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!
I have never heard of this before. If I were considering a membership to a gym and saw this clause in the contract, I would put the contract down and walk out the door. I have opened and operated five gyms in the last 15 years and this concept sounds as bogus to me as CAM fees from leasing agents. If you need to charge me more for my membership to cover you costs (or more rent to cover costs), charge it up front. It borders on intentional deception to charge a monthly fee for memberships and then ask for more to clean up at some point as well. Do you charge this fee to everyone that works out in your club? Do you have none members who get to pay a non-member fee and not the “cleaning fee”? I would be pretty TO’d if I didn’t realize this was in there and you took money out one of my accounts.
Great answers. I have consulted with a number of facilities over the years. Clients and members respect and appreciate a high quality, immaculate workout environment. I think that as long as the stipulation for maintenance fees is clearly explained at the outset, it’s just a part of your client’s contract with you.
Doesn’t sound bad at all. Sounds like a solid way to provide the best experience and environment for gym members.
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.
Don’t you get write off wear and tear of your facilities when you file your taxes? If you do,why would you try to profit off of something you are already receiving a deduction on?
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.
Hello Lawrence with Gym Insight,
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.