Arena in mini mem­ber­ship slump

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

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

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