A Clarification about Cardinal Fitness

You may have been wondering about the connection between the Cardinal Fitness clubs that closed in Indianapolis and the Cardinal Fitness clubs that were converted to Charter Fitness in Chicago. We'll try to explain.

Cardinal Fitness, Chicago, licensed the Cardinal Fitness trademark to the Seattle-area-based company that operated the six Indianapolis locations that closed. Maribeth St. Pierre is the project manager for Black Diamond, WA, businessman John Bahlenhorst, who owns the six remaining Cardinal Fitness facilities in Indianapolis, two others in Indiana and four in Wisconsin.

"We just couldn't get membership where we needed," St. Pierre told the Indianapolis Star. "Those six locations were struggling, and they were taking down the other six. We had to make some hard decisions."

In addition to the Indianapolis closings, a newspaper in Wisconsin last week reported that Gold's Gym franchisees bought out Cardinal Fitness in Racine, WI. Again, that involves the same Washington state company that is licensing the Cardinal Fitness name from Cardinal Fitness, Chicago.

Charter Fitness Franchising LLC, Orland Park, IL, recently converted 38 Cardinal Fitness clubs in the Chicagoland area, northwest Indiana and downstate Illinois to Charter Fitness, which now has 46 clubs in six states. (You may have seen Charter Fitness as one of the exhibitors at our Club Industry show last month in Chicago.) In short, Cardinal Fitness and Charter Fitness are two separate entities.

Are we all clear? Good. There will be a pop quiz later in the week.

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