Gym Maintenance Fees
I have owned this one particular gym for almost 3 years now. Although I have a gym maintenance fee clause in the membership contract, I have never enforced it...until now. Specifically the clause reads:
MAINTENANCE OF FACILITIES: The Club may be temporarily closed for periods of up to two (2) weeks each year for maintenance purposes. The Club reserves the right to add an annual facility maintenance charge of up to, but no greater than, the equivalent of one (1) month’s membership dues. If a Facility Maintenance Charge is implemented in the future, Member will be given a minimum of a sixty (60) day notice of the amount owed and due date. Member authorizes the Designated Billing Company to automatically draft this amount along with the Member’s regular membership dues.
Now, as I said I have never charged my members for this, however I have kept the gym in absolute superb condition (cleaning crew 2x a day, gym equipment always in great working order, new equipment every few months, fresh paint, new tanning beds, etc...) and I never close my 24 hour access gym!
Now this year with rising tax hikes for small business owners, higher payrolls and taxes for my employee, county taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes...I am thinking about implementing this clause but not in vain. I want to repaint the whole gym and get brand new equipment and overall give the gym a whole new fresh look for the spring time.
Now for the question directed for both gym members and personal trainers... how do you feel about "gym maintenance fees"? Do feel that they are necessary, a scam, or impartial?
Thank you in advance for your Insights!
Our facility charges a one time per year fee for that purpose and is stated in the fine print of the membership contract. The fee is based on a flat rate and can change upon discretion.
The rate is not based on the price of one month dues primarily because membership rates can vary for reasons of price/membership promotions/packages.
I Hope This helps!
I have heard of such clauses but have never signed a contract that contained it. If I were a member at a gym where I had signed such clause but it had not been implemented for 3 years, I would be EXTREMELY (could not make it bold) unhappy if I was all of a sudden charged with an extra month's fee plus the closing of the gym for 2 weeks which amounts to a monthly fee and half.
As it so happens, we just have upgraded our personal training studio with new flooring, paint, odds and ends to quite a considerable sum. This is an expense of doing business, and it did not cross our minds to increase charges or roll this over in any way.
Because you have this in the contract, you may be entitled to do so. But if I were your member, you'd have one unhappy person. And as you well know, one unhappy person tells 10 others. Not sure whether I would not leave the gym as soon as I can if there are any viable options.
I'll be curious to see how the others feel on that subject. Obviously, my position is unambiguous.
Else, I like you a lot :-)
Thanks for posting this question. As for me, I have never encountered such an issue before. I have been to many gyms around the country and this is the first time I hear something like this. If I had to sign a contract like the one you have mentioned, I wouldn't do it. I would look for a different gym to join. But, if I had signed a membership contract that did have this clause, then I would have to go by it, no matter how unhappy I would have been.
Just like Karin said, it's part of owning a business and all of the headaches that come with it. If you need higher revenue for your gym, then it's best to raise the membership fee, than asking for the members to chip in when you need extra money for whatever the reason.
This is the hard part of owning a business, plus the taxes. I would try to increase the rate instead of adding a clause, especially since it was not enforced from the beginning.
Therefore, I would eliminate the maintenance clause, which you could advertise to your advantage. Then slowly increase the rates until they are what you need.
Take care and good luck.
I do think that gym members get incredibly bent over these though. When they sign up you don't mention "once a year we will charge you a little extra", because that'd be a terrible selling point. However, the VAST majority of gym members wont read all the little writing so this comes as a surprise.
This is not a good way to do business, in my opinion.
If that is not the case, you should include the costs of wear and tear in your overall membership price from the outset.
For me it is unacceptable.