Gyms Expect Brighter Days in 2010

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

Local businesses all across West Texas have felt the burn of the economy but some clubs in the business of keeping people fit think a popular New Year's Eve resolution will help them get over this year's slump.

We all know the burn is supposed to be our friend but even some fitness experts aren't feeling the economic burn of 2009.

"Well we have seen a big drop in our membership this last year," Tina Blackmon, owner of Super Shapes, said. "It actually started after Obama was elected president. People that renew have not renewed and I know this because people are concerned about their income. A lot of our member's husbands have lost their jobs and they're concerned if they'll be able to pay their bills, so obviously this is one of the things they would cut out. I don't think its something they ought to cut out but it's something that they do."

"The fear of the elections and the unknown and also the layoffs in the oil fields," Curves Owner, Donnell Welch, said. "The majority of my members either work in the service industry or their husbands work in the service industry and a lot of those were laid off so it affected us greatly."

Super Shapes Fitness Center's membership dropped by about 30 percent while it was about 25 percent at a Curves in Odessa, but these female only clubs aren't alone.

Local coed gyms, like the YMCA, say they've also seen a decline, but they all seem to think the worst is behind them and New Year's fitness goals will help spring things back into motion.

"They realized they just can't sit in fear of what might or might not happen so they're returning back to the gym to work some of that stress off and be healthy," Welch said.

"We've already been scheduling appointments," Blackmon said. "January, February, March with the New Year's resolutions, that will give it the boost that it needs and people we've seen leave, they're coming back so that's real nice."

Only time will tell if these fitness aspirations will come true.