I can already hear the calls that I'll be getting after this issue hits the mail this month. I'm sure I'll receive more than one call or e-mail from an express club franchisor or franchisee upset about this month's cover story about the closing of several express clubs in the industry.

In the story, we note the struggles that at least three express club brands are having with franchisees. One has even bought out all its franchise agreements and stopped selling franchises altogether.

Granted, some express clubs are doing a good job of selecting the right franchisees and training those individuals. However, the fact is that several franchises are facing some troubled times, and those troubles might affect the future of other express clubs and fitness facilities in general if they leave a sour taste in the mouths of members.

As a publication serving this industry, it's necessary for us to note both the good and the bad about our business. By just publishing the positive and sweeping any negatives under the rug, we are not doing the industry any good. After all, if you aren't aware of a problem, how can you ever address it and make the industry better?

So, my phone line is open and my e-mail account is ready. Feel free to call me at 913-967-1815 or e-mail me at pam.kufahl@penton.com to express your thoughts about the express club market.