The founder of former Florida brand Lifestyle Family Fitness, Geoffrey Dyer, sold his two AussieFit clubs to a Crunch Fitness franchise group, and he now operates as president of another Crunch Fitness franchise group.
After Dyer sold nine of his Lifestyle Family Fitness clubs to Life Time Fitness in 2011 and his remaining clubs to LA Fitness in 2012, he opened AussieFit in Columbus, Ohio. A noncompete clause with LA Fitness kept him from doing business in Florida through December 2014, Dyer told Club Industry.
After that clause's expiration, Dyer joined Crunch Fitness West Florida and Atlanta in February. He kept his association with the group quiet as he sought a buyer for his two AussieFit clubs. He found that buyer in the Crunch Fitness franchise developer for Ohio, who already owns the Crunch clubs in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton. The two finalized the deal on Dec. 1. Dyer declined to reveal the purchase price and name of the buyer, citing confidentiality of the agreement.
Dyer joins Vince Julien, Tony Scrimale and Jeff Dotson, partners at Crunch Fitness West Florida and Atlanta. Julien and Dyer had been competitors in Florida for almost 30 years when Dyer owned Lifestyle and Julien owned Shapes Fitness for Women. Julien still is president of Shapes, Tampa, Florida.
"He and I have known each other over the course of time and have a lot of comfort in the way each of us manages our businesses and cares about our people," Dyer said. "He invited me to join him to develop Crunch Fitness in the Tampa Bay and Orlando markets."
Scrimale had been district manager at Lifestyle Family fitness from 2005 to 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile. Dotson is CFO/CIO at Shapes Fitness for Women, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In April, Crunch Fitness West Florida secured the Crunch rights to the Atlanta market, becoming Crunch Fitness West Florida and Atlanta. In September, the group purchased its first club in the Atlanta market when it bought the Forum Athletic Club for an undisclosed sum. After renovations are completed, the Atlanta club is scheduled to open in January, Dyer said.
The group plans a rapid expansion in the area, promising to open at least 20 Crunch locations in the next few years, according to a press release about the Atlanta club's purchase.
Dyer's group has six clubs open and three in development, including the Atlanta club. The other two clubs in development are in the Tampa Bay area where one will open in April and the other in June.
Crunch Fitness is different from other clubs in the high-volume, low-price (HVLP) sector of the market, where the forerunner is Planet Fitness, Dyer said.
"They (Planet Fitness) have reached out to a portion of the market that is underserved: the overweight and obese," he said. "I think Planet does a tremendous job of making their facilities welcoming to that segment of the population."
However, Crunch Fitness targets the active member, he said.
"Crunch is a very innovative, progressive fitness brand with a lot of new development taking place with functional training and Camp Crunch with small group training, so we really feel we have the brand that is perfectly positioned to target the active exerciser," Dyer said.
Camp Crunch includes signature small group training, personal training and nutrition programs for all fitness levels. Personal trainers work one-on-one with members to deliver personalized fitness and nutrition plans, helping them to meet their fitness goals, according to the company's website.
To offer these amenities and others, Crunch's footprint is bigger than some of the other HVLP clubs, averaging 25,000 to 30,000 square feet.
"We can provide a better member experience in a bigger space," he said.
Dyer said his group is excited about the possibilities they have with the Crunch brand.
"We are very bullish on Crunch as a business model," he said. "We think it’s a great opportunity for us to build something great."
Crunch Fitness West Florida and Atlanta is part of the Crunch Fitness brand, which is owned by New Evolution Ventures. Crunch Fitness ranked No. 10 on Club Industry's Top 100 Clubs list of 2015 with reported revenue of $146 million in 2014.