Friday, April 17, 2009

Changes Coming to Boston North Fitness

“Big changes are coming to the Saugus branch of the Boston North Fitness exercise club at Square One Mall, which will transfer to new ownership on May 1. Men, who make up only 30 percent of the current club clientele, will not be invited to join the new fitness venture, called ‘Pumps, real fitness for women.’ Saugus men who had memberships in the club will have the opportunity to transfer to the Boston North Fitness Danvers location, which is located about 10-12 minutes away, off Route 114 in Danvers. While many of the male Saugus members have agreed to transfer to the Boston North Fitness facility in Danvers, some women members are unhappy to see them go — along with the current low monthly fee of $19.99. The Pumps model has been in a developmental stage for several years, say the new owners Al Tassel and Glenn Anthony, who intend to make the new Saugus Pumps the first of several future clubs planned for the North Shore, specifically designed to cater to a women clientele. ‘Pumps is not a 30-minute limited express club or a weight loss studio,’ said Tassel, who stressed, “It’s a full service women’s-only fitness center that will offer cutting edge group exercise programs including separate cycling and mixed-use group exercise studios. ‘The club will also be packed with the latest and greatest cardiovascular equipment the industry has to offer and will feature the most extensive circuit training and free weight equipment a women’s-only club has ever seen,’ said the new owners in their April 1 letter to current members. ‘We’re getting two types of women signing up so far,’ Tassel told the Advertiser this week. He mentioned that his newest customers are either former members of women’s express clubs such as Curves that have recently closed, or they are members of coed clubs who are annoyed with working out with men. ‘Some men can be a little intimidating and they sweat a lot more, he joked. Changes are coming Personal training opportunities, babysitting services and the women’s locker room will all be enhanced for the new Pumps club. The existing women’s equipment will be relocated from the 3,400-square-foot upper level mezzanine to the more spacious first floor area where it will be integrated with much of the existing coed equipment. Pumps is expecting to capitalize from the closure of area women’s clubs such as Curves franchises. ‘Their type of model doesn’t work … The offerings are limited and people get bored. You need variety when it comes to exercise,’ said Tassel. Pumps will have no affiliation with Boston North Fitness after April 30. “We will honor the Boston North commitments until they expire,’ promised Tassel.”

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