24 Hour Fitness Yelp Case Study

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The UFC has made a name for itself in the field of mixed martial arts (MMA). They have taken that success and ambitiously turned it into a familiar label onto a new big-box gym franchising operation that puts a body lock on their opponents. They are stable-mates with some of the big national brands but with the ability to leverage an entire menu of unique merchandising. Still, the question remains: What are the chances of this athletic-entertainment powerhouse muscling in on the gym arena? It turns out that its customers and employees have something to say about that.

A Short History of UFC Gyms

UFC Gym was founded in 2010 at their first location in Concorde, California. UFC worked with fitness industry equity partnersNew Evolution Fitness Company (NeV), among others, to develop the brand. It quickly grew to seven locations. Once the model proved to be successful the owners then acquired all of LA Boxing’s locations and are now expanding the model as a franchising opportunity with a turnkey operation. The brand takes care of everything; the local franchisee comes up with an initial investment in return for a split of the profits.

This branded gym chain is closely related to Crunch Fitness, as NeV have a share in both and did much of the design and marketing work. Additionally the founders brought in the former CEO of 24 Hour Fitness to get the venture off the ground. That gives it a cultural background that is right in the big-box sector of the market. These connections have contributed to the price point, which is in the same sort of region as Crunch and 24 Hour Fitness. The differentiating point is that it’s a cheap and cheerful big-box franchise, with mixed martial arts as a training option and theme.

Customer Experience Brand and Merchandising

The first thing you notice when you step into your local UFC Gym is that you are in a clean, fully equipped and heavily branded gym. You will also notice that at any given time there is a lot going on around you. UFC Gyms do have all of the standard equipment of a good quality gym and the classes are intense. You definitely know you are in a fighting gym with a strong focus on customer experience.

Like Crunch Fitness, UFC Gym franchises are focused on getting you fit as part of a dynamic, varied workout routine. They provide the creative class combinations that help members keep interested and support them with the leadership and motivational buzz that only true believers can bring to a session. The friendly enthusiasm of the staff sets the tone. The brand is on everything in such a way that UFC merchandise is a natural extension and there are diverse and appealing fitness and MMA products, that must do wonders for its profit margin.

Customers Speak Out

Customers just love the service and the environment, if the Yelp reviews are to be believed. For my local region, Las Vegas, reviewing members seem to be particularly happy. Aspects that get raves are classes, the attitudes of the trainers and of course, cleanliness.

Employees Have Opinions Too

Reviews on the Glass Door Website show that UFC Gym employees speak highly of the senior management. Employees of other gym chains complain of favoritism, low pay and management apathy. UFC Gym employee reviews are more positive. Of course, the chain is new but since they have absorbed the LA Boxing chain that was over twelve times as large, and still have high marks, it implies a culture that is strong and well formed.

Strategy And The Hopes And Dreams Of Members Drive Success

Research and intelligence about the competition is a crucial part of business success. You must know what the other owners are doing. I have tried to make this an unbiased look into a company that will likely be turning up in your local market soon, if they have not done so already.

UFC is a proven brand name, with extensive industry knowledge, and an offering of the sort of classes that capture the imagination and inspire members. It is a fine recipe for gym management success. I recommend that we all keep an eye on UFC Gyms, to see if they regress to the mean of big-box mediocrity, or if they continue to inspire enthusiastic support.

Bibliography
  • Curtin, Ashley. Mixed Martial Arts Training Enters The Mainstream. November 23, 2011. (accessed July 14, 2014).
  • Fagan, Lawrence. CRUNCH FITNESS BUSINESS MODEL. April 21, 2014. https://blog.gyminsight.com/2014/04/crunch-fitness-business-model/ (accessed July 14, 2014).
  • Franchise MC. Would You Like to Become a UFC GYM Franchise Owner? July 10, 2013. http://franchisemc.com/would-you-like-to-become-a-ufc-gym-franchise-owner.html (accessed July 14, 2014).
  • Glassdoor.com Contributors. UFC Gym.http://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-UFC-Gym-EI_IE562963.11,18.htm (accessed July 14, 2014).
  • Martin, Damon. UFC Purchases LA Boxing, Converting to UFC Gyms Nationwide . January 7, 2013. http://www.mmaweekly.com/ufc-purchases-la-boxing-converting-to-ufc-gyms-nationwide (accessed July 14, 2013).
  • Montgomery, Tyler. UFC Gym. May 13, 2013. http://clubsolutionsmagazine.com/2013/05/ufc-gym-2/ (accessed July 14, 2014).
  • UFC. UFC Gym Acquired LA Boxing. January 14, 2013. http://www.ufc.com/news/ufc-gym-la-boxing-press-release-011413 (accessed July 14, 2014).

 

 

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26

9450 Ruby Lockhart Blvd
Lanham, MD20706
(301) 955-3917

I am a member of 24 Hour Fitness and have their 'all clubs included' membership. Lately I've been working around this area, so I have been frequenting this gym. My review is based off of one time frame (0500-0600hrs) - and therefore could reflect a different experience than others. Equipment: the equipment here is decent, with most of it being relatively new and in good condition. The establishment isn't very old (4 years, possibly) - so the items shouldn't be too abused. There is a good array of items, but there doesn't seem to be enough cable pully systems and a lack of the soft handles (the metal ones are not my favorite). Also, there is only one Smith squat machine and that is always taken up. Would be nice if there were at least two. One additional pully machine would also be helpful. Facilities: the locker room and the showers are super clean. I haven't seen them dirty and there are always lockers / showers available when needed. Staff: I come in when the early morning shift comes in and/or the midnight shift gets pushed. I get it - it's early, but 1/2 the time the staff looks at you like you have three heads for being there. The other 1/2 are super friendly. Just a simple hello / good morning (after I have already said it to them) would be nice. I've worked retail, food industry, and now public service - you need to be professionally polite at all times. That is why you're employed. Wake up, get off your phone, and acknowledge those that keep your paycheck coming. Again, this is not all of the personnel working, but there have been a few. Price: if this were my home gym, I wouldn't be happy about the $40+ month price tag. It's not a horrible gym, but there are plenty of other gyms that cost less and give you just as much. The Fairfax location is much better and overall and makes the hefty price tag worth it.

I'm posting this at 3:30am because I can't sleep. So last night, two employees taunted and name called me as I finished my workout and left the gym. Within earshot they referred to me as a 'CONCEITED FAGGOT.' I'm not sure if I have the desire to return to this place again. I have reported one of the employees for name calling and rude behavior before but nothing was done. I even asked that his shift be moved to the morning so I don't have to see him. NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE. I attached a pic so that other GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, QUEER, and TRANS folks don't have to be subjected to this type of infantile behavior as a paying customer. (notice how they're just lounging and hangin' out!! Calling people humiliating names! Going about their lives MEANWHILE the paper towel dispensers are consistently empty and the towel service depends on whether not the employees feel like getting up to clean towels. Here, they were so busy coolin' out at work!) I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THESE TWO GENTLEMEN ARE STILL EMPLOYED AT YOUR FACILITY. If they don't like "conceited faggots" they shouldn't be working at a gym... That's where most of us hang out. **Kanye shrug** Please fix this easily fixable problem.

The Glenarden site does not have TVs at the cardio machines like the Tyson's location although Glenardern is newer. Came in today, it was cold. The gym can be better. The thug music is bad. The managers don't follow up with client concerns. The general manager would not even come to the phone. I'm going to recommend to my corporate that they drop this firm from the gym program.

I have always been a fan of this gym since joining as a member three months ago. They have the most friendly staff. Their equipment is all new and functional. And the members seem to be very friendly and supportive.

I'm half and half on the staff some appear to be friendly and some aren't but that can be anywhere you go. It is easy access meaning you need a vehicle which I like keeps it from being crowded. Don't see like 4 people all on one machine or people waiting for other equipment. They have a wet and dry sauna a pool and Jacuzzi as well. Upstairs has all the cardio and downstairs has the free weights and machines. If you forget your lock they do have lockers that you can use and lock your stuff up.

I joined this gym on a trial bases with my neighbor. Yes the gym is large, but the pool is small. Yes, the offer classes, but when you compare this location's classes to others in the area, it's embarrassing. For the most part the offer Spin and Aqua classes only. No yoga, barre, boot camps, etc. like their Annapolis, Fairfax, Falls Church and Tyson Corner location. If you are looking for a large gym with a lot of equipment and a very crowded full court basketball court, then this is the place for you. I think it's overpriced and if it weren't for my neighbor, I wouldn't have signed up. I will be ending my membership asap because $50 a month is crazy when other gyms are half the price and offer what I really want.

As with a lot of gyms, the quality of 24 hour fitness has gone down with time. They are among the more pricey gyms in the area with a Planet Fitness and Gold's within a 3 mile radius being much cheaper. Both the Planet Fitness and Golds stay open 24 hours, and both offer memberships at $10. You would think 24 would offer something more than these two but they really don't. I initially chose 24 because they had more equipment than Planet Fitness and were less crowded than Gold's, which is more of a "competitors" gym. But 24 has proven to be less than stellar with equipment constantly broken, and in influx of members that makes the gym super crowded. You will definitely have to wait for a squat rack since this gym only has 2 open and 1 smith machine. And this is both after AND before normal work hours. There is a TRX station that you can adapt for squatting but they are also always in use. There are 3 standalone pulley machines but for the longest, at least 2 of them were broken. All the treadmills on the upper level? Walk up to any one of them to discover a message that says "Please use another machine." If there are 20, at least 12 don't work. They also don't let you program speeds for intervals like other newer more efficient treadmills. The only classes being offered seem to be variations of Zumba. They had a great step aerobics class that got randomly cancelled and when i asked a team member about it they told me that the instructor was just not available that day which was untrue. There will be at times 4 to 5 desk personnel and several trainers yet the gym always has weights misplaced, missing barbells, cleaning solution bottle empty, etc. One of the stalls in the women's restroom has a jimmy-rigged lock on the stall door so you can clearly see into it even when the stall door is closed and the bathrooms are typically not the cleanest. There is one guy I see that cleans the entire gym which can be inconvenient because he will sometimes block off access to the women's room during times where people are working out and a lot of the time when he is "cleaning" the floor he's mostly just chatting away with people. The basketball courts stay crowded but it was very apparent at one point that people utilizing the courts were not members. So unless you're in whatever league seems to be practicing or playing, you would not be able to utilize the courts. I'm not sure if all the people in and out of the courts had day passes or what. But I will say it has somewhat improved as they started strictly enforcing the guest pass rules. At one point all the water fountains were broke for weeks. There may be 1 or 2 friendly front desk staff, one short young lady being the most pleasant, but the vast majority won't speak or even look up when you enter or leave the gym. Managers have rotated in and out since the gym's opening like a revolving door. And they most certainly do not care about your business; if you want to cancel they won't even ask why. If you just need the basics, go to Planet Fitness, and if you need a larger gym, you can go to Gold's. Sure it's crowded over there as well but they are larger with a lot more equipment that's probably not missing, broken, or out of order. You will not be getting what you pay for with this gym. For how overcrowded, messy, and inefficient it is, they are charging 4x as much as other local gyms.

i really like the variety of classes they offer. (classes to fit your schedule) i can come to class early before work or after work. i have taken the aqua boot camp (tgreen...beats you up!!) & yoga classes so far, other than the machine workouts. they have barre-less barre, cycle, zumba, body pump and pop pilates..i havent a problem with staff as of yet..and the equipment are always available. i think it is worth the money, considering the flexibility of the classes and 24 hrs.

I visited this gym on a Monday evening after signing up for a 3 day pass. Parking was easy to find being as though they have a pretty decent sized lot. I knew the gym was nice but I had no idea just how nice it was. When I walked in, there were a couple of employees folding up freshly washed towels and handing out towels for members as they came in. I signed in at the desk and was told I could walk around and tour the gym. I didn't like that they didn't give me any type of direction, offered suggestions or asked if I had any questions about the membership. You would think that somebody would have said something. I also thought they could have been a lot friendlier. Besides that, I noticed they had a swimming pool, hot tub and basketball court on the lower level. The weight machines were also located on the lower level. I found an elevator and rode up to the upper level. That's where the treadmills, ellipticals and classes were held. I went at a peak time and it wasn't overly crowded which it did like. I also like that they have classes and the gym is pretty spacious. They are open 24 hrs which is another bonus. Aside from the employees not being very helpful or pleasant it seems like it could be a really nice gym.

Can I give this place a zero? Notice the trend. First opened. Five stars. Read the latest. Sounds like there is a pattern here. Forget member services. Non-existent. Managers? Never there. Leave a message? Forget that. So, won't even bother. However, I will share my latest experience on Monday, after I get off the phone with Mark Smith, who is the chairman and CEO. Of course, he won't answer the phone, but I will be on the horn to their corporate office. Not hard to find. Just google it. And, oh, don't try to tell them you are dropping your membership. They don't care, and convey this. Social media folks. VERY powerful these days, and can make this miserable excuse for a gym even more miserable.

I would recommend this gym to anyone looking to join a place that is an awesome facility. They have everything you need like basketball, swimming, cardiovascular equipment, various strength training machine's and free weights ect. If your looking for a great gym then look no further this is the one.

The employees at this gym are so unprofessional! Always on the phone; eating at the counter when they could be filling up the paper towel bins and sanitizer. I was working out on the cardio machines when I was done, NONE of the paper towel holders were filled or had sanitizer. When I told one of the employees he looked at me like I was crazy. If you need anything don't expect any assistance!

I was here last night and although I didn't have any issue with bad customer service my issue was with the constraints that they place on the facility for non-members (which is OK I guess). I want to change up my workout regime & was looking for a place that is close to home and open whenever I feel the need to go get fit so 24 hour Fitness fit the bill so I thought. When discussing the pricing structure I was annoyed at how there are only 5 gyms in the area for the prices that they are charging. Right now they have a special where you have a $100 initiation fee with $49.99/month & $50 maintenance fee. The $49.99/mo drops to $39.99/mo after 1 yr. This is a bit much since they don't offer a lot of classes that interest me, 1 to be exact. I like to workout in classes and run the treadmill (yup, I'm a hamster). I inquired about just doing a daily rate for the one class I was interested, but I was informed that it would be $25 (ugh, irky) The facility is beautiful & well maintained but until they offer more classes I can't be a consumer.

At 50 bucks, it's a good deal when compared to the downtown or high-end gyms. Everything looks modern. It's spacious and well-ventilated. You get a broad range of resistance equipment and rows and rows of cardio machines. It's got a full b-ball court with 6 hoops, and a 3-lane pool, 3-1/2 to 5 ft. deep. It has a good sized sauna and steam room. I've been a member of not less than a few gyms over the years, and this one gets a high score. It's what the area needed. It's smartly situated in the Woodmore shopping center. Now, I don't have to work out at one place, then go to a different place to swim, e.g., the pool in Greenbelt. 24-Hour Fitness also has classes, but I haven't yet attended any. Not a fan of not having towel stations throughout, and I don't care for commercials on the piped-in music. Minor inconveniences. Sign up!

Not all24HRs are created equal. This one is subpar and a major disappointment. I was a member in TX, Annapolis and Falls Church. Those clubs were cleaner and more robust - more people and better energy! You never see a cleaning crew at the Glenarden location which explains the caked on dirt on the machines...same dirt marks from the summer! Moreover, the piped in music is God awful and does not take into consideration the demographics of the area. Do us all a favor and turn it off! A few nights I went there someone had a football game blasting on the speakers yet no TV upstairs was on the game. That is lame and annoying. Oh and only 5 of the 8 TVs work upstairs and three are always tuned in on CNN. So there you have it folks - do not join. Save money and head to Golds or hell Planet Fitness...this 24HR does not live up to the name or reputation. You have been warned. Oh if you like basketball pick up games - then join it. The front desk staff are lackluster too. They do not acknowledge your coming or going because they are so busy chatting it up with their customer-friends.

Great facilities, horrible customer service. The "manager" Rashadeem made me feel like I was stealing his services. I downloaded the free pass on 12/24 and worked out prior to checking in on the 28th. When I came in to work out today and he insisted on seeing my pass although I already checked in with the lady at the front desk. He insisted that my pass wasn't validated. Overall, the facility is beautiful but just like a lot of other things in PG County... The customer service is lacking.

No stars due to the horrible manager Roxanne. Watch what you are signing because the smooth talkers will rip you off. Racist manager! Horrible customer service! Don't join this gym!

$25 guest drop-in fee?!? Gyms should seriously consider eliminating these. I would/could eventually become a member if I could try the space out a few times at my own pace and leisure without getting raked over the coals with these ridiculous drop-in fees. Oh well

Love it! Membership is not that expensive ($40) considering all that you get for your money. This is a brand new gym in a nice area. Friendly and helpful staff, loads of classes, new equipment that actually works, clean pool, hot tub, steam room and sauna, no men ogling (not overtly at least), great instructors, wonderful day care facility, and they even have a machine to wring out your swim clothes and plastic bags to store them in so they don't wet the rest of your clothes and gym bag. I'm a fan!

I have been a member of many gyms in the past that were intimidating and what seemed like people who were not serious about working out and were more about picking up dates, and profiling . I am not a gym rat by any means at 64 but this gym caters to all ages, sizes and abilities which I like. The equipment is state of the art and the staff are very professional,helpful and friendly. I am currently working with Ricky who is an excellent trainer and knowledgeable about every muscle, bone, tendon etc. and nutrition. The group class instructors that I have worked with are outstanding. I love this place!!

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