FLORIDA — Last month, Fitness Business Pro reported on the four hurricanes that recently battered the Southeast. A month later, we asked the same clubs that we reported on in October how they are faring after the storms.
Eight out of 20 Lifestyle Family Fitness clubs sustained damage, said Geoff Dyer, CEO of Lifestyle Family Fitness. Seven clubs sustained damage to signage, landscaping or roofs. His Orlando and Winter Haven, FL, clubs lost power. The Winter Park, FL, club (mentioned in last month's article) is closed due to extensive damage. Dyer is determining whether to rebuild that club or build an entirely new one in the area. Dyer's biggest challenge is contacting contractors, sign companies and building departments, all of whom are overloaded with work. During the storms clubs that were operational allowed local residents access to their shower facilities.
Debris and fallen trees were the biggest damage at the Gainesville Health & Fitness Center in Gainesville, FL, said Debbie Lee, marketing director for the club. After a short power outage, the club was able to provide showers and air conditioning to an estimated 200 local residents who were without power. Although during this time potential new members were not solicited, Lee found that the club's community service resulted in a few new memberships.
Hurricane Jeanne did minor damage to Tony Hopkin's Gold's Gym in Melbourne, FL, said Cathy Peluso, customer service representative. The hurricane knocked a few TVs off the wall and caused some roof damage, but the club was operational two days after the final hurricane hit. Like other clubs, they opened their doors to local residents looking for a hot shower.
Natalie A. Gonzalez, staff assistant of auxiliary services/operations at the University Athletic Association at the University of Florida, said the university's golf course had, again, been flooded and had fallen trees caused by Hurricane Jeanne. She added though that the damage was minimal compared with the other storms.