Bally announced it had entered into an agreement with Blast Fitness, a club chain that offers memberships as low as $10 a month, for the sale of 39 clubs. In the deal, which was finalized in May, Blast acquired Bally clubs in Boston (three); Buffalo, NY (one); Charlotte, NC (two); Fresno, CA (five); Milwaukee (four); Providence, RI (one); and St. Louis (two), plus three in Connecticut and all 18 in Texas, consisting of nine in Houston, five in Dallas-Fort Worth and four in San Antonio.
XSport Fitness, Chicago, announced plans to open three new fitness centers in Illinois, bringing its open store count to 33. The company has increased its locations by 32 percent in the past two years.
Pam Watts was appointed executive director of the National Intramural- Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Center, Corvallis, OR, after serving the association for 12 years in highranking positions. Watts served as interim executive director after Kent Blumenthal left in January to pursue other interests. Blumenthal had been a member of the NIRSA Foundation board since 1997.
Robert Kennedy, the publisher of several fitness magazines and the author of 55 books, including the best-seller "Hardcore Bodybuilding," died of cancer at the age of 73. Kennedy continued to maintain regular hours into his 70s at his office outside of Toronto and reviewed every page of each publication in the chain.
A memorial service was held for Dan Block, former president at Flex Equipment Co. and Intek Strength. Block died in March at the age of 58. Representatives from World Gym, Gold's Gym, LA Fitness, Life Fitness, U-Max, Star Trac, Iron Grip and Matrix attended the service.