Our round-up of the latest Wellesley, Mass., business news:
Everyone loves a good comeback story. Boston Sports Clubs’ Wellesley Assistant General Manager Zac Marcou hopes the gym he’s helping to run will be one of them.
Marcou doesn’t sugarcoat BSC’s recent past, one that spurred the Commonwealth’s Attorney General to sue the bankrupt parent organization for making life miserable for members who tried to leave and were charged even when the gyms were closed during the pandemic. Marcou himself was given 2 days’ notice before the BSC Waltham gym he previously worked at shut down for good, putting an abrupt end to his front desk job there.
The new BSC team in Wellesley now seeks to earn back the goodwill of existing members and let word of mouth attract newcomers ready to get back in the gym. Understaffed like so many local businesses, BSC operates “almost like a startup,” Marcou says, with the team innovating to come up with improvements.
“Honestly, there’s very little that I can say that’ll make folks want to give the Club another shot, other than my word,” says Marcou, a wildlife biologist by training.
BSC has taken steps to make its gym more attractive under its new ownership (New York Sports Clubs and our Family of Brands), though has stopped short of a full rebranding.
“I’d say the most prominent items are related to how our memberships are structured,” Marcou says. “For example, you can cancel whenever you want, there’s no cancellation fee, and there’s no lag-period (i.e., if you request cancellation, it’s processed immediately and at the end of the month, prior to the next billing cycle, you’re done). Furthermore, members can request cancellation online, too, which is unheard of in the fitness industry. Oh, another exciting thing is that you retain the monthly rate you sign up under, indefinitely.”
BSC’s retail rate is now $85/mo, down from $120, and the alumni rate is $70/mo as an incentive to get past members to rejoin.
I stopped by the gym after Marcou reached out to us via email, at the urging of a returning member. I mentioned my experience at the gym had actually been good, though it was a few year ago and was as part of a group that rented a basketball court weekly. My credit card wasn’t involved either.
To me, things looked similar to how I remember BSC, though Marcou emphasized that the gym is much cleaner, something he insisted on upon his arrival. We toured the facility, located next to the Babson Skating Center off of Great Plain Avenue across from the Wellesley Recycling Disposal Facility. A steady flow of sweaty patrons passed by, and a smattering of gym members lifted weights, ran on treadmills, and swam. Things are quiet during the summer in Wellesley anyway, though the parking lot in front of the gym was pretty full.
The gym features indoor tennis courts, an indoor pool, and lots of exercise equipment and weights. It has 2 basketball courts, which double up for other sports use. We also paid a visit to the personal training room, which Marcou says has been especially popular among those skittish about being among crowds. New gym equipment has been added at BSC, though Marcou notes that huge demand for fitness gear during the pandemic has delayed some arrivals.
The outdoor pool is closed this season, but is being prepped to reopen next year.
Marcou is also well aware of the pickleball craze, and is working to bring it back to BSC.
Have questions? Marcou invites you to drop by. “The best way to experience the difference is to just come sit down with me and talk,” he says.BSC’s personal training room
Volunteers of America of Massachusetts has been selected by the Commonwealth to run MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board’s One-Stop Career Centers in Framingham and Norwood.
Services provided at career centers include: job search assistance and coaching; career planning and coaching; networking advice and groups; programs for youths, people with disabilities and veterans; and job posting, pre-screening, and employee training services for employers.
Thanks to swell supporter Call and Haul for the heavy lifting of sponsoring this week’s Business Buzz.
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