Not About The Money
For Mike Alpert, the founder and CEO of The Claremont Club, philanthropic work are the most meaningful tasks for his staff. Since 2000, money was never the bottom line at The Claremont Club.
“It was about helping people that were struggling with chronic injuries and chronic illness and people that were less fortunate,” said Alpert. “We started it 17 years ago with our Adopt a Family program we do every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, where we adopt 14 to 17 families. The last two years, those have all been families that are struggling with cancer and are just financially disadvantaged.”
He believes community outreach through The Claremont Club provides that home and family feel every club strives for. For Alpert, their service projects are the club’s differentiator. “Every good club, regardless of their price … we’re all doing the same things,” he said. “We all paint our walls and buy new equipment and have clean locker rooms and preach customer service. When you get into things that really touch the heart and really inspire and motivate your staff and members and the community, then you become much more important. And you do it without fanfare and expectations.”
He has seen his club community perform service tasks that have amazed him, such as buying used cars for families through the Adopt a Family Program, and doing electrical work in family’s homes.
As a result, Alpert said the club’s attrition rate dropped from 23 percent to 16 percent. “I don’t think it’s because we buy new equipment and we treat people well,” he said. “We’ve done that from Day 1 and we do that really well. I definitely think it’s attributable to the community work that we’re doing and the work to promote exercise as medicine.”
In Alpert’s opinion, every club in the industry should be running the same programs offered at The Claremont Club and have service projects as part of their core values. “It’s changed all our lives in a way that’s really hard to explain,” he said. “It’s contagious, and it’s a blessing — the greatest opportunity and the greatest blessing that’s happened to me in the industry in 26 years.”
The Claremont Club also offers programs for those with spinal cord injuries in partnership with the Be Perfect Foundation, assistance for people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injuries and ALS, as well as a one-year program for children and young adults with cancer.
With all of these programs offered at the club, Alpert said the gym has transformed into an amazing environment both staff and members want to be involved with.