December 2005 Archive


24 Hour Fitness Faces Suit

SAN FRANCISCO — 24 Hour Fitness was hit with a class action lawsuit for allegedly engaging in illegal and deceptive billing practices. Jennifer Pickering, a 25-year-old legal assistant, sued the health club chain for charging her $48 for two extra months of membership fees after she quit and not reimbursing her $239 for four unused personal training sessions.

D.C. Air Force Bicycle Riding Team Raises Money

WASHINGTON -- A team of about 30 Airmen and government workers get on their bikes and hit the streets and paths around the D.C. area to enjoy bicyling -- and raise money for various causes.

Exercise Test May Predict Death in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease

ROCHESTER, MN -- Exercise capacity, as measured in terms of VO2max, is a powerful predictor of death in patients with coronary artery disease, not just patients with heart failure, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2005 in Dallas by the Mayo Clinic.

Daily Weighing May Prevent Freshman 15

ITHACA, NY -- Preventing the freshman 15--the average number of pounds students gain during their first year of college--could be as simple as stepping on a scale every morning or getting a little information about big portions in all-you-can-eat dining halls, according to two recent studies.

Program Preps Recruits for Basic Training

NORTH CANTON, OH — More than 50 new recruits gathered at the North Canton Armory Nov. 20 for their one-weekend-a-month drill assembly. But instead of reporting to their new units, they reported to their recruiters. On some days, training begins with a modified Army physical fitness test.

AHA Pumps Up CPR Guidelines

DALLAS — The American Heart Association’s new guidelines for cardio pulmonary resuscitation now instructs individuals to administer 30 chest compressions for every two rescue breaths. Previously, the group recommended 15 compressions for every two rescue breaths.

Bally Sues Shareholder, Appoints Two New Board Members

CHICAGO –Bally Total Fitness recently filed a federal lawsuit against its second largest shareholder. The lawsuit alleges that Liberation Investments’ proposal to give shareholders the power to remove Bally CEO Paul Toback with a majority vote is illegal and invalid. Bally sued Liberation Investments L.P., Liberation Investments, Ltd., Liberation Investment Group LLC and Emanuel Pearlman for failing to disclose material facts including Pearlman’s relationship with former Bally CEO Lee Hillman. According to the complaint, Bally alleges that while Pearlman has masqueraded as a disinterested investor with the stockholders’ interests at heart, he has long been associated with Hillman, who created an aggressive accounting culture during his tenure at Bally.

Equinox to be Sold

NEW YORK—North Castle Partners of Greenwich, CT, and J.W. Childs Associates of Boston, have signed a definitive agreement to sell Equinox Holdings Inc. for $505 million to The Related Companies, a New York City-based real-estate development firm.

Bally Files Financials; Considers Sale or Merger

CHICAGO--The wait is now over. After a year-and-a-half quiet period and a deadline extension, Bally Total Fitness released its financial statements for 2004 and the first nine months of 2005. The company also restated its financials for 2000 through 2003. Visit the company's investor Web site to download the annual and quarterly reports. The company announced that it posted a $1.8 million net profit versus losses in 2003 and 2004. While the number of new members increased in 2005, the total members slipped 1 percent.

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Planet Fitness has reopened 800 locations since May 1, reporting overall average membership levels have remained relatively consistent.

Club Pilates is set to open 21 new locations in June and has studios in five other locations set to open in states mandating gyms remain closed.

The 24 Hour Fitness executive team has been busy on two fronts: implementing new operating protocols to reopen clubs and reportedly looking at how bes