Karen S. Kim
BURBANK -- One person’s resolve is another’s business gain for several
health clubs in Burbank and Glendale, as residents’ New Year’s
resolutions to shed extra pounds this year are boosting gym enrollments.
“January and February are the biggest months of the year because those
bring the biggest reasons to work out,” said Rick Laca, general manager
for World Gym of Burbank. “It’s a brand-new year, and you could be a
Rafi Safiani, general manager of World Gym Fitness Center in Glendale,
“It does increase in January. It increases about 30% to 35%. Everybody
has a resolution that they want to get in shape,” Safiani said.
Safiani said December is usually the slowest month for gyms because of
the holidays. But in January and February, enrollment soars, he said.
The expected increase in health club enrollment means that gym rates
during the beginning of the year don’t have to be low, Laca said.
“They know they’re going to get a natural rush of people joining, so
they don’t have to offer great deals,” Laca said.
In contrast, the Glendale and Burbank YMCAs are promoting their gym
services this month, anticipating that residents will be looking for a
facility to join.
The Glendale YMCA is offering a free one-month trial membership (for
those who bring a newspaper ad), provided the person buys a 1-year
membership, and the Burbank YMCA is holding an open house for one month,
giving free membership to its members’ friends.
But New Year’s resolutions to get in shape don’t always carry through
for the rest of the year, said Ryan Nekota, recreation director for the
Glendale YMCA. Gym usage usually wanes after a few weeks of increased
enrollment, he said.
“The intent is there, but for them to carry it out is another thing,”
he said. “But it gives us a good kick start for the year.”
Burbank resident Juan Guillen, 22, who works out five times a week at
the Burbank YMCA, agreed.
“Every year, it’s the same. You get a big flux of people in January
and February and then it fades out. It’s people’s New Year’s resolution,
so they think,” Guillen said.