Author: Casey Connor, BSU student
I interviewed Brian Conroy, one of the owners of Bridgewater Fitness Center. Brian had been a member at Bridgewater Fitness Center for around 20 years before he took it over January 15th, 2020. Prior to Brian’s ownership, Bridgewater Fitness had been struggling financially. Knowing he always wanted to own a gym, it was a no brainer to buy the gym he was a member of considering he knew so much about it already. He thought this was a good investment for him due to his knowledge as a personal trainer and from his experience in body building. Brian had to repair and replace several machines and since then, he has been listening to his members requests and adding machines in popular demand. They are not done transforming this place yet, but so far, they have added the booty builder machine, deadlift platform with rubber weights, and a Jacobs latter just to name a few.
Another way Brian improved the gym was creating more value for members through new additions such as: boxing, nutrition counseling, tanning, pump sculpt class, and selling shakes and supplements. All these services are very important, he explains that the more services you have to offer, the more appealing the facility will be to potential and existing customers. There is a discounted rate for students, military, law enforcement and senior citizens, and even the regular membership rate is lower than the average gym membership rate in the U.S. The reason their rates are lower than the average is due to the large size of the facility, as well as fact that the additional services that the gym offers are not included in the monthly fee.
Additionally, Brian is not finished upgrading the gym as he plans to renovate the locker room, add different machines, and resume classes that were canceled or limited due to the pandemic. Just two months after taking ownership, coronavirus became serious enough to shut his gym down for over three months. After reopening, the gym was only allowed a fraction of their normal capacity. On top of possibly one of the worst years for a gym, Brian got deployed in July and left his business partner Keith to run it.
After his return months later, he went straight to work trying to adjust his business so that members would feel safe during the pandemic. He explained the importance of working 50-60 hours at the gym making sure every machine is wiped down, sanitized, that certain machines have dividers, as well as any additional requirements and/or safety measures. He has trained his staff to make sure everyone is wearing a mask and being safe. When things change as fast as they have it is important for businesses to adapt and Bridgewater Fitness members agree that they have done just that. Not everything to come out of coronavirus was bad. Bridgewater Fitness saw a large influx of BSU students due to the amount of space this gym has compared to the campus gym, as well as the availability of appointments at Brian’s gym. One of the biggest reasons why Brian knows that his gym is better than other gyms is how they listen to customers. Every decision is based off demand, something that big gym chains lack.
Overall, I think it is impressive how member focused this gym is. From making customers feel save during a pandemic to the purchases of new equipment this gym really does value its members and their opinions.