Town Sports International Opens Second BFX Studio While Continuing Expansion of Low-Price Brand

Town Sports International39s second BFX Studio includes floortoceiling windows historical architectural details and this private session training floor among other features in the Financial District of New York City Photo courtesy of Town Sports International
<p>Town Sports International&#39;s second BFX Studio includes floor-to-ceiling windows, historical architectural details and this private session training floor among other features in the Financial District of New York City. <em>Photo courtesy of Town Sports International. </em></p>

Town Sports International (TSI), New York, has opened its second luxury boutique facility while it continues to pursue low-price model expansion with its Sports Club brand. The second BFX Studio, a luxury boutique brand, is in New York City's Financial District (FiDi). TSI's first BFX Studio opened in Manhattan'sChelsea neighborhood in June 2014.

Additional BFX Studio locations are set to open in the Back Bay area of Boston, MA, in early 2015 and Manhattan's Upper East Side in fall 2015, the company announced. 

The 15,000-square-foot BFX Studio in FiDi features floor-to-ceiling windows and historical architectural details such as a marble staircase leading from the street-level entrance to the studio's main floor. BFX Studio's FiDi location will expand on its signature cross-training approach to the boutique studio scene with three studios under one roof: indoor cycling, group exercise and personal training.

"With the opening of BFX Studio in the Financial District we are continuing to distinguish ourselves from other boutique brands by creating a 'complete boutique' experience," Dan Gallagher, CEO of Town Sports International, said about the opening. "BFX's multi-disciplinary approach is an evolution of the boutique model. Our philosophy is that mixing it up is more fun and effective, and by providing clients with a variety of choices, it ensures they stay engaged and get the most out of their workouts."

TSI announced the launch of the BFX Studio brand in February 2014. At that time, Bob Giardina, who was then CEO and now is executive chairman of the board, said: "At this point, we expect two to four BFX studio units this year, and most likely double that number in 2015. What also makes this exciting is that we plan to have some of our future studios outside of our core markets. We fully expect BFX to be a national brand."

In July 2014, the company announced that it would convert some of its Sports Club locations (which go by Boston Sports Clubs, Philadelphia Sports Clubs, New York Sports Clubs and Washington Sports clubs) to a low-price model that would run $19.95 to $29.95 per month for memberships. At that time, Giardina said: "We are taking aggressive steps to leverage the many assets the company possesses in order to drive membership that ultimately will [grow earnings]. More than 125 fitness clubs have opened in our markets over the last two years, and a large proportion of these openings have been lower-cost model clubs."

Then in January, the company announced it was ramping up conversion of its Sports Clubs to the low-price model while slowing the growth of its BFX Studios.

"We've reduced and slowed down our development, especially on the BFX, not because it's not doing well … but we think the bigger opportunity for us is to convert our clubs to HVLP and passport," Giardina said at that time.

New to the BFX Studio in FiDi will be the launch of updated Fusion workout formats designed by BFX celebrity trainer Kira Stokes. The Ride Republic Studio has been custom-designed with half the studio as a stadium-style indoor cycle platform and the other half as a high-intensity training floor with TRX, sandbags and more. BFX Fusion also will feature custom music blends created by DJ Scott Melker, who is known in the fitness industry for his workout beats.   

BFX Studio also is expanding its signature boxing and kettlebell program Box & Bell, a hybrid workout consisting of 30 minutes of boxing combined with 30 minutes of kettlebell drills.

Like its first location in Chelsea, BFX Studio, FiDi also features wearable, performance-based technology and exclusive fitness assessment tools suc as Fit3D and DMX Strength, eliminating the guesswork in tracking training results.

The new location has expanded changing rooms and luxury shower amenities.

As of last month, 98 TSI clubs had been converted to the low-price model and another 19 clubs are operating as passport-only membership clubs. TSI expects most of its clubs to be converted to the low-price model by May 31, and approximately 25 clubs to operate under its higher priced passport-only membership model. This is in addition to the two open BFX Studios and the expected two BFX Studios that will open later this year.

Suggested Articles:

Miami-Dade, Florida, Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez agreed to allow gyms in his county to remain open despite previously noting they needed to close.

Life Time is complying with an order to close clubs in Arizona, but Mountainside Fitness will remain open pending a court date on July 6.

Health club operators in a few states are still fighting to reopen, even as those in Arizona have been ordered to close again due to COVID-19 concerns