Friday, January 23, 2009

Staying In Shape In A Tough Economy

“Kyle Will is in a lot better shape than the economy. But the recession has negatively affected Will’s WillRace Performance, a personal training business in Bend. He’s not alone. Many personal fitness trainers in Central Oregon have experienced a slowdown of sorts, even in fitness-crazy Bend, where ’triathlete’ and ‘cyclist’ seem about as common a job title as ‘waiter.’ ‘Business is definitely down,’ Will said Thursday. ‘I didn’t really start to feel it significantly until April or May of last year and then it probably dropped off 20 to 25 percent. A lot of our clients, like so many people in this town, were somehow involved in construction or building or development. And people were losing jobs or moving out of town or whatever.’ With the jobless rate hovering around 10 percent in Deschutes County and around 12 percent in Crook and Jefferson counties, it’s little surprise that people are looking to trim expenses. For many, that means scaling back or cutting out luxuries altogether. The Athletic Club of Bend also has seen a decrease in its personal training take. General Manager Kip Heilman said personal training revenues fell 6 percent in 2008 compared with 2007. Despite the year-over-year decrease, 2008 was still 15 percent better than 2006, Heilman said. Still, the slowdown has given the Athletic Club a chance to re-evaluate the way it provides personal training, including focusing more on small-group classes rather than one-on-one training. ‘It has really given us a chance to sit back and think about personal training in a new way,’ Heilman said, adding that group training revenues have increased 300 percent compared with 2006. ‘We will be able to get to more people.’”

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