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Local gym only offers *short term* memberships -- why?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Dear Folks:

Stopped by Exodus, a local gym in Williamsburg, to ask about memberships. They had a sign out front advertising 99 for two months. I asked about it. It had been running for a few months.

Then I asked how much are quarterly, semi-annual or annual memberships. They said they no longer offer them. I know they used to, as I had looked in about half a year or a year ago.

This short-term-only policy seems strange. All gyms know that most members use the place very little. The active members subsidize the less active members, and most gyms want to get as much of your money as possible up front. Exodus has been in business for several years.

What might be their reasons? Please advise.
post #2 of 8
Perhaps to try and entice those people who are thinking of going to the gym, but don't like the idea of getting into a long membership if they end up not using it like many gym members. 2 months is a good idea, but I think its odd they don't still offer the long-term memberships anymore.
post #3 of 8
Probably just to differentiate themselves from the lifetime membership places like Bally's, LA Fitness, 24-hour fitness, etc. that have gotten such a bad rap for their high-pressure sales tactics.

You didn't say if the $99 for two months was for a single or family membership. Here in Arizona that would be high if it's just for one person, but probably about average or maybe even a little lower for a family. I think we're paying $53 a month at the YMCA right now for the entire family. I'm sure private gyms are a little higher.
post #4 of 8
I don't know why, except maybe to charge higher rates?

As an aside, I think it's illegal, at least in CA, for a healthclub to offer "lifetime" memberships. People get all pissed off for getting locked into these contracts. Or something.
post #5 of 8
Perhaps their lease is a bit tenuous, and they don't want to lock people in for a long time given the uncertainty.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonick
Perhaps to try and entice those people who are thinking of going to the gym, but don't like the idea of getting into a long membership if they end up not using it like many gym members.

2 months is a good idea, but I think its odd they don't still offer the long-term memberships anymore.

That sounds about right. I used to sell memberships at 24 hour fitness. I think it's psychological - $99 seems to be a manageable payment. Two months, gives people the sense that they can "try" working out. Some are terrified about having to pay enrollment fees, processing fees, first and last month, just to get started on a monthly membership.

I'm assuming although they don't have the term memberships, they have the monthly (most likely electronic funds transfer) payment plans. This seems to be the steadiest income stream rather than upfront payments (unlike 24 Hour Fitness where they have been on a campaign to sell 3 year memberships for payment up front so they can keep building more gyms).

In that case, that gym has to make an effort to sell personal training or, within the 2 months, to convince the member that it is inin his/her best interest to continue a healthy lifestyle (which it is, if they aren't getting exercise elsewhere) and sign up for a monthly membership. Once they're signed up, I know a lot of people keep paying the monthly even if they don't go. This can go on for years before they actually get off their ass to cancel it (ironic, I know).

If not, all I can think is that this place is getting desperate for additional income that instead of trying to build long-term clientele, they're just trying to supplement their current monthly members with short term sales. High volume mentality.
post #7 of 8
If you not sure about the contract just move on and have a look around . Most of these so called gyms are run by crooks. Try and find one run by a Bodybuilder instead.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Went by again today and got the answer: Bldg has been sold, and the gym will not exist by the end of the year. Now they only offer a one month membership, and quietly advise against buying it, as much of the equipment will be moving out in Dec. So Grey Flannel Man was right.
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