How the Forza South Health Club could’ve saved itself

December 30, 2010 · Posted in Commentary 

FORZAOn the evening of December 28, I received the following email from the Forza South Health Club (formerly Anytime Fitness in Centennial, Colorado), a place that I had been a member of since October, 2006:

“Attention FORZA Fitness and Performance Members!

It is with a heavy heart that as of December 30, 2010 we will be closing our fitness facility due to economic and competitive factors.  We appreciate the time and loyalty you have shown us and it has been a true pleasure serving you.  Anyone who has a prepaid membership will have their prorated dues refunded to them (please e-mail and let us know how much you paid, the agreement start and end date, and we will reimburse you as soon as we are able to do so.).  Thank you again for letting us serve your fitness needs and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Yours in Health, 

FORZA South Management”

I paid my membership dues on an annual basis and I was paid up through the middle of next month.  About two weeks ago, I defected to the new Centennial Lifetime Fitness.  Although the owners put their heart and soul into their club, it was doomed to fail.  However, Forza South did not have to fail. 

You might notice in the email that the owners are willing to refund any dues based on the requestor providing all the relevant information.  This is no surprise to me that they have poor records on their members.  I would find out that my annual membership expired when my key fob stopped working.  I asked the owner why they did not notify people and found out that they had no real system to determine upcoming renewals.  I offered, free of charge, to set up a system for the club.  I am in IT and I work with databases and such.  I never heard back on my offer. 

There was a problem with cleanliness in the club.  I am allergic to dust.  My nose would start running as soon as I entered the club.  At the new Centennial Lifetime Fitness, my nose does not run.  It is far cleaner there.

Gym etiquette by a few of the fitness trainers was also an ongoing issue.  Some of the trainers would train 3 to 4 people at a time and take up a bench or machine for each person, then rotate their trainees between the equipment.  That is all in fine in a big club, but being a small club, Forza South had a limited amount of equipment.  So other members were completely locked out of using this equipment until the trainer was finished.  On one occasion, a trainer was leaning against the dumbbell rack in front of the particular weights that I needed.  I excused myself and he moved.  As soon as I took the weights, the trainer leaned back on the exact spot.  When I came back to return the weights, I excused myself again.  This time, he rolled his eyes at me when he moved.   I guess that he could not figure out for himself that the weights needed to be replaced.  This same trainer at a later date had one of his trainees doing stomach crunches on the floor in front of the only water fountain in the club. 

When Anytime Fitness became Forza South last summer, they replaced the key fobs with scannable cards.  When the person at the counter scanned your badge, he or she might greet you.  When Lifetime Fitness scans my card, they greet me by name every time.  There was no reason that Forza South could not have done the same thing.  The only person who called me by name there was one of the owners.

Sometimes the music would be so loud at Forza South that I could not drown it out with my MP3 player unless I wanted to turn it up so loud that my hearing would be permanently damaged.  I pulled my car up to the front of the club one morning and when I turned my car off, I could hear the music inside the club.  Once I entered the building, it was like I was at a Hip Hop concert. 

While I feel bad for the owners, it is my opinion that if they had done a few things differently, the Forza South Health Club would be prospering at this very moment.  I had voiced my concerns and they were basically ignored.  In talking to other members when the club was open, as well as the defectors at the Centennial Lifetime Fitness, they shared many of my concerns. 

If you’re a former Forza South Health Club member and are looking for a new home for your fitness needs, check out the Centennial Lifetime Fitness.  Tara Tepley, who is a Member Engagement Advisor there, is a consummate professional and took good care of me.  She can be reached at 720-420-2812 or

Starting January 3, I will be working with a fitness trainer at the Centennial Lifetime Fitness for the whole month.  I will be blogging about the sessions.  We have a baseline fitness test and the results will be measured again at the end of the 12 training sessions.  I will be holding my trainer, as well as myself, for quantifiable progress.

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