Arena in mini membership slump
Arena Fitness is facing tough times, but is still earning ratepayers a dollar, its manager says.
Porirua City Council’s latest finance committee report noted the fitness centre, upstairs at Te Rauparaha Arena, had been affected by increased competition from other gyms and its membership was down by about 15 per cent per month. The recent opening of 24/7 Fitness on Parumoana St and low rates at CityFitness made it a tough business to be in, the arena’s manager of recreation, Willie Taurima, said.
He said when the fitness centre opened in 2008, it ran at a loss for the first six months, but has turned a profit ever since.
‘‘There’s certainly been a healthy profit for many years, but this [financial] year and the last two, it has been tougher and there’s been a decline on the numbers we want. It’s not costing ratepayers to run, but we’re not getting the bottom line we used to have.’’
For commercial reasons, Taurima didn’t want to comment on membership numbers, the fit- ness centre’s profits and strategies to pull in more punters. He did say reviews from two consultants on the centre – one commissioned by the council and the other independent – revealed it was on the right track.
One thing the reviews looked at was what the arena would be like if there was no gym at all, Taurima said, but that won’t be something the council will consider.
‘‘At the end of the day, the fitness centre is a nice activity to have in the building and it has the aquatic centre as part of the mem- bership, along with the Les Mills fitness programme. We have a great membership base, there is good revenue coming in, but we have to make a few changes to the way we’re working.’’
Sue Chapman, who runs the aquatic centre, has recently become the manager of the fitness centre, replacing the departed Aimee Sutorius.
The finance committee report also noted cancellations and deferrals of some events at the arena had a negative effect on revenue, but there were additional bookings coming in June.
The fitness centre at Te Rauparaha Arena has suffered under increased competition: Photo: MARK TANTRUM