Call us at 858.509.0034

About Us

Dear Colleague,

In March 2020 FISA North America became a twenty-year-old organization. Since the beginning, members drove and supported the work we do on their behalf as the fitness business evolved.

Due to the current pandemic, we now face complete reset, with many more questions than answers, and many more uncertainties than this brief letter can pose or answer. This is a fluid and frightening situation for owners and operators, suppliers and fitness enthusiasts, no matter their choice of facility. Speculation is rampant. It’s unclear how many or which fitness businesses will survive. At least temporarily. the consumer has been driven from commercial space to the home setting, with much conjecture about the permanency of that option.

Cyclical by nature,  most fitness trends taper off only to regenerate years later. For example, in the early 80’s and 90’s, owners of small clubs expanded into ‘multi-purpose’ clubs. Many thrived and clubs replicated and duplicated this model. In the 2000’s we witnessed an explosion of boutique models (too many concepts to mention), franchising of high volume/low-cost concepts. Then many clubs with traditional dues structures converted to high/volume/low cost. In all cases, operators recognized the need for more individualized membership options and programs. Some larger clubs have reverted to ‘unbundled’ pricing for memberships and use of specific areas within their clubs. Some traditional franchises lost their luster as many left a national brand and converted to names with ‘local’ recognition. Now, all bets are off.

Technology plays an increasingly important role in the fitness experience in clubs and out, wearable devices like Fitbit being the best-known example. More fitness information at everyone’s fingertips helps the consumer and it also means higher expectations and more discerning customers, who want to pay only for what they do and the programs they want. Who would have ever thought personal trainers would compete with a cell phone ‘app?’

It’s now safe to assume there will be less space to roam about in clubs, that the average overall membership will drop and that some conveniences will be reduced or eliminated. How members react is unclear? With fewer members allowed in group exercise classes, it’s unclear how facilities and members will adapt in the long term. One thing is certain. THEY WILL ADAPT.

All this said, our Board of Directors and the members at large continue to support the idea that we can best serve their needs by offering a limited number of cooperative initiatives, and doing them well. Examples include:

  • Publishing the Commercial Market Trend Report, an annual data collection effort that tracks the global sale of commercial fitness equipment by product line, unit and volume sales and dealers sales activity, and more. We own comparative data since 2000.
  • We offer three appointment-based VIP events: FISA East and FISA West, and ‘Doing Business with YMCAs’. Held at world-class resorts and hotels such as La Quinta Club & Resort, Four Seasons Palm Beach Resort & Club, Turnberry Isle Collection, The Loews Coronado Resort, and Omni Rancho Las Palmas, the format includes prearranged, one-on-one meetings, social and networking activities with owners and executives of regional health club chains, independent clubs, YMCAs, JCCs and hospital-based facilities. It’s a great value for all participants, making efficient use of everyone’s time. Where else can you meet 30-40 decision-makers in one place, over 2½ days?
  • ‘Doing Business with YMCAs’ provides a similar format to connect with programming executive staff from Large and mid-tier YMCA groups.

When you browse our membership directory, you’ll see the names of companies you recognize and expect to see….those with great products, great people and insights to help commercial customers thrive. Be assured that as a supplier, no matter your size, your product or service, your input is welcome as a part of our long-term commitment to help you meet the needs of your company and your customers.

 

Sincerely,

David Dinerman
Director