Eddy Hernandez and The Centre of Elgin, IL
The Centre of Elgin, IL, had been losing 20% of their Fitness Club membership every year, for five years in a row. The City Council had approved money to renovate the facility yet were wary of the operating strategies. That is when, in 2015, the City hired Verde Martin to come in and perform a sales audit and they hired a new manager, Eddy Hernandez, to work with Verde Martin to collaborate and set new strategies for the Fitness Center.
In 2015 the facility’s revenue was at its lowest since 2012 at roughly $868,371 and its memberships declined from 3,480 in 2010 to 3,096 in 2014, according to city documents. Upper management had high tenure and new ideas were difficult to entertain.
The membership fees were set up in tiers Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum and they also accepted fee-based daily drop-ins. Bronze was simply a pool pass and Silver was a basic fitness area pass, Gold included both, and Platinum included the pool and the fitness area plus child care and classes. It is considered all-inclusive.
According to Eddy Hernandez, the most unusual and unexpected strategy of Verde Martin was our Foundation exercise. We gathered Eddy and his team to create the Fitness Center’s very own mission, vision, and values statements to include short-term and long-term goals.
“I knew Elgin had those, but specific to the Fitness Center was unusual to me,” commented Eddy. “And, it ended up being the most significant strategy because it brought the team together, on the same page, and created a sense of ownership and buy-in. To this very day, we continue to work as a team of owners.”
Tactical findings showed that drop-ins were high and the most expensive option. Memberships were month-to-month and the drop off rate was high. So, we enacted a membership drive selling the benefits of the all-inclusive, Platinum tier (most profitable) and instituted a discount for annual membership contracts.
In 2016 revenues were up 18.6% to $1,030,000 and in 2017 they increased another 4% to 1,070,000. Membership had grown from 2015 to 3,063 (a 23.5% increase) in 2016 and the Platinum membership increased over 300% from 199 members to over 800.
Needless to say, all eyes were on the performance of Verde Martin and Manager Eddy Hernandez. In 2015 the Elgin City Council approved buying 104 new pieces of equipment for $413,900 and subsequently approved the renovation, which ran $261,190 and included an expanded weight room, and new free weight, weight training, and cardiovascular exercise equipment.
.Within two-and-a-half years the Fitness Center’s success story was featured in the Daily Herald and the Courier (Chicago Tribune) newspapers.
Verde Martin’s Process
Discovery: Increase revenue, increase membership, update facility, expand use and programs
Measure: # members, $ members, $ tiers, use of space/areas, # families with kids, length of active centre use, # month-to-month members, # drop-ins, # bronze, silver, gold platinum members
Accelerate: Revenue, memberships
Verde Martin has worked with a number of City Parks. We helped grow a pool program by 20%, turn a Before and After School program into a profit center, and expanded the use of a tennis center in off hours, creating more revenue and meeting a previously unmet need for ‘tweens. If you have a multiple program center, we have the experience to help you accelerate sales.