Dear John.
I use your magazine all of the time in my training. Lots of good information! I made copies of Dana Naegele's Focus On Retention, “Cross-train Your Staff to Success,” in the October issue, for each of our staff on cross-training. Excellent article.
Bill Smith, Coordinator for Quality Training at the Baylor Tom Landry
Fitness Center in Dallas.

The Editor Responds
Bill, glad you got so much out of that article. We try to provide as much clip-worthy information as possible in each issue. Hopefully, others will find your Focus On column in this issue clip worthy as well!

Dear John.
This is in regard to the October Club Industry Exchange (see page 30) article on John Aglialoro, chairman, president and CEO of Cybex. As fitness sales consultants, we get to see and deal with the major product vendors from the inside. We purchase the product, trying to negotiate the best deal and terms with the manufacturers, and are then expected to advertise, market and sell the product, convincing the customer of the value while staying competitive so they would buy it. Then, we are called upon to deliver, maintain and service the item, all on a minimal margin. This is largely due to discounting and inside deals that only some exclusive dealers are privy to. Now, they have done what Life Fitness and others have, and shrunk their dealer network to only those exclusive dealers, and thereby lost a lot of the retail penetration.

This, in a nutshell, is the source of Cybex's woes. The merging of the Trotter name didn't help either. Although Cybex is more prevalent in the club market, consumers would still ask for a “Trotter” by name or definition (“Do you carry Trotters?” meaning treadmills).

Thanks for a great article. John's candid responses show good leadership. We hope, for the industry's sake that they stick around.
Samuel Baruch
Fitness Consultant
New York Metro area

Dear John.
There are times when a publication falls in to your lap and you cannot help but wonder, “What were they thinking?”

This may be the first in many letters you will be getting. Trust that I have taken this with a huge block of salt and amusement.

Have you looked at you September cover? What do you see? Yup! A black woman being painted white.

Sorry! It could not be missed. I know what the picture is supposed to say, but a facial might elicit less comment. Look out Jay Leno!

First let me say that I am sorry if the cover of the September issue [Pampering Profits] offended you or any of our readers. It was not meant to convey any racist meaning. We saw the picture merely as a woman enjoying a relaxing spa treatment [not being painted white] as an example of one of the many ways fitness facilities can incorporate them and boost their bottom lines.

Dear Editor.
Just wanted to drop a note to let you know that my staff really enjoys the magazine. My department managers get a lot out of the Focus On sections and we get some great ideas from Casey Conrad's regular columns. We are doing some interesting things in our clubs, how can we share the secrets of our success with the rest of the industry?

Dear johnnyfun111.
First, that's an interesting e-mail address…sure beats mine. Speaking of e-mail, that's one of the quickest ways to “pitch” story ideas for our Focus On sections. We are a little particular and often use speakers from our shows, but we are more than willing to listen to everyone. So if you or anyone reading this has a particular expertise they'd like to share with the industry feel free to drop us a line. If we don't use your story, we will at least get a chance to meet more fitness pros and, perhaps, use you as sources for future stories.

We want to hear from you! You have opinions and Club Industry's Talk Back page is the place to share them. Send your opinions, theories, comments and feedback to:
Letters to the Editor
Club Industry
9800 Metcalf Ave.,
Overland Park, KS 66212
fax: (413) 622-6596

When necessary, we will edit letters for style, sense and length.