 TV news jumps on the story

22 comments:

Steve said...

That didn't take long..... Yeah it's all Home Depots fault....Just think, they want to get paid???... What nerve

Anonymous said...

Planet Fitness makes it work.

LarryK4 said...

For now.

Anonymous said...

I think the difference is that they are not crooks. A dishonest person will cheat you no matter what the weather is like.

Anonymous said...

The problem with planet fitness and all the other $9.95 franchises is this......They put honest local establishments out of business. The community loses a little more of its identity. A little more of its culture dies as well. Jobs are lost. Diversity is lost. These things may mean very little to the guy who just wants to save a buck but someday soon when the only place you can make a purchase is walmart and the only place you can work out is planet fitness because the local small businessman could no longer compete and every where you go its the same thing (Whew!) it will be too late to get back what was sacrificed. Franchises such as these are designed to pull the rug out from under small businesses and they do so quite successfully. The blame however does'nt lie with the franchise alone. It lies also with each individual within a community who makes these monsters thrive. The price difference between all club memberships, low end to high end, is less than a daily cup of coffee. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Baloney! What a bunch of cry babies. The world changes and those that can't compete always whine about it. Fitness clubs are sprouting up like mushrooms in Amherst. There's Peddar Fitness, Fitness Together, and the new spinning club in the center of Amherst that opened last month. They all have found innovative ways to fit into the fitness market. Sure, if you sit around and do the same old tired thing you did 20-30 years ago you are going to go belly up. You have to create new models. It's the American way.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, worked real well for Peter Earle and Joanne Delong now didn't it.

Make sure you join Mr. Earle's new operation (although women only, so it probably rules you out) on University Drive in Amherst.

"Sucker born every minute."

Steve said...

I don't think Planent was The Leading Edge's downfall... I think it came from within.......

Anonymous said...

Who do you think Planet Fitness hires??? People from another state? They hire local people to run the place, and local people congregate there to exercise. The more people go and exercise the healthier they are. Who cares who owns the place? You guys put too much thought into every freakin' moment of the day. Get off your collective asses and exercise.

LarryK4 said...

And that's another problem.

Planet Fitness, like BIG Box stores, hires warm bodies with no education background or certification.

"Would you like fries with that?"

Anonymous said...

To 10:07pm: Spoken like someone who earns enough money to spend on a membership to Hampshire Fitness or Peddar Fitness or Fitness Together, or whatever. FYI - I don't buy that daily cup of coffee. I make coffee at home and bring it to work. My pay is frozen, my health insurance benefits are about to be decimated by virtue of proposed amendment that's currently in the Mass. Senate, I'm upwards of 60 years old, and I have a mortgage in Amherst that I might be able to afford if the goddamn property taxes weren't disgustingly exhorbitent. I go to Planet Fitness because $10.00 a month is all I can afford. The equipment is in good shape, the place is clean, and the employees, certified or not, are more than willing to help and seem to know what they're doing. You people who cry "buy local" can afford to do so. The rest of us do what we can given our circumstances, so stop your Amherst-speak, elitist, holier-than-thou criticisms of those of us who don't happen to have your dollars in our pockets. And, if I could get a decent price for my house and could qualify for another mortgage, I'd move to Hadley.

Anonymous said...

Yeah the world changes alright.Its Getting better all the time. Just keep those eyes closed, lock the steering wheel and put your foot on the accellerator. Everything will be just fine. You'll see....but then again,probably not.These new businesses you speak of are just that...new. I hope they make it so long as they are legit. This of course excludes Mr. Earles latest venture.

Anonymous said...

My comment about planet fitness said nothing about my financial situation or where I live. I'm in the Greenfeild area and like yourself, I dont have a pot to piss in either. However,given your age you can't deny that the things I posted are true. I'll bet you liked the world 30 years ago much better than the way it is today. People can't afford lot of things these days but anybody can have good health and 30 or 40 bucks a month is'nt much at all compared to what people pay for cable tv, booze, drugs and whatever other crap they spend their hard earned money on. You may not do any of these things but dont even try to convince me that the guy who founded planet fitness had your well being in mind. The club I belong to has been known to float membership fees for many people who are having a tough time.Thats the kind of service that is soon to be gone forever. Thats the kind of service that a member of a community can and should do for another. I do not expect the majority to agree with me but I also think that the majority have lost touch with the things that are really important. Planet fitness does'nt give a darn about the local people or how many businesses they hurt. The amount of people whose financial situation absolutely requires such a place would'nt pay a weeks worth of rent. Do you think they would stay open for you? There are still a few places around who do care about their members and whose members care about their club. If you can still find one that has survived talk to them about what you can afford.If they cant or wont work with you then go to PF.

Anonymous said...

Planet Fitness and Peter Earle have nothing to do with each other. The guy's a crook, end of story. If it's not bilking you through fitness he'd be out selling people swampland. Don't blame Planet Fitness for coming up with a better business model. They've figured out that lots of people would like to belong to a club that doesn't have a membership fee that's a millstone around their necks. I go every few weeks and I love the fact that it costs me next to nothing to belong.

Anonymous said...

Well said "February 2, 2012 1:06 PM", I totaly agree.

Anonymous said...

11:38 am: I don't need to go to a gym where I feel "cared for." I go to work out. The difference between $10 and $30-$40 is what it is. I can't afford it. You can. I congratulate you.

LarryK4 said...

Obviously Planet Fitness does not profit from a guy like you. If you go in five days a week (and it sounds like you may) and simply take a shower and flush the toilet on every visit you cost them more than $9.95 per month in water/sewer/electricity.

So for every guy like you, they need another three or four who never show up but still feel healthy because they "belong to a gym."

Anonymous said...

If you think Peter Earle and planet fitness have nothing in common where do you think he got the idea? That guy does'nt posess one ounce of originality and dont think for a minute that he and Mr. PF dont come from the same mold. You have to be a certain type to form a "business model" thats designed to fill your own pockets and destroy the livelihoods of others. That business plan is based purely on selfish greed.Is that the American way? Its no different than the philosophy of the oil companies who squeeze you by the balls every time you go to the pump. Tell me you think thats alright. Dont think Mr. PF would'nt do the same if the industry would allow it. the I'm not at all surprised that MR. PF is regarded a hero by the majority. All you one line commenters prove my point with every word you speak. You dont posess enough foresight to step off the porch. Unfortunately the world is full of people like yourselves hence the dismal situation the world is in. Lets send all our business to china. Buy chinese merchandise. Its cheaper right? It's closing down American industry and the economy faster than PF is closing down gyms. Faster than walmart is closing down the majority of other small businesses. They must have the best "business model" of all. Bottom line is this...If you support it then you for sure cant call yourself a victim of it.

Anonymous said...

Funny, because i joined your gym several times over the years and rarely came. Never heard a peep out of you about giving me any money back. You were happy as Planet Fitness to keep it.

LarryK4 said...

You would have been in a distinct minority at my Club, but now in the vast majority on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that they had ~3200 members as of closing? That brings in close to $32000 per month and they still couldn't make ends meet??

Someone must have some pretty big holes in his pockets...

Anonymous said...

Hi Larry, I would like to put in a plug for the aerobics and fitness studio, where many of the instructors and trainers from the former leading edge have come together to offer classes and personal training.

It is not a gym but they offer lots of options for working out (mind and body) and many former members are here and are quite happy about it.

You and your readers should give them a try and see what group fitness feels like.

There really is strength in numbers!