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Park board approves new membership plan at racquet club

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District voted to change Racquet & Fitness Club membership classifications.
At its May 16 meeting, the board agreed to drop the nonresident category. Eileen Rohrer, interim club director, told park commissioners the facility is, for the most part, self-sustaining because it has been drawing members from within and outside the H-F community.
Rohrer wants to keep it that way. She recognizes the club is up against an influx of competition from health club chains and local exercise salons.  She said the H-F Racquet & Fitness Club has many additional amenities that aren’t available at other facilities and that will be one of the positives the club will emphasize when it advertises for memberships.
Rohrer proposed a flat membership fee with various pricing categories.
A one-year membership fee will be discounted if paid in full or have a 20 percent fee increase if paid monthly. The club has offered a month-to-month membership and will continue to offer it, but at a 25 percent cost over the annual membership monthly pay plan. All plans include a cancellation policy.
As of June 1, the fees are $436 for an individual annual membership paid in full, or $44 in monthly payments for an annual membership. The month-to-month individual membership is $53 per month.  The racquet club also offers a pricing scale for plans that cover two, three or four persons on a membership; a youth membership; and a senior membership. 
“This membership structure is designed to encourage members to commit to the more reasonably priced options. We often explain to customers that even if they want to only attend the club for nine months, the prepaid annual rate is still the cheapest,” Rohrer told park commissioners. 
Dropping the residency pricing will reduce revenues by about $35,000 in the next budget year, but Rohrer believes “opening the club to surrounding areas that are out-of-district to us and don’t have fitness facilities will allow us to expand our area and be very successful in increasing membership numbers.”
“We want to go out to the community and show them what we have and show them what our value is; how much it really costs per day,” she said.
Park Board President Steve Johnson said club members need to recognize the H-F facility offers special amenities and service. “It’s about the experience they’re getting,” he said.
Rohrer agreed, and the staff recognizes it’s those details that make the club different from other facilities. That special service will continue to make it a success, she said.

Shelley Strasser, marketing coordinator at the club, said she’s gotten positive feedback through marketing efforts in Glenwood and Olympia Fields.

“I am very excited to offer our wonderful complex to a wider audience,” Strasser said. “The H-F Racquet & Fitness Club has so much to offer our community. Our tennis, fitness and aquatics programs have a wide ranging appeal to so many.  We hope to play a role in bringing our southland communities together through the positive force of fitness!”

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