Friday, January 20, 2012

No Exit Plan (same old, same old)

Leading Edge Amherst. Sign went up six weeks before business died

The Greenfield Recorder 1/20/12

Well considering Joanne DeLong and Peter Earle gave members, instructors and the general public only a couple hours notice before they scuttled their flagship The Leading Edge in Amherst last year, I'm not surprised half of that dynamic due now publicly proclaims the Leading Edge (rowboat) in Greenfield, has "no plans to close the gym."

Planning was never their strong point.

Obviously it's w-a-y more fun to plan for opening a business rather than closing, just like it is far merrier to attend a wedding or baptism vs. a funeral or divorce proceeding.

But consumers had better be wary--very wary. Both in Greenfield and the one maybe opening soon in the same complex in Amherst as the former Leading Edge. Considering their business model (low-cost, pack them in the door to sign up, then hope they never come in to use the facility) only took 13 months to accumulate massive amounts of red ink, it's hard to imagine a sudden turnaround simply because one partner ditches the other.

Apparently customer service is not a strong point either

And strangely enough, in this case, the partner getting ditched--Peter Earle--has far more fitness experience than Joanne DeLong, who jumped into the fitness field a tad late in life, with her main experience fighting with Earle at the Gold's Gym, Inc in Amherst before it morphed into The Leading Edge which only lasted another two years before suddenly going out of business.

As Scotty, Chief Engineer on the good ship Enterprise, used to say, "Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
This from the Greenfield Recorder:

"According to court documents, Greenfield Fitness Inc. is in default of approximately $307,000 in back rent, real estate taxes and maintenance costs. The fitness center has routinely missed payments of maintenance costs ($46,420), real estate taxes ($54,896), and back rent ($205,524) since May 2010. The business opened in March of 2009."

10/24/11 They certainly cut corners with their Greenfield sign (now a weathered banner)


Anonymous said...

I've always been suspicious as to why such a seemingly successful business(Boasting over 3000 members)never invested in a sign. The banner thats taped to the other side of the sign post still says "Grand Opening".I guess its pretty clear now. It amazes me how these guys can amass such a debt in such a short time and still Joanne Delong has the audacity to try and convince the public and her members that they arent going under yet again. The only one she's fooling is herself. I suppose some might ride it out. After all as they say"its only ten bucks a month" after which they can always go crawling back to the struggling legitimate clubs they abandoned. However, with all the negativity that exists concerning them (including a BBB rating of F)The likelihood of attracting new members is nil. Time to wake up and face the music Mr.Earle and Miss Delong HAVE YA READ THE PAPER? YOUR BAD NEWS!!!

Anonymous said...

I like to say first hand that this is not all Joanne's fault. Pete has no idea how to run a gym. I would see him in the gym working out with his buddy rather then fixing the broken equipment. Just like in Amherst, he sold his part to Joanne after acquiring all that debt. In the mean time he has opened another gym in Keene, NH. Going by his track record, that gym should be closed by 2014. It's quite clear no one around western MA wants to do business with Pete so he has moved out of state. Let's no forget that recently the police had to get involved when Pete was trying to take equipment from the Greenfield gym while in the process of selling his part. He was also ordered by the court to return the flat screens he removed from the gym. I will never join a gym with Pete or Joannes name on it ever again.

LarryK4 said...

There has been no activity whatsoever at the new location on University Drive in Amherst since the machines were moved in around the end of September.

Word has gotten out.

Anonymous said...

When they left the Gold's Gym franchise because of not wanting to abide by their high standards it was doomed. Peter lacked the sense or tact to run any business. Joanne Delong is an attorney.. As a previous customer the Gym was good for while, but sometime after they let it run to the ground. No good maitenance program. Staff was snobby and lacked any sense of customer service. Eventually those who do things wrong, continue to do it wrong. To whoever this saying goes...well they are all out of business now....Be a real american by paying your taxes properly.....

Anonymous said...

I guess plans are moving forward at the new location on University Drive. Megan is currently recruiting new members and there is a web site up and running:

It's interesting that the web site doesn't actually include any information on who owns Fit Woman Amherst and who will be working there. The "Meet Our Team" page is blank.

LarryK said...

Thanks for the the