New Year can mean healthy spike in business for fitness clubs

Courthouse president says January brings in 20 percent of overall membership

It’s as sure a thing as cold weather: Every January one of the more popular New Year’s resolutions is to do whatever it takes to shed those pounds left over from November and December.

It can also mean gaining business for health and fitness clubs.

“You can definitely see a jump at the beginning of every year. I’d say it’s probably close to 20 percent (of our total yearly membership) that we get just in January, or in the first six or so weeks of every year,” said John Black, president of Flowood-based Courthouse Fitness, LLC, parent company of Courthouse Racquet and Fitness clubs in Metro Jackson. “And it’s the New Year’s resolutions people, the people wanting to get in shape after Christmas.”

Black said since memberships take effect at the beginning of every month, there’s natural spike every 30 days. “But January is by far the biggest one, and always has been, for obvious reasons,” he said, adding that the determined resolution crowd starts streaming in immediately after the New Year’s parties die down.

Black said his clubs will not engage in a concentrated marketing effort to bring in new members come January. “We’ve focused more here recently on keeping our current members happy rather than chasing after new ones,” he said.

One of those current members is Johnston Walker, a Madison resident who uses the tennis facilities at one of the several Courthouses near his home.

Walker has already resolved to begin a cardio and strength training regimen after the holidays.

“I’ve used the tennis courts for a few years now, but I’m not getting any younger,” Walker, 34, said. “A regular exercise routine should help my tennis game. And I’m sure I’ll gain a few pounds after all the family gatherings are done, and increasing my exercise time beyond the tennis court will help with that, too.”

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