Lyle Schuler, the owner and founder of MAC Fitness, Kingston, New York, died Sept. 23 after battling an undisclosed illness, according to an obituary provided to Club Industry by his associates.
In addition to his Kingston Plaza health club, Schuler had more than three decades of experience in the fitness industry. He studied exercise science at the State University of New York at Cortland, eventually becoming an aerobics instructor, personal trainer, membership salesman, general manager and, later, a partner in Gold's Gym Hudson Valley, New York, group. Schuler's clubs have been recognized in Club Industry's annual Top 100 Health Clubs lists for profitability.
In 1998, Schuler joined consulting company SalesMakers with associates Eddie Tock and Ray Gordon. In 2001, SalesMakers was recognized by the International Health, Racquet and Sports Association (IHRSA) as Associate Member of the Year for the company's outstanding contributions to the health club industry. Schuler consulted in 38 states and specialized in management, club membership, personal training programs and cost-effective marketing. He also presented at industry conferences organized by Club Industry, IHRSA, Gold’s Gym and FitLife, among others.
In late 2002, Schuler purchased a struggling 40,000-square-foot Gold’s Gym in Kingston, New York, which he would later re-brand as MAC Fitness. Within a year, the club reported a 70 percent increase in its gross revenue. In late 2005, the club expanded by 20,000 square feet. In 2006, Schuler also was recognized for obtaining the first Parisi Speed School license in the state of New York.
Health, fitness and helping others realize their goals were Schuler's lifelong passions, according to his obituary. Among his associates, he was known as an inspiring and selfless leader.
“Lyle’s genuine enthusiasm, smile and passion were contagious," Tock, CEO of REX Roundtables for Executives, told Club Industry in an email. (Schuler was Tock's best man at his wedding.) "He had a positive impact on all who knew him, always caring for everyone else before himself. He was my close friend for over 30 years. He will be missed by all.”
Schuler was the son of the late Herb and Ann Schuler, and is survived by his wife, Holly; his son, Colton; and a large extended family across New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire.