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Crunch Fitness Appoints Keith Worts as New CEO

Keith Worts, CEO of Crunch Fitness.

Keith Worts, CEO of Crunch Fitness.

Crunch Fitness announced that Keith Worts has been appointed chief executive officer. Worts had served as Crunch’s president for the past three years, and was given the reigns by Jim Rowley. Rowley will now step into the role of chairman of the board.

Club Solutions spoke with Worts about his new role with Crunch Fitness, and the future of the company.

CS: How do you feel about your new role with Crunch Fitness?

KW: It feels great to see our brand beginning to realize its potential. We have a supportive group of investors and a terrific management team, both of which has worked very hard to put us where we are today. We all feel we are on the cusp of something great, and every day our team is working to provide a supportive culture for our employees, and on delivering a fun and entertaining experience for our members.

CS: As CEO, do you have any plans in place to continually grow the company?

KW: We are highly focused on growing the company. In the last few years we have more than doubled the number of Crunch-owned locations and in addition, we will have over 30 franchised locations opened by end of March. The key to our growth is to continue to build on our successes, as that will provide the resources we need to add more locations.

There is something very unique about Crunch and we have very aggressive plans to bring our fun and entertaining brand to a lot of places. But probably the coolest part about our growth is the opportunities that we are going to create for our employees as we grow — opportunities that people can’t even see today.

This growth, coupled with our core “No Judgments” philosophy, means we will continue to draw more and more diverse and dynamic people to be a part of our team, which I am incredibly proud of, and excites me for the future.

CS: How did you first get involved with Crunch Fitness?

KW: I first got involved with Crunch over seven years ago at the end of 2005 when Angelo, Gordon & Co. was involved in purchasing Crunch from Bally. We had a lot of different leadership focuses, and styles, in the first couple of years, and each added value in a certain way. I learned a lot about what to do and not to do, during that time. And when NeV  — Mark Mastrov, Jim Rowley — got involved at the end of 2008, we put a strong focus on sales and personal training, and when that got mixed in with the brand, it has made it a fun ride.

CS: How have you seen the company evolve since you became involved with Crunch?

KW: We have grown to 2,300 employees — up from 1,200 — over the last three years … I continue to be impressed by the work being done in our regional teams and club leaders as our retention rates and total member counts continue to increase, and our personal training revenues have soared the past four years. We still see a lot of opportunity. In short, as most people know, the evolution of a company is not always pretty, and our team worked through a lot of adversity.

CS: Do you have any expectations for Crunch in 2013? Where do you see the company going?

KW: We have high expectations in 2013. We will continue to offer unique and innovative programming, add more locations and continue to build on the culture of the company by recruiting, hiring and training our employee base, and delivering on a cool and creative member experience. We will continue to look to add value to the Crunch brand like we did this year with the launch of Bliss products being offered in our locker rooms and an online class reservation system. We are also working on other areas to expand our brand outside the walls of our gyms.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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