Monroe YMCA accepting Lifestyles members
by Michelle Swartz , last modified December 31
. 2008 11:11AM
The memberships at a local ladies fitness club have been transferred to Monroe Family YMCA.
The agreement between Donald Stump Jr., owner of Lifestyles for Ladies Only, and the local YMCA was approved Tuesday. The transfer was made when Mr. Stump shut down his Monroe location Friday when he fell behind in his tax payments.
"There was no sales exchange. I simply gave them (about) 1,500 memberships so they can accommodate them," he said. "My intention was to give my members a place to go instead of throwing them out on the street."
The local Y, located at 1111 W. Elm Ave., said it will honor all Lifestyles members' contracts, no matter the length of time. The transition is effective immediately.
"The YMCA is assuming his customer list. We're not paying for it. There is no purchase agreement so there was no buying of the membership list," said Joe Lark, president of the YMCA board of directors. "I think Don's concern is to have his members be taken care of, and it's just an unfortunate situation he couldn't keep his doors open."
The YMCA will collect the remaining money from those still paying membership fees. The Y will not get the money from members who already have paid in full, but will collect the fees from those still paying on a monthly basis.
There was some confusion among Lifestyles members when they received letters last week saying the deal was complete. Lifestyles members began showing up at the Y on Monday to work out, only to find out the deal had not been completed.
"We had been in discussion with Mr. Stump but at the time, we did not have a deal in place. He jumped the gun a little bit but I don't think he had malicious intentions," Mr. Lark said. "We honored the memberships of the women who came in on Monday."
As part of the agreement, Lifestyles members transferring to the Y will not pay for classes they already had paid for at Lifestyles. However, they will have to pay a fee for any new classes they choose to take at the Y.
The YMCA sees the 1,500 new memberships as an opportunity.
"We hope it will enhance our programming at the Y. We also hope to enhance our family memberships for any of the women who have families," he said.
Since Lifestyles was a fitness club for women only, the YMCA plans to accommodate its new members. It will attempt to provide a similar atmosphere.
"We're conscious of what they're used to at Lifestyles so we will emulate it as close as possible," Mr. Lark said. "We will segregate areas for special classes."
The additional members bump up the Y's membership to at least 6,500 members. To accommodate the sudden increase, vMr. Stump is providing equipment.
"We will have additional equipment brought in. We understand we're adding a lot more members in a short time so we will regulate the machines and bring new ones in so we don't disappoint any members," Mr. Lark said.
Mr. Stump closed his Monroe doors after nearly 15 years of operation. In August, he also closed the Lambertville location of Lifestyles for Ladies Only. Of the seven fitness centers he had opened last year, only two remain. Both are located in the Toledo area.
"It's unfortunate that we had to close but we just couldn't handle it financially anymore," he said. "We had a great membership base, but the expenses kept going up and the revenue kept going down." http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081231/NEWS01/112313864/-1/NEWS
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