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Stronger Together: 2021 Club Solutions Leadership Summit Recap

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2021 Club Solutions Leadership Summit

“Standing here right now means the world to me. Our gyms were closed for nine months. And when you put your entire life into something — every bit of blood, sweat and tears — like you guys have, it becomes the idea of an existential threat. At some point you say, how long do I have to fight and hard do I have to fight? And the answer is, until you’re done.”

These words were spoken by Blair McHaney, the CEO of MXMetrics and owner of Worx health clubs, during the opening night of the 2021 Club Solutions Leadership Summit, which took place May 25-27 at the stunning Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For many, this event was the first in-person industry gathering in over a year and a half since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2019, which saw thousands of gyms close their doors for months on end. As a result, the 2021 Summit was in many ways a symbolic event marking the close to one of the most challenging times in the industry’s history. This significance was evident among the mask-less, smiling faces, countless hugs and handshakes, and high-fives that permeated the 2.5-day gathering.

“Especially this year being the first time we were getting together — and we were mask free and seeing people again — it was really an amazing experience,” said Paula Neubert, the president and general manager of Club Greenwood. “The networking, the fun, just being able to talk freely about your challenges, especially the ones we had this last year — it was even more impactful than it ever could have been. It was wonderful.”

In addition to celebrating, attendees also recognized they were there to discuss the many challenges that faced gyms and the industry this past year. Topics of discussion included: How can the industry be viewed as essential? How can it have a stronger voice of advocacy? How do clubs navigate digital transformation? How can leaders foster more agile organizations?

These questions, and many more, were tackled during the course of the event during roundtables, individual conversations and thrilling activities, such as ziplining through the Cheyenne Mountainside or a Jeep rally through the Garden of the God’s national park.

“What really struck me at this year’s Leadership Summit was the conversation around political landscape, public policy and advocacy for our industry, at a time in the history of our industry when we really need it,” shared Gale Landers, the founder and CEO of Fitness Formula Clubs. “I was especially impressed by the momentum and energy around that and the participation and involvement. We had some great talks and we’re continuing to push that agenda forward.”

Of course, none of this positive momentum would have been possible with the sponsors of the 2021 Club Solutions Leadership Summit, including premier sponsor ROR Partners, and platinum sponsors ABC Fitness Solutions, Gympass, Human Touch, Les Mills, Matrix Fitness, MXMetrics, Therabody, Virdio and Club Solutions Mastermind Groups. Thank you for the opportunity to gather again after a year of hardship in a fun, engaging environment.

After all, we are stronger together, and the 2021 Club Solutions Leadership Summit was a great example of that principle in action.

The 2022 Club Solutions Leadership Summit will take place May 12-14 at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. New attendee and sponsor spots will open up July 1, 2021. Email carrie@peakemedia.com to learn more.

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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