As Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) continue to develop their own niches within their communities and with the continual changes in the fitness landscape, JCCs will continue to be more customer-service oriented and program directed, says Anthony Slayen, assistant vice president of health, wellness and membership services with the JCC Association, New York.

“JCCs are a natural for wellness programming and are in the process of streamlining wellness programs to adapt to diverse groups,” he says.

Slayen offers his thoughts on what some JCCs may face in 2012 when it comes to fitness:

  • During the past few years, JCCs slowed their purchasing of new fitness equipment, but there has been a recent resurgence (which he says should continue) in purchasing and leasing new fitness equipment to replace older equipment.
  • Few JCCs are in the process of major renovations.
  • Just like the private industry, a few JCCs are in development. Fortunately, most JCCs are holding their own, and there are negligible JCC closures, he says.
  • JCC membership will continue to fluctuate depending on the region and the community. With the economy improving, the hope is that JCCs will see a slight increase in membership. JCCs will add more value-driven programs and increase their niche programming, which should help support an increase in membership.
  • JCCs will continue to promote their strength, which is programming, and introduce wellness programs for niche groups, offer youth-specific sports, change their membership categories, incorporate member and nonmember programs, upgrade membership technology and tracking systems, and improve sales practices.
  • Emerging trends include small group training, specified wellness, redefining age-driven programs, technological advancements in assessment and programming/apps, wellness coaches and whole-life training, alternative training, such as Chi running and Chi walking, and creating results-driven options for groups. Mind-body concepts and core and functional training will continue to be popular.
  • The JCCs hope to see an increase in participation in programming, which should translate into increased revenue and retention.